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Michael Hiltzik: Disaster work in state and local recruitment



Michael Hiltzik: Disaster work in state and local recruitment

There are several reasons why President Trump had to refrain from congratulating himself last week after government figures showed an unexpected increase of 2.5 million jobs in May.

One of them is that the increase is hardly on the big picture. More than 22 million jobs were lost in March and April, mostly due to coronavirus locking; that is more than 14% of all nonfarm jobs that existed at the end of February.

But the most important reason for not celebrating is hidden in public reports. Jobs by state and local governments have fallen off cliffs.

No country will escape the financial black hole created by this crisis.

Mark Zandi, Moody’s Analysis

The employment report released June 5 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that state and local government employment fell by 571,000 jobs in May. The previous month, the loss was 964,000, with a total of two months losing 1.535 million public sector jobs.

And the catastrophe may have just begun. Estimates of the magnitude of deficits faced by state and local governments by 2022 from a combination of increased public health spending to combat the corona virus and declining income due to continued economic closure and echoes range from the terrible $ 500 billion to 2022 to the fiscal year cataclysmic $ 959 billion until the end of next year.

(The first estimate is offered by Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics; the second by Timothy J. Bartik from W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

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“No country will escape the financial black hole created by this crisis,” Zandi told CNN last month.

Some states, such as Texas and Oklahoma, suffer greatly from falling oil prices, which help sustain their economies. But every country has to face shortages in personal income taxes that come from layoffs and leave, and sales taxes because people cannot leave their homes to shop at shops, go to restaurants and stay in hotels.

This situation demands congressional action. “They face huge shortcomings, and there aren’t too many ways to overcome them,” economists said Dean Baker from the Center for Economic and Policy Research tell me. “Their money is mostly used to recruit people. If Congress doesn’t make a lot of money, they will be hit very hard. “

He’s right. Unlike the federal government, states and regions cannot print money to cover deficits. They are generally asked to maintain a balanced budget, so when a deficit occurs, their only choice is to cut salaries.

The relationship between the fiscal health of state and local governments and the national economy is symbiotic. As a rule of thumb, each percentage point increase in the national unemployment rate costs the state budget around $ 45 billion, according to the Brookings Institution.

(The decline in the unemployment rate to 13.3% from the 14.7% reported by BLS on June 5 was based on the “misclassification” of temporary temporary workers as unemployed. Supporting the error, the employment rate was 16.3%.)

Job loss and job acquisition: An increase of 2.5 million jobs in May praised by President Trump can be seen as a rise at the far right, small in relation to large losses in the previous two months. Gray bands signify a recession.

(Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Looking at things in the opposite direction, history tells us that hiring state and local governments is the key to keeping the current recession from turning into depression.

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The best evidence for how bound state and local governments can become obstacles to growth comes from the 2008-2009 recession, when they became hard without stopping “Anti-stimulus machine,” observing Josh Bivens from the Economic Policy Institute.

If state and local spending matches the trajectory that was followed during the recovery from the recession of the early 1980s, “the pre-recession unemployment rate could be achieved in early 2013 rather than 2017,” Bivens calculated. “In short, these savings delay recovery more than four years. “

Closing the income gap with federal assistance will save as much as 6 million jobs by the end of 2021, Bivens added, putting the US back on the path to full employment enjoyed before the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite all that, Republicans in Congress initially expressed a refusal to provide states and localities with great assistance. As we reported earlier, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Downgrades the idea of ​​more money for state and local governments as “blue state bailouts,” citing the public pension policies of large countries.

This analysis is pleasing to the gallery of right-wing ideologists who have been passionate about taking pictures of civil servants. But it is wrong. The truth is that some of the largest snouts in the federal trough have long been red states – including the state of McConnell in Kentucky, which gets $ 2.35 back from the federal government for every dollar sent to Washington, the country’s best return.

McConnell has since made more moderate voices about federal aid, too. “This is not partisan,” Jared Bernstein of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities and former chief economist for the time – Vice President Joe Biden told me via email. The Republican Governor “legally asked for McConnell’s help – but what form and how much to look at.”

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That will be the next battle. If aid is allocated by the population, Baker noted, it will harm blue countries with large populations but more COVID-19 cases even as part of their population.

“I believe the Republican intention is to fill many gaps,” but if Congress comes up with, say, only two-thirds of what is needed, it will leave a deficit in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

What is really needed may be a multi-year program that convinces state and local governments that assistance will remain available more than one year from now, when the impact of the pandemic may still be felt.

But McConnell and Trump are not known as long-term thinkers or planners. “From a political standpoint, maybe the best thing is to get every penny you can now and hope that you get a Democrat in the White House and come back in January with some long-term plans.”

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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