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California a "failing state"


By tvgnus   Follow   Tue, 26 Mar 2013, 2:41am PDT   2,725 views   94 comments
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http://www.centralvalleybusinesstimes.com/stories/001/?ID=23115

Flunks in transparency of government spending •  While other states are innovating and improving, California is failing California flunks when it comes to government spending transparency, according to a new report Tuesday from the CalPIRG Education Fund, part of the nonprofit California Public Interest Research Group.

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socal2   Thu, 4 Apr 2013, 6:39am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 55

FortWayne says

personally have a problem with CALPERS gambling with the money on wall
street in risky (and shady) wall street ventures and requiring me to pay for
their losses. And on top of that, not disclosure so we just have to pay and hold
no one accountable.


That is my problem with the unions.

These cities are desperate for risky high return investments - otherwise they don't have a prayer of meeting their pension promises.

One would think that issue alone would wise people up to this corrupt Ponzi Scheme.

It's criminal that cities have to raid infrastructure funds or raise taxes each year to prop up their underperforming pensions when CALPERS doesn't get their 7.5% return.

Vicente   Thu, 4 Apr 2013, 6:46am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike     Comment 56

FortWayne says

I personally have a problem with CALPERS gambling with the money on wall street in risky (and shady) wall street ventures and requiring me to pay for their losses

I have a problem with JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs getting bailed out when they crashed the economy. A much MUCH LAAARGERRR sum. What did we do about that? Oh right, we bailed them out.

socal2   Thu, 4 Apr 2013, 7:00am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (1)     Comment 57

Vicente says

I have a problem with JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs getting bailed out when
they crashed the economy. A much MUCH LAAARGERRR sum. What did we do about that?
Oh right, we bailed them out.

I think most libertarian and conservative minded folks were against that too. Especially now as we have more information beyond the initial panic days of late 2008.

Two wrongs don't make a right.

Besides, these cities and CALPERS were only too happy to invest in risky real estate funds when the market was hot. They were insane to think that the increase in tax revenues during the bubble years were the new norm allowing them to expand pension benefits as Stockton and San Bernardino did in the mid 90's.

thomaswong.1986   Thu, 4 Apr 2013, 7:09am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 58

CL says

The incarceration rate has increased 12x since the 80s for drug offenses.

Yes... trafficking of narcotics.. why is this such a big surprise to anyone.

why do you think so many Mexican cartels are shooting up the border towns...

we are talking about 100 of billions of drugs inflows...

shit Pablo Escobar was worth 20-25 Billion alone..

what we see in our prison are the dealers and smugglers... Good keep them there!

thomaswong.1986   Thu, 4 Apr 2013, 7:12am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 59

socal2 says

They were insane to think that the increase in tax revenues during the bubble years were the new norm allowing them to expand pension benefits as Stockton and San Bernardino did in the mid 90's.

so true... are the people at Calpers who made those same mistakes still making the same investment decisions. do they still think RE is the way to go ?

Facebooksux   Thu, 4 Apr 2013, 7:20am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 60

Observe:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2010/01/money-cocalpers-loses-500-million-on-new-york-apartment-deal.html

CL   Thu, 4 Apr 2013, 7:42am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 61

socal2 says

These cities are desperate for risky high return investments - otherwise they don't have a prayer of meeting their pension promises.

Aren't they also required to invest in AAA rated securities? Like, the MBS mess?thomaswong.1986 says

what we see in our prison are the dealers and smugglers... Good keep them there!

So, America has the highest incarceration rate because? We have the largest drug smuggling operation in the world here?

What are you trying to say?

thomaswong.1986   Thu, 4 Apr 2013, 8:54am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 62

CL says

So, America has the highest incarceration rate because? We have the largest drug smuggling operation in the world here?

What are you trying to say?

perhaps if everyone went cold turkey for say 12 months..
all the drug cartels would go belly up in South America.

U.S. Leads The World In Illegal Drug Use
http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500368_162-4222322.html

thomaswong.1986   Thu, 4 Apr 2013, 9:43am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 63

thomaswong.1986   Thu, 4 Apr 2013, 9:44am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 64

the other 1% ....

mell   Thu, 4 Apr 2013, 10:40am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 65

thomaswong.1986 says

Criminal - but Alameda can always declare bankruptcy if necessary ;)

REpro   Fri, 5 Apr 2013, 7:09am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 66

thomaswong.1986 says

CL says

Having more people in prison, as we did, than any COUNTRY on earth (except China) is not a sustainable plan.

convicted by a jury made up of impartial citizens. so what! you have a bunch of

gangsters, thugs, criminals locked up.. thats where they belong ! some frankly

need to be executed...

and how many in prison belong to some organized crime

organization... lots ! there are no angels in prison today.

Thomas, you completely lost on this subject.
The true, criminals are CREATION of our society! Do you think some newborns have in DNA code imprinted “FUTURE CRIMINAL”???
Stress, lack of employment, broken families, money, greed, wars, and unstable future, to name a few are main creators of criminals. Also those are reason of modern sickness, including mental. Many industries see rise in this field as vital statistics, e.g. lawyers, private prisons, pharmaceutical companies.

thomaswong.1986   Fri, 5 Apr 2013, 8:15am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 67

REpro says

Thomas, you completely lost on this subject.

no.. but we glamorize the "thug and drug" lifestyles.. they are the big push
in demand destroying neighborhoods and what could have been productive
members of society.

last time we did that was back in the late 60s and 70s... dreadful results!

REpro   Fri, 5 Apr 2013, 8:50am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 68

A story just heard today a few hours ago:
A middle school youngster moved with his father (broken family) to San Jose from AZ a few weeks ago. Father got job transfer opportunity. One of first duties; he was asked to find an assistant. He did. Immediately after, the assistant took this position and father was fired. Capitalism-shit happens. Now Father is unemployed and looking for new job.
How much disappointment, anger, and fear the child can take. How he can concentrate on what should be the most important in his age – education? If father will not find a job, should he join a local gang to earn for living?

REpro   Fri, 5 Apr 2013, 8:59am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 69

thomaswong.1986 says

but we glamorize the "thug and drug" lifestyles

It is not a lifestyle – it is a run-away from reality.

Vicente   Fri, 5 Apr 2013, 3:01pm PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike     Comment 70

socal2 says

These cities are desperate for risky high return investments - otherwise they don't have a prayer of meeting their pension promises.

EVERYONE was and is desperate for risky high return investments.

What do you think FIRE people do? Promise you can't-lose get-rich schemes. They do it top to bottom, left to right, every which way. And every single one of them is "above average" at picking winners somehow.

Pensions were MORE likely to take on shit-sandwich deals because..... they had the most idiotic bottom feeders working in pension offices. Who you think gets to be CEO of state pension, the biggest whiz from Goldman Sachs? No, it's some washed up fraudster. And because pensions were the lowest rung, they felt more like they had to "keep up" at least a little with everyone else who they were hearing were earning OUTSTANDING returns year in and year out. Yeah "You hear about the Bernie Madoff guy?" he makes money no matter what, we have to COMPETE with that. So let's live just a LITTLE on the edge and buy a bunch of real estate cause that has NEVER gone down for long in our lifetimes it's a can't lose right?

The banksters who lost TRILLIONS those guys got a pat on the head and bonus. Not a single high-level fraudster saw the inside of a jail cell. Now everyone turns their rage onto pensions because we gotta SET AN EXAMPLE right? We FORGOT to clawback ill-gotten gains from fuckers who lost billions and trillions, now that teachers and firemen and whatnot are in our sights let's demand THEY roll over and play dead. Teabaggers were a miserable fucking failure at stopping the bailouts, or doing anything about it afterwards, like they forgot the milk on the way to the store. Now suddenly amnesia gone, going to make sure SOMEBODY takes it up the butt why not Joe Pension? Wall Street's favorite whipping boys the pensions and the unions, they'll be the scapegoats to direct everything on. Good work!

I say if you can't even remember to prosecute mass murderers, it's past time for everyone else to get a free pass. This vaunted ethical system of capitalism doesn't mean squat to anyone anyhow it's really just "I got mine don't care how, now screw you!" You know the Wall Streeters who said in recent years I GOT A CDO INSURED BY AIG SO PAY ME! YOU WANT ACCOMMODATION I GOT A CONTRACT PAY IT IN FULL MOFO! YOU WANT TO KEEP YOUR HOUSE SO SORRY MY MBS CONTAINING YOUR HOUSE MUST BE REPAID SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP AND WATCH US FORECLOSE! You see any of those guys feel accomodating and "reasonable" volunteering to take one for the good of the nation? NOOPE! So why should pensioners holding CONTRACTS feel any different about the matter? "It says right here in this legal document you WILL do so & so, so hop to!" Absolutely nothing during this financial collapse from the very TIPPY TOP examples says that SACRIFICING matters, in fact it would mark you as a RUBE, a mark, the biggest idiots who couldn't follow the example so clearly set in stone.

So you know, fuck it!

The Professor   Sat, 6 Apr 2013, 3:31am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 71

socal2 says

There are so many more abuses than just the $100K pensions. Even a pension paying $50K FOR LIFE is too generous IMO. ...

Why all the dislikes for this post?

The Professor   Sat, 6 Apr 2013, 3:45am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 72

CL says

We have 5% of the world's population but 1/4 of the world's inmates. That sounds reasonable to you?

The incarceration rate has increased 12x since the 80s for drug offenses.

Our "success" in the prison industry is not proof of a failed state, but a failed prison-for-profit scheme, and a byproduct of American greed and racism.

Yep

The Professor   Sat, 6 Apr 2013, 3:56am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 73

thomaswong.1986 says

Yes... trafficking of narcotics.. why is this such a big surprise to anyone.

why do you think so many Mexican cartels are shooting up the border towns...

we are talking about 100 of billions of drugs inflows...

shit Pablo Escobar was worth 20-25 Billion alone..

what we see in our prison are the dealers and smugglers... Good keep them there!

Raise your hand if you would shoot heroin if it were legal?

Prohibition is the root of many problems including drug use by children, a militairized police, disrespect for the law, and government corruption from the bottom to the top. It leads to the nanny state where no one can be trusted to decide what is good for them.

Education not incarceration.

The Professor   Sat, 6 Apr 2013, 4:04am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 74

Vicente says

I GOT A CDO INSURED BY AIG SO PAY ME! YOU WANT ACCOMMODATION I GOT A CONTRACT PAY IT IN FULL MOFO! YOU WANT TO KEEP YOUR HOUSE SO SORRY MY MBS CONTAINING YOUR HOUSE MUST BE REPAID SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP AND WATCH US FORECLOSE! You see any of those guys feel accomodating and "reasonable" volunteering to take one for the good of the nation? NOOPE! So why should pensioners holding CONTRACTS feel any different about the matter? "It says right here in this legal document you WILL do so & so, so hop to!" Absolutely nothing during this financial collapse from the very TIPPY TOP examples says that SACRIFICING matters, in fact it would mark you as a RUBE, a mark, the biggest idiots who couldn't follow the example so clearly set in stone.

So you know, fuck it!

I sense some anger here.

CL   Mon, 8 Apr 2013, 5:15am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 75

Here is a good read, if you have the inclination and time:

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/cruel-and-unusual-punishment-the-shame-of-three-strikes-laws-20130327?link=mostpopular3

FortWayne   Mon, 8 Apr 2013, 6:54am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 76

CL says

Here is a good read, if you have the inclination and time:

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/cruel-and-unusual-punishment-the-shame-of-three-strikes-laws-20130327?link=mostpopular3

Prison guards union wanted to make more money, so they sponsored the law... prison system grew.

socal2   Mon, 8 Apr 2013, 8:31am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 77

Vicente says

This vaunted ethical system of capitalism doesn't mean squat to anyone anyhow
it's really just "I got mine don't care how, now screw you!"

Isn't that EXACTLY the attitude that the public sector unions and government bureaucracy are taking as they let their cities sink in bankruptcy? Basically they are saying SCREW YOU - everyone but us needs to sacrifice for this mismanagement. Tax payers will pay more taxes for reduced services, bond holders will lose over half their investment - but we won't give up a thing.

The rest of your post is screaming past me. I didn't agree with the bank bailouts and have been very critical of President Goldman Sachs (i.e. Obama) over the last 5 years rewarding these guys.

But it is beside the point. These union pensions in California are unpayable under any normal economic condition. You just simply can't have DEFINED BENEFIT plans in the 21st century with our demographics and expect to stay in business.

CL   Mon, 8 Apr 2013, 9:04am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 78

FortWayne says

Prison guards union wanted to make more money, so they sponsored the law... prison system grew.

True, but you know they are equal opportunity bastards, openly supporting Republicans as they see fit?

But, of course you also have a compliant populace, voting for "tough-on-crime" policies when the rightwingers scapegoat minorities, a la Pete Wilson.

Despite their high pay, I haven't heard the state GOP recommend they get slashed like teachers, or attacked like other Unions.

CL   Mon, 8 Apr 2013, 9:17am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 79

socal2 says

I didn't agree with the bank bailouts and have been very critical of President Goldman Sachs (i.e. Obama)

You disagreed so much you didn't bother to see who Goldman really wanted to be President? Goldman must've thought Obama's generosity a bit lacking to support Romney by more than 5-1?

And Romney's top 5?

Goldman Sachs $1,033,204
Bank of America $1,013,402
Morgan Stanley $911,305
JPMorgan Chase & Co $834,096
Wells Fargo $677,076

Obama's top Donors?

University of California $1,212,245
Microsoft Corp $814,645
Google Inc $801,770
US Government $728,647
Harvard University $668,368
Kaiser Permanente $588,386
Stanford University $512,356

Maybe President "Higher Learning" is more apropos?

Vicente   Mon, 8 Apr 2013, 9:27am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 80

socal2 says

Basically they are saying SCREW YOU - everyone but us needs to sacrifice for this mismanagement.

Ah yes "YOU should sacrifice!". It's always someone else, isn't it?

What are YOU sacrificing for your economy?

FortWayne   Mon, 8 Apr 2013, 10:32am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 81

Vicente says

socal2 says

Basically they are saying SCREW YOU - everyone but us needs to sacrifice for this mismanagement.

Ah yes "YOU should sacrifice!". It's always someone else, isn't it?

What are YOU sacrificing for your economy?

Isn't that the morality of our nation lately? Screw you as long as I got mine? It's a shame, because it is why our nation falls apart.

thomaswong.1986   Mon, 8 Apr 2013, 10:50am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 82

Vicente says

What are YOU sacrificing for your economy?

so says the Government worker ... oh thats rich!

adarmiento   Mon, 8 Apr 2013, 10:56am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 83

CL says

You disagreed so much you didn't bother to see who Goldman really wanted to be President? Goldman must've thought Obama's generosity a bit lacking to support Romney by more than 5-1?

Damn, the major contributors to Romney were the big banks :-/

source: http://www.opensecrets.org/pres12/

thomaswong.1986   Mon, 8 Apr 2013, 11:00am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 84

adarmiento says

Damn, the major contributors to Romney were the big banks :-/

many people who worked in business and understood Business/Industries were
behind Romney. the liberal schools administration and the crazy ass SW developers
were behind Obama. thats pretty much what you see.

frankly not many on Obamas side have a clue about how to create growth our economy.

socal2   Mon, 8 Apr 2013, 12:11pm PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 85

CL says

You disagreed so much you didn't bother to see who Goldman really wanted to be President? Goldman must've thought Obama's generosity a bit lacking to support Romney by more than 5-1?

Goldman Sachs spreads it around. They were Obama's #2 contributor in 2008.
http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?cid=N00009638

socal2   Mon, 8 Apr 2013, 12:16pm PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 86

Vicente says

Ah yes "YOU should sacrifice!". It's always someone else, isn't it?

What are YOU sacrificing for your economy?

I am paying higher taxes and getting reduced services.

Just last year California threatened to shorten the school year if we didn't raise taxes on ourselves via Prop 30. Now we find out that a large portion of this new revenue is going to teachers pensions.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/03/california-prop-30_n_3007842.html

Vicente   Mon, 8 Apr 2013, 4:26pm PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 87

FortWayne says

Isn't that the morality of our nation lately? Screw you as long as I got mine? It's a shame, because it is why our nation falls apart.

Exactly!

When Richy Rich SETS AN EXAMPLE then I would expect the rest of society to feel we are an egalitarian nation, one where everyone is equal. Finance wonks who blab in internal emails about how they know the shit-sandwiches they are peddling to pensions, but hope they get out with a bagful of money before the bubble pops, any of those guys penalized? Nope. Angelo Mozilo still living the life? Yep. Example is clear that "I got mine don't matter how" is what we encourage.

Of the many things I find wrong with China, their "justice" system at least gets one thing right. You are a high-profile person who gets caught with their hand in the cookie jar, some SERIOUS shit is going to rain down on you. They like setting an occasional example, we don't even do that.

We emulate our 1%, and thus we become a Nation of Jackals.

Vicente   Mon, 8 Apr 2013, 4:27pm PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 88

socal2 says

I am paying higher taxes

Please post your tax returns so we can spot your mistakes. Thanks!

REpro   Mon, 8 Apr 2013, 4:32pm PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 89

CL says

Here is a good read, if you have the inclination and time:

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/cruel-and-unusual-punishment-the-shame-of-three-strikes-laws-20130327?link=mostpopular3

Sadly, but true.
Every significant event boosted by propaganda creates opportunity to seek public approval of new laws, which effectively benefit only super rich. Well, many people getting more education but remain stubbornly stupid.
http://www.ccpoa.org/category/news/private-prisons/

Thirty years ago in January, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), now the biggest operator of private prisons in the world, opened its first prison.

REpro   Mon, 8 Apr 2013, 4:52pm PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 90

IDDQD says

Biggest mistake was to live and earn paycheck in this state in the first place: since fucking Prop 30 is fucking retroactive, by the time it passed in November there was nothing one could do to avoid higher tax.

Well, if don’t have money to pay retroactive tax, your friendly private prison will welcome you.

Vicente   Mon, 8 Apr 2013, 4:53pm PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike     Comment 91

IDDQD says

Biggest mistake was to live and earn paycheck in this state in the first place: since fucking Prop 30 is fucking retroactive, by the time it passed in November there was nothing one could do to avoid higher tax.

So a state tax increase from 7.25% to 7.5% is sufficient to ruin your fucking life. How fucking close to the edge of insolvency do you fucking live?

If we fucking increase the use of the word fucking, will we fucking come to a goddamn understanding?

CL   Tue, 9 Apr 2013, 2:52am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 92

socal2 says

Goldman Sachs spreads it around. They were Obama's #2 contributor in 2008.

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?cid=N00009638

Everybody gave to Obama in '08. It's not a story that lobbyists try to get in the winner's good graces.

What IS noteworthy is the fact that they did not receive what they wanted.

In any case, a weird support for calling Obama "President Goldman Sachs", wouldn't you agree?

Ron Paul was the leading recipient of Stormfront donations. He refused to return their money. Do you think Paul is a white supremacist? Would he be in the pocket of "Big Nazi" if he had been elected? Was he in their pocket as a Congressman?

socal2   Tue, 9 Apr 2013, 6:51am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 93

CL says

Ron Paul was the leading recipient of Stormfront donations. He refused to return
their money. Do you think Paul is a white supremacist?

Yes - I have major problems with Ron Paul. He let Lew Rockwell pen his racist newsletters and Ron Paul is basically a 9/11 Truther. You are not going to find any defense of Paul from me.

My original point is that Obama and the Democrats are very much in bed with Wall Street money - not just Republicans. What has Obama done in the past 5 years to reign in the "too big to fail" banks? Banks and the stock market are back up to pre-recession levels while unemployment is still a mess.

CL   Tue, 9 Apr 2013, 7:56am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 94

socal2 says

My original point is that Obama and the Democrats are very much in bed with Wall Street money - not just Republicans. What has Obama done in the past 5 years to reign in the "too big to fail" banks? Banks and the stock market are back up to pre-recession levels while unemployment is still a mess.

Obviously, the real answer is more nuanced than that. When and why did the Dems start appeasing Wall Street? When Clinton lurched rightward, it was an ideological victory for the Right. DLC Democrats acquiesced and became "Republican" light.

There are still a good many Democrats who want to break up the Banks. How many Republicans do? And how many voters will reward the GOP candidate who does?

Do you believe, as the right purports, that money is speech? Do you want GS to not use their money as they see fit? Why did they abandon Obama?

I mean, this is akin to blaming Democrats for the weak Labor unions, right? It's not what they are inclined to want.

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