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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Laying Off Teachers Will Make the Downturn Worse

Laying Off Teachers Will Make the Downturn Worse

Tuesday, 20 April 2010 16:42

Budget cutbacks at the state and local level make the downturn worse by reducing demand. This is econ 101. The NYT should have found someone to make this point so that readers would recognize that the members of Congress who refuse to allow more spending to prevent these cutbacks are raising the unemployment rate.

--Dean Baker


Comments (7)Add Comment
written by izzatzo, April 20, 2010 7:35
Well Mr Nanny, some of us took Econ 101 from the University of No Free Lunch and know better. Somebody's going to have to pay the Piper somewhere in this game of Keynesian musical chairs and it's going to be the next generation, the same ones you said would benefit from all that transfer of $14T in wealth after the bust from homeowners and stockholders.

Just about the time the young 'uns start to feel their oats of newborn wealth, you go and send Helicopter Ben on another airdrop mission to drop more funny money on the masses to guarantee jobs and send everyone to economic hell in a handbasket for life.

That's right kiddies, your parents and grandparents were taken to the poorhouse by the socialists and you're next. It's hyper inflation, hyper interest rates and hyper debt as far as the eye can see. Hyper hyper hyper.

Stupid liberals.
written by cemmcs, April 20, 2010 10:23
izzatzo, all this time I thouhgt you were kidding. I thought you were doing the Stephen Colbert bit. Now, I think you're serious which is even more hilarious. Keep it up, dude!
No problem..
written by purple, April 20, 2010 11:23
It's OK. Businesses can import educated labor from the developing world. We don't need an education system in America. Print baby, print.
written by mmckinl, April 21, 2010 12:12
No surprise here. I and many others have been predicting this for over two year now. The people in charge are just trotting out the emergency du jour when knowing that sales tax, property taxes and income would be tanking while programs for the needy would be flooded.

Most states have already bankrupted their unemployment funds and collectively owes tens of billions borrowed from the USG.

Besides the teachers there are state, county, municipal and special district workers on the chopping block. One estimate is between all these workers state, local, school districts over 900,000 jobs will be lost.

Given the multiplier effect the jobs lost will be in the millions. To make matters worse this fiscal year looks positively rosie compared to next years fiscal year.

Like I said this was completely predictable. Here we go again with the "No one saw this coming" crap ...
Disagree with the attitude
written by Aditya Savara, April 21, 2010 5:19
I disagree with your attitude about this Dean.

1) There has to be an optimal ratio of teachers to general population. Obviously we can't have 95% of the population being teachers. So the decision of firing/hiring teachers should be based on that, nothing else.

2) If your argument is "more unemployed = less demand" then you should be arguing for other federal stimulus: again, see point 1. Unless you know what the optimal teacher ratio is, you can't say the money should be going to hire teachers instead of say high speed rail or picking up trash.

3) This is a bit like the Greece situation. Many of these states were not balancing their budgets to begin with, and were not keeping a rainy day fund. It does not take a genius to know you need to balance your budget and keep a rainy day fund. The states were being irresponsible, and you are advocating the same moral hazard as the bank bailouts. So you seem to think it's not okay for banks to be irresponsible, but somehow it's okay for states to be irresponsible. That attitude doesn't fly in my books. We probably need a federal law requiring states to have a balanced budget, so that people in more responsible states don't have to bail their lazy butts out.
union busting
written by bakho, April 21, 2010 8:26
Republican governors like Mitch Daniels want to privatize everything, including schools. In Indiana, our school districts are laying off thousands of teachers and Mitch laughs at the bickering between the school boards and the teachers unions. Privatizing schools is one way to destroy teacher's unions and organizations.

Mitch Daniels has never attended a public school at any level. Mitch went to elite private schools for K12 and college. He has no use for public education and has allied with the wing of the Republican Party that wants to defund and underfund our public schools.

They want private schools so the wealthy elites can buy an educational leg up for their legacies and tilt the playing field by stiffing other people's kids with a second rate education. These people are trying to create a plutocracy and destroy any semblance of meritocracy. The recession is only an excuse to pursue their larger agenda of privatizing our schools.

It isn't that Congress does not care, there are people actively engaged in ending public education.
our childrens legacy
written by SteveBreeze, April 21, 2010 9:04
first should we leave our children with a little more debt and rising incomes because of better education or do we just leave them with a legacy of stupid. Maybe if we under inform them we can have a more robust tea party.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.