FlashReport Weblog on California Politics
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Government unions are not unions in any traditional sense of the word. They elect the bosses they “negotiate” with. They are paid through compulsory taxes rather than via a company that has to earn a profit in the competitive market. And they operate the machinery of government which allows them extraordinary latitude to intimidate any business interests who may challenge their agenda.
Among the informed, these assertions are beyond serious debate. Even supporters of government unions acknowledge them– just not on the record. But to inform the public, it is probably too abstract to question the legitimacy of government unions because they “elect their own bosses,” “use taxpayers money instead of earned profits,” or “control the bureaucracy.” Perhaps instead it is better to explain how union control of government harms people in their everyday lives.
To that end, here is a partial list of how the actions of government unions contradict their rhetoric, and betray the public they are supposed to serve:
(1) Demonizing“Profits.”From the classroom teacher to the professionally prepared press release, the rhetoric of… Read More
I THINK IT’S BEEN HARD FOR PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND HOW ISLAM CAN BE A GOOD RELIGION, AND YET THE ISLAMISTS ARE EVIL. THOSE OF US WHO HAVE HAD EXPERIENCE WITH ISLAM UNDERSTAND THIS, JUST AS WE UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SNAKE HANDLERS AND PEOPLE GOING TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY MORNING. P. J. O’ROURKE
In one of the most contemptibleacts of the year, the California Legislature passed a House Resolution to create and celebrate “Muslim Appreciation and Awareness Month,” while at the same time passing legislation to strike down religious freedoms for Christians.
It always starts with a bucolic name. Democrats are great at that. This one is “Secure Choice.” It starts with a good concept — people don’t save enough for retirement. But then it puts it in the hands of elected officials and their cronies and, when things go south, they will point fingers at private enterprise and we will bear the cost.
As a financial professional (CPA), I advise all my clients to put money into a pension plan. All professional literature suggests the earlier you put money into a pension the better off you will be later. Even if you are getting social security it will not be enough to support you in your retirement years, and those years are getting to be longer and longer with increased life spans.
John Chiang, California State Treasurer, has been promoting this plan and he even has a website pushing it which is funded with your tax dollars (of course with a picture of his smiling face). Everything on the website is “peaches and cream.”
The one negative he starts with is how many people don’t have pension plans. Of course, he starts with the Big Lie. They have pension plans. They can set up a traditional IRA.… Read More
Special districts in California are the unnoticed variant of local government entities. Although they spend over $42 billion dollars annually, most taxpayers don’t give these ubiquitous agencies much thought. They vary from modest vector control districts to behemoths like the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit authority, an agency that has a billion-dollar budget and, despite declining ridership, continues efforts to suck ever more pennies from every dollar spent in Los Angeles County.
The problem with these semi-autonomous agencies is that it is extremely difficult to determine whether or not taxpayers are receiving good value for every one of the billions of dollars being spent by agencies that, in many cases, are governed by unelected political appointees. Even when these boards are directly elected, many special districts do not receive the same level of scrutiny as do city and county governments.
Most taxpayers support local control, but they also want to see local governments and special districts maintain maximum transparency, follow the Brown Act and post important fiscal information on their websites. This information is a valuable asset to… Read More
The front page San Diego U-T feature article (below) is generally favorable towards the SANDAG (San Diego County’s central planning agency) half percent sales tax increase — a tax increase to get people to not use cars for transportation. But the article makes the case that the SANDAG usage projection figures are a fiction. In other cities, spending such massive amounts of money on non-car transportation results in minuscule gains — if any.No U.S. city has quickly managed to get high numbers of residents to swap their cars for trains, buses, bikes and sidewalks. . . EXCERPT: Metropolitan regions frequently cited as having … Read More
The California Legislature is threatening its own agriculture industry again with an expansion of overtime rules for farm and ranch workers.
State government has been hostile to California farmers and ranchers for some time: cutting water to farmers and water rationing, “humane” chicken farm laws, regulating farm stands, regulating dairy farms almost out of existence, and very hostile labor relations with the malignant Agricultural Labor Relations Board. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Following a staged publicity stunt hunger strike last week by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, the recently… Read More
In the Imperial and Coachella Valley, the local municipal utility, the Imperial Irrigation District (IID), abruptly ended its solar net metering policy, without warning, leaving about 1,200 applications for the program in limbo. Many of these customers already had solar panels installed on the roof and were just waiting for the utility’s approval to interconnect. They are now left with stranded assets and sunk costs.
This is a failure of government. Not only has the utility shut down a growing solar industry, but they’re punishing their own customers who supported it.
The responsibility for this situation lies with IID, not with people who went… Read More