Saturday, January 12, 2008

Fundamentally Flawed

Last year at this time Ventura County suffered a hard freeze. Happens about every 10-15 years and damages crops and often orchards themselves.

Here is a Ventura Star story about the response that makes it abundantly clear why California has a budget crisis and why it cannot solve that crisis:
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger quickly announced the opening of "one-stop" assistance centers. They were touted as places where displaced farmworkers could find "job and unemployment assistance, support with food programs, healthcare information, warming center location information and other essential services."

But immigration laws blocked assistance from going to anyone who didn't have a Social Security number or proof of eligibility to work.

Many farmworkers are undocumented immigrants, who are eligible only for social services such as child care assistance and referrals to food distribution programs. ...

Meanwhile, Schwarzenegger's office and other state agencies, realizing what was happening, figured out a way to move money to farmworkers affected by the freeze. Emergency loans began flowing to farmers and grants to the food banks. The state, for example, allocated $461,235 to the Center for Employment Training in Oxnard to help Ventura County farmworkers pay their rent.
Half a million dollars to help pay rent in crowded Oxnard tenements to subsidize illegal farm workers. They are proud of their ability to find a way around immigration law.

18 comments:

Santa Flipper Clause said...

Ho Ho Ho - It's Santa Flipper Clause

Like housing, the California budget is going to get much worse before it gets better.

Murst?

Santa F. Clause

Lou Minatti said...

Not to be snarky or anything, but I was under the impression that global warming would put a stop to this.

Rob Dawg said...

No, no, no... illegal immigrants have small carbon footprints. The goal is make us all live their lifestyle not the reverse. Ask the Kalifornia based Sierra Klub who have as one of their biggest threats to Kalifornia population pressure. They also favor essentially uncontrolled borders. Well, not really. Good: people, diseases, terrorism. Bad: energy, freedom.

Global Warming is only for the headlines. For insiders there are better definitions. The enemy is global climate change and the target is anthropometric atmospheric carbon dioxide. For the real insiders you have to make the sociologically important distinction of first world emissions as distinct from developing world necessity. A lawnmower in Austin = bad, a coal plant in Central China = good.

Lou Minatti said...

Well, the comments over at SFGate are pretty clear about what needs to be done.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/01/11/MNCUUD91O.DTL

Rich people need to pay more taxes. So there you are. Problem solved.

Akubi said...

Trial by fire is a good thing

Heywood Mogroot said...

to add insult to injury GSPG.OB is currently $10,000 in the green for our favorite snowflake.

Lost Cause said...

What is there to read here today? Rich white men picking on the poorest members of our society. They have few rights. They are the people who actually do the work, while you get fat.

Do you realize that you are complaining about poor farm workers needing food to feed their families during a catastrophe? What a dog, indeed.

Rob Dawg said...

Poor? Are you crazy? My kids go to school with their kids. My wife went to school with them. Rich don't even begin to describe these farmers and ranchers. Interestingly they are to a person very hard workers and down to earth types.

Ohhhh, you mean the laborers they hire. Well... yes they are a problem. We really need to help them and far more improtantly their families. Our twisted and sick immigration policy is tearing apart families luring away the best and brightest people from places that sorely need their efforts at social reform and productivity.

Lou Minatti said...

I do think people get carried away with blaming Mexicans for everything. I suspect that even if there wasn't a single illegal in California ya'll would still be looking into the abyss with your budget.

Revenue was up 40% in just 3 years, and your politicians pissed it all away. Don't they believe in saving for a rainy day? The rainy day has arrived, only it's a deluge.

I don't make 40% more now than I did 3 years ago. Few of us do. If I had to cut 10% from my family's budget we'd do just fine. No trips to Chuck E. Cheese and no Disneyworld this summer. BFD. California can provide the same level of service with a 10% cutback. The budget would still be a huge increase over what it was 3 years ago even with a paltry 10% cut. State governments are larded with waste and fraud and dead weight. Politicians simply lack the will. They are also on the take from the government unions.

Edgar said...

Caleeforneeah is uber funny! It's like the circus, only with more clowns and such.

w said...

Tell me if I am wrong... California is looking to cut 10% from the budget as a first step to balancing the budget that is forecast with annual increases already in place. To the government a budget cut is when their God given right to an annual increase is cut. Not only are departments going to conceivably lose 10% (or some amount) across the board but they cannot count on annual increases they have already budgeted for.

Ogg the Caveman said...

I hear a lot about how inefficent Caltrans is. Do they do the actual construction work themselves, or put it out to bid as is done in some other states?

Lost Cause said...

This "budget crisis" is more posing and posturing by Ahnohld. He is using this opportunity to burnish his fiscal conservative credentials. Just wait until the actual goods are delivered. Most of his supporters are living off the state. Nobody is going to take a cut, because supplying the state and living off the largess of the budget is not just the province of a few highly paid civil servants, but countless contractors as well.

Of course, it is easier to blame the workers and retirees. But they are not politically weak anymore. But they are not nealy as strong and as rich as those who get most of the state's money.

Tyrone said...

Off-topic, but also fundamentally flawed...
Diamond in the Rough
Remarks A True Diamond in the Ruff. Bank Owned - Great neighborhood, incredible potential, light fixer, park like backyard (with some tlc),...

Hat tip to Lockwood.

Arthur Wankspittle said...

tyrone - nice one, follow the link to zillow and the aerial picture shows the pool a nice emerald green. Now where have I seen that before?

Ogg the Caveman said...

Why would you include a picture of a dirty pool in an ad like that?

Peripheral Visionary said...

Rob, with all due respect, California's crisis isn't due to handouts (although there are probably too many of those) as much as it is due to horribly outdated government-employee relations. The old union contracts are killing the state, as they prevent it from cutting non-performing government workers and restructuring retirement benefits.

The best long-term solution may be to put a freeze on hiring and let attrition reduce the government headcount, all while replacing with contract workers who can be severed at will and who do not receive retirement benefits. The Federal government is already slowly moving in that direction, but the pace may pick up as further budget crunches hit.

The cut to projects is also a step in the right direction, however. That's where budget surpluses get eaten up and then some (e.g. NYC subway project, Boston Central Artery, Washington D.C. stadium, Utah Legacy Highway.) It's arguable that in many cases those projects are worthwhile--they just aren't worth nearly what the government ends up paying for them.

Tigi said...

Looks like snowflake dr.phil episode will be finally aired this wednesday:
http://www.drphil.com/shows/