A bizarre story reports that a Cambridge city council member has told MIT that she will vote against any permits for the university unless it changes its ways. MIT’s sin: laying off workers in a time of economic hardship.  But what if the university can’t afford the workers?

And apparently, sad as the loss of a job is, MIT doesn’t have the money to do otherwise. University officials told the council that a $125 million budget deficit is behind the staff reductions.

 A fine piece in the American Thinker-which comments on “the sense of entitlement that government officials have adopted under the Obama administration”-notes:  

It’s no secret that politicians use coercion to consolidate their fiefdoms, but have we reached the point where they brag about blackmail on the front page of the newspaper?

 [City Councilor Marjorie] Decker’s temper tantrum raises two questions. For one, is there ever a situation when Councilor Decker might admit to the necessity of laying off employees, or is every (union) job a lifetime sinecure? Personally, I interpreted MIT’s decision to cut costs to meet its budget, rather than passing along these costs to the parents of students, as a sign of fiscal responsibility. … 

 I have no doubt that many families are feeling pain from MIT’s layoffs, but our country has a 10% nominal unemployment and much higher real unemployment numbers. Millions of workers in the private sector are looking at bleak futures. It is reasonable to expect that the education industry would share in the hardships brought on by the economic downturn. Councilor Decker’s outrage that any layoffs will contribute to “destabilization of families in our community” is profoundly ignorant of the consequences of President Obama’s destructive economic policies.