Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff

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dshields's picture
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Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff

I found this to be a disturbing article.  While some of the topics it covers, such as gay marriage, do not cause me concern, it is the data related to financial issues that is alarming.  It basically indicates that politicians can not longer get elected in California if they stand for responsible state financial dealings.  This is a very bad situation as the costs associated with a California bailout will be substantial and it is unclear exactly who will be expected to shoulder the burden of these costs.  How does a state get bailed out ?  Does the Fed monetize their debt also ?  California has the eighth largest economy in the world and represents a significant portion of the US GDP.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-poll-20101119,0,1562210.story

Meridith Whitney predicted this a few months ago.  When she predicted it I thought about it and assumed that the politicians there would start a turnaround program and slowly get California back on the rails.  The linked data indicates this is no longer possible and California is going to default at some point in the not too distant future.  Much of the problem is demographics and education.  Those two things can not be easily turned around.  As a matter of fact, there may be nothing that can be done.

The following link points to another disturbing issue.  The black community is litterally falling apart in America.  Black people constitute a decent percentage of the population and need to be productive in order for America to be successful.  Their percentage of the population is growing.  This is another very serious situation.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/09/education/09gap.html

 America has huge domestic problems we are not taking as seriously as we should.  These problems are growing and will be major issues in the near future.

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Re: Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff

I am currently living in California.  Many retiring coworkers have already purchased property in Oregon, Idaho and Nevada.  The exodus of these taxpayers will help bring this issue to a conclusion.  I've watched the can get kicked down the road year after year, but it is becoming increasing apparent the end game is near.  With the R's running the House (Federal level), I don't see a bailout.  I personally think the state will declare bankruptcy and rid themselves of pensions and debt.  This also means future borrowings will become very difficult.  After living here for more than 25 years and having 2 kids spend more than a total of 20 years (collectively) in the public school system, the problem isn't education.  Demographics?  Don't know what you mean.

The NY Times article is indeed disturbing.  I'm not surprised the two most important points were not mentioned: 1) How many of these kids are brought up without a father in the home, and 2) can't mention it here

Nate

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Re: Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff

I believe the demographics part is the large number of uneducated illegal immigrants pouring into California.  Many of these people receive public assistance from the state in one form or another - often in multiple revenue streams.  They are members of the class of dependency.  Two people are running for office.  One says we have to cut spending in a big way or we will have a financial crisis.  The other campaigns on more spending on public assistance.  The person advocating more spending wins.  This seems to be the future of California and possibly the nation unless something is done to change the trend.

The "Dream Act" currently under consideration in Washington will legalize millions of people of which the majority are poorly educated.  Millions more will be legalized in the coming years if the bill ever gets to Obama's desk.  Once you add millions more uneducated voters of which many will be participating in the class of dependency, it is not difficult to guess how this will change the election process in California and across the nation.  It seems very serious to me.

I always keep a sharp eye on data from the Heritage Foundation as they sometimes tend to lean to the conservative side but the following data is pretty shocking..

http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/03/The-2009-Index-of-Depen...

 

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Re: Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff

Thanks for addressing the demographics issue.  Your are SPOT ON.  Could not have said it better myself.

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Re: Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff

dshields,

Just read the Heritage Foundation link.  The data is shocking.   John Mauldin often says that something will break long before we go to far down this road.  For what it's worth, how do you see the California problems resolving themselves?  (besides badly)

Nate

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Re: Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff

Sorry Nate, I do not consider myself an expert in this area, but I do study it on a regular basis.  Some people around here study economics.  They know alot about it - a lot more than me.  I learn interesting and important stuff about economics every time I visit this site.  I study America.  It looks to me like California is over the knee in the curve and the rest of America is on the way.  It is interesting that from a high level California often leads the country in many things.  The R factor is not 1 but it is well above 0.5.  One might term California a "leading indicator".  Where California goes the rest of the county may well follow.  The democratic party is pushing for "comprehensive immigration reform".  This is a fancy double talk name for amnesty.  Amnesty for many millions of uneducated people in America will basically guarantee that the Democratic party will dominate national politics for decades to come.  It also holds the promise of the financial collapse of America.  Right now it looks like California is going to collaspe first.

I am waiting for one of the finance heads around here to explain to me how states get bailed out by the Federal government.  That will be an interesting post. 

 

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Re: Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff

California is my home state.  I don't live there now but my parents & sister do and I may some day return. I've kept an eye on CA their problems for many years. I'm not good at predicting future trends because they often go in a way I haven't thought about but I do think CA suffers from what Alexander Tytler once stated:

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.

I'm not sure about CA becoming a dictatorship or a monarchy but I do think there are more voters that want their elected officials to give them money than there are voters who understand the budget problems and want to have a sound fiscal policy.  My best guess is that they will default of pensions first and maybe other state benefits later. Cutting back/off pensions first would be wise since older people wouldn't be as violent as younger people.  Again, just my guess but whatever they do, they have to be ready for violence. It won't be pretty.

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Re: Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff

Mr. Fri - you are so right.  In addition, I agree with your analysis that pension money might be first.  Califorina is the size of a country.  Other countries have already started this process.  Argentina, Chile, Hungry, and others.  The dems in DC have already started this kind of talk.  Government confiscation of the savings of the people are often the precursors of tyranny.

You point out the fundamental flaw of capitalism and democracy.  Looks like Califorina is already over the knee of the curve.  Other states are right behind CA.  One notable exception might be North Dakota - one of the few states with a surplus.  Alaska is another one.  We know why Alaska has a surplus - energy money.  But why does North Dakota have a surplus.  It is an interesting question.  North Dakota does have some oil/gas production, but not alot.  No, I believe that it has more to do with the poeple of North Dakota than oil.

 

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Re: Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff

I think North Dakota is the one state which has a different banking system than all the other states. I heard a "Two Beers with Steve" podcast about it once.  I don't remember the details but perhaps someone from that area could fill you in. 

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Re: Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff
Mr. Fri wrote:

I think North Dakota is the one state which has a different banking system than all the other states. I heard a "Two Beers with Steve" podcast about it once.  I don't remember the details but perhaps someone from that area could fill you in. 

I don't live in North Dakota but I know it has the same banking system as any other state.  The one exception is that the state owns and operates its own bank as explained in this link.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bank_of_North_Dakota

Travlin 

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Re: Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff

Alaska ran a deficit I believe last year, but is expected to have a small surplus again this coming year.  But this year's budget is still a little larger than last year's, and the state government is talking about borrowing more money for various new spending.  Also, Alaska receives more federal money than it contributes, and a lot of that comes in the form of basic and essential infrastructure support.  If the federal money goes away or other costs increase Alaska will have to rely even more heavily on the oil industry, where oil production is on the decline.  So consider Alaska just to be substantially less screwed, but screwed nonetheless  Tongue out

At least the state workers are now on a defined contribution plan rather than an unsustainable pension plan like many other states. 

- Nickbert

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Re: Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff
dshields wrote:

I am waiting for one of the finance heads around here to explain to me how states get bailed out by the Federal government.  That will be an interesting post. 

Joe Mysak of Bloomberg has written about what happened when Arkansas defaulted in 1933. In 1934, bondholders got a court order to attach the state's auto and gasoline taxes. As a result, no roads were built in Arkansas for 16 years. As late as 1949, Newton County in northwest Arkansas had no paved roads, and there were still areas with no electricity either. 

Mysak indicates that the Reconstruction Finance Corporation stepped in in 1941 to purchase the entire amount of a major refunding of Arkansas debt, which was needed to prevent a fresh default later in the 1940s. He doesn't say what the politics were behind this decision, but it was effectively a federal bailout, as a consortium of banks declined to bid on the issue.

http://noir.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=avJz0i3OdPtY

How relevant this precedent is today, I don't know. But there are few other precedents to go by, so it's likely to boil down to an ad hoc decision based on political bargaining. As shown by the stories of Arkansas's frozen roadbuilding and Ireland's pension reserves being thrown into their bailout, what is certain is that ordinary people will pay a harsh price as a part of any solution.

 

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Re: Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff

MachineHead - I was unaware that Ark defaulted in the 30's.  That is interesting.  California is in real trouble.  They have a political problem.  I do not know how they are going to solve it.  My personal opinion is that given the current situation in California, their financial problems are unsolvable and default is coming down the road.  Last year they had to pass out temporary IOUs for state tax returns.  I was amazed at that.  Then, they borrowed a bunch more money.  Businesses are moving out of California and people are moving out of California.  People who campaigned on trying to attack California's financial problems all lost in the midterm elections.  Not a good sign.

I am aware of the North Dakota state bank.  I have read several things about it recently.  It is an interesting model.  While it no doubt assists in the state's finances (or so I read), I am not sure it is the sole reason the that North Dakota is not in financial trouble like many other states.  Unlike New Jersey (where I live), North Dakota does not have a large class of dependency problem.  This no doubt helps them.  New Jersey also has union problems.  I doubt ND is as heavily unionized as NJ.  I will look into that.  New Jersey has a lot of problems but we were able to elect Christie as Governor and he is working very hard on trying to address them.  I do not see California electing a person like Christie.

 

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Re: Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff

Fortune had a good article last year detailing how New Jersey's pension fund got itself tens of billions in the hole:

In 1990 the country was hit by a recession, and the new Democratic governor, James Florio, responded with a wildly unpopular $2.8 billion income and sales tax increase to balance the budget. Two years later, facing another budget shortfall, he turned to the state pension system for help. With almost unanimous support in the legislature, he pushed through the Pension Revaluation Act of 1992.

We'll spare you the minutiae of pension accounting and just say that the law permitted the state to recognize investment gains in the fund more quickly than under previous rules. It also lifted the projected rate of return on the fund's investments to 8.75% from 7% (since lowered to 8.25%). These "adjustments" had a big impact: According to an official Benefits Review Task Force report published in 2005, they allowed the state to cut its pension contributions by more than $1.5 billion in 1992 and 1993.

Republican Christine Todd Whitman, running on a tax-cutting platform, defeated Florio in the 1993 governor's race. To help pay for her promised tax cuts, Whitman, like her predecessor, turned to the pension fund. In 1994, at her urging, the legislature adopted another pension "reform" act that allowed her to reduce state and local contributions to the plan by nearly $1.5 billion in 1994 and 1995, according to the task force report. Florio's and Whitman's accounting changes were "the one-two punch from which the retirement system has never recovered," says Douglas Forrester, who was the assistant state treasurer under Kean.

Seeking to make up lost ground without putting up more money, the state's leaders looked to the magic of the stock market. In 1997 New Jersey sold $2.75 billion of bonds paying 7.6% interest, putting the proceeds into the pension fund to be invested for higher returns.

At that time Whitman said the ironically named Pension Security Plan would save taxpayers about $45 billion. It hasn't worked out that way. The fund has earned less than 6% annually since the bonds were issued.

http://money.cnn.com/2009/05/12/news/economy/benner_pension.fortune/index.htm

To prevent corporate pension plans from engaging in the sort of shenanigans that New Jersey has, Congress enacted the ERISA law of 1974. But governments were exempted from following the prudent practices dictated for the private sector. And as anyone could have predicted, following imprudent and deceptive practices led to bad results.

Similar examples can be found in California's municipal and state pension plans, not to mention Social Security and Medicare. I'm a strong advocate of making all public pension plans conform to ERISA, since the abuses and underfunding are rampant.

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Re: Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff

MachineHead - I completely agree.  NJ has a lot of problems due to mismanagement.  We probably will not need a bailout though if we keep pushing ahead with cuts to the budget and try to make the state more business friendly.  We will happily take the businesses that leave California.  Unfortunately, I read that a lot of those businesses are moving to Idaho and other low cost western and mountain states.  NJ is a very high cost place.  We have very high taxes.  Something has to be done about that.  The state (or the federal government) can not just keep raising taxes forever to pay for out of control spending.   There has to be a budget and they have to stay in it.  NJ does not have a revenue problem - NJ has a spending problem.

My family has to live within a budget and if we do not we get into serious trouble.  We simply have to control spending.  The government(s) have to do the same thing.  Califorina is starting to look like the first state (in recent history) that simply does not have the political will to control its spending.  That is going to lead to big trouble there.  Out of control spending does not wipe you out all at once.  It eats away slowly and grinds you down until you are crawling and then you collapse.  If my family is able to control our spending then I do not understand why others can not control theirs.  We are nothing special.  We are not super rich.  We work hard and keep a sharp eye on our financial situation.  The governments need to do the same thing.

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Re: Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff

I lived in California and I moved out 2 months ago with no plans to return, ever. Which is a shame, as it is a beautiful state with some of the best weather anywhere. I miss the beach! 

I lived in Los Angeles, so my observations are limited to that area, but here's what I saw:

1. An alarming number of people on welfare and disability (when not really needing it), or floating by on unemployment (somehow eligible for it after doing some "extra" work for the movie studios)

2. Excessive drug use. I went to college in Ann Arbor, and I lived in the hippie dorm so I was exposed to my fair share of pot there, but Los Angeles is overrun by druggies and addicts, many of them middle class white people. I had to learn how to be careful, as half the friends I made there turned out to have some sort of drug or alcohol problem. I've been in far too many cars where an uncaring driver that I didn't know that well just lit up a joint without bothering to check if the passengers were OK with it. And this is considered fairly *normal* in the artsy crowd in LA.

3. Die-hard, foaming at the mouth Democrats who think Republicans are the source of all evil in the world. The things you hear on conservative sites are true - if you are a conservative in the entertainment industry, you are at risk of being ostracized. I have friends who were closet conservatives there...they were afraid to tell people. That's how bad it is. I share my own story of being disowned for sticking up for Sarah Palin (even though I am *not* a Republican) on my blog here: http://j.mp/f0lGIw (I don't mention Los Angeles there but the people I am talking about are LA people). Because of this strident partisanship, there's not a lot of room for libertarian thought to be discussed. Forget fiscal responsibility...the liberal mindset there is very much clueless to economic realities. They just don't get it. At all. 

4. A good number of people are mentally ill; those who are not are often at minimum self-absorbed. This is related to the fact that a lot of people in Los Angeles are on drugs, and a good number of them are self-medicating. The number one mental illness is narcissism, but I made a lot of female friends who also seemed to have borderline personality disorder. Of course, people move to Los Angeles because they think they should be movie stars, so the narcissism a bit self-selecting.

5. Extreme socio-economic divides. There's a mistaken notion that people in Los Angeles do not use public transportation. False. The truth is, *white people* in Los Angeles do not use public transportation. (With a few exceptions - I did my last year I was there and got around just fine.)

6. A tendency towards hedonism and decadence. Anything goes, party party party, sex sex sex. I remember being at a party in the Hollywood Hills once where a "famous" porn star was...this was a big deal to everyone. They feel "proud" to have a famous porn star at a party. Stripper culture has taken over; half the women in LA are going to pole dancing classes thinking this is "empowering." Stripper poles are put up in restaurants. "Burning Man" is the big thing to do every August...and while I'm sure there is a lot of legitimate art and stuff going on there, it's also a place where people can run around naked, have lots of sex, and do drugs 24/7, which I think is a lot of the appeal.

Since I've been away from Los Angeles I feel like I'm going through a detox. It wasn't all bad - I had fun for a while and it was exciting - but I don't think I realized until I got away how crazy that place was, and how toxic it can be on many levels.

It's not all bad, and not everyone is a nutjob - on the positive, there is a vibrant, open spiritual community, a lot of great art and music being produced, and lots of beautiful outdoors to enjoy. I loved that on any weekend, I could go to an art gallery opening for free and experience a lot of really good art.

But, given that Los Angeles takes up a huge voting bloc in California, and most Angelenos are idealistic liberals who don't understand fiscal problems, don't expect California's fiscal problems to be solved. The more conservative people in Orange County can vote Republican all they want, but they can't beat the numbers in LA, and any Republicans voted in are spenders anyway, so it doesn't matter which party is in charge there.

At any rate, I left because I feel when things start to disintegrate there, it may go downhill really fast. I'm thinking riots and civil unrest in the next 5 years. Couple the high unemployment and pared down services with a major natural disaster (earthquake) and you are looking at one big mess.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Re: Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff

Soul Serfer---Leaving LA sounds like a great idea by just about any metric. I would caution anyone, though, who thinks that the answer to drug addiction, narcissism, hedonism, and any of the other ills you mention is somehow Sarah Palin. People have every right to blow a psycho if you defend  Palin, the most devious narcissitic prima donna, to hit the stage since Marie Antoinnette.  You're almost endorsing trading the welfare anarchy prevention programs, for Christian reeducation camps, by defending her. 

I take exception to your lumping pot together with drugs like cocaine and meth.  Most Americans  should take a hit from a bong now and then, and young Republicans and Democrats, for that matter should all recieve free coupons to attend Burning Man.  It would do wonders to take down the military industrial establishment. Instead, if Americans get caught smoking pot they're turfed in jail and that supports the private prison industry.

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Re: Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff
agitating prop wrote:

Soul Serfer---Leaving LA sounds like a great idea by just about any metric. I would caution anyone, though, who thinks that the answer to drug addiction, narcissism, hedonism, and any of the other ills you mention is somehow Sarah Palin. People have every right to blow a psycho if you defend  Palin, the most devious narcissitic prima donna, to hit the stage since Marie Antoinnette.  You're almost endorsing trading the welfare anarchy prevention programs, for Christian reeducation camps, by defending her. 

With the risk of this thread getting hijacked on the subject of Palin, I will comment that suggesting that she's a Christian Nazi is not backed up by her actual record in Alaska, where she appointed a pro-choice judge to the Alaskan Supreme Court, signed into law benefits for domestic partners (gays), and made it clear in quite a few statements as governor that her personal religious beliefs were not to supersede the will of the Alaskan people. However, were she to try to institute an actual Christian Taliban in the United States, I would be one of the first to stand up against it. Right now, though, I like her for taking on Ben Bernanke over QE2.

I oppose fundamentalism and intolerance on all sides, and anyone who is a fundamentalist leftist - i.e., someone who would actually disown an old friend over a disagreement about Palin's motives - is in my mind no better than a wacky fundamentalist Christian who burns Korans for fun. 

Both demonstrate an inability to understand nuance and intolerance for those who think differently. Both are filled with hate and obsessed. They are born of the same cloth. The fundamentalist leftist who would bomb a housing development in the name of the environment is just as loopy as the fundamentalist Christian who would bomb an abortion clinic in the name of "life."

California tends to have fundamentalist leftists. I am only bringing this up in the context of the thread, which is to say, that a fundamentalist leftist culture is one where it will be almost impossible to institute governmental fiscal responsibility. I am not against leftists per se, just the fundamentalist ones. (If I take the "shortest political quiz" that the Libertarians promote, I *always* score as a left-leaning Libertarian.)

I find that most liberals in California are well-meaning, but extremely naive about economics. Because they perceive fiscal responsibility as a lie Republicans use to destroy social programs, they will *never* willingly support fiscal austerity.

PS As for pot, I have seen far too many people close to me get addicted to it. If you want to smoke pot once in a while, fine. If you need it every single day to function, you have a problem. And if you see absolutely no problem lighting up while driving, you are a selfish idiot. And California is filled with selfish idiots who think nothing of driving while stoned. "But driving while stoned is less dangerous than driving drunk." Yeah, and skin cancer is less dangerous than lung cancer, but both could kill you.

 

 

 

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Re: Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff
soulsurfersteph wrote:
agitating prop wrote:

Soul Serfer---Leaving LA sounds like a great idea by just about any metric. I would caution anyone, though, who thinks that the answer to drug addiction, narcissism, hedonism, and any of the other ills you mention is somehow Sarah Palin. People have every right to blow a psycho if you defend  Palin, the most devious narcissitic prima donna, to hit the stage since Marie Antoinnette.  You're almost endorsing trading the welfare anarchy prevention programs, for Christian reeducation camps, by defending her. 

 However, were she to try to institute an actual Christian Taliban in the United States, I would be one of the first to stand up against it. Right now, though, I like her for taking on Ben Bernanke over QE2.

Better get ready to stand up, then. She will do whatever her backers tell her to do, up to and including roaming backstreets biting the heads off stray cats. And if the powers that be want to reindustrialize the U.S. with the help of weak currency, what better place to start than a Christian reeducation camp? It'll be like Sunday school with power tools. Reformed pot smokers will join hands with repeat felons, gay heathens, debtors and serial murderers in a  true rainbow coalition of Christian converts.

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Re: Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff
agitating prop wrote:

Better get ready to stand up, then. She will do whatever her backers tell her to do, up to and including roaming backstreets biting the heads off stray cats. And if the powers that be want to reindustrialize the U.S. with the help of weak currency, what better place to start than a Christian reeducation camp? It'll be like Sunday school with power tools. Reformed pot smokers will join hands with repeat felons, gay heathens, debtors and serial murderers in a  true rainbow coalition of Christian converts.

Hmm, funny, I'm smack dab in "Palin country" (we live just 7 miles from Wasilla), and there are no roaming gangs of gay-bashers or Christian reeducation camps.  Well ok, for a brief time I thought that the new construction by the Sportsmans Warehouse could be part of a sinister Palin plot, but as it turns out, it's actually going to be a Red Robin burger franchise.  False alarm.

 

... well on second thought, given the extreme prevalence of marijuana and potheads in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, I allow for the possibility that it could be a sinister plot to separate munchie-minded stoners from their money.

After all those bottomless steak fries are to potheads what the Bat-Signal is to Batman.

- Nickbert

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Re: Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff

I live in Orange County and use to live in Pleasanton California. I see your point on where the state is headed.

One principle which I have lived by and advised others on regarding any change (e.g. job, relocation etc...) is that it is best to move toward a vision of possibilities than trying to get away from a job or location. One of my family members moved from San Clemente, CA to Pontiac IL because he wanted to provide his  5 year old son a sound educational background and safe community. He was negative on all the distractions in Orange County. Much to all our disappointment his son got connected to a local gang, drug and arrested in a small conservative Midwest town of 20,000 when he turned 16.

Lesson learned- no matter where you go, you can run but you cant hide from social problems. 

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Re: Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff
jpetr wrote:

I live in Orange County and use to live in Pleasanton California. I see your point on where the state is headed.

One principle which I have lived by and advised others on regarding any change (e.g. job, relocation etc...) is that it is best to move toward a vision of possibilities than trying to get away from a job or location. One of my family members moved from San Clemente, CA to Pontiac IL because he wanted to provide his  5 year old son a sound educational background and safe community. He was negative on all the distractions in Orange County. Much to all our disappointment his son got connected to a local gang, drug and arrested in a small conservative Midwest town of 20,000 when he turned 16.

Lesson learned- no matter where you go, you can run but you cant hide from social problems. 

Sorry that your friend had to deal with that, but his son falling into the wrong crowd is only a single anecdote, and no reason for someone to stay in a place that is no longer working for them. 

I'm here in Austin, Texas now, recently cited as one of the safest cities in the U.S. Yes, there are murders here, but only 35 this year compared to hundreds in Los Angeles. The people here are nicer and more down to earth. Yes, there are druggies here too (heck, this is the "music capital") but I don't see stripper poles everywhere I go (they seem to stay more in the actual strip clubs, and I have yet to see one, though I'm sure they are here somewhere).

I continually run into ex-Californians here who tell me how much they love Austin. The other day, the woman who was checking out my groceries told me she moved here from Orange County 13 years ago and loves it here. She said "people are so friendly here, and when I go back to visit Orange County, I am shocked at how rude people can be there."

I was actually surprised to hear so many people be welcoming when I tell them I am from California. When I lived in Seattle for a year some years back, people seemed more suspicious and resentful of Californians. But generally, even though people in Seattle are definitely more "real" than Californians, and a lot less concerned about physical appearance, they seemed more insular, cliquish, and less welcoming than people here in Austin. Maybe there is something to be said for Southern hospitality, but I feel very welcomed here.

Certainly, no place is perfect, and you can bring your issues anywhere, but I can safely say that, given that most people in Austin are not aspiring "actors" as they are in Los Angeles, the level of narcissism here is a hell of a lot lower.

I'm glad to be back in the real world, honestly. 

BTW, I also see a lot of Ron Paul bumper stickers here, instead of all the Obama ones I saw in LA.

PS Nickbert, you really made me laugh with that post. +1

 

 

Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Dogs_In_A_Pile
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 4 2009
Posts: 2606
Re: Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff

Steph -

Austin City Limits alone is reason enough to live there.

dshields's picture
dshields
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Re: Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff

You people are so funny.  But, as you can see from the people who used to live there, there is a problem in California.  The linked data at the top is not BS.  If California is a "leading indicator" and this type of thinking spreads to the rest of the country then America is doomed and will have a major financial disaster and probably end up as some type of totalitarian state.  I simply do not want to live in a totalitarian state.  I do not want the government telling me everything I can and can not do.  I do not want my hard earned money redistributed to those who would not even consider working as hard as I do.  I must admit I am somewhat smitten by palin.  She is clearly not the devil.  She does seem to believe in freedom for the people and smaller government.  What's wrong with that ?  Her track record in Alaska is actually pretty good.  She is not perfect but she is not a lair like Obama either.  If I have to pick between Obama and Palin (I would rather pick from a larger list) I would pick palin.  Never-the-less, the problems impacting Califorina are spreading and it is a rot that can take us down as a country all by itself.  California is going to have to be bailed out.  I don't want to pay for their irresponsible behavior.  I have a bad feeling that I will be forced to.

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nickbert
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Posts: 1208
Re: Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff

steph -

Glad someone here knew what a Red Robin was!   Seriously, those steak fries are like crack, and I can easily demolish two baskets of them with my burger (and that's without any munchie-inducing substance).  I'm looking forward to the Red Robin opening this month, though if I want to find an available table I better avoid the "post-4:20 rush" Wink.

I've only been to Austin once but what little I saw I liked, and hopefully they won't be too hard on you for being from California.  Like in Washington and Oregon, some Alaskans can be a little hard on Californians who move up here, sometimes justified and sometimes not.  Seems about half of them that move up here dig it and adapt well, while the other half just complain that there's not enough shopping areas or specialty restaurants or that the houses aren't as nice or the local scene isn't as sophisticated, etc etc.  The latter seem to want to make it into "California Far North", and they tend to leave a sour taste with some residents who in turn nurture growing resentment towards Outsiders.  Maybe you see the same thing in Austin, I don't know.  Or perhaps you will in time, as more from California move to Texas looking for jobs.  Probably good that you're establishing yourself in the area and community now, so you'll have less of that "outsider stigma" that we very well might see more of in the future.

- Nickbert

ao's picture
ao
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
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Posts: 2220
Re: Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff
agitating prop wrote:

She will do whatever her backers tell her to do, up to and including roaming backstreets biting the heads off stray cats. And if the powers that be want to reindustrialize the U.S. with the help of weak currency, what better place to start than a Christian reeducation camp? It'll be like Sunday school with power tools. Reformed pot smokers will join hands with repeat felons, gay heathens, debtors and serial murderers in a  true rainbow coalition of Christian converts.

AP,

Just for the record, I'm neither a Palin supporter nor a rabid Palin hater but I have to say, this is one of the funniest statements I've seen posted here in a long time.  If this is a serious post (and I'm not sure it is), what is your evidence for a belief that there would even be such a thing as a Christian reeducation camp?  To even suggest such a thing, to me, suggests a need for some major down-regulation efforts.

Tim_P's picture
Tim_P
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 23 2009
Posts: 298
Re: Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff

I'm also a California ex-pat.  We moved from the East Bay Area between San Francisco and Sacremento to Indiana about 15 years ago and I have not missed it.  The 'every man for himself' ethic that seemed do common when we were out there stood in stark contrast to the Midwest mindset.  It really is noticable in traffic.  In Indiana, if there's a lane closure, everyone queues up in the lane remaining open for well over a mile before the closure and it's not unusual to see the lane being closed empty for over a mile in advance of the barricades.  In California, traffic would not merge together until they were practically scraping their bumpers on the barricades.  There is a sense of fairness and not wanting to take what is not rightfully yours that is still evident here.

The thing about a bailout that really angers me is that because Californian politicians and the voting public refuse to act responsibly, we, in other states, will be required to help them pay for their largess.  If my neighbor is overly generous with his kids and gives them money because they don't want to work, yet still want to buy stuff, that's his business.  If he then knocks on my door and says I need to share his burden because he's broke, it becomes my business.  If California gets a bailout, then the rest of the country should be able to take part in California elections and vote the responsible politicians in.  Maybe that should be a basic requirement of a state bailout.  Nationalize the elections for state officials until the time comes when a state is fiscally responsible.

Tim

earthwise's picture
earthwise
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2009
Posts: 848
Re: Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff
Tim_P wrote:

  If California gets a bailout, then the rest of the country should be able to take part in California elections and vote the responsible politicians in.  Maybe that should be a basic requirement of a state bailout.  Nationalize the elections for state officials until the time comes when a state is fiscally responsible.

Tim

Absolutely brilliant idea. Never happen unfortunately.

Jager06's picture
Jager06
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 2 2009
Posts: 395
Re: Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff

I may decide to use that idea for a future campaign run!

Excellent idea!

Ken C's picture
Ken C
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 13 2009
Posts: 753
Re: Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff

Well guys I am still in California (although I would like to be elsewhere) and I for one have been actively working against the fiscal insanity that is has been going on here for decades. It is like shoveling sand against the tide down at the beach ; hopeless. So I really hope that Calif. does not get bailed out. We need to crash this place so the idiots will wake up and vote  in some responsible officials.

I am so disappointed with the last election. We will soon have Jerry Brown as governor (again) but the only viable alternative  on the ballot was not much better. If the major parties can only find these kinds of people to run it means that they are the only ones electable in this state. A truely sad situation.

No Bailout for us PLEASE.

 

Ken

 

SagerXX's picture
SagerXX
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 11 2009
Posts: 2237
Re: Califorina Bailout On The Way And Other Bad Stuff
earthwise wrote:
Tim_P wrote:

  If California gets a bailout, then the rest of the country should be able to take part in California elections and vote the responsible politicians in.  Maybe that should be a basic requirement of a state bailout.  Nationalize the elections for state officials until the time comes when a state is fiscally responsible.

Tim

Absolutely brilliant idea. 

Second that!

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