Friday, November 20, 2009

WTA, Library, Jail and Probation...

I guess I can hardly resist this post.  I received this call just now on my cell phone (caller 1000):
"Good Evening, this is the local Whatcom County Transit Authority.  We have a survey we are asking of members of your household between the ages of 16 - 29. Are you between the ages of 16 - 29?"
"Unfortunately not," I truthfully replied.
"Is there anyone in your household between the ages of 16 - 29 who would like to take our short survey concerning Whatcom County Transit?"
"No, there is not," I truthfully replied again.
"Thanks so much for your time!"

Denied my chance to talk about Whatcom County Transit tonight, I will admit I don't really have much to say right now about the library cuts, the WTA cuts, the recently proposed jail and probation cuts. Each would have there own specific issues. But in general, these cuts in government services are what happens to counties and cities when local economies collapse.  It is the hallmark of desperate contractions in economic revenue that overused city services (like libraries, transport, jails) get slashed when they appear to be needed the most.  In effect, economic contractions shrink governments and shrink power.  They also shrink employment and because government is such an important part of total economic activity, these cuts amplify the contraction. Clearly, we will not recover the sales, property, and B&O taxes we need to restore or expand government services unless we redirect all our efforts toward economic growth. In this case, that means growing jobs.

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