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.