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Winter 2014
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Jeremy Rozansky
Salvation Through Extinction « Back to Story

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Public employee's Union bought off San Bernardino. Corporate America bought off our Congress and now wants taxpayers to pay the 14 Trillion dollar debt incurred in the Iraq and Afgan wars. Austerity anyone?
San Bernadino, famous for being home to the Hell's Angels, had to pay public safety employees a competitive salary because of this and the attendant crime.

San Berdoo is home to the lovely Ben Botchuk, so perhaps the collapse is poetic justice.
So the leftists have managed to completely destroy an entire city. But of course we are the ones that cant face simple facts and see the future.
So what is the contingency in place for if the entire city council/mayor/managers just get up and quit?
As in Walk out and flip the finger to the county?
But that would never happen right? because no matter what, the city officials get PAID, even if they can't fix D i c k.
And the insanity in San Bernardino continues.

"Bankrupt San Bernardino approves over $1 million in pay hikes"
http://krro.com/news/articles/2013/mar/19/bankrupt-san-bernardino-approves-over-1-million-in-pay-hikes/
This week also marks the beginning of Stockton CA's BK court process.
It appears that whether or not fiscal sanity can again prevail within the chambers of city government in CA rests in the hands of two Federal judges.
San Bernardino has been corrupt for years, and has floated several stupid ideas to solve its financial problems, such as flooding the valley to create an artificial lake to attract new development. Trouble is that would have displaced most of the city's residents. Of course the ill effects aren't what stalled that plan, it was the realization that no one in city government could ensure their personal fortunes would increase by implementing the plan.

The county government isn't much better, what with the former members now residing in prison, or forced to resign and reimburse the county for enriching themselves at the public trough. Disincorporation is the first halfway decent idea I've seen and the appears to be the only way out from under the corrupt contracts the PEU have used to control the city.

If you don't know Southern California you may not realize that San Berdoo (as residents call it) is conveniently located minutes away from ski resorts like Big Bear, the beaches of Orange County and the stark beauty of the Palm Springs area. It is blessed with nice weather, mountain springs to furnish water to the city, a retired air force base that left behind a 15,000-foot runway next to rail and freeway access. In short, there was much to attract businesses and residents, but the idiots in charge, financed by the public unions have messed up every attempt the right this ship. Disincorporation sounds like the only way forward despite being fraught with its own perils.
It looks like democracy in California has devolved into a feudal empire where PEU's require Danegeld to be paid by the peasants. How is this any different from a Mob protection racket? The Mob usually didn't own all the judges.
let mitt romney take over.
Interesting point of view. I wonder how that same thing will play out with the bankruptcy of the county. Does payment then become a burden on the citizens of the state?
How many governments can we afford? The L. A. area is vast geographically and in terms of population but does that mean that 90 separate and distinct local governments are required to rule on everything from legal parking spots to zoning ordinances within the Los Angeles metroplex? Searching for answers to government failure often stops at the Democratic Party, they rule within these impoverished communities and must be the ones to blame – or so we’re told. Really? Or, is it possible that voters who haven’t yet mastered the complexities of self-government are at the core of the problem?

Across the country, the city of Detroit is the poster child for the complete breakdown of responsible self-government. Democrats rule here, but this city’s governmentally impaired voters continued to elect incompetents decade after decade, with a smile on their face and a song on their lips. Were our esteemed Founders wrong at the most fundamental level? Can any citizen choose the right candidate and does the call to public service make the chosen candidate any wiser than the average voter?

We have to question the Founder’s assumptions regarding the average citizen’s native ability to rule themselves - but we won’t. Because doing so calls into question our deeply held beliefs regarding our dysfunctional political system. Better to hold to beliefs instilled since early childhood than to admit we’re witnessing a disturbing pattern of systemic breakdown. Vallejo, Bell, Stockton and now San Bernadino in California, - Flint, Pontiac and Detroit in Michigan – compartmentalize each failing municipality, ignore the recurring signs and hope for the best is our lame - and only - solution.

And Detroit is so comically tragic you have to wonder how much longer we can blame a political party rather than our defective voters. Do Detroiters wish to be helped? Absolutely. But Detroiters also demand they control how they will be helped. Money should be provided without strings attached and without any outside overseers to supervise the help. They may have utterly failed to govern themselves wisely but they're also convinced that they and they alone can rescue themselves wisely. What can you do with such childish naiveté and unbelievable ignorance?

President Obama should bail-out Detroit, provide money from taxpayers living in Iowa or Arizona in order to rescue Detroit is the unofficial remedy hoped for by Detroit’s voters. Don’t make vitally needed cuts in Detroit’s municipal spending and financial obligations unless Detroit’s voters approve such cuts. But don’t completely abandon Detroit to its well-deserved fate either. Brings new meaning to between a rock and a hard place. When voters are incapable of ruling themselves, there is no conceivable remedy which instills instant competence, there are only voters in distant locales who must share in the suffering.
How is it that government unions are allowed to make donations to politicians or political parties? And why is it that prohibition of such donations as a condition to aloowing government unions to exist, or forcing unions to make equal contributions, is never considered?

If there is anything that leads straight to corruption it is allowing public unions to make political donations. Is there any dispute about that? Why is it that NO ONE, not even Republicans ever discusses prohibiting public unoins from making political donations?

Is there something here I am missing - a court case, Constitutional provision, or statute that guarantees that public unions may donate to political candidates or parties? Or that prohibits government from restricting donations as a condition of unoinization?

Allowing public unions to make political donations to the people who are responsible for making decisions about wages, benefits, hiring, firing is corruption, plain and simple. It is the single biggest reason why places like San Bernadino, heck California, can't put their fiscal house in order. It is pernicious - as much as allowing public unions to exist in the first place.

After all, it isn't any accident that such unions donate only to one political party - Democrat. The Democratic Party wouldn't be able to do nearly as well as it does since a significant percentage of its income comes from taxpayers, funneled through public unions. And, as written elswhere on this site, these unions are so connected to the Democratic Party that asignificant part of thier mmission is to put forward an agenda that is identical to the Democratic Party's. It's how teacher's unions take positions on things like abortion, gay marriage and immigration.

In short, the public unions are the Party and the Party is the union. And, more and more, the Party is the government. Scary, hunh?

There is no way this nation in anything like its present form if one political party has access to taxpayer funds for elections and one party doesn't. This practice will sooner or later destroy us since the Democrats will always be in favor of putting more people on the government payroll, in a never ending corrupt scheme - the more on the payroll, the more union members there are, the more unoin memebers, the more money, and it goes round and round.

But, you read articles like this and the banning of donations isn't even mentioned as a possible solution - it's not even addressed. How can any city in a similar situation ever get its fiscal house in order if the politicians in office, not just in that city but in the county and the state and the federal government are all elected relying the same public unions donations? What possible motive would any politician have - his or her existance is tied in with being able to have access to taxpayer funding for their election, and they will have no incentive to do anything to be able to continue to feed at the public trough. Politicians can be bought cheaply - and these unions are among the biggest contributors. Nothing the Democrats say or do ever goes against the interests of the unoins - nothing.

You can't solve San Bernadino's problem unless you address the issue of public unions, and their ability to donate. And you can't address that unless someone is actually talking about it. Absent a conversation, we will go round and round, until the Democratic Party is uber alles - there is no end game for them here, there is no point at which the Democrats will ever say, well, this really is bad government, we should do the right thing.

For Democrats the right thing is to placate, build, enhance, pay off public unoins, povertize the people so that its minions can bring in the poverty machine which the Democrats have become expert at using to milk the non-participant citizen. Places like San Bernadino are the goal, not the result, of these policies.

If you understand the foregoing, you understand the Democratic Party. The old rules no longer apply - the lunatics have taken over the asylum. The crooks are in charge.

Don't want to recognize this? Then continue proposing even good solutions that will be ignored, or given lip service at best. In the meantime, the Democrats are laughing all the way to the voting booth.
As a former city manager with a majority of council devoted to reducing property taxes and reducing the total budget (i.e. spending), we experienced success in reducing debt and increasing reserves. However, the newly voted-in council (composed of those who will increase taxes and spending overall) plans to raise salaries of employees and further obligate taxpayers. Further, the city's road infrastructure is crumbling, under the "guidance" of the former long-term city manager. Those of us who reside in the unincorporated area of the county do not wish to become responsible for their misguided fiscal policy.
Ventura Capitalist March 26, 2013 at 6:01 AM
The California PEUs will continue to choke the golden chicken in all jurisdictions. And they can, since they own the judiciary as well as the other two branches of government.

When even judges will not protect the public interest, there is no hope.
Gerald: Did you read the-second-to-the-last sentence in the article?
"By disincorporating, San Bernardino would dissolve a government that ignored the warnings of fiscal crisis and that has been bought off by public-employee unions."
Your earlier questions are absurd, unless you don't know about Charters, Collective Bargaining, and Contracts; and if that is the case, you won't understand the answers any better than you (fail to) understand the article.
Nice article - my thinking is that that author is presenting solution without showing us how the mistakes/errors got made. I say, we must examine the decision making of the actors and the errors before we can have long term sustainable change. I have learned nothing to help me help others cities facing those challenges now.
As one of the largest American cities ever to declare Chapter 9 bankruptcy, San Bernardino found itself driven to insolvency by three things. Revenues from sales and property taxes were too low
>>>too low? As compared to what? What should it be? Who say it should be? How is it the author is not telling us his criteria?
; the city’s charter required that public-safety workers’ salaries be equivalent to those in wealthy coastal suburbs;
>>> WOW!!! – how and when did that come into existance? The Charter? Do we mean the beginning? How come it has to stay that way? Why only public safety? Why not all? How are these people different?
and public-safety workers’ contract were letting them retire early with high pensions
>>>when did that start? What council meetings were held to decide this? Early? Earlier than what? When?
>>>when? why? What is the context? What about the rest of the city workers?
, to which they didn’t have to contribute.
>>>contribute what? Reasoning? What and when was the trade off?
Before it looked to Chapter 9 last year, the nation’s second-poorest major city (after Detroit) had a $46 million budget deficit.
If San Bernardino thinks that bankruptcy will solve its problems, however, it needs to think again.
>> think again about what??? Why does the author think Bankruptcy will solve any thing? Solve what? What did they say to indicate this?
High crime makes cutting spending difficult: three-quarters of the city’s budget is devoted to public safety.
>>>WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! Say more about that: ¾ of the city budget is public safety? Can you show me that last 10- yrs budgets and how we got here?

>>> i can go on and on - not enough data to disect
So in other words - disincorporation simply shifts the tax buden to the taxpayers of the County.

What is needed is a solution that abrogates contracts made between Democrat administrations and public service unions that in effect give away the wealth of the people.