It's been fascinating to watch the response of the federal government to the financial crisis. If you search bush chazez nationalized you can see I'm not the only who's surprised to see Republicans using the fed to bail out the private sector. If you're poor, the Republicans are only too happy to have failure and bankruptcy ruin your life -- or at least to let people's live be ruined in order for the fear of it to drive behavior.
They say that the bailout is just to give the economy a chance to start growing again, but peak debt makes that scenario unlikely. American's wages have been stagnant since the 70's and, with the collapse in the value of their assets, they aren't going to be able to get any more credit to keep buying. It looks like we're going to have at least a generation of reduced spending, which is not likely to cause the economy to grow any time soon.
After decades of neglect, over the past year the University has been able to get re-investments in infrastructure. There are new buildings going up and I was able to get the BCRC computers and server replaced this summer. Two new bond bills are likely to transform the physical environment for the Biology Department over the next five years. Now, however, the university is being warned that our current budget may get slashed mid year. That's worrisome and doesn't bode well for getting our contract settled. We've been negotiating for at least a real cost-of-living adjustment for this year -- we haven't gotten one for the last 4 years. But we're being told not to expect one. Like I say, it's fascinating to watch.