Public Job Losses Mount, Michiganders Respond

It should seem clear that having fewer teacher, cops, and health and safety inspectors will not solve anything in America. And yet, according to this new report from the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, cutting back on public employment continues to be a top strategy for cash-strapped state and local governments. The report’s authors put it this way:

“While private sector employment has been recovering slowly over the last four years, state and local governments have been shedding jobs almost continuously since mid-2008. As recently as a year ago, the percentage decline in private sector employment was almost the same as the percentage decline for state and local government jobs. However, the percentage decline in state and local government employment is now at least four times larger than the declines in private sector employment.”

One place where this strategy has been on full display is Michigan, where Governor Snyder and other state leaders have made scaling back state and local governments a focal point.highlighting public jobs in Michigan

That’s why we were excited to see the formation of Priorities Michigan, a new collaborative effort that was just launched in The Mitten State. Priorities Michigan will be working throughout the state to help Michiganders connect the dots between their goals for their families and communities and the roles that public structures and systems like schools, social supports and infrastructure play in meeting those goals. Here’s how Priorities Michigan describes what they’re all about (love this):

“From the Motor City to the UP, we in Michigan value hard work, respect and community. Our hands have built things that changed the world, reached out to our neighbors in need and formed an iron fist to fight for what was right—even when it was not easy. Michigan built the American middle class where people earned enough to buy what we made.”

“Today, some say we can no longer afford to support strong public structures like quality schools, good roads, and safe neighborhoods, but we, Michiganders, know that our fate is linked. We must embrace the values of our past in order to build our future. We must invest in our people, places and public structures to make our state strong and our families secure.”

We’ll be following them with great interest (we also admit to playing a supporting role in this new effort). Stay tuned!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *