With the state’s biennial budget due for a vote in the weeks ahead, Connecticut’s legislators should start investing in public services in order to power economic growth here. That’s according to guests on the most recent episode of “Council 4 Unplugged,” a podcast from Council 4 AFSCME.
Jennifer Klein, a professor of 20th century US History at Yale University, and Shahrzad Habibi, research and policy director at In the Public Interest, joined the show to discuss their report, “Austerity vs. Reinvestment,” which was released last month.
Klein discussed how, in the past, state leaders have taken the approach of severely cutting budgets in the “hope that it somehow produces core benefits to a greater number of people.” However, the guests said that the approach has not reaped any benefits and in fact negatively impacted the lives of people in need of services as well as state employees who found themselves without jobs.
Klein, Habibi, and Ed Hawthorne, vice president of Local 269 representing workers at the state Department of Labor, spoke about how the current environment benefits the wealthy and places a strain on the poor and working class. They also examine the merits of a progressive tax structure and the negative impact of privatizing state services.
You can listen to the podcast in its entirety below: