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Posts Tagged ‘May’


By Catherine J. Frompovich

Is panic breaking out in the State of Minnesota? Forty-four (44) cases of measles have been reported in that entire state!  Here’s the CBS News report of May 5, 2017.

Personally, I remember when 44 cases of measles could break out in one school at the same time, usually in the spring during the month of May.  That’s the month I contracted measles when I was 7 or 8 years old in the 1940s, and guess what? I didn’t die!  None of my little friends died either!  Measles was a “rite of passage thing” for kids and never demonized, either, back then.  What’s changed?

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English: Iron Ore mine at Tom Price, Western A...

English: Iron Ore mine at Tom Price, Western Australia Deutsch: Eisenerztagebau nahe Tom Price (West Australien) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Deeper spending cuts announced yesterday in Western Australia—the premier “mining boom” state in Australia—are another sign of a reversal in the country’s economic fortunes. The 21-year period in which Australian economy has officially avoided a recession, largely due to soaring mining exports to China, is coming to an end, with devastating consequences for government budgets.

Because of rapid falls in coal and iron ore prices, state governments in the main mining states—WA and Queensland—have now joined the other states in unveiling cuts that will have a severe impact on public sector jobs and the most basic social services that affect the working class, particularly health, education, housing and transport.

On top of cuts already made in the May state budget, WA Treasurer Troy Buswell unveiled another $330 million of cuts to the public sector. He said they were essential to maintain the Liberal-National government’s projected $196 million 2012-13 surplus in the face of lower iron ore prices, a persistently high Australian dollar and falling Goods and Services Tax (GST) grants from the federal Labor government.

While the latest cuts avoid outright redundancies, they impose a staffing freeze to lower the total number of public servants by about 1,500, effectively destroying jobs and services by stealth. In addition to a 2 percent “efficiency dividend” announced in May, Buswell imposed a 1.5 percent reduction in agencies’ 2012-13 procurement budgets for consumables, stationary, communication, travel, administration and consultants.

Buswell warned of further cuts to come in a December mid-year budget review, unless there was a sudden turn-around in iron ore prices. He specifically targeted public health, claiming it was responsible for the largest part of a growing public sector wages bill. “There is significant revenue-related pressure on our bottom line,” he told parliament. “We’re going to have to look at recurrent spending and understand where we can trim our cloth.”

These statements underscore the abrupt reversal that has taken place this year, as well as the dependence of the WA government on mining-related revenues. The state economy still grew by an extraordinary 14.7 percent in 2011-12, more than double the forecast in last year’s state budget, but the drop in iron ore prices over the past few months has already blown a major hole in the state budget.

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The previous forecast was 27,000

Hewlett-Packard (HP) upped its number of job cuts to 29,000 globally — 2,000 more than the computer maker previously forecasted.

Back in May, HP predicted that it would cut 27,000 jobs around the world in its new restructuring plan dubbed the “2012 Plan.” Now, HP has adjusted that figure and plans to cut 29,000 jobs.

The latest figure was reported in HP’s 10-Q quarterly filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). HP plans on saving $3 to $3.5 billion by eliminating these jobs, which it will put toward Research and Development (R&D). As of July 2012, HP had already cut 3,800 jobs.

The filing noted that HP predicts charges of about $3.7 billion through the end of fiscal year 2014. About $3.3 billion of this will be the job cuts while another $400 million will be related to other areas like data center consolidation.

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