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California is in financial crisis and we know why

California is facing a financial crisis caused by mismanagement and three administrations. There are steps we can take to regain the title "The Golden State."

California is in a financial mess for a number of reasons. The coming financial crisis has been a long time coming.  Yet, the most damaging of the causes, can be
traced to the administrations of three governors.

The first is Jerry Brown 1, during what was known as the Governor Moonbeam, era.  He was perfect for the times.  He rode around in his old car and refused to
live in the Governor’s mansion.  Jerry was a press favorite.  Plus, he dated a
movie star.  However, there is one thing setting Jerry Brown 1 apart from any other Governor.  Jerry pushed for and signed a bill legalizing Public Sector Labor Unions in California.

No less than the Godfather of Liberalism, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, thought it was a terrible idea.   Roosevelt said in part, “the very nature and purposes of government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with government employee organizations.”

What Jerry Brown 1 did for Labor Unions goes far beyond the bargaining for wages and conditions of employment.  Jerry Brown 1 created the environment where, Governor Gray Davis, when recalled, made one final payment to the public sector unions which had supported him.  And this brings us to the second cause of
this mess:  the Gray Davis Administration.

According to Bloomberg news, Gray Davis “escalated the pay and benefits of 164,000 State workers” before leaving office.

Based partially on the actions of Governor’s Brown and Davis, Bloomberg News reports California is where the “states highest paid workers make far more than
comparable workers elsewhere.”  Bloomberg goes on to say; “Payroll data from 1.4 million public employees in the 12 most populous states” (show California is the place to work if you are a public sector employee.)  Not a bad thing, unless the state is broke, and this leads to increased taxes to pay the bill.

Jerry Brown II is more of the same.  His actions and inactions continue to expand our financial mess.  Jerry Brown II is the third administration causing hardship to the California economy.  One example of this is the request for a tax increase when the state is suffering from high unemployment.

However, California’s problems can be solved.  When asked how to solve this problem  David Crane of Stanford University, replied, “All it took was for political leaders to think more about the general population and the future rather than their
political careers.”  One example pointed out by Crane was the issue of overtime. 
Jerry Brown has not taken steps to curb the abuse of overtime.  One employee retired at $609,000 a year in a large part due to overtime being added to the base salary.

Some people would argue that as a Conservative, of course, I would think the state employees are overpaid.  This would be inaccurate, since I spent a number of years working for the state.  I actually thought the pay and benefits were
great due to the security offered by the state job.  It was only later, after the advent of the Public Employee Unions, did pay rise to the point the state could not afford to pay for the benefits.  State workers traded security for higher pay.  It was a gamble they may have lost.

When asking for higher taxes we are always told the state needs the money.  They are not alone; I often think more money would be helpful to my family.  But then
again, when the state takes the money, it is a lawful tax.  If I took your money by force, it would be a violation of 211 PC Armed Robbery.  In both cases we would have placed our needs ahead of yours.

Actually, state revenue is up 50% over the past ten years.  We don’t need more
money, revenue is not the issue.  The issue is excessive spending.  A large
part of the spending is due to excessive state employee benefit expenses.  The problem in California is a lack of leadership devoted to the general population.

One point must be made clear.  These state employees worked under a contract where promises were made.  We have a responsibility to honor the contracts and pay the amounts promised to retirees and those soon to retire.

So how do we fight the problem?  I have some suggestions.  First, we must stop the flow of small business to other states. Second, we must prioritize how we spend the money we have.  Third, we have to pressure politicans to work for us and not themselves.

Stopping the flow of jobs out of California comes down to two areas.  First, the issue of taxation must be addressed.  Simply stated, Taxes in California are too high.  No less than President Barrack Obama stated it was folly to raise taxes in a recession.  He then approved the Bush Tax schedule through the 2012 election period.  It is not a valid discussion to disagree with the idea higher taxes equal lower revenues.  To argue this point, it becomes one of politically held views.  There will be empirical evidence of this in the coming year.

Second, the regulations in this state are oppressive.  I heard a CEO talk about it
taking up to two years to open a restaurant in California.  In Texas they can get the same restaurant approved in two weeks.  That same CEO says in
California, his store managers, are restricted in ways not required in other
states.  In Texas, none of these restrictions exist. Even Hollywood is spending more money in Georgia than they are in California.  How do you get rid of
the restrictions? We elect people who are willing to address the issue, one
point at a time, based upon results and not politics.

How do we prioritize spending?  This will be a nightmare requiring courage, insight and a strong desire to restore our state.  We have to leave the idea of business as usual, and turn to addressing the issues.  This goes to my third point listed above.  We have to find people who are committed to fixing the problem.  We have to move away from ideas that are cosmetic, like reducing the amount spent on
cars for legislators, and get to the serious money. 

Every employee contract in California needs to be reworked.  Prison guards are a powerful, well paid expense.  There is evidence a better job can be done with prisons, by hiring the private sector, and paying a set amount for each inmate.  Our highways are a mess.  We need Caltrans to publish a list of every roadway needing repair and set a priority list.  We then need the gas tax to once again only be spent on highway infrastructure.    The State should sue the Federal Government and recover our cost for federally mandated medical/welfare costs. We need a top administrator (Governor) who understands how to control a budget.  I leave you with this tidbit from the L.A. Times today, “State workers misused $613,000 of tax payer funds.”  Where is theoversight?

Three administrations fueled this problem.  One, well run, committed administration with a mandate from the people can fix it.  We need to start looking for that person and support their run for office.  This person will not be a politician; they will be a private sector, hardnosed, get it done achiever.  This
concept will shake the nation, but will insure California is once again the
golden state.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

JustUs December 19, 2012 at 11:41 PM
Tiny, Several of the posts under this blog from yesterday and the day before asked very relevant questions about the content of the author's viewpoint. There was no response. And it's not like the author never responds. He has in the past. So I wanted to know the reason for his silence. He said that it was because the posts were not about matters concerning the financial state of California. I told him why that wasn't true. You can read it in our interchange. But you are right. The author does not have to respond. I just think (IMO) that it's wrong from a ideological standpoint to throw chunks of red meat (controversial subject matter) into the public shark pool (reader population) and when readers question the content of his viewpoints to stand back and let the sharks tear at the meat without joining in. That's all. That just my opinion. Take it or leave it. I don't care. Next, the origins of the Great Depression was much like what we experienced in the years that lead up to the meltdown in 2008. It was a debt crisis fueled by easy credit and runaway spending. But they had an excuse in 1929. There was little regulation because what took place was largely unprecedented. The economy was an experiment in progress. In pre-2008 the crooked politicians and criminal Wall Street businessmen knew exactly what they were doing. They were sidestepping regulations that were in place or dismantling regulations (Glass-Steagal) that protected us. And BUST. The rest is history!
Dan Avery December 19, 2012 at 11:57 PM
John, Ignore the trolls. Just some friendly advice. Am glad you enjoy the back and forth on WWII Era. History, like everything else, depends on the book you read. :) Some are more accurate than others. It seems to be the shift to WWII made sense. It was at the end of WWII and the beginning of Truman's administration when our current problems really started it seems to me. Especially in terms of Saber-rattling and threats to other nations or groups. All of our Presidents since Truman have been extremely similar in that regard.
Ronc4109 December 20, 2012 at 12:20 AM
Four administrations, you forgot AHHHNNOLLLDD. Did nothing to abate the runaway public union sector.
Dan Avery December 20, 2012 at 12:47 AM
JustUs, Quite a few relief organizations and other nations estimate the number of people we killed in Iraq not in the thousands but in the hundreds of thousands. The larger number makes more sense historically. The US always has a low number of casualties compared to other countries, etc. For example, an estimated 26 million Russians died in WWII; the number of US Soldiers who died in WW II was 409,399.
JustUs December 20, 2012 at 01:00 AM
Dan Avery, I know that there were hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties in Iraq who were blown to smitherenes by American military hardware. I don't know how many of those were kids. Thousands would be bad enough. But I have little doubt it was in the tens of thousands. And we forced dislocations on over a million Iraqi's who had their properties destroyed. They fled to neighboring countries. As an American I am not proud of any of that. Trust me. I am one who STILL believes in the GOLDEN RULE that I was taught as a child. I was especially upset with the Iraq war since none of it was necessary with regard to defending the safety of our country. It was all deplorable. And I did not see any of those phony hypocritical vile polticians wipe a feigned tear from his or her eyes when the civilian casualty numbers were disclosed. Not one. Which makes me believe they are all sociopaths. What other conclusion could I draw as a rational man?
Yeparoo December 20, 2012 at 05:49 AM
L.O.L. Shri - How about you get signature drive started to put an initiative on the ballot to end initiatives. Arnold's AB 32 love child will end up being in the top 3 destructive ideas to hit CA in the last 50 years when fully implemented. A slightly large oversight.
Shripathi Kamath December 20, 2012 at 05:44 PM
I think that route would be too cumbersome. The legislature route described in Article 18 of the California Constitution would be the way to go. Far fewer people need to be convinced. Nor do I think that AB 32 would be that destructive to the state. After all we did clean up the smog from 1970s and are better for it -- economically and environmentally. Just as ONE example, if fracking continues to prove safe, some of the emission cuts come almost automatically. As another, higher emission standards for CA vehicles will get us some more. As to the jobs that left for China, they are gone. No matter what we do, we are not getting them back. If we need to create jobs, we have to do them in newer sectors anyway. That does not really change whether you have AB 32 or not. And no matter how badly it is portrayed, California is still where VCs invest the most. Here's the trend at any rate: http://bit.ly/VSUs5k. Thanks to the previous administration, the feds did not allow California to get more aggressive earlier, which could have helped. Then again, I do not know your metrics for rating "top 3 destructive ideas" so I cannot be sure. I can be almost sure though that if it succeeds, under whatever definition, Mr. Webb will be crediting The Terminator, and if it fails, he'll be blaming Brown or whoever the last governor with the (D) symbol next to his name is.
John Webb December 20, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Shripathi, promise no credit to the Terminator. Talk more about your idea with Article 18
Dan Avery December 20, 2012 at 06:36 PM
JustUs, "All" is a problem. No doubt many are psychopaths, and the rest are cowards who are trying to cling to their jobs. You might enjoy reading The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson. By the way, wars are never about defending the safety of our country. And our naked aggression in the world is not about defending our safety either. It's usually about oil, at least on the surface. But there are much darker reasons beneath the surface.
JustUs December 20, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Nearly every Republican in the CA Assembly and Senate voted for SB400 in 1999 which opened the barn door for the cops and firewhiners retroactive 3%@50 pension formulas which has been a HUGE weight upon the shoulders of the California taxpayers. There was NO excuse for that. It was more 'play for pay' with union money. So it's not just the democrats. The Republicans were in it neck deep too. So the fingerpointing from either side is totally disingenuous. It's like the Creature from the Black Lagoon pointing fingers at Godzilla. Stop it! Let's have some truth for once!
Shripathi Kamath December 20, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Article 18 simply list ways to amend the California Constitution. Yeparoo was suggesting a recursive way to end the ballot initiative that I think is the culprit. I simply pointed a more direct route.
John Webb December 20, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Careful, you are starting to sound like me. If people suddenly got the idea we should vote for people based on what they accomplished for the voters and not for special interest groups all kinds of things would happen. I often hear the government needs more money. We don't work for the government, they work for us. We need more money, much more than they do. How do we all get a litle better off? We find citizen politicians who vote for laws that unleash the private sector and restrict the government sector. Then, we the owners of this country would do better, and the government would have plenty of money for their new, less intrusive role. This goes to the blog I wrote, we can save California.
JustUs December 20, 2012 at 09:08 PM
That sounds nice in theory, dear Sir. And if wishes were horses beggars would ride. You see, the problem is we don't have real 'equality under the law' in America. We truly have 2 set of laws - one for the peasants and one for the elite (whether they are government elite or business elite - makes no difference). The REAL laws were enacted to control all the 'little people'. So before you turn around and give all the loot to the private sector you must first ensure that the laws of the land apply equally to EVERYONE - whether you write a rubber check for $200 to a business or if you happen to be a criminal Wall Street banker who commits horrendous financial fraud and contributes to a meltdown that cost the peasants TRILLIONS of dollars and MILLIONS of jobs. We need to get that right FIRST, my good man. And unless we do it's all for not. You will just be tossing your money to more criminals and they will be allowed to have their way with you. I am being very honest, sir. Honesty you won't get from the average bear.
MFriedrich December 20, 2012 at 10:10 PM
I agree on California's balloting stupidity. Laypeople don't get it, but the representatives we send up to Sacramento are much worse. If we're all voting for policy at the CAR ballot box every 3 to 6 months on key, meaningful pieces of legislation, why on earth are we paying these representative jokers a salary and benefits at all? This is dumb. Hell, it's 2012. Wee have the technology. Give everyone a smart card to log in and authenticate directly to the state capitol to vote on all the small stuff. I'll probably vote "no" everytime, but oh well. At least you don't have to pay me ( and I don't have to pay you) $200K per year plus benefits as a state legislator. Oh wait, that's right. Having laypeople decide and vote on complicated legislation without reading it in its entirety or understanding unintended consequences....Dammit we keep running into the same old issue that got us in this entangled mess in the first place.
JustUs December 20, 2012 at 10:20 PM
Is our discussion over, Mr. Webb?
John Webb December 20, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Justus, had to step away and make a little money. I think where you and I miss being on the same road is the definition of business. You are talking big corporations and I'm thinking of business doing under 5 to 10 million a year. These are the businesses that create jobs and give people opportunity. They are also the people who are connected to a community and life style in the community is important to them. One more thing Justus, we cannot give up because things are bad. If you are a younger person (under 60) think about getting involved. If you cannot for some reason, join me in looking for the next group of leaders who are looking to help fix this mess and not just make a career out of politics.
JustUs December 20, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Why thank you, good Sir, for following up. Yes, I see where you're coming from. But the business climate in America today is one of corruption. And unfortunately the fish rots from the head down. So what truly worries me is that the smaller fish take example from the bigger fish (who got away with it) which virtually destroys good faith and trust within the business community. This is what worries me, Sir. I am not so much worried for myself, but for all those who come along after I'm gone. Just like my parents worried about MY generation (that really turned out to be a bunch of spoiled thieves and liars that I am greatly ashamed of) and cared more about us than themselves. We don't have that any longer, my good man. It's all for one and one for all. And that is the truth. As I told you before, Mr. Webb, I would be an excellent politician but unfortunately I am unelectable. I am just too darned straight laced and to the point with brutal honesty. And I've found that just puts people off to no end. Humans don't like the truth, Sir. Oh, they do when it agrees with their objectives or lot in life - but if the truth conflicts with their goals - then they hate it worse than the devil himself. Ok, Sir. You seem like a good man. And it seems that your heart is in the right place. But sometimes your points seem a little disjointed and contradictory. But I'm sure you mean well. I wish you a very merry Christmas, Hanukka, Kwanzza or whatever your preference is.
John Webb December 20, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Merry Christmas to you and your family
tiny December 21, 2012 at 12:07 AM
People have vast differences over what they think "crisis" is.
Dan Avery December 21, 2012 at 12:21 AM
John, One not so small quibble. Businesses don't create jobs. Consumers do that. If your business is making a product that people need, or that makes their life better somehow, then people will buy it no matter how bad the economy gets. Apple has proven that beyond a shadow of a doubt. Since 2008 and the "recession" Apple has thrived while others have lost ground or struggled to stay even. With a global recession, Apple opens a new retail store every nine days somewhere in the world. It wasn't Steve Jobs who created the jobs. It was the customers who bought the products and created the demand. Taxes, or the lack thereof, played a minor role in it all. Bear in mind we are talking about a luxury item here. Everything Apple makes can be bought elsewhere, for less money. Sure it's a large corporation. But the same model applies to small business. If your small business fills a need, or an apparent need, your sales increase and you can hire more people.
Dan Avery December 21, 2012 at 12:25 AM
tiny, True. Probably because for some people a parking ticket truly is the worse thing that ever happened to them while for others it was the dead of their child.
tiny December 21, 2012 at 12:32 AM
Ya, that's the ticket.
tiny December 21, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Some think: www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGujjO_Za2c
JustUs December 21, 2012 at 05:06 AM
Dan Avery, You didn't mention that Apple uses slave labor over in China to make it's products dirt cheap while offshoring thousands of jobs in the process. Big stores like WalMart import all the cheap Chinese stuff while paying their workers such squat wages that many qualify for foodstamps and welfare while on the payroll. The big banks have us by the short hairs. Some willfully launder drug proceeds and when caught pay a fine that doesn't even equal the profits that they made off the laundering operations - and no bank exec goes to jail. Then to recoup the fine that they paid to the government they request authorization to raise their banking and credit card fees and Uncle Sugar grants their request. It's quite a nice racket. Look what's happening with ObamaCare. With mandated coverage it's a huge windfall to the medical insurance companies and banks since citizen taxpayers are forced to buy a policy and if they don't the IRS swoops in and penalizes them heavily. Naturally illegal foreigners can still use our ER's for free (compliments of John and Jane Taxpayer). The rules are designed to give big pharma huge profits by making it illegal to reimport american-made pharmaceuticals that cost foreigners around the world 20%-50% of what you would pay in your local drug store. The small mom and pop stores must actually compete with one another and that is where true capitalism really takes place. No bailouts. Either they draw customers or fold up tent. Not big business.
tiny December 21, 2012 at 04:41 PM
You're right Dan. People are all dealing from different perspectives. I should be more aware of it.
Kelly Sawyer "Animal Defender" February 09, 2013 at 12:03 AM
I disagree that all regulations in California are oppressive-FOR EXAMPLE, There is zero regulation of live animal sales taking place at Fashion Island in Russo's Pet Store or any Pet Store for that matter. Russo's legal USDA reports and purchase files prove he is supplying Newport Beach with puppies carrying Girardia and Shigella from Midwest puppy mills- California requires no recording of parasites for Clean health certificate. Both are contagious to humans, both contracted in mere handling of infected animals like the hundreds of children running into the store to play with diseased puppy mill fraud puppies. These both can cause permanent brain damage and if a child has compromised immune system they can kill a child. These parasites are so Common along with non human Parvo, his broker states they pump these puppies full of meds for a week before they arrive in Newport assuming to be infected. 6 weeks treatment is required to eliminate and a billion spores shed daily... Newport Beach Police Department refuses to enforce Mandatory State Cruelty Laws in the store so Newport Beach HAS ZERO REGULATION OF CDC CONTAGIOUS ANIMALS HELD DAILY BY CHILDREN, AND WHEN REPORTED TO NBPD, THEY WILL NOT RECORD. Recording his criminal activity puts Russos Owner in JAIL in an additional criminal conviction ---DON'T APPLY TO ALL INDUSTRY. YOU COULD AID KILLING CHILDREN --ANIMALS ARE DYING IN AND OF OUT THE STORE UNDER ILLEGAL SALES VIOLATING STATE LAW.
Kelly Sawyer "Animal Defender" February 09, 2013 at 01:28 AM
Puppy mills are neither partisan or idelogical and cost Americans over a Billion in Tax dollars every year so the USDA can abuse established regualtion they have never enforced since the drafting of the AWA in 1966--- IT'S FEDERAL TORTURE AND MASS MURDER OF MAN'S BEST FRIEND SOLD ABSENT OF DEMAND EXCLUSIEVELY UNDER FRAUD AND PRODUCED IN VIOLATION OF FEDERAL LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA----- Maybe someone on this page can explain to me that considering Irvine Co., all surrounding cities, is INHUMANE INDUSTRY deemed by Congress , senate, federal trial, and EVEN USDA OWN US.INSPECTOR GENERAL------ Puppy Mills Cost and Repulse every decent American and NEWPORT LEADS INDUSTRY IN RETAIL SALES ---- they torture mill dogs to death for city tax-- LESS THAN HUMANE CONVERSION STORES--- and victimize Constituents, families patrons, children with EXTREME FISCAL AND EMOTIONAL HARM--PROVEN AND STATED ON RECORD IN COUNCIL MEETING--- Our New Reputation is RICH SELFISH PUPPY MILL KILLER NEWPORT BEACH -- cause if the shoe fits... How long is the Community going to lay complacent in Silence? NO ENTITY OR PERSON EVER SHE PUPPY MILL DISGRACE... EVER.... and we won't while Federal Canine Murder into CHIC LUXURY DOG PARKS AT 16 MILLION
Kelly Sawyer "Animal Defender" February 09, 2013 at 01:30 AM
-- its happening and I get killing dogs for business in violation of federal law, cause my specialty is CRIMINAL ANIMAL ABUSE... I don't understand WHY THE BLIND EYE NEWPORT?.......IT'S MAN'S BEST FRIEND YOU ARE PAYING TO MURDER IN VIOLATION OF FEDERAL LAWS OF AMERICA------ WHERE IS THE DIGNITY OR THE TAX BURDEN CONCERN?
Kelly Sawyer "Animal Defender" February 09, 2013 at 02:15 AM
These dogs rescued in Novemeber by my peers of OSPCA-- in a criminal abuse scale of living conditions and practices unlawful for Companion Animals protected by AWA is like Kindergarten compared to DIRTY DOG DEALING Blog article detailing NEWPORT BEACH FASHION ISLAND PARENTS---- this is for the BUSINESS COMMUNITY to Consider the actual VALUE OF IREPLACABLE PERMANENTLY DAMAGED TOURISM REPUTATION in Disgust of Newport Selfish Indignance to Canines and the rest of the nation-- prettty much BY ALL AMERICAN TAX PAYERS LOATHING YOU O, btw-- the city lied on our Shelter Contract and Defrauded Newport Tax Payers of the CRIMINAL ANIMAL ABUSER IN SOLE CUSTODY OF OUR HOMELESS --FORMAL POLICE INVESTIGATION BY COSTA MESA AND HORRIFIC --council tripled our euthanasia rate and signed to be able to kill in as little as 2DAYS-- O.C. Humane Society is DENYING RESCUES wanting to aid adoption -- EVERY SINGLE NEWPORT TAX PAYER IS THE EMPLOYER FUNDING A PRIVATE BUSINESS CRIMINAL ANIMAL ABUSER --- and consumers of federal torture puppies....nice park tho......everyone know Newport DOG PARK IS ATTEMPT TO COVER ANIMAL ABUSE AGENDA AND PROFITS-- you had to hear is somewhere-- PICK A PET IS UNREGISTERED CHARITY BY FOR PROFIT ANIMAL CONTROL NEWPORT INC--- solicting cash from constituents under tax deductible-----NEWPORT BEACH IS CRIMINAL CANINE ABUSE CHIC ASK MANAGER DAVE KIFF-- TELL HIM I SENT YOU THIS IS THE FACE OF NEWPORT BEACH EVERYONE SEES http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDQiF29eVLU
Marie Anderson March 18, 2013 at 04:16 PM
As a business owner of 19 years ( just sold , for hardly anything) I am done. I employed on average 10-12 full-time and about 10-12 part time. With the passage of higher tax's , again, and cumbersome regulations, I couldn't do it anymore! When you work hard and they just keep taking more, or allowing frivolous lawsuits to threaten you daily, it becomes overwhelming. Why should I continue to work and struggle so hard in a state, that is designed to punish the business person. We are leaving this state for a business friendly state, most likely Texas. Where I can take my skills and keep more of my money!!!

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