For my friends over in Wisconsin, I thought that I would post this YouTube video from a recent town hall meeting where New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie had a reasoned discussion with someone who asked questions about upcoming cuts. I’m also posting this video for my friends who work in the public sector (police and firemen) and are annoyed that there are likely going to be job cuts in the coming weeks and months. Watch the video and then I have one or two more comments below it.
For me, this is a simple situation and one that really doesn’t require any protesting or arguing or petty “left vs. right” political comparisons. In short, there’s no money. No money = no jobs. Take the private sector over the last three years – people have been losing their jobs left and right. Why? Because their companies couldn’t afford to staff the position. It might suck, but New Jersey can’t afford to pay some of its policemen and firefighters, among other public workers.
And it’s silly to blame Governor Christie when Jon “Money Bags” Corzine, Jim McGreevey, and Christine Todd Whitman (among many other previous political leaders in this state) are the ones who raped our state’s finances. For my friends who aren’t from New Jersey – for decades it hasn’t mattered whether a Republican or a Democrat has been in office because both parties fleeced the state.
Yet, I understand that people need someone to lash out at and Governor Christie is the head of the state so they’re going to lash out at him. In fact, there’s a protest of public workers going on up the street from my office in Trenton today. And while I think contemporary protesting is so fabricated and false that in 2011 it typically gets Americans nowhere, I don’t mind the folks up the street protesting. I do mind that they added 45 minutes on to my commute this morning (because I wanted to spend nearly 2 hours in the car). But at least the folks protesting today are from New Jersey versus the idiots who protested in Trenton last week who were primarily bussed in from Pennsylvania and New York.
At the end of the day, though, there’s no money and cuts have to come from somewhere so jobs are going to be lost. For anyone to be surprised at that simple economic math means that they either had their head buried in the sand as the private sector was rocked over the last 3 years or they just don’t understand that no money = no jobs.