A medley on topical issues
China behaves abroad, but not at home. Last week, in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Chinese dictator Xi Jinping pledged to stop building harmful coal-fired power plants abroad. However, Xi has not said anything about stopping the ongoing construction of coal-fired power plants in China, which emits a third of the world’s greenhouse gases and whose emissions continue to rise. In contrast, US emissions are less than half that of China and have been declining for more than a decade, thanks to the replacement of coal-fired plants by plants fueled by natural gas extracted by hydraulic fracturing, a truth that bothers environmentalists. Americans.
The jobs crisis in Connecticut continues. Nutmeg State has a habit of ranking last or near last in most financial and economic measures. Even in this context, the state’s employment crisis from 2020 to 2021 is alarming. For months, the state ranked 50efar behind 49e ranks, in terms of a combination of a 6% drop in its workforce since February 2020 and its current unemployment rate of 7.2%, well above the national average of 5.2%. About 250,000 people left the state workforce or were unemployed in August, with only about 10,000 losses in the public sector. In contrast, 18 states have grown up their workforce since February 2020.
This week, the FBI reported that the the national murder rate increased by around 30% in 2020 – up to around 5,000 murders to around 21,600 in 2020. According to FBI data, black offenders accounted for about 39% of murders, white offenders 27%, and the race of 31% of offenders was unknown; there were no data for about 3% of offenses. Black victims made up about 46% of victims, Whites about 33%, and about 3% race was “other” or unknown, but there were no data for 18% of all victims.
According to these numbers, homicide appears to be mostly a black-on-black phenomenon – a phenomenon that has tragically increased in 2020. Yet why doesn’t the FBI have profile descriptions for 18% of victims? While it is understandable that the offender has not been identified or convicted, there is certainly no uncertainty about the victim. A call to the FBI for comment was not returned at time of publication. Certainly, better data would provide a better understanding of the racial dimension of violent crime.
Meanwhile, fatal shootings by police increased in 2020 by only 22, from 999 to 1,021, a remarkably small increase of 2%. There were 457 white, 241 black and 169 Hispanic victims.
Connecticut is facing a massive wave of retirements of state employees, but no one in Hartford is talking about it. Since 2017, when former Governor Malloy signed the current contract with the State Employees Bargaining Alliance Coalition (SEBAC), everyone in Hartford knew there would be a wave of retirements of state employees in the months leading up to July 2022, as workers who retire thereafter will forgo significant retirement benefits.
In March, the Boston Consulting Group completed a comprehensive study of expected retirements by agency and function. BCG found that 27% of the agency workforce was eligible for retirement and 70% of them (around 6,000 workers) intended to retire. BCG has documented that, on average, the state takes 33 weeks to hire a new employee. No organization can lose 20-25% of its workforce in a few months without facing major challenges.
Yet the Lamont administration did not offer any updates six months after receiving the BCG report and only nine months (39 weeks) before the last of the expected retirements. Lawmakers in the General Assembly have also failed to convene hearings to fulfill the legislature’s constitutional obligation to oversee the functioning and activity of the executive. Biden asks Putin if the United States can use Russian air bases to monitor Afghanistan. It is inconceivable that no senior official in the Biden administration resigned after the fiasco in Afghanistan. After missing the opportunity to step down from the Principal to underscore the advice they now stand by they gave Biden to maintain a US troop presence in the country, Secretary of Defense Austin Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley and Centcom Commander McKenzie should resign now – in disgrace. How can any of them take on the Gold Star Families. This is the first problem. However, strategic and tactical incompetence is also a reason. Having abandoned the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, located on the western border of totalitarian communist China, on the southern border of autocratic Russia, and on the eastern border of Iran ruled by despotic Ayatollahs, it is astonishing to read reports that, in undeniable desperation, the Biden Team seeks to use Russian air bases to monitor the Taliban terrorist regime.