Friday, April 25, 2003

Hard drives and hard times. Boston Globe columnist Steve Bailey offers "a little perspective" on the state budget crisis this morning, noting:

[O]ne of the safest jobs to have through this recession has been a government job. Just 0.7 percent of federal, state, and local jobs in Massachusetts -- 3,000 people in all -- have been cut in the same period, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Massachusetts technology giant EMC Corp. alone has cut more than twice that many jobs worldwide over the last two years.

That's fine, but Bailey omits the difference between EMC's getting rid of workers (fewer hard drives for customers who don't want them anyway) and cities and towns getting rid of teachers (do I have to point out the obvious?).

Jill Stein, the Green Party for governor last year, released a statement yesterday saying that a good chunk of the deficit could be closed by "raising over $2 billion in additional state revenues by closing loopholes and making the current tax system fairer."

Stein isn't specific, but what she's saying is actually pretty well known. The '90s were a time of huge tax giveaways in Massachusetts, mainly to the affluent and to the business community.

In fact, the website of the Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities, the organization that Stein now heads, is loaded with ideas to bring in more money and to make the tax system fairer.

I don't know how many of these are good ideas, but it looks like a worthwhile place to start.

No comments: