A family member sent me a link last night about school systems in the US that are now not only giving kids a coronavirus vacation, but are ending the school year altogether.
I doubt this is about the spread of disease anymore, so much as state and local governments have now nuked the largest sources of per-pupil spending on education and they know it. State governments are funded from two sources: personal and corporate income taxes and sales taxes. When you spontaneously put millions of people out of work and they can’t buy anything, you can’t collect taxes. And state and local governments can’t deficit spend like the federal government can without constitutional amendments, which will never happen, especially in this context.
The holes this dumbass policy response will put in state budgets have not been seen before in US history, probably not even in WWII or the Great Depression. Commerce did not grind to a complete halt in either of those events. I don’t think anyone pushing for this policy response has thought clearly about what they’ve done. But they are going to have a come-to-Jesus moment very soon.
We are probably going to see mass lay-offs of people in public education, and the entire public sector, really, if these monstrous policies are not immediately reversed. And if you are a public employee with a pension the joke’s really on you. The government has nuked its tax bases *and* they have killed the financial markets. That’s a perfect storm for public pensions, as they will likely not see future contributions and their asset values are plummeting.
This policy is insane on so many levels, it’s hard to even process them.