4.10.10

Missouri Looking for Someone to Lead


Happy Halloween, in September!

The recent report by the National Bureau of Economic Research—that the "great recession ended in June 2009"—would be funny, if they weren't so painfully false. Missouri continues the impact of fewer jobs and higher unemployment. Layoffs this summer at Boeing reflect changes in defense spending, while more-recent layoffs at ISS Facility Services Inc., a janitorial service, indicate companies are still cutting back on external services.

Higher unemployment means fewer taxable dollars, which in turn means declining municipal revenue. For East St. Louis, Illinois (part of the metropolitan St. Louis area) that has meant a 30% cut in police staff. For a city already plagued by crime, this situation is ripe for an escalation of violent activity—as greater need drives some to take greater risks in the face of diminished enforcement.

Mayor Alvin Parks said that "the weak economy has robbed the city of badly needed money," (St. Louis Post Dispatch, July 2010). Others suggest it is unchecked local, state, and federal governments which have robbed people of money—expanding already-unsustainable budgets during the '04-'06 high property-tax years.... (click here to read full article)

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