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To what I have been up.

It has been some time since I've updated this journal - it's been a very busy life. I'll spare you, kind audience, the details except to say that I'm well and very happy that Bing Crosby is no longer playing in every store I visit.

I love Christmas, but my decorations were down well before Epiphany. I launch into the New year four pounds heavier, and wondering if 2009 will be the year that my metabolism finally slows to the point that I can't keep the weight off.

Philadelphia continues its budget crisis with the closure of swimming pools and attempted closure of libraries (a court order has kept them open in the short term) - but now that city contract negotiations are in full swing, Mayor Nutter faces his most difficult challenge. I hope he wins.

I feel great sympathy for the mayor. While I'm opposed to his library closure decision, if the money's not there, it's not there. Nobody wants to sacrifice. Everybody likes to get mad. Still, for the most part, I trust and believe in him. It's such a shame that a visionary mayor is in office at a time when the economy renders him impotent to push forward an agenda.

Only other thing going on right now: If the Eagles make it to the Super Bowl, yours truly will be in Florida for a week-plus. Not bad, but I hate to cancel my plans!

Comments

Ugh, I know what you mean about your metabolism slowing down over time. This past year has seen me steadily gaining, and I'm appalled with myself right now...

The economic situation is miserable, and I didn't know it was so dire where you live. My mom is a librarian here, and they've already started closing the library on Friday's; hopefully she won't lose her job soon. My hospital is on a complete hiring freeze at the moment which is kinda scary. Hopefully they have a position open for me in 6 months when I finally finish this residency. ::crosses fingers::

(Anonymous)

I also feel a little dispirited that our promising mayor is in office during a very trying time, but the flip side is that adversity is also opportunity. Maybe the dire financial situation will allow him the cover to rein in the unions and divest the city workforce of unnecessary employees.

Gary

(Anonymous)

Isn't it well-established in economics theory that the government is supposed to increase spending during economic downturns?

Americans never seemed to get that memo. Or maybe it's because they've been running on deficits for so long that there's no stockpile of funds?

(Anonymous)

From what I understand, Keynesian economic theory proposes that the federal government go on deficit spending during recessions to make up for some the private spending that has fallen. The flipside is that the government is supposed to run surpluses during times of expansion to balance out deficits.

Of course, this only applies to the federal government. States and cities are required to balance their annual budgets and cannot go on deficit spending. Therefore, if revenue falls (as always happens in a recession) and there is no rainy day fund to cover the shortfall, the state or local government must cut spending to match.

Gary
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December 2010

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