San Jose is a supposedly prosperous city, it’s the heart of Silicon Valley. Yet it’s already sketchy walking around downtown San Jose, what with the guys selling drugs at Marta and the gauntlet of bums to negotiate while walking home. The cutbacks will be somewhere between severe and apocalyptic, and public employees taking the brunt of it.
What nobody is talking about is blame. The financial collapse was caused by a financial system determined to let loose a bubble in the housing market and benefit from it. The bankers and the government set the stage for, created, and nourished that bubble. They personally benefitted by rewarding themselves a large chunk of the banking revenue from mortgage revenues, in the form of commissions, salaries and “performance” bonuses. And when it all collapsed, they were bailed out by the federal government. Do you see anyone taking personal responsibility for this mess?
The result? Whatever savings the middle and working class had invested in their homes, gone. Jobs, the source of wealth for many, gone and continuing to go. Tax revenues, devastated.
The bankers just basically stuck a hose into the wealth of the middle and working class, and sucked it dry. Now unions and union contracts are being blamed for causing the mess. They did not cause the mess, they are a consequence of the mess.