Blowing in the Wind: The Failed State of California

Here's a Must Read by The Nation's Marc Cooper on California's economic, political, and moral bankruptcy:
You know something is radically wrong when the mere act of the governor and the legislature agreeing on a budget to close a $26 billion deficit after months of haggling is hailed in bold headlines. Or maybe you get the message when you're a state contractor and you get an IOU instead of a paycheck and then find out the banks will no longer honor your scrip. Or you see that state unemployment rates are nudging 12 percent; that in LA County the poverty rate hovers near 20 percent; that some of the thousands of teachers who received pink slips are on hunger strike, while California schools are ranked forty-seventh in the nation; that the state college system has suspended admissions for spring 2010, raised fees 20 percent and forced its faculty to take unpaid leave two days a month; that thousands of state workers are being laid off and those who remain must take three furlough days a month for the rest of the year; that protesters in wheelchairs are blocking the halls of the Capitol; that a number of state parks are being closed; that California's bond rating is just above junk level; that Southern California had its highest peak in personal bankruptcies last year and that so far this year they're up 75 percent over that; and that one in four capsized mortgages in the United States is in California.
To climb out of this abyss may require a constitutional convention, ending the super-majority, restoring accountability by ending term limits, campaign finance reform, reining in the state's out-of-control referendum process, and restoring equity to the tax system by revising Prop 13, or, more likely, all of the above and more.

Go. Read. The Failed State of California: Time to Stop Dreaming by Marc Cooper (The Nation, 2009-07-29)

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