Thursday, March 15, 2012

California As The Fairy Tale

Of course the place where Disneyland opened way back in 1955 has been an enchanting land o' plenty.
Until about the last 30 years.
It suddenly came to me as I have been thinking about how this once Golden State is, well broken like an grim fairy tale.
And the problem is not just one political party over the other. Although one is much more at fault than the other. But both Democrats and Republicans have contributed to the problems.
The problems, plural. Because there are many.
One of the obvious economic problems very clear, my friends.
We are flat broke.
All forms of government from cities, counties, the state governments are all broke.
Last Sunday in the Left Angeles Times was an article of the plight of Stockton. It is so bad in Stockton that it may become the largest municipality to, dare I write this, declare bankruptcy. And it is a city of over 300,000.
And yes, another city has declared bankruptcy in California.
That would be Vallejo in the outer San Francisco Bay Area.
On May 7, 2008, long before the current government fiscal crisis came along, the Vallejo city council declared bankruptcy. And it only emerged last year.
County governments are in no better shape.
And the state government. Well that is interesting.
Once again the solution from the Democrat governor, Jerry Moonbeam Brown, and the Democrat-controlled state legislature is to raise taxes.
But they will not do it.
Nope, they want us to do so. And as noted in an earlier post, There could be up to three ballot initiatives in November asking us to do the legislature's and governor's dirty work.
But here is the fairy tale.
That somehow we could force the state government to allot at least 40% of the state budget for education. That is what voters voted on in 1988 in the form of Proposition 98. And that was done so that Kindergarten through 12th grade would have a guaranteed amount. Before that the state was, surprise, raiding the state budget for education to try to fund other programs.
Oh, and on almost every level, California ranks 49th out of 50 states. Probably not on per capita per pupil spending. But that is another post.
That somehow the state could offer workers unending pay and benefit hikes without the money to pay for the long term, especially state employee pensions. And because of the way other budgets are done, essentially the state helps counties and cities with their unbelievable pay and bennies package.
That somehow, we could have the most pristine coastline and think gee, we don't or should not have to pay high gas prices.
That there is just an endless stream of one percenters that we can keep taxing. And taxing. And taxing.
That regulations will not kill businesses.
That cutting off the water supply to Central California farmers to protect the Delta Smelt will not result in higher food prices.
That depending solely on a service and high-tech economy will produce good paying jobs. Having little if any manufacturing will be OK. Because we have the Silicon Valley. But now many of those high-tech entrepreneurs are beginning to get restless.
That having a higher minimum-wage than the federal government will produce a bevy of jobs. Especially summer jobs for youths.
If it is not government over reach, taxation and regulation, it is the stratification of the people that is really troubling.
Many cities that once had a strong, productive middle-class, are being replaced by yuppies and the Stuff White Liberal People Like crowd. It is better know as the SWPL crowd, but here at RVFTLC headquarters, I just add the obvious liberal to make sure all understand. Which leaves a lot of upper middle-class and poor people. One term is gentrification. It would not be a bad thing if some middle-class working people were part of the gentrification process. But the whole idea keep them out as well as the poor people. Thus what is left is something that I do not remember growing up in the Los Angeles area.
A real class structure.
Add to that the replacement of the defense industry with entertainment and the fairy tale is complete.
And while I just gave some of the facts, I want to look at solutions. California needs real leadership. Not political only but business, spiritual and yes leadership from the bottom up.
It is not Wall Street vs Main Street so much as reality vs fairy tale.
A government as big as it is in California is bound to fall under its own weight.
Regulations will eventually drive even big companies away.
High Taxes, well as I noted, if you believe that only one percent of Americans are wealthy, there are just so many to go around even here in the once Golden State. And if they are imposed on businesses, guess what? WE will enjoy paying more for products.
Gee, isn't this fairy tale fun kiddies?
No it is not.
But if we don't want to end up a basket case like Greece, the people need to rise up at the ballot box in November as a start. We can not keep voting the same dim bulbs that keep digging the ditch deeper.
What we need, and I am serious, is s 21st century Walt Disney.

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