The California Budget Crisis Hits Home

This was an original post for LA Moms Blog on July 28, 2009. SV Moms Blog was acquired by Technorati, so I post my archives here on Fridays.

Thank me the next time you use a state-funded service. Better yet, thank my husband. Chances are, his sacrifice is helping to pay for the operating hours of the DMV, or your unemployment check, or to keep the lights on at the governor’s mansion.

The California Faculty Association just voted to approve a 10% pay cut for faculty at the California State University system over the next academic year. My husband has been a tenured faculty member since we met – in fact, one of our first dates was the reception for newly tenured professors at the university president’s house. Talk about a way to impress a girl. Over the years he’s done research and written papers, representing his institution in the advancement of technology. He’s fostered the education of hundreds of students who have gone on to do great things in their own careers.

Now the state has reduced their funding to the CSU system. Rather than risk having members lose their jobs, the CFA has approved salary reductions across the board. I could rant in this post about how that move makes the whole lot of them suffer, when instead they could seize the opportunity to get rid of employees who are not good at their jobs – a rare occasion within a union, to be sure.

But this post is not about them. This post is about my family, and how we are unwillingly throwing an extra pile of cash into the state’s pot, so we can all be mediocre together. Why strive for merit increases when you’re just going to get a salary cut at the top of your career because your employer can’t manage its money? There’s no incentive to do well, to advance in your field, to do research or strive for greatness for your school.

This news is a double whammy for my family. I was laid off at the beginning of the summer and haven’t been able to successfully collect unemployment for the brief time between then and when I started a part time temporary day job while I look for work in my field. The unemployment office is overwhelmed and understaffed and can’t seem to process my application in an efficient manner.

Recently I was featured in the Los Angeles Times because my new situation meant I had to reduce our children’s days at their daycare. The daycare suffers. I laid off our cleaning lady – she suffers. Now we’ll lay off our gardener, and he will suffer. Where will it end? When will California’s legislators throw their share of cash into the pot, this pot that they themselves have so carelessly emptied with their infighting and backstabbing and unwillingness to budge? Why must it be us who must budge?

I’m hoping that I’ll get a return phone call from the unemployment office pretty soon. After all, 10% of my husband’s salary is paying their phone bill.


  1. scott says

    Boohoo for you! Just be happy with the fact that your husband even still has a job! There are people who are starving to death every day! 50,000 people die every day due to starvation. You should be ashamed as most people have situations much worse than yours. Welcome to the 99%!

  2. scott says

    I wanted to add that if you want to blame anyone for this current budget crisis blame the banks who enslave us all with debt. Also blame the wall street brokers for maliciously hedging against pension funds with derivatives for the own gain. Sorry to be blunt but I am unemployed who provided care for my mom because she could not afford insurance premiums of $1000.00 a month.

  3. scott says

    Correction: Every 3.6 seconds someone dies of starvation which works out to 24,000 deaths per day due to starvation.

    Here are some more facts:


    925 million people do not have enough to eat and 98 percent of them live in developing countries. (Source: FAO news release, 14 September 2010)
    Asia and the Pacific region is home to over half the world’s population and nearly two thirds of the world’s hungry people;
    (Source: FAO news release, 2010)
    Women make up a little over half of the world’s population, but they account for over 60 percent of the world’s hungry.
    (Source: Strengthening efforts to eradicate hunger…, ECOSOC, 2007)
    65 percent of the world’s hungry live in only seven countries: India, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Ethiopia.
    (Source: FAO news release, 2010)
    Undernutrition contributes to five million deaths of children under five each year in developing countries.
    (Source: Under five deaths by cause, UNICEF, 2006)
    One out of four children – roughly 146 million – in developing countries is underweight
    (Source: The State of the World’s Children, UNICEF, 2007)
    More than 70 percent of the world’s underweight children (aged five or less) live in just 10 countries, with more than 50 per cent located in South Asia alone;
    (Source: Progress for Children: A Report Card on Nutrition, UNICEF, 2006)
    10.9 million children under five die in developing countries each year. Malnutrition and hunger-related diseases cause 60 percent of the deaths;
    (Source: The State of the World’s Children, UNICEF, 2007)
    Iron deficiency is the most prevalent form of malnutrition worldwide, affecting an estimated 2 billion people. Eradicating iron deficiency can improve national productivity levels by as much as 20 percent.
    (Source: World Health Organization, WHO Global Database on Anaemia)
    Iodine deficiency is the greatest single cause of mental retardation and brain damage, affecting 1.9 billion people worldwide. It can easily be prevented by adding iodine to salt.
    (Source: World Nutrition Situation 5th report ,UN Standing Committee on Nutrition2005)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge