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United States

Journal Journal: Gray Davis Petition

Hi All:

Ok, I know I'm probably stepping on a toe or two, but I'm inviting you to print out and send in the petition to recall Davis. The only tricky thing about it is, make sure you do one page *per county*. The instructions are included in the petition, which you'll find here.

Now if you think this is wrong, hear me out.

I love California. But I think we have a problem that needs fixing. I want our state to thrive again, and have momentum for the future. I feel like we're steaming along on yesterday's dwindling momentum. Do we want to become another England with nothing left but past glories? Or worse, another Russia, who took away the incentive to do anything productive and now in ruins, has no bargaining power save weapons?

How could our economic powerhouse state, founder of America's most prosperous industries, attractor of its greatest talent in Si valley, possessor of incredible resources, grower of endless wonderful foods, and attractor of tourists worldwide find itself 37 billion in the hole, insultingly after the unprecedented economic rise of the 90's? Put another way, with our unmatched potential to generate wealth, we now have the lowest (and still falling) credit rating of any state.

The problem is this: there is no feedback loop. Or rather, the feedback loop does not reward Sacramento for doing the right things long term. Welcome to Homer Simpson economics. They take our tax money (and much more) as a given. Then they waste and overspend it. Then when it comes time to make hard choices, (e.g. illegal immigration costs us $11 billion/year) they coast over the hard choices saying we need to 'ease off these things gently'. Translation: we won't risk our political reputation by angering anyone; anyone that is except prosperous taxpayers who have no choice and (largely) don't vote for us anyway, or people like teachers that vote for us regardless of how poorly we pay them.

We can already see how this uphill climb deteriorates our state. Aside from 'yesterday's momentum' (e.g., you already live here, or you're starting a semiconductor outfit, and it's convenient to be near Applied Materials) who would choose business-hostile CA as a place to start a business today? Is it any wonder that we're leading the nation in employing Indians to do high tech work? (and why? Don't be angry at India: admire them. They invested in their schools and (gasp) rewarded excellence. They now have a self-renewing industry feeding off the fact that we've been asleep at the wheel.)

The uphill climb affects our children too. Money won't fix this. What will fix it is an economic situation that allows 1 parent to work, and another to raise the kids. Schools can teach, not raise, children. No amount of money will help schools deal with parent-deprived monsters in the classroom. Especially when we pander to their desire to avoid learning english, and avoid standardized tests, but that's another story...

But we are moving away, not towards a 1-parent working situation. That's thanks to the vicious, non-consentual circle: Sac(ramento) spends money it doesn't have, Sac takes more of ours, businesses close shop, tax revenue drops more, Sac goes deeper in the hole and claims it can't stop spending because 'real people's lives (votes) are involved', families have to earn more to survive, TV-raised children deteriorate, schools can't handle these kids and deteriorate, drop out children cost the state more money, repeat ad infinitum.

Is it just me, but can no one in Sac see that there's no way out of this problem with the current setup? We need a vicious circle in the opposite direction: Sac makes itself stable by not 'buying votes', CA becomes less attractive to immigrants and handout receivers sending them to other states (or school), it lightens up on business' tax loads, businesses move here out of choice, people can afford to live while working less, more time gets spent on raising kids vs. fixing troubled adults, kids go to school with a sense of discipline, schools can raise their standards by teaching rather than doing crowd control, more kids graduate and earn money, tax revenue floods in allowing them to reduce the burden furhter and/or invest in the future, not fix the past.

I look at the petition as a way to send this message to Sac. We have had enough Homer Simpson economics. Sac does not have a blank check. We will not cower and accept. It is not ok to pilfer the fruits from the best of times and then show up in dept deeper than ever the morning after the party.

BTW, If you're concerned about the $30 mil recall cost, this amounts to less than one day's worth of interest we're currently paying on our debt.

-- Main.MattWalsh - 04 Jul 2003

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