City Journal Spring 2014

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Spring 2014
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Steven Greenhut
Broken Windows, Broken City « Back to Story

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Not sure why Occupy Stockton never was informed that you were looking for us, but never fear we have around Stockton for well over a year now. Some of us have taken to attending regular city council meetings with Mr. Deis. Some of us have been pushed by the man and reported the crime and had it brazenly dismissed by the DA as unintentional without even so much as a hello from the supposed investigative team that the DA claims to have put on the job of investigating said battery. We have to Sacramento working with other members of Occupy on foreclosures as well as occupying a foreclosure here in Stockton for more than 6 months now. Please review Google images of Diana Buettner Stockton for the photo moments after the real push not bump. I am also certain that if you wanted information as to where we have been you check with News10, Fox40 and Channel 13 and Channel 3 as well. For rather small group of activists we do get around. We have chalked from SF to Stockton with Veterans for Peace at Fleet Week and also have a few articles listed in "The Record" and the local Peace and Justice Network paper called "Connections." Please feel free to contact me at 209 471-0119 if you would really like to know where Occupy Stockton is. Thank Diana M. Buettner aka Tent Monster/Teacher/Occupier/Citizen of Stockton.

Thank you for hignlighting just one of several problems plauging our state ... It is sad to see how apathetic and gutless our government and population is solve the issues that are destroying our economy.
very interesting but would it have been possible to hold back and look for some answers. Is there anyone try to turn the situation around. There are so many answers to social grief.
Yeah, so what's the point....we all know that.
In the age of the Ipad and Iphones that have more computing power than mainframes did a decade ago we must ask why we have more government employees than ever? And yes, they spend a good deal of their time and energy feathering their own nests at the expense of hard earned taxpayer dollars. All government needs to be downsized, from the Federal government to local municipalities. If not, they will eventually go the way of Greece and Stockton. Since when did a public service job mean you won the lottery?
Samuel Davis, I could not have described the problem better!, Liberal Democrats, first the end of California, next, the end of the United States! Do other people find it surprising that people (like badly misguided Mr. Greenhut) figured out how to get the already Bankrupt government to pay for everything! The issue this clown uses in this totally misguided article couldn't have been choosen any better! It is nearly a perfect example of what is wrong with California, and what is wrong with what remains of America!

That says quite a bit about you and your completely screwed-up train of thought! You have enough disposable income laying around to take advantage of someone else's misery and purchase what was (very likely) previously someone’s (dream) home, (from a bank), that felt so compelled to foreclose on, to eventually sell to you completely un-maintained and blighted - for penny’s on the dollar! And you have the balls to actually complain in your Communist-Liberal trash-paper about the government isn’t providing you with adequate services by not cutting down the tree limbs in my front yard on “MY” house!

While all along those same frikken tree limbs were sitting right there, exactly where they were when you thought it might be a good idea to steal someone else’s former “dream House” with help from the stinking bank!

Did you ever think for a minute to get your worthless Liberal butt over there and cut down the branches all by yourself? Or better yet, pay someone else to do it! Like maybe some kid from the neighborhood! Of course you didn’t!

Your just like all the other know-nothing, (and I mean NOTHING!) Liberals who want the government to give them everything for free! Well, I’ve got some more bad news for you! Your newly acquired rental properties are no longer worth more than 20% of what they were 6-years ago, so, you are now paying 80% less taxes than the (much more desired) owner-occupant was 6-years ago!

And, since you don’t live there, and you kind of stole the properties from the bank that had possession of them, and because everybody knows the banks sure as hell aren’t going to spend any money to maintain all of these properties that they never wanted in the first place! And Heck, why would you drop any more money into it when you are going go get $1,200 a month rent, all fixed-up or not! Remember! You got such a good deal, that you stole two of them. Well, unfortunately for the City of Stockton, your annual tax bill is based solely on the market-value of the properties you just stole! So now, instead of the City receiving $10,000 to $15,000 per year in taxes from your property, they will have to get by on receiving $1,500 per year!

And you want your trees trimmed! Give me a frikken break! The City ought to make you trim everybody on the block’s trees, plus cut their lawns to boot!
This is an argument for a new bankruptcy law, Chapter 10 I believe (that part of the code was left empty) over the States. This is more relevant to Stockton than you think. I propose protecting creditors and giving widest possible authority to rewrite pensions and other public sector obligations. Since state law is reponsible for gaming the problems of the municipalities, and deferring resolution of those in Sacramento, Washington could reopen Stockton and similar debacles under 3 grounds: conservation of public monies from waste, systemic collusion in neglect or fraud between all levels of public authority, and likelihood of success (apparently little to none, as Stockton will be repeated en masse elsewhere). If CA has no money, neither will Stockton. And as US citizens, we should have authority to withhold our funds on any of the three grounds.

Unfortunately our GOP wackadoodle in Congress, Eric Cantor shot down a state soveregn bankruptcy law as one of the first pronouncements of the Tea Party Congress. Write Congress about that!
So what else is new in California? The point is this - public unions are able to contribute oodles of money to the Democratic Party so don't expect anything to change - the unions simply have too much power over the people who are in power in California. Why no one could figure out that allowing public workers to unionize AND allowing them to make political contributions or to support political causes is a bad thing I have no idea.

But, of course, the creation of public unions - something entirely discretionary to the states or federal government, there being no right for public workers to unionize - and donating to the Democratic Party was something that went hand in hand. The Democrats knew exactly what was going to happen when public workers were allowed to unionize - for the Democrats public unions were a huge success and no brainer since for the first time it provided a ready source of campaign money that originates from taxpayers. So not only are Democrats the party of government, they are funded by government, while Republicans have to beg money from the people - who under the Democrats are much less powerful than government.

In other words, the unions and the Democratic party entered into a corrupt bargain under which the unions were created and Democrats give to the unions generous wage and benefit packages, in return for which the unions make sure that Democrats were well supplied with taxpayer money. It's a beautiful arrangement - taxpayers fund not only the workers but the party as well.

Best of all the major media doesn't say a word about this arrangement since they are in favor of anything that helps the Democrats. Naturally, the Democrats provide well for media, to the point of employing large numbers of media in Democratic campaigns. The money gets spread around.

As a consequence of all this, public unions became very powerful and Democrats got lots of money so they could win more elections, which then allowed the Democrats to give more wages and benefits to unions which in return gave more money to supporting Democrats and to Democratic causes which allowed Democrats to win even more elections. It all goes round and round and round.

The problem of course is that what we have is not a workable arrangement for a prosperous, well functioning society, and people are still free to vote on this arrangement with their feet. So, the Democrats need to import voters which of course they have been very successful in doing - while at the same time rewarding those who come here with liberal benefits to ensure that the Democrats get even more votes.

The result of all of this for California? California went from:

--a highly functioning state with an educational system and educated population second to none,
--with low crime,
--an efficient public sector capable of doing great things at relatively low cost that taxed at an affordable rate,
--an economy that was the envy of the world, --mostly intact families that voted mostly for Republicans,

to a state with:
--shattered families and high crime,
--an inefficient, highly expensive, hugely corrupt public sector incapable of even providing basic services,
--a highly inefficient, hugely expensive educational system that doesn't educate,
--an economy in tatters, which is the envy of none
--a confiscatory taxation system
--and a hundred other problems too numerous to list here

--and of course voting mostly for Democrats who are doing everything possible to destroy what had been built under the Republicans, since it drives away those who disagree with Democrats, allowing them to consolidate power so they can....and on and on and on.

Democrats have employed the basic model set forth above everywhere they have power. Like locusts Democrats destroy everything everywhere they go. The California model - perfected in the cities - is rapidly expanding elsewhere, and is essentially the Democratic plan for the nation. That it leads to a corrupt, decaying society is inevitable, with the consequence being exactly what you can imagine. Worst of all this is being done under the very noses of a populations in the nation that have been manipulated to go along with what is being done - Democratic media is a master at manipulation and conditioning.

The saying is where California goes, the rest of the country will follow. And it is true, absent some miracle which no one should expect, or some massive awakening - what is going on in California is where the rest of the nation is or will be. It's too late to change for California and probably too late for the rest of us as well. (thank you George Bush. Thank you Barrack Obama - you killed a country).

It's no surprise that those who can afford it are leaving, even solidly Democratic hypocrites.
The purported purpose of the ridiculously generous public employee benefits is to "attract AND RETAIN the best and the brightest." But giving free lifetime health care for ONE MONTH's work is a benefit that encourages a person to LEAVE, not stay. Now such a public employee can move to another city that pays more but is not so generous with the health care.

A related problem is the idiotic California notion that public employee pensions should be portable -- that the new city or county should honor the time in service working for another city. This encourages leapfrogging to the highest compensating city, with no concern about losing benefits. Some retention plan!

The private sector knows better.
In Steven's shoes, I'd cut the trees down myself. An ax always works.

What are they going to do? Arrest ya?
Hopefully Stockton can break the stranglehold of the public unions via bankruptcy so it can position itself for a rebound. More likely it will continue to suffer like the rest of us Californian's do at the hands of the Democrat-controlled legislatures/councils across this tarnished land. The state can withstand the force of economic gravity for only so long and our time is about up. At a certain point, our monopoly on year-round excellent weather will be outweighed by rising crime, failing schools, illegal immigration, intrusive government and stifling taxes. How does any self-respecting free man live with dignity here? I've about had it!