Will California become America's first failed state?
The state that was once held up as the epitome of the boundless opportunities of America has collapsed. From its politics to its economy to its environment and way of life, California is like a patient on life support. At the start of summer the state government was so deeply in debt that it began to issue IOUs instead of wages. Its unemployment rate has soared to more than 12%, the highest figure in 70 years. Desperate to pay off a crippling budget deficit, California is slashing spending in education and healthcare, laying off vast numbers of workers and forcing others to take unpaid leave. In a state made up of sprawling suburbs the collapse of the housing bubble has impoverished millions and kicked tens of thousands of families out of their homes. Its political system is locked in paralysis and the two-term rule of former movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger is seen as a disaster â his approval...
Just a pipe dream, I know. You *cannot* be more pessimistic than me!
Note that folks love to condemn corporate executives who vote themselves pay increases, which they have more right to do than public employees because one doesn't (normally) have to buy products from such companies, but one does have to pay taxes.
I think our political system has degenerated into a sort of nonviolent looting of the less-organized by the better-organized (industries, nonprofits, unions). Even churches, as nonprofit corporations, have joined this game (in the form of faith-based initiatives). Obama has proven that this is not merely a Bush thing - he simply favors a different group of "churches."
Neil wrote: SJ John, I have a modest proposal: forbid gov't employees from voting in jurisdictions for which they work, on the grounds of conflict of interest. Example: Fed employees could not vote in Fed elections, but they may in State or local elections. Bet it'll never fly, though.
Sounds good to me, if such a proposal could survive the sound beating it would get from special-interest attack ads (claiming "cruel disenfranchisement" of so many "people"--govt. workers), possible voter fraud, and our crazy 9th circuit court of appeals, striking it down even after it became law.
Sorry to sound pessimistic. I should forward your suggestion to Meg Wittman's office. They're going to need all the help they can get.
I have a modest proposal: forbid gov't employees from voting in jurisdictions for which they work, on the grounds of conflict of interest. Example: Fed employees could not vote in Fed elections, but they may in State or local elections.
Federal gov. over-regulation resulted in businesses taking shop elsewhere. Without this tax base that the socialists need it was only a matter of time till all collapsed, as the working class cannot be asked to sustain overzealous government programs.
Of course illegal immigration could not be sustained either as it multiplied through the years. With many of these out of work now and no insurance this was a false hope for the people and of course doing more damage than good.
Over-regulation, oppressive taxes, illegal immigration, etc. Who will be next? Sad, very sad.
Barry from KY. wrote: I thought Gov. Arnold was a republican???
He was, until California's special interests beat the political crap out of him during his first and best attempts to reform our state. All 4 (or 5) initiatives Arnold championed at the beginning of his first term were crushed by unions and special interests which spent a ton of money to keep him from upsetting their tax-payer-supported gravytrains.
Since then he's been far too intimidated to do much to counter the downward spiral we've been in since 2001 or so. Still, we'd no doubt be in even worse shape if we didn't have him or someone like him to at least slow-down our spend-thrift legislature.