[T]he most important political battle in America today isn’t the much-ballyhooed battle for the soul of the GOP. It is the blue civil war, pitting key elements of the Democratic coalition against one another as the old social model fails and the growth curve of rising blue model costs runs up against fiscal limits. Blue model policies, whatever their merits, don’t generate the revenue that can support blue model institutions and methods, and when those shortfalls appear, the coalition divides. It’s happened in Wisconsin, it’s happened in Indiana; it’s happened in Michigan and it is happening in California.
. . .
For decades, Democrats have straddled a divide: they sought to represent both the producers of government services and the low and middle income citizens who depend on those services. Democrats want the votes and the contributions of teacher unions, and they want the votes of the parents whose kids attend public schools. As long as the blue model worked, the contradictions could be managed.
Increasingly, however, the contradictions have come to the fore. Teacher unions want life employment for incompetent teachers; their representatives negotiate farcically unsound pension arrangements with complaisant politicians and want taxpayers to pony up when the huge bills come due. Other producers of government services also have their sweetheart deals.
The result is that the consumers of government services, many of whom of course are Democrats, are getting a raw deal. They are paying too much money in taxes to support a system of government that, however outstanding and dedicated some people in it may be, simply cannot deliver acceptable services at a reasonable cost. The Democratic claim to represent both sides fairly is getting harder to sustain.
Beadledom in action!
Ever walk down a Los Angeles city sidewalk? It may feel like climbing the Himalayas.
Tree roots have uplifted many city sidewalks across L.A., turning a quick walk around the neighborhood into a treacherous experience. According to The Los Angeles Times, the city receives about 2,500 claims a year from people who hurt themselves on these cracks.
Auditors have discovered that some of California’s largest school districts are skimming money meant to pay for meals for low-income students and spending it elsewhere. Via the Los Angeles Times:
The California Department of Education has ordered districts to repay more than $170 million in misused funds to their student meal programs, the California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes said in a report issued Wednesday. L.A. Unified has been forced to pay back more than $158 million in misappropriations and unrelated charges that the district made over six years ending in 2011.
At LAUSD, the money has been diverted to non-meal-related costs such as sprinklers and to pay for salaries of employees at a district television station. The Orange County Register reports that the Santa Ana Unified School District used meal money to pay for roof repairs and to provide free meals and snacks for district officials (a district trustee disputes that the money for this food came out of the same fund).
A lawyer says two women delivering newspapers had no warning before they were mistakenly shot by Los Angeles police officers searching for triple murder suspect Christopher Dorner.
Investigators say 47-year-old Maggie Carranza and her 71-year-old mother Emma Hernandez were in a Toyota Tundra pickup truck similar to Dorner’s vehicle.
Los Angeles is in the very best of hands….
And so is Detroit:
Some Democrats don’t like this kind of talk because they are cynical and others don’t like it because they are naive. The cynics are either in the game themselves or knowingly agree to look the other way because they value the support of political allies and don’t care how much those allies bleed the poor. The naive ones, and there are lots of starry eyed intellectuals in this country who don’t know a hawk from a handsaw, think that because many of these urban thugs are African-American, and because they advocate for more government programs to help the poor, they must obviously be sincere and be part of a general wave of good progressive people fighting to make this world a better place. Surely nobody is so cynical as to lobby for government programs because they plan to cream off the money?
Others have an uneasy sense that something is amiss, but a combination of historical ignorance and race sensitivity strikes them dumb. They look around America and see a number of urban areas with predominantly African-American populations. They see that many (not all) of these cities are run by incompetent, race-baiting hacks and criminals who use identity politics to bond themselves to the voters they exploit.
Because they don’t understand that corruption and identity politics have been the hallmark of American municipal government since the 1830s and 184os, they think the ghastly spectacle of demagogic corruption ruining our cities today is somehow a racial phenomenon. The racists among us see that picture and want to draw racist conclusions about African-American capacity for self governance; most of the rest of us are made so uncomfortable by the whole topic that we let the subject slide.
But thieves like the despicable Kwame Kilpatrick in Detroit are anything but a racial phenomenon. There were Irish, Jewish, Italian, Polish and Greek Kilpatricks in their day. We can confidently expect a wave of Latino Kilpatricks as Latino voting power pushes African-American machines aside in more urban areas.
And there’s another thing American history teaches: unscrupulous politicians will find unscrupulous bankers who will float them abusive loans in exchange for fat fees.
Can you spell Cronyism? C – R – O – N – Y – I – S – M
A gold star for you! We knew that you could.
More Good News From Detroit
- For Detroit, a Crisis of Bad Decisions and Crossed Fingers
- Left In The Dark: Copper Thieves Rob Detroit Freeways Of Light
- Detroit Corruption Keeps Piling Up
- Detroit FBI Announces Multi-Agency Task Force To Combat Corruption
- Detroit Corruption
- Rogue Democrats Loot Detroit As Nation Sleeps
- Kwame Kilpatrick, Philosopher King
- No Honor Among Thieves
- Father says he’s still paying child support [to Detroit] for 3-year-old son who died 25 years ago
You just can’t make this stuff up.
Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. We also need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT) and to prosecute politicians and staff and their “family and friends” who profit from insider trading.
Tags: Beadledom, best of hands, Boss Tweed, California, cowards, crony capitalism, cronyism, Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick, Los Angeles, new aristocracy, opFfUlHuao0, Philosopher Kings, police misconduct, Sami6ovG5OM, Statolatry, Tammany Hall