Friday, February 27, 2009

The Need For More Efficient Government

This caught my eye today:

City of New Haven announces major layoffs- 27 city workers, 127 board of ed employees to lose jobs.

I've blogged before about the layers and layers of unnecessary bureaucracy that exist at every level of government, but I'm still reeling in shock from that number of 127 Board of Education employees. If that's how many jobs they're cutting, how many did they have in the first place? And yes, New Haven is a city, but at 100,000 people it's not that a big city. At a $40,000 a year salary, 127 employees would cost the city over 5 million dollars a year. And to do what? Certainly local boards of education fill a need, but clearly there were plenty of positions here that could be cut without the school system falling apart.

It amazes me how little transparency there is in the budget process at all levels of government. It's the sort of thing that, in the internet age, we as voters and taxpayers should have instant access too. Yet it took me over 10 minutes of fiddling around on the City of New Haven website and looking through their old budget (see here) to find that for the '07-'08 fiscal year, the city budgeted slightly over 114 million dollars for personnel costs. And still, I can't find how much of that $114 million is devoted to real live teachers and what's devoted to administration. We tend to look to Washington in disgust, but how can we expect anything from the federal government when there's no transparency and no understanding of budgeting on the most local of levels.


Anonymous rose said...

"The recovery bill includes a $79-billion “State Fiscal Stabilization Fund” to help state and local governments fund education and other key services."

I would imagine this is the kind of streamlining of government that will be prevented across the country by these funds.

Private companies that hire non-productive employees lose money and eventually die (or get bailed out if they have a politically connected union; see UAW).

Towns who do it get bailed out by FEDERAL FUNDS. How sick is the idea of citizens in North Dakota paying for the excesses of the citizens of Sacramento? Government sponsored theft.

4:09 PM  
Anonymous rose said...

Something I think you'll find interesting.

Krugman has a blog post titled "Friedman and Schwartz were wrong". Friedman believed that the fed casued the great depression by restricting the supply of money. Krugman sums the theory up as "all it takes to avoid depressions is for central banks to do their job." And then cites this recession as proof that this is not true because the fed has been aggressive.

Does Paul Krugman forget that there is near unanimous agreement that too loose monetary policy under greenspan had a lot to do w/ the housing bubble? And that Milton Friedman argued that the fed's only role in terms of money supply should be to grow it at a target rate (3-5%), not to try to stimulate demand w/ artificially low rates.

In other words, the fed didn't do their job. They fucked up, just in a different way than they did in 1930.

Either Krugman is so blinded by passion that he can no longer think straight, or he is as dishonest as they come.

10:11 AM  

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