Public workers should take part of the hit
January 25, 2011
During the Great Depression, there wasn’t a Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation to provide a monthly update on Douglas County’s unemployment figures.
The U.S. Census reported there were only 1,840 people living in the county in 1930. That’s quite a bit fewer than the 3,320 who were listed as jobless in the county during the month of December.
In the 1930s, Douglas County was still predominantly home to agriculture and small shops. There was the occasional homeless person, but residents lived with their families or traveled to the cities to find work.
In this atmosphere, public employees volunteered to take pay cuts, recognizing that the source of their income had less and less of it.
Next month, the Nevada Legislature begins its work to establish the state’s budget for the following two years. Without the veto-proof majority from the 2009 Legislature, lawmakers and the governor are going to have to work together to find a balance between what government costs and how much people have to spend.
That balance may see some attempts to increase taxes, but it should definitely see some reduction in spending on employee salaries.
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We believe our public employees are important, and we certainly don’t need them added to the unemployment rolls. But it would be far better for them to come to the table willing to give something up than to stonewall.