The word of the day is "Kakistocracy" -- government by the worst persons; a form of government in which the worst persons are in power.
45 of the 50 states (90% of the country), and the District of Columbia are facing massive budget shortfalls in the coming year. How do we get into a situation where 90% of the states in our Union are teetering on financial insolvency? KAKISTOCRACY. The worst people end up in charge and are not willing to do the difficult things needed to right the situation.
Massachusetts like many states, is trying to climb out of this long recession but they face a budget shortfall for the coming year of over two billion dollars. A couple of billion may not sound like much when compared to states like California and Illinois with their staggering $25 and $15 billion dollar shortfalls, but it is. And they have no one to blame but themselves when they do dumb things like create fake holidays, mandate that offices be reasonably staffed, thereby granting union workers a padded paycheck.
It all started when the State of Massachusetts granted holiday status to "Evacuation Day" and "Bunker Hill Day. " Forcing them to pay millions of dollars to 7200+ union employees and compensate non-union workers who show up on those days with two "floating holidays."
For the record, Bunker Hill Day is June 17th, it marked a key shift in the Revolutionary War, and "Evacuation Day" is March 17th (St. Patrick's Day), it commemorates the day the British retreated from Boston to Nova Scotia. Two historical battles, that happened less than a year apart and basically marking the same thing - the colonists showing they can beat the British. Do we really need two separate days of celebration for basically the same thing? And let us not forget that every third Monday in April, Massachusetts is "Patriots' Day," a nod to the opening battles of the Revolutionary War and a good day for a marathon.
Massachusetts has three separate state holidays all based around the war that gave America her freedom from the British. Doesn't that seem a bit excessive? Especially when George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are now forced to share one day, Presidents Day. Considering the financial crisis that threatens the jobs of teachers, police and firefighters if draconian cuts need to be made, the state needs a dose of efficiency.
Last summer there was an actual debate addressing the cost of these holidays that virtually no business celebrates, but nothing changed. The Boston Herald reported;
Gov. Deval Patrick and Beacon Hill lawmakers yesterday engaged in a fit of finger-pointing over the legislation last summer that retained the two controversial holidays while also requiring state and municipal offices in Boston, Revere, Winthrop and Chelsea to stay open and “appropriately staffed.”
“The speaker and the Senate president were the ones who helped shepherd this through,” said Alex Zaroulis, spokeswoman for the Governor’s Executive Office for Administration and Finance. “The governor proposed actually eliminating these holidays.”
Here's a suggestion for Gov. Patrick and the Beacon Hill gang, follow the lead of the Federal Government, do the Presidents Day thing, combine all of these days into one special day commemorating the vital contributions made by Massachusetts in the early days of the Revolutionary War. Fold them all into Patriots' Day, you will save millions each year, possibly billions in the long run. And you will lose the smell of Kakistocracy.