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Author Topic: California  (Read 62937 times)
JDN
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« Reply #150 on: July 14, 2011, 11:24:28 AM »

Look at the bright side Crafty.  You get another shot at the same seat next year, and redistricting should only help you cause.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-election-congress-20110714,0,6272022.story

As for moving, where are you going to go?  Yes, CA has it's problems, but the weather and diversity are hard to beat.  I can't think of
anyplace I'ld rather live year around although WI is very pretty in the fall.

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G M
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« Reply #151 on: July 14, 2011, 02:55:21 PM »

Look at the bright side Crafty.  You get another shot at the same seat next year, and redistricting should only help you cause.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-election-congress-20110714,0,6272022.story

As for moving, where are you going to go?  Yes, CA has it's problems, but the weather and diversity are hard to beat.  I can't think of
anyplace I'ld rather live year around although WI is very pretty in the fall.



People might want to live in a free state without crushing debt and a place where the rule of law still has some authority.
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ccp
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« Reply #152 on: July 14, 2011, 02:57:03 PM »

GM, it is a free state for probably more than 50%. undecided
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G M
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« Reply #153 on: July 14, 2011, 03:12:29 PM »

GM, it is a free state for probably more than 50%. undecided

True. It's the land of milk and honey for illegal aliens and the leech community.
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G M
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« Reply #154 on: August 07, 2011, 04:02:51 PM »

.....will be a financial one. Get out while you can.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-cap-money-20110804,0,1443947.column

Capitol Journal: U.S. budget ax hangs over California

Much of California's funds come from Washington, D.C. Now, that's shaky ground.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #155 on: August 19, 2011, 03:52:59 PM »



12% unemployment.  Only Nevada is higher.
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G M
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« Reply #156 on: August 19, 2011, 06:49:32 PM »



12% unemployment.  Only Nevada is higher.

It's ok, Gov. Oldbeam will soon tax and spend you into prosperity!
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #157 on: August 19, 2011, 06:53:23 PM »

FWIW, my initial impression is that in some ways he is acting like an adult.  I don't envy him the clusterfcuk he has inherited.
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G M
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« Reply #158 on: August 19, 2011, 07:02:54 PM »

The clusterfcuk he and his kind created?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #159 on: August 19, 2011, 08:44:46 PM »

All of them, most certainly including we the idiots who elected them and voted for moronic borrowings of billions of dollars (E.g. stem cell research?  Gimme a fg break!)
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #160 on: September 05, 2011, 07:46:34 PM »

We are cutting tons of stuff left and right but it appears we are in the process of signing for subsidies to illegals to go to college , , ,
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #161 on: September 06, 2011, 06:51:26 AM »

California regulating babysitters out of business
Posted on September 1, 2011 by PoliPunditWith millions of people fleeing the once-Golden State, California is focusing on what’s really important:

The nanny state impulse runs strong in the Golden State, where the State Assembly has passed a bill that would virtually regulate babysitting out of business. After 2 hours of babysitting, a mandatory 15 minute break must be give, meaning that a stand-by babysitter must be present. Then there are the paperwork requirements, and the severe penalties that kick in for any parents who fail to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. State Senator Doug LaMalfa writes:

The bill has already passed the Assembly and is quickly moving through the Senate with blanket support from the Democrat members that control both houses of the Legislature – and without the support of a single Republican member. Assuming the bill will easily clear its last couple of legislative hurdles, AB 889 will soon be on its way to the Governor’s desk.

Under AB 889, household “employers” (aka “parents”) who hire a babysitter on a Friday night will be legally obligated to pay at least minimum wage to any sitter over the age of 18 (unless it is a family member), provide a substitute caregiver every two hours to cover rest and meal breaks, in addition to workers’ compensation coverage, overtime pay, and a meticulously calculated timecard/paycheck.
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G M
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« Reply #162 on: September 06, 2011, 07:47:12 AM »



http://www.newgeography.com/content/002415-the-golden-state-is-crumbling

The Golden State Is Crumbling




by Joel Kotkin 09/04/2011






The recent announcement that California's unemployment again nudged up to 12 percent—second worst in the nation behind its evil twin, Nevada—should have come as a surprise but frankly did not. From the beginning of the recession, the Golden State has been stuck bringing up a humbled nation's rear and seems mired in that less-than-illustrious position.
 
What has happened to my adopted home state of over last decade is a tragedy, both for Californians and for America. For most of the past century, California has been "golden" not only in name but in every kind of superlative—a global leader in agriculture, energy, entertainment, technology, and most important of all, human aspiration.
 
In its modern origins California was paean to progress in the best sense of the word. In 1872, the second president of the University of California, Daniel Coit Gilman, said science was "the mother of California." Today, California may worship at the altar of science, but increasingly in the most regressive, hysterical, and reactionary way.
 
California's dominant ruling class—consisting of public-employee unions, green jihadis, and Democratic machine politicians—has no real use for science as Coit saw it: as a way to create prosperity for its citizens. Instead, the prevailing credo of the state has been how to do everything possible to return to its pre-settlement condition, with little regard for what that means to the average Californian.
 
Nowhere was California's old technological ethos more pronounced than in agriculture, where great Californians such as William Mulholland, creator of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, and Pat Brown, who forged the state water project, created the greatest water-delivery system since the Roman Empire. Their effort brought water from the ice-bound Sierra Nevada mountains down to the state's dry but fertile valleys and to the great desert metropolis of Southern California. Now, largely at the behest of greens, California agriculture is being systematically cut down by regulation. In an attempt to protect a small fish called the Delta smelt, upward of 200,000 acres of prime farmland have been idled, according to the state's Department of Conservation. Even in the current "wet" cycle, California's agricultural industry, which exports roughly $14 billion annually, is slowly being decimated. Unemployment in some Central Valley towns tops 30 percent, and in cases even 40 percent.
 
And now, notes my friend, Salinas Mayor Dennis Donohue, green regulators are imposing new groundwater regulations that may force the shutdown of production even in areas like his that have their own ample water supplies.
 
Salinas was the home town of John Steinbeck, author of The Grapes of Wrath and great chronicler of Depression-era California. Today for many in hardscrabble, majority-Latino Salinas, home to 150,000 people, The Grapes of Wrath is less lyrical than real. "California," notes Donohue, a lifelong Democrat, "remains intent on job destruction and continued hyper-regulation."
 
California's pain is not restricted to farming towns. The state's regulatory vigilantes have erected a labyrinth of rules that increasingly makes doing almost anything that might contribute to increased carbon emissions—manufacturing, conventional energy, home construction—extraordinarily onerous. Not surprisingly, the state has not gained middle-skilled jobs (those requiring two years of college or more) for a decade, while the nation boosted them by 5 percent and archrival Texas by a stunning 16 percent over the same time period.
 
There is little chance that the jobs lost in these fields will ever be recovered under the current regime. As decent blue-collar and midlevel jobs disappear, California has gone from a rate of inequality about the national average in 1970, to among the most unequal in terms of income. The supposed solution to this—Gov. Jerry Brown's promise of 500,000 "green jobs"—is being shown for what it really is, the kind of fantasy you tell young children so they will go to sleep.
 
Many Californians who aren't slumbering are moving out of the state—and not only the pathetic remains of the old Reaganite majority. According to the most recent census, those leaving the state include old boomers, middle-aged families, and increasingly, many Latinos as well. Outmigration rates from places like Los Angeles and the Bay Area now rival those of such cities as Detroit. In the last decade, California’s population grew only 10 percent, about the national average, largely due to immigrants and their offspring. Population increases in the Bay Area were less than half that rate, while the City of Los Angeles gained fewer new residents—less than 100,000—than in any decade since the turn of the last century!
 
Increasingly, California no longer beckons ambitious newcomers, except for a handful of the most affluent, best educated, and well connected. Through the 1980s and even through the late '90s, the aspirational classes came to California. Now they head to other, more opportunity-friendly places like Austin, Houston, Dallas, Raleigh-Durham, even former “dust bowl” burghs like Des Moines, Omaha, and Oklahoma City. Meanwhile, Golden California, particularly its expensive, ultragreen coast, gets older and older. Marin County, the onetime home of the Grateful Dead and countless former hippies, is now one of the grayest urban counties in the country, with a median age of 44.
 
Of course, the self-described "progressive" mafia that runs California will point to Silicon Valley and its impressive array of startups. But for the most part, firms like Google, Twitter, and Facebook employ only a small cadre of highly educated workers. Overall, during the past decade the state's high-tech employment fell by almost 4 percent, while Texas's science-based employment grew by a healthy 11 percent. The sad reality is that turning T-shirt-wearing kids like Mark Zuckerberg into multibillionaires doesn't do much to reduce unemployment, which even in San Jose—the largely blue-collar "capital" of Silicon Valley—now hovers around 10 percent.
 
Magazine cover stories and movies cannot obscure the fact that entrepreneurial growth—the state’s most critical economic asset—has now stalled. In fact, according to a study by Economic Modeling Specialists Inc., last year the Golden State ranked 50th among the states in creating new businesses.
 
California remains rich in promise, home to spectacular scenery; a great Pacific location; leading firms like Apple and Disney; and a still-impressive residue of talented, diverse, entrepreneurial, and ingenious people. But the state will never return until the success of the current crop of puerile billionaires can be extended to enrich the wider citizenry. Until the current regime is toppled, California's decline—in moral as well as economic terms—will continue, to the consternation of those of us who embraced it as our home for so many years.
 
This piece originally appeared at The Daily Beast.
 
Joel Kotkin is executive editor of NewGeography.com and is a distinguished presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University, and an adjunct fellow of the Legatum Institute in London. He is author of The City: A Global History. His newest book is The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050, released in February, 2010.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #163 on: September 06, 2011, 12:15:53 PM »



Here is what it covers.

(b) California’s domestic workers, which includes housekeepers,
nannies, and caregivers for children, persons with disabilities, and
the elderly, work in private households to care for the health, safety,
and well-being of the most important aspects of Californians’ lives:
their families and homes.

The purpose of this statute is to drive persons who employ domestic workers to go to agencies for their needs.  No more hiring on their own. 

1.5 years, and I expect to be gone from this state.

=====================

 
If passed, will the law also apply to gardeners and handymen?  Notgood atall.   ---j


==============================
 wrote:

This only applies to babysitters who are 18 or older, so the title of the article is a bit misleading, since it's not too hard to find younger babysitters. But what it will really kill is the nanny industry and the house cleaning industry and domestic help industry in general. Workers comp insurance is at least $2000 per year, and having a standby nanny every two hours is simply absurd. Worse still, the law gives enormous power to the domestic employee, since they can sue their employer for any alleged infraction of the law and the employer is obligated to pay all legal expenses for the employee. 


No matter how you look at it, it is a job killer, and it's not just about babysitters.
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G M
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« Reply #164 on: October 04, 2011, 08:31:21 AM »

http://www.vanityfair.com/business/features/2011/11/michael-lewis-201111#gotopage1


California and Bust

The smart money says the U.S. economy will splinter, with some states thriving, some states not, and all eyes are on California as the nightmare scenario. After a hair-raising visit with former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who explains why the Golden State has cratered, Michael Lewis goes where the buck literally stops—the local level, where the likes of San Jose mayor Chuck Reed and Vallejo fire chief Paige Meyer are trying to avert even worse catastrophes and rethink what it means to be a society.

**Read it all.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #165 on: October 17, 2011, 09:44:20 AM »

Apparently CA has $9B, raised through infrastructure bonds on which we are paying interest, sitting around unused.
 rolleyes rolleyes rolleyes rolleyes rolleyes rolleyes rolleyes rolleyes rolleyes
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-cap-jobs-20111017,0,7245554.column
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Hello Kitty
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« Reply #166 on: October 17, 2011, 01:57:08 PM »

http://www.vanityfair.com/business/features/2011/11/michael-lewis-201111#gotopage1


California and Bust

The smart money says the U.S. economy will splinter, with some states thriving, some states not, and all eyes are on California as the nightmare scenario. After a hair-raising visit with former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who explains why the Golden State has cratered, Michael Lewis goes where the buck literally stops—the local level, where the likes of San Jose mayor Chuck Reed and Vallejo fire chief Paige Meyer are trying to avert even worse catastrophes and rethink what it means to be a society.

**Read it all.

 grin
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #167 on: October 31, 2011, 12:17:42 AM »

City Journal.
Heather Mac Donald
Less Academics, More Narcissism
The University of California is cutting back on many things, but not useless diversity programs.
14 July 2011

California’s budget crisis has reduced the University of California to near-penury, claim its spokesmen. “Our campuses and the UC Office of the President already have cut to the bone,” the university system’s vice president for budget and capital resources warned earlier this month, in advance of this week’s meeting of the university’s regents. Well, not exactly to the bone. Even as UC campuses jettison entire degree programs and lose faculty to competing universities, one fiefdom has remained virtually sacrosanct: the diversity machine.

Not only have diversity sinecures been protected from budget cuts, their numbers are actually growing. The University of California at San Diego, for example, is creating a new full-time “vice chancellor for equity, diversity, and inclusion.” This position would augment UC San Diego’s already massive diversity apparatus, which includes the Chancellor’s Diversity Office, the associate vice chancellor for faculty equity, the assistant vice chancellor for diversity, the faculty equity advisors, the graduate diversity coordinators, the staff diversity liaison, the undergraduate student diversity liaison, the graduate student diversity liaison, the chief diversity officer, the director of development for diversity initiatives, the Office of Academic Diversity and Equal Opportunity, the Committee on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Issues, the Committee on the Status of Women, the Campus Council on Climate, Culture and Inclusion, the Diversity Council, and the directors of the Cross-Cultural Center, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center, and the Women’s Center.

It’s not surprising that the new vice chancellor’s mission is rather opaque, given its superfluity. According to outgoing UCSD chancellor Marye Anne Fox, the new VC for EDI “will be responsible for building on existing diversity plans to develop and implement a campus-wide strategy on equity, diversity and inclusion.” UCSD has been churning out such diversity strategies for years. The “campus-wide strategy on equity, diversity and inclusion” that the new hire will supposedly produce differs from its predecessors only in being self-referential: it will define the very scope of the VC’s duties and the number of underlings he will command. “The strategic plan,” says Fox, “will inform the final organizational structure for the office of the VC EDI, will propose metrics to gauge progress, and will identify potential additional areas of responsibility.”

What a boon for a taxpayer-funded bureaucrat, to be able to define his own portfolio and determine how many staff lines he will control! UC Berkeley’s own vice chancellor for equity and inclusion shows how voracious a diversity apparatchik’s appetite for power can be. Gibor Basri has 17 people working for him in his immediate office, including a “chief of staff,” two “project/policy analysts,” and a “director of special projects.” The funding propping up Basri’s vast office could support many an English or history professor. According to state databases, Basri’s base pay in 2009 was $194,000, which does not include a variety of possible add-ons, including summer salary and administrative stipends. By comparison, the official salary for assistant professors at UC starts at around $53,000. Add to Basri’s salary those of his minions, and you’re looking at more than $1 million a year.

UC San Diego is adding diversity fat even as it snuffs out substantive academic programs. In March, the Academic Senate decided that the school would no longer offer a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering; it also eliminated a master’s program in comparative literature and courses in French, German, Spanish, and English literature. At the same time, the body mandated a new campus-wide diversity requirement for graduation. The cultivation of “a student’s understanding of her or his identity,” as the diversity requirement proposal put it, would focus on “African Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, Hispanics, Chicanos, Latinos, Native Americans, or other groups” through the “framework” of “race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexuality, language, ability/disability, class or age.” Training computer scientists to compete with the growing technical prowess of China and India, apparently, can wait. More pressing is guaranteeing that students graduate from UCSD having fully explored their “identity.” Why study Cervantes, Voltaire, or Goethe when you can contemplate yourself? “Diversity,” it turns out, is simply a code word for narcissism.

UC San Diego just lost a trio of prestigious cancer researchers to Rice University. Rice had offered them 40 percent pay raises over their total compensation packages, which at UCSD ranged from $187,000 to $330,000 a year. They take with them many times that amount in government grants. Scrapping the new Vice Chancellorship for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion could have saved at least one, if not two, of those biologists’ positions, depending on how greedily the new VC for EDI defines his realm. UCSD is not disclosing how much the VC for EDI will pull in or how large his staff will be: “We expect that [budget/staffing] will be part of the negotiation with the successful candidate at the end of our search process,” says Senior Director of Marketing and Communications Judy Piercey. Since the new UCSD vice chancellor will be responsible for equity, inclusion, and diversity—unlike the Berkeley vice chancellor, who is responsible only for equity and inclusion—the salary at UCSD will presumably reflect that infinitely greater mandate.

UCSD is by no means the only campus bullish on the diversity business, despite budgetary shortfalls hitting the UC system everywhere else. In 2010, Berkeley announced the UC Berkeley Initiative for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, funded in part by a $16 million gift from the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund. The “new” initiative duplicates existing “equity” projects, not least the Berkeley Diversity Research Initiative, established by Berkeley chancellor Robert Birgeneau in 2006. This latest initiative boasts five new faculty chairs in “diversity-related research”—one of which will be “focused on equity rights affecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community,” according to the press release, and “will be one of the first endowed chairs on this subject in the United States.” (Sorry, Berkeley, Yale got there first.)

The main purpose of the UC Berkeley Initiative for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion seems to be to buy for the academic identity racket the respectability that no amount of campus mau-mauing has yet been able to achieve. “Area studies such as ethnic studies, queer studies and gender studies tend to be marginalized and viewed as less essential to the university than such fields as engineering, law or biology,” glumly noted the press release. (The use of the term “area studies” to refer to the solipsist’s curriculum is a novel appropriation of a phrase originally referring to geopolitical specialization.) According to a campus administrator on the Berkeley Diversity Research Initiative’s executive committee, the new initiative will change the character of Berkeley’s area studies by “asserting [sic] them squarely into the main life and importance of the campus.”

Conferring academic legitimacy on narcissism studies is apparently a superhuman task deserving of superhuman remuneration. The salary and expense account of the likely new director of the UC Berkeley Initiative for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, John Powell—who is currently the executive director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University’s law school—will likely dwarf anything seen so far among diversocrats, according to inside sources.

UCLA’s diversity infrastructure has likewise been spared the budgetary ax. In the pre-recession 2005–06 academic year, UCLA’s associate vice chancellor for faculty diversity reported up the bureaucratic ladder to a vice chancellor for academic personnel, herself reporting to an executive vice chancellor and provost, who in turn reported to the university chancellor. Today, that associate vice chancellor for faculty diversity has been transformed into a vice provost position, while the vice chancellor for academic personnel above her has been eliminated. The new vice provost for faculty diversity will not be lonely; she can pal around with UCLA’s associate director for diversity research and analysis, its associate vice provost for student diversity, its associate dean for academic diversity, its director of diversity outreach, and its director of staff affirmative action.

The one observable activity performed by these lavishly funded diversity bureaucrats is to pressure academic departments to hire more women and minorities. (Even that activity is superfluous, given the abundant pressure for race and gender quotas already exerted by campus groups, every accrediting agency, and external political bodies.) Should a department fail to satisfy—as it inevitably will in every field with low minority participation—only one explanation is possible: a departmental or campus “climate” hostile to diversity, which then requires more intercessions from the diversity bureaucracy. The fact that every other college and university in the country is scouring the horizon for the identical elusive cache of qualified female and minority hires is not allowed into the discourse. Even less acceptable is any recognition of the academic achievement gap between black and Hispanic students, on the one hand, and white and Asian students, on the other, which affects the pool of qualified faculty candidates in fields with remotely traditional scholarly prerequisites. Student admissions offices are under the same pressure, which in California results in the constant generation of new schemes for “holistic” admissions procedures designed to evade the ban on racial and gender preferences that California voters enacted in 1996.

UC San Diego’s lunge toward an even more costly diversity apparatus was inspired in part by one of those periodic outbreaks of tasteless adolescent humor that every diversity bureaucrat lives for (and whose significance is trivial compared with the overwhelmingly supportive environment that today’s universities provide all of their students). But it was hardly out of character on a campus presided over by a chancellor fond of “social justice” rhetoric. And UC’s other campuses are equally committed to bureaucratic diversity aggrandizement, even without a pretext for accelerating those efforts.

This week, in light of a possible cut of $650 million in state financing, the University of California’s regents will likely raise tuition rates to $12,192. Though tuition at UC will remain a bargain compared with what you would pay at private colleges, the regents won’t be meeting their responsibility to California’s taxpayers if they pass over in silence the useless diversity infrastructure that sucks money away from the university’s real function: teaching students about the world outside their own limited selves. California’s budget crisis could have had a silver lining if it had resulted in the dismantling of that infrastructure—but the power of the diversity complex makes such an outcome unthinkable.

Heather Mac Donald is a contributing editor of City Journal and the John M. Olin Fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #168 on: October 31, 2011, 02:15:58 PM »

second post of the day:

It may be time for California to formally apply for membership in the European Union. Its taxing, borrowing and regulatory policies are already more in line with the southern tier of Euroland than with other U.S. states, and the Golden State has taken another lurch in the Euro-direction by becoming the first jurisdiction in the nation to adopt a full-scale cap-and-trade tax to combat global warming. The new taxes and regulations will require a nearly 30% reduction in carbon emissions from power plants, manufacturers, cars and trucks by 2020.

This green tax was signed into law in 2006 by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger when the state's economy was flying high. California was going to be the green role model for other states. Now no one believes that fantasy. Ten states in the Northeast entered a regional cap and trade compact to limit greenhouse gases in 2008, but that market is now dying if not dormant and states (recently New Jersey) are dropping out.

In 2006 it also seemed plausible that the federal government would establish national carbon caps. But in 2010 the Democratic Senate killed cap and trade, and there is no chance anytime soon this tax will be implemented in Washington.

So California will go it alone on cap and trade, and the economic fallout won't be pretty. Nearly every independent analysis agrees that water, electricity, construction and gas prices inside the state will rise. The only debate is about how much.

A 2009 study by the California Small Business Roundtable estimated costs of $3,857 per household by the end of the decade. Gasoline prices, already near the highest in the nation, could rise by another 4% to 6%. An analysis by the state's own Legislative Analyst's Office found that the higher costs of doing business would mean "leakage of jobs," with the California economy "likely adversely affected in the near term by implementing climate change policies that are not adopted elsewhere."

Now even unions are catching on to the damage. The Los Angeles Times reports that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) gave final approval to the new scheme two weeks ago after listening to "scathing comments from union workers fearful of losing their jobs." Hard-hat union members from the steel, concrete and oil and gas industries were among the opponents. Charles McIntyre, president of an association of the glass workers union and companies, told the CARB hearing that "these manufacturers are spending millions of dollars every year to meet different requirements and different standards. Well, this is starting to cost us a lot of jobs."

The Western States Petroleum Association calculates the new law could cost its members up to $540 million in higher costs in the first two years alone. When a spokesman from Conoco Phillips told the CARB hearing about its higher costs, Mary Nichols, the CARB chairman, responded that a company with $14 billion in profits shouldn't complain but rather "should do something about the problem of global warming." Sounds like a candidate to be President Obama's next jobs czar.

Ms. Nichols also said that "our society is going to have to use less gasoline"—a remark that reveals the elites-know-best impulse that animates much of the anticarbon energy movement.

The tragedy is that this economic harm is being inflicted for nothing but environmental symbolism. A single state's policies can't possibly alter the planet's temperature given the huge carbon footprint elsewhere, as even the CARB has acknowledged.

Notwithstanding their bouts of carbon imperialism (see below), even some Europeans are having cap-and-trade second thoughts. "There is a trade-off between climate-change policies and competitiveness," concludes a recent EU commission report. "Europe cannot act alone in an effort to achieve global decarbonization."

But evidently high-minded California—with 2.1 million people already out of work and with the nation's second highest jobless rate at 11.9%—will. The job cost will be paid not in the tony salons of Hollywood but in the working class neighborhoods of Torrance and Fresno.

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ccp
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« Reply #169 on: October 31, 2011, 04:34:21 PM »

God help the left coast:

***Clean energy in California
On its own sunny path
As in so much else, the Golden State’s energy plans look distinctly un-American
Oct 29th 2011 | Los Angeles | from the print edition
 
Happily soaking up solar
JERRY BROWN started talking about solar power in the 1970s, when he was California’s governor for the first time. He was lampooned for it, but the vision gradually became attractive in a state that is naturally sunny and, especially along the coastline, cares about the environment. So in 2006, under a Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, California set a goal to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. This year Mr Brown, governor once again, signed the last bits of that goal into law. And this month the state’s air-quality regulators unanimously voted to adopt its most controversial but crucial component: a cap-and-trade system.

More complex and less elegant (but politically easier) than a simple carbon tax, a cap-and-trade system limits the emissions of dirty industries and puts a price on their remaining pollution so that market forces, in theory, provide an incentive for reductions. In California’s case, starting in 2013 the government will “cap” the amount of gases (such as carbon dioxide) that industry may emit, and gradually lower that cap. It will also issue permits to companies for their carbon allowance. Firms that reduce their emissions faster than the cap decreases may sell (“trade”) their permits and make money. Firms that pollute beyond their quota must buy credits.

To Europeans, Asians and Australians, this may seem nothing much. After all, the European Union already has a similar emissions-trading market, and a carbon tax is now wending its way through the Australian legislature. Even India and China have adopted versions of carbon taxes or emissions trading. But California is in America, which has taken a sharp turn in the opposite direction. Congress debated a cap-and-trade system in 2009, but then allowed it to die. Republicans attacked it as “cap-and-tax”, and increasingly deny that climate change is a problem at all. Some even point to the bankruptcy of Solyndra, a Californian maker of solar panels which had received lots of federal money, as proof that renewable energy is a wasteful pinko pipe-dream.

But California is staying its course. Besides cap-and-trade, its climate-change law calls for lower exhaust-pipe emissions from vehicles and cleaner appliances, and requires the state’s utilities to use renewable energy for one-third of the state’s electricity by 2020. In the Californian mainstream the controversy is not whether to do this, but how.

Some firms are building vast fields of mirrors in the Mojave desert to focus the sun onto water boilers and use the steam to spin turbines. But this also requires costly power grids to carry the electricity to the distant cities. Unexpectedly, it has also drawn the ire of some environmentalists, who love renewable energy but hate the mirrors (or wind farms) that ruin landscapes. In the Mojave they fret about a species of tortoise. Elsewhere they have gone to court for the blunt-nosed leopard lizard and the giant kangaroo rat.

The progress of the other main kind of solar technology, photovoltaic (PV) solar cells, looks stronger. The price of PV panels has dropped in recent years, and there are plans to simplify the paperwork for Californians who want to put them on their own roofs, whence the electricity can be fed into the grid where it is needed. “Solar trees” are beginning to shade parking lots, their panels beautifully tilting to face the sun as it moves.

There are doubters, of course. The cost of electricity may rise, and some polluters may flee the state, taking jobs away. But California already has one in four of America’s solar-energy jobs and will add many more. Sun, wind, geothermal, nuclear: “We need it all,” says Terry Tamminen, who advised Mr Schwarzenegger. The state is setting up an “interesting experiment”, he thinks. “California goes one way, the United States another.”

from the print edition | United States

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #170 on: November 08, 2011, 10:53:10 AM »

Craig Huey was the Rep. congressional candidate in my district, which is heavily Dem.  He almost won.

http://www.dailybreeze.com/ci_19149415
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DougMacG
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« Reply #171 on: November 08, 2011, 11:20:04 AM »

Speaking of California governance, it seems to me that Calif. could not afford the 8 lost years of Arnold, the disappointing Republican Governor who made things worse by leaving things the same, reforming nothing.  People had high hopes for this outsider with guts to move people and change the course, and he didn't.  Calif. might actually have been better served with 4 or 8 years of the same failure under a liberal regime so that the pendulum could begin swinging back the other way by now.

I have a political theory that the politics of the wife/spouse matters.  Under my theory, it is too bad for the state and for the nation that Arnold's philandering wasn't known to his wife 8 years sooner and left him sooner so that he could have been free to be the political bad boy on spending and regulatory reforms without having to appease a liberal Democratic wife everyday in addition to the legislature and the bizarre electorate.  Just a thought.
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JDN
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« Reply #172 on: November 14, 2011, 09:15:46 AM »

I love living in CA, but enough is enough.  Something needs to be done...

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-cox-malanga-california-business-20111114,0,1011551.story
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« Reply #173 on: November 16, 2011, 10:12:11 AM »

re-posting this here

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-discipline-reversed-20111114,0,7958658.story
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ccp
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« Reply #174 on: November 18, 2011, 09:40:51 AM »

The first unbelievable thing is no one apparantly evens knows the number.  Well lets say it is somewhere between 240 and 500 billion dollars.  The next unbelievable thing is what I read below.  Now correct me if I read this wrong.  But Jerry Brown wants to raise the retirement age from 55 to 67.  He wants to have the empolyees contribute to their plans (like the private sector).  He wants to end abuses like pretending one is disabled to squeeze/con more money out of the "system" (or from the taxpayer).

Yet even these changes will only save *11 billion* over thirty years!  Do I read this right.  A measly 11 billion saving on unfunded 240 to 500 billion?   Folks if these numbers are true the debt is so staggering I don't understand how there can possibly be any hope of preventing a crash.  What with the population getting older and living longer and soaking out more from system.  I know from what I see in my job that many of these people still go and get under the table cash paying jobs.  So they continue to get from the system and pay nothing into it.  Some for many decades.  All I can say is "Greece we are right behind you!":

*****California’s public pensions
Not so retiring
The state with the biggest pension problem is stumbling toward a solution
Nov 12th 2011 | LOS ANGELES | from the print edition

JERRY BROWN, aged 73, likes to joke that he is not only California’s governor but also its “best pension buy”. After all, he has spent much of his life in public service (including a first stint as governor from 1975 to 1983), but neither draws a public pension nor plans to, if he can get himself re-elected. Nonetheless, his commitment to fixing California’s daunting public-pension problem has been in doubt. A Democrat, he was elected one year ago in a race against a self-financed Silicon Valley billionaire, largely with the help of independent spending by public-sector unions. The question has been whether he can stare down his own allies, those unions, and pass the necessary reform.

Mr Brown has now released a plan. Initial reactions suggest that he may pass his test: the unions were outraged, many Democratic legislators (often beholden to the unions) felt awkward, and several Republican legislators were supportive. But now everything is in flux, as all parties choose their tactics for the fight.

The main changes Mr Brown proposes concern new employees of state or local governments. They would have to wait till 67 to retire, whereas many current government workers can retire at 55 or even earlier. They would also have hybrid plans, with part of the traditional defined-benefit pension replaced by a defined-contribution plan of the sort common in the private sector. Mr Brown also wants to make current as well as new employees contribute half of the cost of funding their pension (today, many pay nothing). And he wants to end sneaky ways of upping benefits (called “spiking”) and other abuses.

This is all eminently sensible. Indeed, it is remarkably similar to the demands a handful of Republican legislators were making in June, when Mr Brown was begging for their votes to reach the necessary two-thirds majority to let Californians vote in a ballot measure to extend some tax increases. (He did not get those votes, and ended up with an all-cuts budget he doesn’t like.)

Even so the proposal still falls short, says David Crane. He is a Democrat who advised Mr Brown’s Republican predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and who was a gadfly on one of the large pension-plan boards for 11 months. California’s unfunded pension liabilities are staggering, he points out; they have been estimated at between $240 billion and $500 billion. Plugging that hole will increasingly crowd out other things that Democrats care about, such as schools, parks and courts. But Mr Brown’s plan might save at best $11 billion over 30 years.

Which is why Mr Brown’s plan may not be the final one. This month, a group led by several eminent Republicans filed two versions of what may become a ballot measure in next year’s general election. With a nod to Mr Brown’s effort, one alternative is somewhat more aggressive, the other a lot more. The main difference is that current workers would start paying much more of the cost of their pensions.

This Republican plan, in whichever form, might end up helping Mr Brown: either by showing the unions how bad the alternative is, so that they support him after all; or by allowing him to tell them that he tried to be considerate, but now has to endorse the tougher Republican plan as part of a package of other ballot initiatives. In that scenario, the state just might achieve the grand bargain that seems to be eluding the rest of the country.******
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JDN
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« Reply #175 on: November 18, 2011, 10:10:58 AM »

"Jerry Brown wants to raise the retirement age from 55 to 67.  He wants to have the empolyees contribute to their plans (like the private sector).  He wants to end abuses like pretending one is disabled to squeeze/con more money out of the "system" (or from the taxpayer)."

Still, not a bad start for a liberal Democrat Governor.   grin

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ccp
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« Reply #176 on: November 18, 2011, 10:34:26 AM »

JDN agreed.  This is already more than the exterminated cartoon Governor you had.  But just look at those numbers.

Isn't it over for California?

The numbers are STAGGERING!"
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DougMacG
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« Reply #177 on: November 18, 2011, 11:27:09 AM »

"Isn't it over for California?
The numbers are STAGGERING!"

CCP,  Nothing wipes out debt and unfunded liabilities like a good bankruptcy.  Bankruptcy, like a forest fire once it stops burning, is a new beginning not just an ending.  Little plants can sprout on the forest floor where before they could find no sunlight.

The previous Governor Ahnold is a lesson for conservatives in the age old struggle of centrism vs. principles.  In this case, what possible good did it do for conservatism to have an R next to his results of escalating spending, taxing and regulating to the point of economic collapse.  On the flip side, reforms like a massive change of retirement age would be barbaric if proposed by a conservative, are now courageous.

The numbers are staggering and one element of reform won't solve it.  But if that one reform got done, I would agree - a good start.
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JDN
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« Reply #178 on: November 18, 2011, 11:50:10 AM »

While I acknowledge your point about the cleansing and rejuvenating benefits of Bankruptcy, I don't think States are entitled to declare Bankruptcy.  Private Companies and Municipalities can, but States..."

Further, I am not sure the CA Constitution will allow Pensions that have already been promised and agreed to, not to be paid...
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« Reply #179 on: November 18, 2011, 12:12:47 PM »

"On the flip side, reforms like a massive change of retirement age would be barbaric if proposed by a conservative, are now courageous."

Yes. cry



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ccp
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« Reply #180 on: November 18, 2011, 12:20:10 PM »

This doesn't really answer the question to my total satisfaction.  Suppose the Kaliflower legislatures simply stop paying the pensioners.  The pensioners will sue but so what.  If the money ain't there it ain't there.  Except for the endless chirade of "borrowing Paul to pay Peter" game of bonds and more debt.  They have at this time decided to simply keep doing this forever and look the other way.  Is borrowing forever in the Kaliflower child's constitution?  Because this IS what they are doing without end.  Otherwise, they are de facto bankrupt already, no?:

****Answers to your questions about the news. Can California Declare Bankruptcy?
What about Greece?
By Christopher Beam|Posted Monday, March 8, 2010, at 5:01 PM ET

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger California passed a gas tax last week to help make up for its nearly $20 billion budget gap, the latest in a series of measures to right the state's teetering economy. The country of Greece is in even worse shape, with accumulated debt higher than 110 percent of GDP, set to reach 125 percent this year. Can a state declare bankruptcy? Can a country?

No and no. Chapter 9 of the U.S. bankruptcy code allows individuals and municipalities (cities, towns, villages, etc.) to declare bankruptcy. But that doesn't include states. (The statute defines "municipality" as a "political subdivision or public agency or instrumentality of a State"—that is, not a state itself.) For one thing, states are said to have sovereign immunity, as protected by the 11th Amendment, which means they can't be sued. In other words, they don't need any protection from angry creditors who would take them to court for failing to pay their debts. As a result, states can simply borrow money ad infinitum.

Say the state can't make its debt payments, and no one will lend it any more money. In that case, the federal government can step in and put the state into receivership. This would involve the assignment of an accountant to manage the state's debt, overseen by a judge. It would be a lot like bankruptcy, except instead of following a structured set of steps—informing creditors, appointing creditors' committees, a 120-day window to file a plan, etc.—a receiver has the authority to force creditors to renegotiate loans in a speedy fashion. However, the accountant in charge would not have the power to make decisions about the state's budget, such as which programs needed to be cut and which taxes had to be raised. (No state has ever gone into receivership.)

Greece is in a slightly different situation. There's no international bankruptcy court for countries that can't pay their debts. Instead, other EU countries that depend on Greece's solvency, such as Germany or France, would have to agree to bail it out. (When the economy of one member of the Eurozone sinks, it drags the euro down across the continent.) In return for loans, Greece would agree to implement austerity measures, such as hiking the price of gas, freezing government salaries, and raising the retirement age, to steer the country toward solvency. Whichever countries bail out Greece may not get their money back. But at the very least, Greece wouldn't pull the European economy down with it. Another option would be a bailout funded by the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank, which have stepped in when the economies of Ecuador, Russia, and numerous African countries have tanked. But their leaders seem reluctant. Worst-case scenario, the EU could expel Greece—Greece's deficit is already four times higher than what the EU allows. But that could hurt the euro as well by signaling to investors that the EU is unstable and thus a risky bet.****

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« Reply #181 on: November 18, 2011, 02:50:29 PM »

I didn't know states cannot declare bankruptcy.  Of course not, under federal law the 'states are sovereign'.  Try saying that aloud without laughing or crying - the states are sovereign - I know about 9 people I would like to forward that to!  These states and these pensions, however, have been highly involved in interstate commerce...

When I sold products and services to a similar state, all long term funding contracts required a "funding out clause".  One legislature cannot in law bind future legislatures; it fails the most basic tenet:  consent of the governed.  We are not governed by the people who were elected 20 years ago by different people in a different time.  What right and what power did they think they had to decide what our budget will be today. The only money the state can disburse it what the legislature with the Governor say can be spent.  Obviously they will choose to pay the interest on the bonds and reauthorize everything else reasonable and prudent,  but is there a legal requirement to do so?  I don't know and my experience was not in Calif.

The California constitution will be the key.  It will define the process of what monies go out.  Requiring pension obligations be paid would seem contradictory.  The constitution hopefully spells out how that gets resolved, but it sounds like it that was set in precedent, not necessarily in specific constitutional language.  Something this large should be done with a supermajority anyway, so you might as well do that through the amendment process to the Calif. constitution, and write exactly what is needed.

I don't see how you can make people pay when you can't make them stay.

When the tax rate becomes 100% and pensions are taxed, pensioners aren't receive anything anyway.   sad

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JDN
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« Reply #182 on: November 18, 2011, 04:04:43 PM »

Sovereignty is rather interesting.  I've done some work on Indian Reservations.  They too are "sovereign" yet they are just a few miles down the road.  It was rather complicated I thought.

"funding out clause".  Hmmm I'm not sure how that could apply to a Pension Plan.  For that matter, while I think I understand your "consent of the governed" let's
say I sold your State a building and I carried back the paper for 30 years.  Are you saying 20 years later, or even two years later (a legislator's term) they can void that sale?  And stop paying me?

When I retire, theoretically, I have completed my part of the contract.  The State should/must keep theirs.  At my retirement, the State is merely making payment for services
already provided; the issue is not funding for future services.  It is now a debt obligation.  If the State wishes to alter future pension benefits for current employees henceforward, that's fine, but it's not right or legal to do it retroactively when there was a written contract in place. 

As I mentioned, as long as there is one dollar coming in, pension obligations will be near the top of what will be paid.  Money for schools, fire, police, roads, jails, etc. are all discretionary.  Given that most
on this site believe in the sanctity of a contract, including myself, I'm surprised that you would consider retroactively voiding contracts because money is short.

By the way, pensions ARE taxed in most instances. 

PS  I'm not saying that future public pensions shouldn't be drastically altered.  Gov. Brown is on the right track.


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G M
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« Reply #183 on: November 18, 2011, 05:41:32 PM »

So, if California has only money to pay pensions and no money left for actual state services, that's ok?

I'm willing to bet it won't play out like that.
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JDN
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« Reply #184 on: November 18, 2011, 07:18:06 PM »

I don't know it "that's ok", it isn't - I think the retirement/disability plans for all public employees are too rich, but I do bet the State will not cut those individuals already on pensions to pay for State services.

We have a severe Federal deficit, but I notice no one is proposing that we cut/reduce Social Security payments to those already retired.  Future retirees, well that's different.

In this case, the State has a legal obligation.  In contrast, there is no binding legal "contract" that my trash is picked up weekly, that x number of police/fire/sheriff's/teachers/etc.
are hired or retained, roads fixed, buses repaired, etc.; frankly, many services and people may need to be cut, and I know, God forbid, taxes raised, but yeah, I bet contractual obligations will be paid.

And they should be.
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G M
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« Reply #185 on: November 18, 2011, 08:11:47 PM »

Do you have an actual signed contract in hand?
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JDN
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« Reply #186 on: November 18, 2011, 08:18:26 PM »

Do you have an actual signed contract in hand?

I don't but they do.   smiley  So let the cuts in public services begin....




Article I, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution prohibits any state from passing a "law impairing the obligation of contracts." As with the constitutions of some other states, the California Constitution also prohibits the legislative branch of California's government from passing any law impairing the obligation of contracts. These clauses are known as the "Contract Clauses" of the U.S. and State Constitutions, respectively.

Provides Certain Protections Concerning Public Employee Retirement Benefits. In various instances over the past century, California governments have made attempts to alter or reduce pension benefits for current and past employees and to reduce payments to pension systems. In a number of cases, California courts have held that such actions violated the Contract Clauses of the U.S. and/or State Constitutions. In a number of cases, California courts have held that a public employee's pension constitutes "an element of compensation," that a "vested contractual right to pension benefits accrues upon acceptance of employment," and that such a pension right "may not be destroyed, once vested, without impairing a contractual obligation of the employing public entity." California courts have ruled that allowable modifications to pension systems for current and past employees, when they result in a "disadvantage to employees," generally must be accompanied by "comparable new advantages." For example, a reduction of one part of the benefit must be accompanied by some other "advantage" to the employee or retiree. The contractual protections apply to various aspects of the pension benefit and also have applied to certain commitments of governments to contribute to pension systems each year. In general, this means that California courts have declared that it is difficult to modify or alter public employee pension benefits to reduce governmental costs unless that change is accompanied by comparable new advantages for affected public employees and retirees.
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G M
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« Reply #187 on: November 18, 2011, 08:32:30 PM »

I'll bet at some point the courts will decide that indeed there is no such contract. I say this as a vested state employee from another state with similar prior court rulings.

Meaning, when there ain't no money, there ain't no money.

At least you fed, educated and provided illegal aliens with medical care with the money you would have retired with.


So you got that going for you.....
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G M
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« Reply #188 on: November 18, 2011, 08:57:53 PM »


California pension crisis tops the country’s debt at a whopping $612 billion

 


Kimberly Dvorak
, San Diego County Political Buzz Examiner
October 26, 2011


A new PEW study puts California at the top of the pension debt crisis with at least $612 billion in obligations followed by New Jersey at $183 Billion and Illinois with a $150 billion.
 
The shocking new PEW study projected the country is on the hook for approximately $2 trillion dollars for all states, says Capoliticalnews.
 
“Using the higher pension gap number, State Budget Solutions said California is in the biggest financial hole — with total debt of more than $612 billion. New York follows with $305 billion of debt, and then Texas, with total debt of $283 billion. Vermont has the lowest amount of total debt at just over $6 billion,” a story from Bloomberg reported.
 
California’s State Controller John Chiang explains California’s state pension crisis is causing big headaches for state politicians. According to the state’s latest money projections, “the State ended last fiscal year with a cash deficit of $8.2 billion. The combined current year cash deficit stands at $17.6 billion.  Those deficits are being covered with $12.2 billion of internal borrowing (temporary loans from special funds) and $5.4 billion of external borrowing).”
 
When it comes to unemployment, 11.9 percent, California will borrow the most in the country to cover its unemployment benefit checks- $8.6 billion.
 
Keeping these financial concerns in mind California’s Governor, Jerry Brown will address state legislators on the pension tsunami flooding the state.
 
“Given the paramount importance of pensions to both taxpayers and public employees, it is absolutely critical that we carefully examine our current assumptions and practices,” Brown stated in a letter to Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Chino), and Assemblyman Warren Furutani (D-Gardena). “We have to do our best to make sure that we have a system that is fair and truly sustainable over the long time horizon that our pension and health systems require.”
 
For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/homeland-security-in-national/
..

Continue reading on Examiner.com California pension crisis tops the country’s debt at a whopping $612 billion - San Diego County Political Buzz | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/california-pension-crisis-tops-the-country-s-debt-at-a-whopping-612-billion
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G M
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« Reply #189 on: November 18, 2011, 08:59:30 PM »

So I think California needs to tax the rich until they fix the budget hole, right?

It's not like they'll leave or anything.....
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JDN
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« Reply #190 on: November 18, 2011, 09:03:39 PM »

I have no answer as to why we fed and educated illegal aliens.  We even recently gave them instate tuition rates for college.  I don't get it.
You are here illegally from a foreign country and you pay instate rates, but you are from PA and you pay double tuition.    huh

But as for "contracts" "no money" means no services, not voiding contracts.  At least I hope not.  A contract is a contract.  It's rather clear.
You can't complain later.... because you don't like the deal.

That said, "vested" is different than already retired.  A vested person's benefit can be frozen at current value.  You are only "vested" in current benefits.
Future benefits can be legally changed.  Final payout will be a conglomeration of benefits.  But if you are already retired and receiving benefits, well that's a
firm contract that cannot be changed.  You might not get cost of living increases, if not contractually called for, but you will receive your basic (rich) pension
plan.
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G M
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« Reply #191 on: November 18, 2011, 09:10:40 PM »

Simple fix. Raise taxes on the retirees until you've gutted the payments. After all, there is no restriction on the state powers of taxation, right?

On paper, you get what you were promised, but then the taxes are imposed.....



Bummer.
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G M
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« Reply #192 on: November 18, 2011, 09:25:25 PM »

Trouble Brewing: The Disaster of California State Pensions

California has promised its public employees lavish pensions and retiree health benefits without setting aside nearly enough money to pay for those benefits.   As a result, California already admits to a $75.5 billion shortfall in paying for these promises to public employees -- $40.5 billion for the teachers' retirement plan (California State Teachers' Retirement System, or CalSTRS) and $35 billion for the California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS), says Stuart Buck, a Distinguished Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas.

Unfortunately, the situation is actually far more dire than is currently admitted.

The actuarial valuations mentioned above took place as of June 30, 2008 and both pension systems have had substantial losses in their investments since that date.
As of the most recent information available, CalPERS' assets had dropped to a reported $200 billion, and the teachers' retirement system's assets had dropped to $134 billion; these losses would add another $44 billion in unfunded liabilities.
But it gets even worse, says Buck.

When the California pension systems set aside money for future pension payments, they rosily assume that their investments are going to earn a steady 7.75 percent or 8 percent return year after year.
But that assumption is clearly too optimistic -- especially after a decade of zero stock market growth -- and does not match the bond-like nature of pension obligations.
Re-estimating California's pension obligations using a discount rate approximating what private pensions are allowed to use, Buck finds the gap between existing plan assets and the present value of benefits accrued by participants actually reaches $282.2 billion, a figure that rises to $326.6 billion when current market values are taken into account.  On top of that, the California Controller estimates that retiree health benefits are currently underfunded by $51.8 billion.  The total of these actuarial obligations thus reaches $378.8 billion.

Source: Stuart Buck, "Trouble Brewing: The Disaster of California State Pensions," Foundation for Education Choice, October 2010.

For text:

http://www.edchoice.org/CMSModules/EdChoice/FileLibrary/587/Trouble-Brewing---The-Disaster-of-California-State-Pensions.pdf

For more on Tax and Spending Issues:

http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_Category=25
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JDN
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« Reply #193 on: November 18, 2011, 09:30:32 PM »

So maybe they should Gov. Brown's suggestion and increase the retirement age and reduce pensions/disability payments henceforward for current employees.
Sounds good to me.

But you can't alter retirees.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #194 on: November 18, 2011, 09:33:52 PM »

"let's say I sold your State a building and I carried back the paper for 30 years"

Many differences there, if payments quit the title stays with the seller on a contract for deed.  Put the other way you have to make all the payments to complete the transfer of the sale.   Payment over time makes perfect sense because the usage is over time.  It just has to be reauthorized every budget cycle until the government is the owner.

Pensions are payments for work done back then.  They should have been funded with money collected back then, for the schools, police, fire, etc. Instead we were funding ... ... ... . I have no idea how to fix now what we all know was irresponsible back then.
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G M
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« Reply #195 on: November 18, 2011, 09:34:29 PM »

But you can tax them, right JDN?

Tax the pensioners until the books balance. Problem solved.
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JDN
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« Reply #196 on: November 18, 2011, 11:02:28 PM »

But you can tax them, right JDN?

Tax the pensioners until the books balance. Problem solved.

But not as a specific class...

I think the "problem solved" would be to spend a LOT less.  Reduce benefits for future; nothing wrong with retiring at 65 or 67 versus  the current 20 years i.e. often age 45 with full pension.
And no offensive, maybe raise taxes a little.

As for Doug, perhaps you are right, perhaps they should have been funded with money collected back then, but they weren't; pay as you go.  It's not easy to fix now. As a side note, many private
pension plans are in the same boat although defined benefit plans are dying fast in private enterprise.

Of course there are differences, but I still like my analogy of the building.  Like a building each contract for current employees had to be acknowledged/approved by each legislature.  It just has to be reauthorized/ignored (OR REDUCED -  they never did) before the employee retires. After he retires, there is a contract in place guaranteeing a certain benefit.
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G M
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« Reply #197 on: November 18, 2011, 11:05:15 PM »

But not as a specific class...

What? Didn't you want a president who wanted to spread the wealth around? Why should the 99% who don't get pensions from the state pay for yours?

Tax the rich! Guess that means you.
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JDN
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« Reply #198 on: November 18, 2011, 11:12:09 PM »

 I wish. smiley
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G M
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« Reply #199 on: November 18, 2011, 11:22:18 PM »

Rich is relative. Compared to many, you are rich.

Are you claiming there is some legal concept that protects your pension from being taxed?

Gotta spread that wealth around!
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