Posts Tagged ‘budgets’

PART II: Fleecing State Budgets From West to East Coast: Paying the Price for Law Schools’ New Campuses

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It’s this news series that I got the idea from. We now venture to the east coast, you know this “economic hub” people keep referring to.  Maryland has over 100,000 recently unemployed residents (not including those who are unemployed but get their compensation from DC/VA), and a budget deficit because of the blizzard. According to BLS, Baltimore City has the highest unemployment rate in the state and that was as of May 2010. Well, it just increased. On June 30, 2010, Baltimore City lets 100 workers go – baltimoresun.com. I know times are tough, budgets need to be balanced and localities get funding from the state, but what is the state doing to alleviate the burden on these townships and counties?

 According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Maryland’s unemployment is 7.2% as of May 2010: Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary with an overall unemployment rate as follows: Maryland………………….|   2,517,500 (April 2010) |   2,528,700 (May 2010) |   In one month’s time    11,200 became unemployed. Maryland’s unemployment compensation fund is broke yet the State of Maryland donates 92 million to a 4th tier law school: http://law.ubalt.edu/template.cfm?page=1146

This doesn’t sound right. What would make a state government decide to put money into an existing law school when its constiuents are failing at a decent standard of living. Maybe it’s a tax write-off to the federal government in order to get more funding to the state. In any case, it is the working middle class who will likely suffer. As Baltimore City already has one of the highest if not the highest local income taxes, I’m sure this new building will increase the proeprty taxes in the area, driving more people out of homes and rentals  near the school. I’m not an economist, but should we assume this is a long-term investment for a withering legal industry?

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Economy, job losses, higher taxes, homelessness, debt, oh my!

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Today we are reporting regional play by play of the economy and job loss:  Sallie Mae: Yes, District of Columbia-metro area residents, it’s right in your backyard. Remember the jobs cuts from those big corporations such as Citigroup, AIG and the like and their failing assets? Well, I highly doubt Sallie Mae is suffering as it can thrive on the interest payments alone that are paid by unemployed professionals, those who financed their education at trade schools and other institutes of learning. But did you know Sallie Mae decided to lay off a major segment of employees and close locations? (March 2010-http://washington.bizjournals.com/washington/stories/2010/03/22/daily16.html) Not only are federal jobs few and hard to come by, major regional corporations aren’t hiring but firing.So for people who continue to say that DC is a “good” place to move in this down economy are highly mistaken. An article published in December listed Maryland and Virginia around 15 out of 55 of the states [I know there aren’t 55 states, but that’s how the article designated it] with the HIGHEST unemployment while California was much lower on the scale (ok I’m kind of surprised too). So that’s only Virginia, Washington, DC, what about Maryland? Well, as most people know, southern Maryland as well as some residents further north (such as Baltimore) and Pennsylvania commute all the way to the District of Columbia to work.  Now, DC wants to tax commuters for working in DC, though these commuters already pay their own state, local and federal taxes based on where they live (http://www.wusa9.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=101759&catid=158). But what of those who work in Maryland? This past winter increased Maryland’s deficit because of the snowcastrophe also known as a blizzard. Maryland went over its budget to render the clearing, salting and snow removal services. So what will they do, well, how about we tax people again? You know take more money people don’t have.   Now more Marylanders are scheduled to lose jobs next week, an estimated 600, specifically Baltimore city workers. ( http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9EL6N7G0.htm   ). I think Baltimore city needs to raise  over 40 million and should they not be able to render an agreement with trade unions the city government will have to raise another 64 million. Can uou imagine even more disgruntled laid off city civil workers roaming around Maryland in addition to the 100,000 unemployed Marylanders with a depleted unemployment insurance fund? You think crime is bad now, let’s watch the next few feeks. Run for the border.

…while New Jersey prepares for budget cuts, ok proposals to lay off workers (more?) in their state:  Tens of thousands rally against New Jersey budget cuts http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/may2010/newj-m24.shtml). The state wants to eliminate free lunch for poor school students? Everyone knows that having meals, especially breakfast contributes to energy and academic performance. The snowball continues to roll bigger and bigger.

In New York the state is trying to balance their budget which is affecting local universities: New York’s Budget Woes Could lead to Furloughs, Layoffs at SUNY, May 26, 2010 http://www.wgrz.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=77276&catid=37

In California the government proposes to cut teachers (Solano County teacher union chief among hundreds to protest cuts http://www.thereporter.com/news/ci_15163841) is it just me or do some of these states find schools and education dispensible? One California state university is laying off staff to balance their budget: (Sacramento State lays off staff to cover $26M shortfall – Sacramento Business Journal May 25, 2010)

Recently, a Texas state university laid off employees and plans to cut more (Univ. of Texas lays off 122 workers, may cut more, May 11, 2010 http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9FKMRKO0.htm)

Although states are not doing well, this article claims that local economy within Ohio isn’t doing so bad: (Construction jobs boost economy: http://www.mariettatimes.com/page/content.detail/id/522157.html?nav=5002)

The good news I guess is that Congress is considering extending unemployment benefits again (.http://www.marketwatch.com/story/12-million-unemployed-may-lose-federal-benefits-2010-05-24)..because: Jobless Claims Rise By Largest Amount In 3 Months (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=103396584 and choice (D) “All of the above”.