Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Joel Kotkin Holds a Mirror to California and We See Illinois

Gov. Pat Quinn is one hobbled donkey.

CHICAGO -- Gov. Pat Quinn said Tuesday that he plans major spending cuts, including layoffs, as he tries to keep state government running within the tight budget sent to him by Illinois legislators.

Quinn would provide no details about the scope of the cuts. Asked if thousands of state employees could lose their jobs, he said, "We have to do what we have to do."
Forbes Magazine

Gov. Quinn's Labor Day must have been a sobering one, or maybe not. He's got a few years left and Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon has his back. Dr. Quentin Young, Planned Parenthood, SEIU, Sierra Club, Dawn Clark Netsch, Terry Cosgrove and every civil union, and of course TaxaPalozza's Ralphie Martire is always armed with pie charts to keep the Illinois peasantry quiet with platitudes and promises. Gov. Quinn stayed away from Labor Day marches and celebrations, because he had some really bad news - lay-offs are coming and it is THEIR fault.

THEIR (THE HAPPY ELECTORATE OF ILLINOIS REGULARS) consists of anyone and anything. Well, me for example. I voted for Pat Quinn. I was happy to help Pat Quinn, Catholic League guy with a compelling narrative of personal thrift and devotion to the working guy.

I knew better. Pat Quinn is hobbled by the powerful interests that got him elected. It was long dusty road to the Governor's Mansion. Pat Quinn mowed his own lawn, while George Ryan hired kids from Greenwood Street in Kankakee. Pat Quinn buried his 'personal opposition to abortion' in favor of his very public support of a Woman's right to choose to kill her unborn child. Pat Quinn saw the rise of public service unions as adding votes and not subtracting tax-dollars from Illinois' once robust middle class. Pat Quinn agreed Green every step of the way and drank gallons of Andy Stern's SEIU Purple Kool-Aid.

I remember when one of the parents of a couple of my students in Kankakee was vigorously organizing State, County and Municiple clerks into one of the one big unions, shortly after AO Smith, Roper and other industries left Kankakee County. He argued that getting clerks, secretaries, go-fers and others into a public sector union would build an army of voters.

Skilled trades and indutrial unions were all about cutting a trail to the middle class by dint of skills acquired and voctional advancement. SEIU changed all of that.
An unskilled worker was paid not by a standard collective bargaining agreement between a union and a private manager, but via legislation that is politically goaded. Vote this way and get support. That worker's dues were subtracted from his State, County, City, or State funded hospital, school district, or whatever paycheck.
Those dues went back to the one big union. The SEIU janitor remained a janitor and was doled out benefits after the right legislative session. The SEIU janitor is yet a janitor.

Pat Quinn the Governor is about to lay off that long serving janitor. Pat Quinn is the Governor looking for nickels in my basement couch. They're not there. I used them to buy Illinois ethanol gas at Kean.

Demographer and scholar Joel Kotkin has been the Jeremiah of economic disaster coming at the hands of the Progressive Philistines for years.

California's Progressive Template Governor Jerry Brown is Pat Quinn writ large.

Here's what he has going on:

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 Gilman 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. . . . 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.

Illinois is the reflection of California. Take a good look. I quit THEIR, here.

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