Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Victim of a State Government Shutdown

Day 5. The daily countdown reminds me of a hostage countdown and to many of us who have been displaced by the government of minnesota, this feels like a hostage situation. Friday morning I awoke expecting to go to work but instead I was broadsided and forced to stay home. Oh, and by the way, none of us is collecting either a salary or unemployment; we are on unpaid leave for up to 2 weeks. I, like the rest of my nearly 10,000 colleagues, have bills to pay and others to provide for. I want to work, I need to work but I cannot. Meanwhile, within the capitol, the finger pointing continues as the governor and legislature play a macabre game of chicken with 10,000 + lives. We are in a stalemate with no end in sight and it is scary for those of us living paycheck to paycheck. As state employees we can't afford this.

I'm sure that there are some out there who believe that this is "just desserts" for state employees. However they forget that state employees are tax payers too. The majority of them work very hard, just like workers in private industry, public servants are extremely dedicated to serving the public.

I was amused by a state senator who claimed that if the racino bill passed (an idea unpopular among the majority of both republicans and democrats) then this stalemate would be over. Perhaps we need to look at the other side of the coin, if the top 4% of income earners accepted a tax increase (one they can well afford) then perhaps this stalemate would be over. Think about, those who have little are sacrificing so that those who have the most can avoid contributing to society. Doesn't sound very fair to me.

Meanwhile, the stalemate drags on and families worry how to make ends meet, if they will lose their healthcare coverage and if they will become unemployed.

1 comment:

Edie said...

That's interesting that you mention the top tax bracket. I just wrote an article on Medicaid cuts and realized that the Minnesota shutdown was just the latest manifestation of the tug and pull between tax cuts and social services. I totally agree with your defense of state employees.

Please come see my blog sometime, at http://annotatedlife.blogspot.com/