The Economist has an in depth article on why California is so dysfunctional
ON MAY 19th Californians will go to the polls to vote on six ballot measures that are as important as they are confusing. If these measures fail, America’s biggest state will enter a full-blown financial crisis that will require excruciating cuts in public services. If the measures succeed, the crisis will be only a little less acute. Recent polls suggest that voters are planning to vote most of them down.
The occasion has thus become an ugly summary of all that is wrong with California’s governance, and that list is long. This special election, the sixth in 36 years, came about because the state’s elected politicians once again—for the system virtually assures as much—could not agree on a budget in time and had to cobble together a compromise in February to fill a $42 billion gap between revenue and spending. But that compromise required extending some temporary taxes, shifting spending around and borrowing against future lottery profits. These are among the steps that voters must now approve, thanks to California’s brand of direct democracy, which is unique in extent, complexity and misuse.
A good outcome is no longer possible. California now has the worst bond rating among the 50 states. Income-tax receipts are coming in far below expectations. On May 11th Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor, sent a letter to the legislature warning it that, by his latest estimates, the state will face a budget gap of $15.4 billion if the ballot measures pass, $21.3 billion if they fail. Prisoners will have to be released, firefighters fired, and other services cut or eliminated. One way or the other, on May 20th Californians will have to begin discussing how to fix their broken state.
Basically the state is socially stratified, gerrymandered, run by special interest groups and on top of it one has the above.
The Economist believes California is headed to a new state constitution.
They also blame the voter ballot initiatives. Now California style of ballot initiatives, written in confusing language and making it appear you are not voting for what you think you are....is the problem, not the process itself.
Special sales tax
10% on international wire money transfers.
I suspect that alone could solve California's money problems.
Executive compensation is inversely proportional to morality and ethics.
Maximum jobs, not maximum profits.
The economist wrote an excellent factual article on California, but unfortunately they were also helping Jim Wunderman of the Bay Area Council and his friends. The Bay Area Council are a group of CEO's who plan to sponsor a proposition in 2010 to rewrite the state constitution. They want to have a group of committee members pulled from the jury pool because they claim regular voters are the most dysfunctional part of California. They seriously disturb me. It is not necessary for California to become a corporatocracy. The word is democracy and it depends on elections and a well-informed electorate. Enough tampering with our state constitution through propositions. That is the problem in my opinion. I suggest Mr. Wunderman spend some time recovering the millions scammed from the state by Enron and friends.
Thanks for that intel
The Bay Area is already owned lock, stock, barrel by multinational corporations and those federal districts completely gerrymandered so knowing who the real players are and what's really going on is most useful.
It's hard to swim through CA politics so if you're "on the case", looking at it objectively that could really help us out in tracking on it.
(note the pun)
Not one mention of Prop 13? Just "divisive politics" and "direct democracy". Don't be fooled by the Economist's "centrism".