Back in the early 2000’s, in the aftermath of the internet bubble’s collapse, California’s state and local governments endured a period of austerity that resulted in “furloughs,” where, typically, employees would take Friday’soff in exchange for a 20% cut in their pay. That is, they worked 20% less, and made 20% less in pay – but theirrateof pay was not cut.
This display of “sacrifice” was an eye opener for private sector workers, especially salaried employees of small businesses, who endured cuts to their rates of pay at the same time as their hours of work increased. Most people in the private sector back in the early 2000’s felt lucky to have a job, even if it meant working harder and making less.
There’s a lesson to be learned from the period of state and local government “furloughs” in California: California’s government functioned just fine with 20% fewer hours spent at the job, overall, and California’s government workers got by, overall, making 20% less money. So since we know these cuts arefeasible, it isinteresting to estimate just how much money Californians would save, if there were a 20% reduction to… Read More