Meg Whitman Doubles Down On Call For Higher Unemployment

As we explained yesterday, Meg Whitman is arguing for higher unemployment as part of her campaign for the governor’s office. Today she is bizarrely doubling down, calling for 40,000 people to be fired in a new radio ad.

In the ad, Whitman frames her call for mass unemployment as an attack on “runaway spending” – but she does not explain how exactly she will create jobs for the state by throwing so many people out of work. As she ought to know, 40,000 layoffs will have a major ripple effect throughout the state. Households affected by the layoffs will pull back further on spending, causing more layoffs at small businesses. Foreclosures will rise, and local and state tax revenue will take a big hit.

Such a suicidal economic policy only makes sense for two reasons: 1) your goal is to force a shock doctrine moment where state spending has to shrink even further, enabling you to privatize whole elements of public services, and 2) your goal is to prevent a tax increase on the wealthy and on corporations along the lines of what Oregon voters approved. Of course, the two goals are quite compatible.

What level of unemployment will satisfy Meg Whitman? 15%? 20%? 30%? These are the questions that the woman who wants to buy the governor’s office needs to answer.

4 thoughts on “Meg Whitman Doubles Down On Call For Higher Unemployment”

  1. Assuming that you RIF 40000 and these poor smucks cost the state $50000/year each when all is considered- that only makes $2 Billion- where’s the rest coming from. The average starting state worker makes around $3300 +/- a month- these are the folks who get RIFed not the upper pay level people.

  2. The work done by the Government IS valuable as well as vital, that’s why contractors (often working side-by-side with State workers, but paid significantly more) are now ubiquitous.  The very reason that Jesse Unruh and Edmund G. “Pat” Brown created a civil service was to end the croneyism and political patronage of government work – and to have a professional workforce that was not subject to the vagaries of politics.  And that is why you hear no end of calls for so-called “bold, free-market solutions” as described by every jerkwad legislator who signed Grover Norquist’s no-tax pledge. The work’s not going away under the “smaller government” mantra.  It’s who does it and who profits from it.  

    We could sure use some better messaging and framing on the issue.

  3. It’s the layoffs of the private sector employees (you know, the ones who actually produce things of value) that’s destroying the economy.

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