Michael Morse’s Budget Plan: What Civilians Can and Can’t Do Budgetwise
Michael Morse has up a humorous post describing his personal household deficit reduction plan, but his intended point isn’t quite clear. It’s worth reading the whole thing for enjoyment, though, before making it a subject of discussion.
In some respects, he illustrates well the things that families actually do have to cut back, but that governments tend not to parallel:
… Wait staff in area restaurants will no longer receive the customary 15% tip, 8% will now be the norm. …
Charitable contributions will cease immediately. Also, all pets will be asked to leave. These pets will not be replaced until the current economic crisis passes.
But then, there appears to be a complaint about actions the government does take against public-sector employees:
All work performed at Morse’s house will be subject to a 20% co-pay by the person doing the work. Plumbers, electricians and all other contract labor will adhere to these new cost saving measures until the economic crisis passes. This plan will save the Morse budget in two ways, the contractor will charge less for work performed because their co pay will also be less. Appliance repairmen with their gold-plated “service call” fees will no longer be tolerated, a set hourly fee will be paid.
Putting aside the odd use of the co-pay concept, the laugh comes from the fact that no contractors would accede to those demands. (Of course, when they really need work, they do drop their prices to the same effect.) Similarly, public sector workers are under no obligation to continue providing services that a government body requires.
And then, there are suggestions that are impossible for the individual family, but that would be very worrisome if the government were actually to attempt similar measures:
For example, Morse plans to stop paying co-pays for prescription drugs and doctors visits, and cutting his $100.00 emergency room payment in half with a projected annual savings of $2600.00. These fees are simply unsustainable. Supermarkets are being asked to lower their prices until this economic crisis passes, realizing an additional $1380.00 in annual savings.
When families feel the economic squeeze, they must do without, because they cannot suspend the laws of supply and demand. The government cannot perform that miracle either, although it does attempt to try more frequently than is healthy.