Welcome to the conservative "recovery," where public-sector jobs are being cut in droves | Wis.Community

Welcome to the conservative "recovery," where public-sector jobs are being cut in droves

At ThinkProgress.org, journalist Matt Yglesias points to a little noticed component of conservative political mantra that's holding back the national economic recovery -- one that's clearly at work right here in Wisconsin: Cuts in public-sector employment that offset private-sector job growth.

Imagine for a moment if Boston, Denver, or Seattle [or, we might add, Milwaukee] — ;" href="http://app.mx3.americanprogressaction.org/e/er.aspx?s=785&lid=98860&elq=..." rel="nofollow" target="_blank">cities of roughly 600,000 residents — simply disappeared. Well, since the recession officially ended, about ;" href="http://app.mx3.americanprogressaction.org/e/er.aspx?s=785&lid=98861&elq=..." rel="nofollow" target="_blank">600,000 public sector jobs previously held by 600,000 real people have disappeared from the economy — consistently offsetting some of the gains made in the private sector. Indeed, today’s stunner headline that ;" href="http://app.mx3.americanprogressaction.org/e/er.aspx?s=785&lid=98821&elq=..." rel="nofollow" target="_blank">ZERO jobs were created in August was the result of 17,000 new private sector jobs being offset by 17,000 more government jobs being axed.

Yglesias expands on this fact:

The public sector has been steadily shrinking. According to the conservative theory of the economy, when the public sector shrinks that should super-charge the private sector. What’s happened in the real world has been that public sector shrinkage has simply been paired with anemic private sector growth. This is what I’ve called “The Conservative Recovery.” Conservatives complain about the results because the president is a Democrat named Barack Obama. But the policy result is what conservatives say they want. Steady cuts to the government sector, offset somewhat by private sector growth. The reality is that this dynamic sucks, and we ought to be forcefully trying to avoid public sector layoffs knowing that workers are also customers for the private sector. But we’re not.

Yup, it's true. Public workers actually spend money in the private economy, when, that is, they keep their jobs. Here's a chart that shows just how strongly the recovery is being affected by shrinking public employment. It covers the past two years:

[img_assist|nid=66391|title=Public jobs down|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=332|height=216]



September 2, 2011 - 7:02pm