As municipal budgets shrink, state aid dissipates, and Chrisite’s aggrandized rhetoric intimidates many to retire, NJ’s police officers and fire fighters have found their ranks dwindling. This is occuring mostly by lay offs and attrition via mass retirements. While I suspect this is exactly what Christie wanted to happen, it could not happen at a worse time.
Much like the “trickle down” theory, the great real estate bubble left most of our urban areas behind. Our social and economic failures always hurt our cities the most, the great recession has only exacerbated the problems for the people who live there. Christie’s vengeance towards the public sector and backwards political ideology will do nothing but roll the calender back to 1967 for those who have no other options but to maintain residency.
Cities maintain large police forces mostly because our social failures leave many uneducated and unemployed, which leads to crime. Cities maintain large fire departments because their housing stock is decrepit and very susceptible to conflagration. The recession has caused those with little to have less. Less social services and higher unemployment will lead to more crime. Further dilapidation of the housing stock will lead to more fires. This isn’t conjecture…we have been down this road. In the absence of a dexterous society, public safety is the last vestige holding a community together. It is truly demented to believe that cutting back on education, libraries, social services, medical services,police, and fire will lead to anything positive. It might sound good on 101.5. The social realities will become evident.