The Great Recession is ending for members of Local 42 of the International Association of Fire Fighters. The City Council of Kansas City, Missouri, yesterday approved a deal that will raise firefighters' salaries by an average of 4.2 percent.
A pretty tasty deal in tough economic times, no? Members of the council say their hands are tied by a previous agreement with the firefighters. That agreement, it should be noted, was reached in 2009, which is not exactly ancient history.
Councilwoman Jan Marcason was on the council two years ago, as were half of her colleagues. She told The Kansas City Star that city officials entered into the pact with the firefighters not knowing the extent of the economic downturn.
The future is hard to predict, of course. But dag, Jan, the outlook was pretty grim in 2009. The economy wasn't running around with its hair on fire, as it was in 2008. But experts were predicting that the United States would make a slow recovery. Here's Fortune in late 2008:
What kind of a recovery is likely to follow? The answer is: probably a gradual one, unlike the more typical (but not universal) pattern of the economy coming out of most past recessions roaring ahead, propelled by pent-up consumer demand."We're a little wiser now," Marcason said this week. OK. But how about next time you try to be smart in real time.