Monday 28 June 2010

When the state can't afford anything

I mentioned a week or so ago that I was wondering if civilised government was possible any more, given the markets, the phenomenon of corporate tax avoidance, and the sheer cost of public services - and suggesting another way forward to end government borrowing.

Now comes the news that the city of Maywood in California is facing such a big budget crisis that they are laying off their entire staff, including the police, and contracting it all out:

They are not the only US city in this situation either. If the USA, the richest nation on earth, can no longer afford basic services, what hopes for the rest of us?

None of this is intended to suggest that savings are not possible in the UK - quite the reverse - I just don't know if we can ever reach the mythical point of balanced budgets.

1 comment:

Eponymous said...

The US can't afford basic services for two reasons: the postindustrial economy turned out to be based on irrational speculation, and the political climate devalues these services except where they benefit the wealthy, who prefer private contractors over public institutions that might (gasp) serve the peons equally. There's hope for your country, if the citizens have the political will to reject the right-wing ideology of social psuedo-Darwinism and government-as-problem.