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ScaredEitherWay

Chicago Gives Up The Ghost ... Closed Down

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Public services in the US city of Chicago have been shut down for a day in an attempt to deal with a $300m (£184m) budget deficit.

Non-essential services such as rubbish collections, libraries and health centres were closed, in the first of three planned Reduced Service days.

City authorities hope the move, with workers taking an enforced unpaid holiday, will save an estimated $8.3m.

Other cities in the US have already introduced similar measures.

In a statement last week, Chicago's Mayor Richard M Daley thanked state employees for their "sacrifice".

"Every dollar we save from these measures helps to save jobs, and in the long-term, maintain service for Chicagoans," he said.

"This plan engages most civilian employees to accept cuts and to be part of the solution to our budget crisis."

Two more Reduced Service days have been scheduled - one for 27 November, the day after Thanksgiving and another for Christmas Eve, 24 December.

Workers have also been asked to take a series of unpaid days off and holidays without salary.

The total savings are expected to be $34m, but the mayor's office said that despite "efforts to reduce costs and better manage government", the city's shortfall in 2009 will still be about $300m.

Chicago is one of a number of US cities and states to introduce closures and furlough days to address deficits.

In California, which has a budget deficit of some $24.3bn (£14.5bn) and has declared a fiscal emergency, state offices have been ordered to close for three days each month.

Michigan has said it will not pay its state employees on six days up to the end of September, to save nearly $22m.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8206433.stm

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For some reason I'm reminded of boiling frogs alive. Start off at room temperature, drop in the pan and gradually increase the heat. Apparently the frog will stay until dead as it has no sense of things getting so bad they will kill it. Just a little warmer by the minute.

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Guest The Relaxation Suite
Yeah, but all those public sector workers will now have an extra day to get down the mall and spend some money. There's some green shoots for ya!

Hard to believe that the richest country in the world is now amongst the poorest - just because of greed. Just wait till they can't afford to pay the navy its wages - that's when it all started to go wrong for the British Empire.

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Hard to believe that the richest country in the world is now amongst the poorest - just because of greed. Just wait till they can't afford to pay the navy its wages - that's when it all started to go wrong for the British Empire.

Do tell more.

Where, when as brief as you like.

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Guest The Relaxation Suite
Do tell more.

Where, when as brief as you like.

Invergordon Mutiny.

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A bit from Wiki for you:

In September 1931, as part of its attempts to deal with the Great Depression, the new National Government launched cuts to public spending. The recommended cuts in spending on the navy were translated into a 10% pay cut (matching 10% cuts across the board for public sector workers) for officers and senior ratings, and for all junior ratings on the "new rate" of pay (introduced for new entrants from 1925). A 10% cut would cause great hardship to the already poorly-paid ratings. Those ratings below Petty Officer who had joined before 1925 would also have their pay reduced to the new rate; this amounted to a cut of 25%. On top of this, many Labour party supporters shared the sense of betrayal felt in the labour movement at Ramsay Macdonald's split with the Labour Party and his formation of a new government with the Conservatives.

[The bit in bold if applied today would be interesting]

The Invergordon Mutiny was an industrial action by around a thousand sailors in the British Atlantic Fleet, that took place on 15 September-16 September 1931. For two days, ships of the Royal Navy at Invergordon were in open mutiny, in one of the few military strikes in British history.

Edited: At the end of the article:-

The Invergordon Mutiny caused a panic on the London Stock Exchange and a run on the pound, bringing Britain's economic troubles to a head that forced it off the Gold Standard on 20 September 1931.

Edited by deflation

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"Every dollar we save from these measures helps to save jobs, and in the long-term, maintain service for Chicagoans," he said.

I love that - maintain services by.....cutting services! In fact, if they cut them to zero, they can be maintained at that level indefinitely.

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For some reason I'm reminded of boiling frogs alive. Start off at room temperature, drop in the pan and gradually increase the heat. Apparently the frog will stay until dead as it has no sense of things getting so bad they will kill it. Just a little warmer by the minute.

Actually that's an urban legend..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boiling_frog

Only humans are stupid enough to get boiled in this way..

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Guest The Relaxation Suite
A bit from Wiki for you:

In September 1931, as part of its attempts to deal with the Great Depression, the new National Government launched cuts to public spending. The recommended cuts in spending on the navy were translated into a 10% pay cut (matching 10% cuts across the board for public sector workers) for officers and senior ratings, and for all junior ratings on the "new rate" of pay (introduced for new entrants from 1925). A 10% cut would cause great hardship to the already poorly-paid ratings. Those ratings below Petty Officer who had joined before 1925 would also have their pay reduced to the new rate; this amounted to a cut of 25%. On top of this, many Labour party supporters shared the sense of betrayal felt in the labour movement at Ramsay Macdonald's split with the Labour Party and his formation of a new government with the Conservatives.

[The bit in bold if applied today would be interesting]

The Invergordon Mutiny was an industrial action by around a thousand sailors in the British Atlantic Fleet, that took place on 15 September-16 September 1931. For two days, ships of the Royal Navy at Invergordon were in open mutiny, in one of the few military strikes in British history.

Edited: At the end of the article:-

The Invergordon Mutiny caused a panic on the London Stock Exchange and a run on the pound, bringing Britain's economic troubles to a head that forced it off the Gold Standard on 20 September 1931.

Exaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaactly. The US Navy is very expensive as well. I think a US aircraft carrier costs about $500,000 a day to run, and the US has around 12 of them. Big, big, big bucks, running a navy. So that would be $180,000,000 a month just for the ACs, forget the rest of the battle groups. In fact these figures are so ridiculous I don't believe them.

Edited by D-503

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How long before UK councils are having to do this?

Debt is a killer in this sort of environment.

parliament has been closed for a month....have we really noticed?

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Guest The Relaxation Suite

It's curious how we become adjusted to this kind of thing. If we saw on the news just three or four years ago that they couldn't afford to run Chicago I think there would be much more of a shock, but now it's just meh. But you're right - how much longer before a British city shuts down for the day? And remember that health centres were included in the shut down so it's not just council offices full of Colins doing nothing that are being shut down.

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Guest The Relaxation Suite
In the meantime in the UK the number of Jobs in the Public Sector continue to rise !!!

"Beam me up Scoty"

It's the same in the US where Obama came out and said the other day that things were on the up because more jobs were being created. Of course you and I know that these "jobs" weren't created at all, but invented ones where the unemployed are paid minimum wage to do nothing all day but keep themselves off the unemployment stats. When the QE stops so do their pay cheques.

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Ahh....it's just like being back at school.

3/4 day week, miners and bin men out on strike, rolling power cuts, homework by candle light.

Happy days.............

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