Trickle Down Economy Costs County Jobs

You know things are bad when GOVERNMENT is laying off workers.

Ada County Assessor Bob McQuade has axed four part time and two full time positions in the DMV (auto licensing and registration) division due to lagging auto sales–and fewer cars being registered.
He has also declined to fill two part time and two full positions which are currently vacant.

The Assessor’s DMV Division is not the only division funded by fees that’s experiencing job cuts associated with diminished revenues. Recently, Ada County Landfill Director Dave Neal reduced his five full-time employees to part-timer status in an attempt to make up for a 17% decline in revenues paid by landfill customers. The department will also leave one part-time position unfilled.

Does this mean there is also less trash? Looks like that is an economic problem in SOUTHERN UTAH.

One thing worth noting. Whether full or part time, Ada employees all get FULL benefits. Sometimes the bennies are worth 80% on top of the part time salary. Few private sector part time jobs offer full benefits.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. So are you saying county employees should lose their benefits as well? Think how much that will add to taxpayers when their kids get sick. Do your research. County employees are paid way below national averages. No wonder we hemmorhage trained and qualified individuals to surrounding states.

    EDITOR NOTE–Ron, you got it all wrong. Paying bennies to part timers would stand to ATTRACT workers rather than force them elsewhere. Also, BOTH part time and full timers would qualify for COBRA–the ability to pay for health insurance at the employer’sgroup rate for up to a year if they are put out of work. For a fact, many private sector employers have part time positions to avoid paying benefits.

  2. I am in the wrong. Thanks for the correction. I sometimes jump the gun because I feel like government should lead by example. This means standing up for workers by not utilizing practices like exploiting part time workers.

  3. I think many govt. agencies will start cutting back employees and benefits. Boise School District has quit paying full health insurance for part time teachers. This is sad fact, but less money means something will get trimmed. At least some of these people can keep employment in these tough times.

  4. Doesn’t make much sense to get full-time benefits for a part-time job. Should be prorated: You work half time, you get half benefits; one-third time, one-third benefits.
    Otherwise makes as much sense as paying full-time pay for part-time work (although I wouldn’t mind having that deal).

  5. Guardian, Once again I write from the confines of the D.C. area (yes, still an Idaho resident, paying taxes to Gov. Otter’s multi-million dollar rainy day fund)after reading even more turmoil happening to my hometown and beloved valley. Sometimes it strikes me as odd that their is always one job that is constantly hiring workers under the age of 40 for full time work with full benefits (to include free medical, dental for all family members, and in most cases free housing) yet people won’t look at it as an option.
    For all those that say that they can’t take care of their family, have no job despite having a degree, think about the one job everyone seems to always give thanks for, the military. While I agree it is not for all, it sure does beat having to figure out where you will get the money to feed your kids, pay your rent and such. Yes, you will have to live in some pretty unexciting places like nowhere Alaska or out in the deserts of Texas, but hey, you’re kids will have food and medical insurance (at no cost to you), you will have a reliable roof over your head, you will be working toward a non-employee contributing retirement plan and you never have to worry about figuring out what you will wear to work or having to complain about the cost of gym memberships again as physical training is free 5 times a week.
    So instead of everyone complaining about the dire job market, pull yourself up by the bootstraps (as my dad would always say and he was right about this) and do what you have to do in order to ensure your children are taken care of regardless of it not being really for you.
    Will you be able to affor dthat house over in the foothills or Eagle? without a doubt NO. Will you be able to afford a new car eveyr 3-4 years? probably not (although if they bring back the Yugo, maybe). But please, if you are one of those that have lost their job or know you are going to, exhaust all avenues of opportunity before you burden other taxpayers with your foreclosure, public assistance and general lack of self-reliance (as a liberal once again, I cry inside having to say these things).
    Now my plea to the Valley, please get healthier and bring back all the great memories I had of growing up there, with sledding at Hillcrest country club’s hill, climbing on the old truck tires at Owyhee elementary and enjoying the cornfields surrounding Lowell Scott on my way to Meridian High School when I lived a half mile away from Capital.
    Just a thought.

  6. The Boise Picayune
    Jan 13, 2009, 10:22 am

    Smoke and mirrors!

    The most successful airline in the history of aviation (Southwest) is also the most heavily unionized airline in the history of aviation and has never lost money (not even after 9/11) or had a layoff.

    They figured out long ago that in the long term it’s infinitely more efficient to cut workforce hours by about 10% overall and put a pilot, gate attendant, etc to work painting bathrooms (or whatever) for a couple of months than to have to hire-train-fire-hire-train-fire-hire-train-fire

    Not to mention the increased productivity from a workforce that believes their bosses actually give a damn about them.

  7. Tom Anderson
    Jan 13, 2009, 12:39 pm


    We all think of the military as being as secure as a large bank (oops, bad comparison), but the times they are a changing.

    At the risk of spilling military secrets, our US military is collapsing. A recent visit to a local base found all manner of vehicles and equipment scattered all over the base in various stages of disassembly as they are being stripped for parts. The base looks like a gang of NYC hubcap theives came during the night and looted everything of value.

    You won’t find this info in the corporate media, but the alternative media are documenting collapse throughout our military and insiders are saying things are dire. Their one wish is that we close our 700+ foriegn military bases and bring our men and women home before total collapse sets in stranding our military personnel all over the world.

    Our federal government has been technically bankrupt for over a year now and it is currently up to the Chinese as to whether the US government survives, or not.

    The citizens of Rome thought their great empire could never end as well… We know how that turned out.

  8. Rod in SE Boise
    Jan 13, 2009, 3:02 pm

    Tom Anderson is right (in part). The chickens are coming home to roost. Our country has been spending like a drunken sailor for years. Foreign aid and military costs in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have been occupying Kuwait and Saudi Arabia since the Gulf War in 1990-1991. We send billions of dollars a year to Israel. Lets forget for a second about the cost. These are just bad foreign policy decisions – really bad ones.

    Now we are bailing out the rich bankers and rich wall streeter and rich idiots who run auto manufacturing companies.

    Just like the family that has been living on credit card debt, the US government is so far in debt, my grandchildren’s grandchildren will will live in poverty to pay for this madness.

  9. Anthony, what you are promoting is outright SOCIALISIM. You better be careful, this IS Idaho where we don’t belive in government bailouts. The US military is the biggest segment of our economy that is funded by taxes and only produces more expenses billed to taxpayers. The military does not produce goods and sevices. The military pyramid scheme works well if you are on the top of the food chain like a non bid contractor or a general. Many military families require welfare assistance and food stamps just to get by. Ask your doctor if he accepts the military insurance TriCare. See what he thinks about it. Most will not accept it. I love all the doctors in the valley who vote Republican, act patriotic and refuse to take TriCare insurance from US Military personnel. Go figure.

  10. Actually, the military or providing for the common defense is one of the only things the federal government does that was envisioned by the founding fathers. Madison, Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, et al never envisioned the feds through those clowns in Congress would arrogate such power and expenditures to themselves at the expense of the people and the states.

    Remember, a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take everything away from you. We are well on that road to perdition.

  11. A lot of people who have given little to no thought about the costs of benifits are about to find out what health insurance costs. I had the “opportunity” to patcipate in COBRA costs for my health benifits for myself and my family in the mid 1990’s. The cost to me was going to be $1200/month.

    This startling reality brought home for me medical costs are out of control in this country. Having healthy members of my family I went for a high deductable $7500/year/person at at mere $425/month and hoped nobody got seriously ill or broke any bones. I lucked out and did not have to use the “insurance” that basically protected me from medical bankruptcy.

    Recessions have the effect of cleaning out all the trash in the economy when they hit. This time around we have a lot of high flyers finding themselves at the bottom of the pile and prospects don’t look very good in the near term for these folks.

  12. So I giggled a little when I saw the small fire that started from the comments I left. First the Tricare issue: Active bases have their own health care system (military hospitals) and if they refer you, then you call TRICARE and they will refer you to a participating doctor. Having served for 20+ years now (no, I am just a lowly lieutenant after many years as enlisted) I have never seen a civilian health system quite as broad or functionally as the military’s. Does it have its issues? Sure, but what system that services hundreds of thousands of participants doesn’t? I have known some of my friends that received public assistance for their families since they could not make ends meat. My heart went out to them, but, in each case that I knew, they would have been worse off in the outside world due to having more children than their income could support or living outside of their means. Does this mean that I advocate child bearing control LOL, no, but the service member in most cases can live in military housing (this is a debate upon itself on quality of housing on some posts) where they pay for none of their utilities minus their phone and cable bill. Name another company currently that takes care of their employees in the same manner.
    For the socialism part and the bailout I really had to laugh as you may recall in the recent past, that a Republican controlled executive branch as well as the majority of Republicans in Congress voted for the bailout.
    Craig (R-ID) voted YEA in favor of the bill.
    Also, my fair state Idaho, sees the Governor asking for money from the bailout (but Idaho doesn’t believe in bailouts) bill to pay for projects. So yes, Socialism is even being promulgated by both sides of the fence.
    Does the military produce goods? NO. Services? YES. Some services offered by the US Military during the Revolutionary war, Civil war, Spanish-American war, WWI, WWII, Korean war, Vietnam war, Desert Storm, Hurricane Katrina/Rita (In which the Idaho Guard played a large part), humanitarian missions where they provide medical assistance, and so many other conflicts they offer degrees for this stuff, jobs for civilians be they contractor or government employees.
    Also, do your history lesson again and learn that the largest increases in defense spending during the last 40 years have come under Republican presidents.
    So be it good, bad, ugly, pretty, I was merely suggesting a valid avenue for those that need to take care of their families and want to help defend this beautiful country of ours (Also, wasn’t Idaho “Discovered” (ok, I know this causes turmoil as well due to the Native Americans already inhabiting the area, but for this discussion, by a military officer?) the military offers a solution.
    Finally it did make me laugh out loud as the Republican Party has always been a huge supporter of the military and the Democrats usually ardently against. Being a bleeding heart in the military I see both sides and haven’t run into a single one of my Republican military co-workers or the few Republican politicians I have met who couldn’t disagree more with the statement that the military does not provide a needed service.

  13. I for one find the actions taken by the state and county government to be appropriate. What is the alternative? Spend money we don’t have? Comparing the corporate strategy of an aviation company to the local county government is senseless. Ada County exists as a service to the residents of ada county. They provide services that the private sector can’t. More importantly they spend OUR dollars. Unlike the feds they can’t print more money. If revenues are down 17% then cuts must be made. This is called financial responsibility.

  14. Rod in SE Boise
    Jan 14, 2009, 3:29 pm

    Paul makes the case very well for universal health insurance (and note that I didn’t say socialized medicine – which are two drastically different things), whether he intended to or not. Group insurance is cheaper than individual insurance (which virtually nobody can afford).

  15. Tom Anderson
    Jan 14, 2009, 4:12 pm

    Join the military! Visit exotic lands, meet interesting people and kill them.

    I would like to write a 30 page rant against a ‘military recruitment ad’ appearing in a blog about Boise issues, but fear the Guardian might find it off topic…

    Suffice it to say that anybody with even a tiny scap of intelligence would think twice before joining the military at a time where they would throw you straight to the front line of a very bloody war of highly questionable merit.

    If your circumstances are so dire that you would need the job of mercenary, just know that you will be fighting to keep the SUV’s gassed up and the consumer consumption orgy in full swing. It is not abou protecting liberty, freedom, heroism, mom, or apple pie. It is about protecting access to oil.

  16. You are absolutely right Tom. It is partially about protecting our access to oil. It is also partially about attracting our enemies to a battleground of our choosing. So, your point is?? If every war throughout history was fought for either, land, religion, or access to natural resources, why would this be any different?
    Why do you find it necessary to “lash out” at the messenger? The military fills a vital function in our society!
    Resign yourself to that fact. Their blood for our common good was shed long before you were here, and they will continue to shed it, if necessary, long after your gone! If a battleground ever comes to your neighborhood, instead of “over there somewhere”, you will be on your knees crying like a child for the “warriors” to come save your rear end! Some people amaze me with their perceived self importance!

  17. If the DMV is cutting back because fewer cars are being registered, then it could be plausable that there is a net migration out of the area. Can you the stats to see if fewer cars are just not being registered or being transferred out of state?

  18. “Join the military! Visit exotic lands, meet interesting people and kill them.”

    That’s hysterical.

  19. Where ya been, TJ? That saying became common during the Vietnam war and has been thrown around a lot since.
    Besides, you wouldn’t think it was funny if you were one of those interesting people — say if some other country had decided to “save” us from our government.

    Besides, if everybody who is unemployed or underemployed now due to downsizing, mergers, mismanagement etc., we’d have a bigger military than the next six or eight combined.
    So we’d have to find more interesting people to kill. Of course, we’d probably have to kill them with rocks or something, since we couldn’t afford rifles and ammunition for that many people.

    Maybe someday we’ll figure out how to make friends with people without blowing them up first, ya reckon?

  20. Well, Gordon, I have spent a lot of time on military bases visiting my children, from Hawaii, to Alaska to Virginia and Kentucky. I probably heard that paragraph but I am old and have forgotten a lot.

    I sure agree with your last paragraph. Perhaps we can now that we have a president with a working brain.

  21. I think that saying should say “Join the military! Visit exotic lands, meet interesting mostly not white people, and kill them.”

    Cyclops, guess it’s too bad brownish people got what we want.

  22. Is it true that the land where is Columbia Village use to be the county dump?

    EDITOR NOTE–Not only true, but MICRON in more recent years used the effluent from its chemical process to irrigate the soccer fields. Pipe runs beneath Gowen Rd. City of Boise drilled wells and claimed that “salts” were clogging the sprinkler heads. Despite years of requests, GUARDIAN coul;d never get any agency to test the soil for contamination on the fields where kids play. Would love to know today that it is now safe.

  23. OK, that explains a lot about the youth in Boise.

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