Keep in mind that, the costs of maintaining order and cohesion haven't increased. What has increased is thievery, corruption, and waste. And, incapable of rolling back on their own criminality and malfeasance, they'll just shut down your local fire department, and lay off some cops and teachers. They're better than you, and they know it.
- Financial Times -
The small southern California city of Maywood has hit on a unique solution to its budget crisis. Crushed by the recession and falling tax revenues, the city is disbanding its police force and firing all public sector employees.
Maywood has opted for an extreme solution, by contracting out all public services, including the most basic, to save cash. But it is not alone.
States around the US are cutting costs wherever possible as they prepare budgets for the fiscal year that starts this week for most of them. Their combined deficit is projected to reach $112bn by June 2011.
Local government activities, such as funding police, school buildings, fire departments, parks and social programmes, are in the line of fire.
“We are where the rubber meets the road,” said Sam Olivito of the California Contract Cities Association, which represents cities that outsource public services. “Local government is the fabric of our nation – it’s what keeps everything working properly.”