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Los Angeles: The Next Failed Government?
Townhall.com ^ | March 9, 2014 | Bruce Bialosky

Posted on 03/09/2014 8:13:20 AM PDT by Kaslin

When analyzing some governments, it becomes easy to see why they are failures. Venezuela is one that comes to mind. Argentina is more challenging to analyze, but its recent turn to the left and a more authoritarian government has once again brought the economy near collapse. Detroit is the shining example of a failed government within the Unites States. The question is: will Los Angeles become the next government to crumble?

I have believed Los Angeles was a disaster in the making for a long while. It has a government that drives businesses out with an oppressive tax structure that can be five times higher than neighboring cities in its midst. Then they follow up with a slanted audit process that attempts to extract even further revenue to feed its bureaucratic beast. The roads have deteriorated in such a fashion that the home of the “fun and sun” car culture -- where driving is very much a necessity to navigate a spread-out city -- are now rated the #1 worst in the country. The issues go on and on making the largest redeeming factor being the fantastic weather.

Now I am not the only one who is citing the failings of Los Angeles as a city. A commission established by the Los Angeles City Council President, Herb Wesson, and a former Commerce Secretary, Mickey Kantor, has weighed in saying Los Angeles is a mess and a disaster waiting to happen. The commission, called Los Angeles 2020, issued the first of its two reports which detailed status of the City.

The beginning of the report at least speaks honestly, almost. It is called A Time For Truth. Some of what it outlines is that 28% of Los Angelenos earn poverty pay. If you include those out of work, they state 40% of residents live in misery. Los Angeles is the only one of seven major metropolitan areas in the country to have a net decline in employment over the last decade. Major industries are leaving; none are moving here. Twelve companies on the Fortune 500 used to call Los Angeles home, and now just four do. The school system graduates just 60% of its students from high school and only 32% are qualified for either the UC or Cal State University systems. The pension system has set aside only 10% of the future needs of city workers. These are just some of the devastating facts stated by the commission.

We don’t know what the final report will state, but have some of our own conclusions. One of them is that Los Angeles has lost most its clout within its own state. Joel Kotkin, a professor of urban development and one our greatest chroniclers of urban issues today, has documented this. He has shown how the entire power base of the state has shifted to Northern California, with almost all influential politicians for now and the foreseeable future coming from the north.

What the commission did not do in its first of two reports was point fingers. It would not be expected as the commission was riddled with members of the power elite of Los Angeles. But here are some of the salient facts:

1. Other than Richard Riordan, who was a Republican and served as Mayor for two terms thirteen years ago, there are almost no elected Republicans in Los Angeles. Typically there might be one member of the 15-seat City Council.

2. Even though the favored candidate of some unions -- particularly the one that runs the Department of Water and Power -- Wendy Greuel lost the Mayor’s race, this is a union-run city with every elected official beholden to city unions and the SEIU.

3. The school district though independent from the city government is run by a seven-member school board that would faint at the sight of a Republican.

Does this sound familiar? A city run by liberals, leftists and public employee unions is running the city into the ground. People are driven outside the borders of Los Angeles by two major factors that have not changed and only gotten worse over the 45 years I have lived here: 1) the school system stinks and anyone with means moves to neighboring communities and/or utilizes private schools; and, 2) the business taxes are so devastating that businesses don’t move here or move out, taking revenue and jobs with them.

For all the high taxes you would think that we would get superior services, but we don’t. As stated above, car-crazy California (run exclusively by Democrats) has the worst roads in the nation with Los Angeles being a pillar of that disaster. The city budget is constantly out of whack due to high union wages and retirement benefits. The city budget, which ten years ago spent 3% on pensions, now spends an astounding 18%. That has caused our response times for fire and police to meet the national standard only 58% of the time.

If you have a city run by Democrats for 50 years with a school system run by liberals for the same period of time, and they are both beholden to public employee unions where a continuous decline occurs, what does that sound like? Detroit. The major differences between Los Angeles and Detroit are two: while their population crashed with 80% of it leaving for better environments, Los Angeles’ has not. It has been filled in by legal and illegal immigrants producing minimal revenues except for cheap labor for the limousine liberals who remain here. And, second, we have blue skies, warm weather and ready access to the Pacific Ocean.

The second portion of the report to come out will be fascinating to read. Will they make substantial recommendations which most likely will be ignored by the elected officials? When will the establishment realize they are playing a losing hand and change the rules of the game? Detroit proved that even in a country like the United States governments can fail from mismanagement. Is Los Angeles next in line?


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; US: California
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 03/09/2014 8:13:20 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Throwing away the treasury to unions and dependents does take it’s toll on the solvency of a city.


2 posted on 03/09/2014 8:23:36 AM PDT by A CA Guy ( God Bless America, God Bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: Kaslin

The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire...the dumb electorate chose this for themselves...let the motherBLEEP burn.


3 posted on 03/09/2014 8:24:29 AM PDT by NohSpinZone (First thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers)
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To: Kaslin
Some people apparently think nice weather and scenery is enough. Those who have a life think otherwise.
4 posted on 03/09/2014 8:24:48 AM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: Kaslin
Ruined perhaps, but they'll still be trendy green and still voting for lefty lunatics as bad or worse than Obama.


5 posted on 03/09/2014 8:27:52 AM PDT by Paine in the Neck (Socialism consumes EVERYTHING)
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To: Kaslin

The ONLY solution is suspension of democracy and appointment of a dictator for LA County.

Now, that “dictator” can come in the form of a “manager” like Detroit
Within Bankruptcy or just an outright APPOINTMENT!

I propose Col. Allen West and a brigade of Marines to protect him as he will be issuing a lot of orders that Black’s and Mexican’s are not going to like starting with a loud whistle and West just pointing south for ALL illegals!

Eliminate non citizens and La. Is on the road to recovery. After that, you’ve got to abolish unions or severely limit their activity and suspend selected activities of the Democrats for 50 years, or more among hundreds of other moves.


6 posted on 03/09/2014 8:35:22 AM PDT by Cen-Tejas (it's the debt bomb stupid!)
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To: hinckley buzzard
"Some people apparently think nice weather and scenery is enough.

We're all breatharians now!


7 posted on 03/09/2014 8:41:55 AM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: Paine in the Neck

“Ruined perhaps, but they’ll still be trendy green and still voting for lefty lunatics as bad or worse than Obama.”

The company, I worked for, had several dozen employees in the LA area. Many pretended to be conservative until they got fired or early retirement. Then, they magically became flaming liberals.

The flaming liberals stayed in the LA area after leaving the company. A handful of conservatives left the LA area asap after leaving the company.

Those, who stayed are in the LA area, are blood members of the 40% of loyalist left wing supporters, who supported Clintoon and the current loser regardless of what they did or do.


8 posted on 03/09/2014 8:45:52 AM PDT by Grampa Dave ( Obozo Care is a Trinity of Lies! Obozo Care is probably a serious Black Swan event.)
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To: Kaslin

A government is just a reflection of the people that create it. Los Angeles has a majority Third world population. A Third world people can’t create or maintain First World institutions like an honest, efficient government.


9 posted on 03/09/2014 8:50:03 AM PDT by Count of Monte Fisto (The foundation of modern society is the denial of reality.)
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To: Kaslin
Thanks Kas

...The problem for cities and states nearing bankruptcy is clear : too many employees, too high salaries and way too much in pensions. Roll these things back and the problems of money disappears.....

10 posted on 03/09/2014 8:50:14 AM PDT by virgil283 (When the sun spins, the cross appears, and the skies burn red)
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To: Kaslin

Every elected official beholden to city unions and the SEIU.

The city will need to change name to Detroit West.


11 posted on 03/09/2014 8:51:53 AM PDT by Vaduz
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To: Kaslin

Doesn’t help to have a huge illegal alien population.


12 posted on 03/09/2014 9:00:31 AM PDT by RightGeek (FUBO and the donkey you rode in on)
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To: Kaslin
The next step will be a big increase in Pension plan benefits that include all elected officials, just before the city declares bankruptcy.
13 posted on 03/09/2014 9:04:24 AM PDT by stocksthatgoup (Take out the trash)
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To: Grampa Dave

Liberal ideology can be described as the dog chasing the car. Ok Sparky, you caught the car. now what?

Alinsky taught the left how to take over a government. But nothing about how to run one. He taught the left how to destroy humanity. But nothing about how to nurture it. He taught the left how to promote social discord. But nothing about how to create harmony amongst its diverse citizenry.

The Democrat party is Occupy Wall Street on steroids. They will crap on everything and leave a mess behind. Then blame others.


14 posted on 03/09/2014 9:06:52 AM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (Insurgent Conservative)
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To: Kaslin

Even Snake can't save LA, so I say that we should follow the advise from another movie: "Just nuke it from Orbit. It's the only way to be sure."

15 posted on 03/09/2014 9:07:20 AM PDT by Kartographer ("We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.")
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To: EQAndyBuzz
"taught the left how to take over a government. But nothing about how to run one"...Brilliant, I like the way you think....
16 posted on 03/09/2014 9:14:06 AM PDT by virgil283 (When the sun spins, the cross appears, and the skies burn red)
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To: Kaslin

The left can keep what it has wrought. The wise will continue to leave.

Some are calling for a federal bailout. The left didn’t bail out Detroit, but it will bail out LA?

Not likely. The beggar line will grow overnight if any city is bailed out.

The other problem is that California’s weakening economy hurts the rest of country. It used to be an economic driver, now it’s an economic drag.


17 posted on 03/09/2014 9:23:17 AM PDT by SaxxonWoods (....Let It Burn...)
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To: Kaslin
Does this sound familiar? A city run by liberals, leftists and public employee unions is running the city into the ground. People are driven outside the borders of Los Angeles by two major factors that have not changed and only gotten worse over the 45 years I have lived here: 1) the school system stinks and anyone with means moves to neighboring communities and/or utilizes private schools; and, 2) the business taxes are so devastating that businesses don’t move here or move out, taking revenue and jobs with them.

Hey if the rich would just pay their fair share everything would be hunky dory. /S

The Schools would be great and everybody would graduate if we would only pay teachers enough to get the best people to teach. /S

18 posted on 03/09/2014 9:34:20 AM PDT by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
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To: EQAndyBuzz

Very true.


19 posted on 03/09/2014 9:48:05 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: Kartographer

Call me Snake

BTW that movie sucks it is true about LA LOL! going be Detriot West in few years


20 posted on 03/09/2014 9:50:05 AM PDT by SevenofNine (We are Freepers, all your media bases belong to us ,resistance is futile)
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To: Kaslin
If LA fails, Governor Brown will appoint a conservator and use state revenues to ensure all pension/medical benefits are funded and paid, without concession.

There will be no layoffs and no missed checks.

But I would not want to be a holder or insurer of those municipal bonds. Default, across the3 board. School bonds, water bonds, City bonds of every conce3ivable type is where LA gets up to 20% of it's funding for the last 30 years.

THE UNIONS WILL GET PAID. THE BONDHOLDERS WILL GET SCREWED.

One has to ask who the retards are who buy this debt. LA already has well over $50bil on the books (every dept and agency) plus $30bil in unfunded pension debt.

The City of LA will sell another $5.5bil...just the City proper, not inclusive of all agencies, in 2014.

If it's like the State of CA the pension funds buy much of it:)

21 posted on 03/09/2014 10:03:29 AM PDT by Mariner (uely)
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To: Kaslin

“I have believed Los Angeles was a disaster for a long while.”

More accurate


22 posted on 03/09/2014 10:54:18 AM PDT by Nifster
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To: Kaslin; All

Why is anyone surprised??

Oakland
Detroit
Chicago
New York City
Seattle
Portland
San Francisco
Los Angeles
San Diego
Washington DC
Cleveland

The list just goes on and on and on


23 posted on 03/09/2014 10:59:26 AM PDT by Nifster
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To: NohSpinZone

Unfortunately the fire burning next door will burn down my house as well

I do not advocate tax dollar bail outs or anything else. There are good and decent conservatives who live in and around LA. It is hardly their fault they are out numbered (by dopes and illegals)


24 posted on 03/09/2014 11:00:57 AM PDT by Nifster
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To: Count of Monte Fisto

“A government is just a reflection of the people that create it. Los Angeles has a majority Third world population. A Third world people can’t create or maintain First World institutions like an honest, efficient government.”

And unfortunately, that applies across the country anywhere there is a pocket of illegal immigrants. Arizona is a lot like SoCal. The wealthy have their “protected” areas. A lot of the rest of their population centers are free fire zones too. Pick a place where you have a concentration of illegals and you have the same situation. In Dearborn, it’s the MUZZIES, so it isn’t just Mexicans that are the problem. People from $hit holes, don’t need much improvement to be satisfied with their lot. If you drive through most of Los Angles, you see they are well along toward becoming Detroit.


25 posted on 03/09/2014 11:02:18 AM PDT by vette6387
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To: Count of Monte Fisto

Just remember that applies at that national level as well


26 posted on 03/09/2014 11:02:45 AM PDT by Nifster
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To: Paine in the Neck

Reminds me of Boston except our MSA has done an admirable job of hanging on. There are many buildings like that in our area and they’re worth millions of dollars in the right location or at least a few hundred thousand in the ratty areas. My observation is that more than anything else it has to do with the demographics of the area.


27 posted on 03/09/2014 11:04:03 AM PDT by MSF BU (n)
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To: Kaslin

Solution...... the Big’un

Earthquake will devastate and depopulate.


28 posted on 03/09/2014 11:34:15 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... History is a process, not an event)
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To: Cen-Tejas
The Plague, or Black Death, was devastating to the people of the 14th Century, reducing the population by a third. This had the effect of increasing average wealth and also concentrating substantial wealth in the hands of "entrepreneurs". I read recently that this new concentration of wealth was what later made possible the ventures of Christopher Columbus.

Picture the possibilities of a great de-immigration event.

29 posted on 03/09/2014 12:01:26 PM PDT by AZLiberty (No tag today.)
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To: Mariner

Great post.

I had no idea the scale of debt was that large.

When you say the “pension funds buy much” of the debt, do you mean the government pension funds in California?

That’s almost like printing your own money.


30 posted on 03/09/2014 2:14:28 PM PDT by zeestephen
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To: zeestephen
Yeah, govt pension funds.

They buy up the debt so the City (or state, whatever) can keep the spending on wages, benefits and total head count high.

It's the idiot muni insurance companies and their shareholders that'll hold the bag when it goes bang.

There is no public debt in America worth a damn when it starts to unwind.

And it will unwind.

Once it starts the cascade effect will bring it to closure pretty quick.

31 posted on 03/09/2014 4:45:35 PM PDT by Mariner (uely)
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To: Pontiac

“Greedy capitalists desert the underprivileged and run off to their gated communities.”
There, fixed it.


32 posted on 03/10/2014 7:51:37 AM PDT by steve8714
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To: SaxxonWoods

And yet, since he took office, the crime most worthy of criminal prosecution by the Holder Justice Dep’t? Illegal copying and downloading.


33 posted on 03/10/2014 7:54:51 AM PDT by steve8714
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To: Kaslin
I live in Los Angeles. BUt we just bought a place in NH and will be moving out of CA and Los Angeles shortly. Reason #458:
34 posted on 03/10/2014 9:48:13 PM PDT by 4Liberty (Optimal institutions - optimal economy.)
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