Saturday, January 5, 2019

January, 2019, Part 4, Political Class Insanity: Political Failure and Poverty In California and Bernie Sanders Ran A Sexist Campaign

It is another month which means it is again time to review the latest political class insanity from Washington and around the world. Political class insanity takes many forms including the wasting of taxpayer wealth, criminal fraud within government programs, inane and stupid political quotes and actions, the inability to create and implement effective and efficient government programs, stupid and ill performing economic policies and strategies, and other forms of insanity that continue to evolve and surprise and shock us.

Let’s get started:

1) We have often discussed the reality that California is the least free state in the union. It over regulates everything, it has high taxation rates across the board, and its election processes opens up to its elections to fraud, both real, criminal, and imagined. As a result, people are leaving the state in droves, it has the highest electricity rates in the country and has the highest poverty rate in the country.

If you do not believe us, consider a recent article on the California Political Review website. It was written by Stephen Frank and was entitled, "Jerry Brown “Legacy”: Highest Poverty in Nation, Highest Homelessness/Worst Affordable Housing." The low lights of the current situation in the state include the following:
  • Under Governor Jerry Brown, the state has the highest poverty level, a massive shortage of affordable housing, a massive homelessness problem, the worst roads in the country, a massively failed train program, etc. 
  • Things are so bad that Mr. Frank now calls California a Third World state. 
  • Back at the start of Brown's second term as governor, various redevelopment agencies around the state helped develop housing to the tune of $1 billion a year. 
  • But with the state overspending its budget elsewhere to the tune of $25 billion, that pot of redevelopment money was too tempting not to go after. 
  • As a result over the next eight years of Brown's term, affordable housing became rarer and rarer and more expensive, according to Chris Hoene, executive director of the California Budget and Policy Center: “There are really two legacies. The first of those was the dissolution of redevelopment agencies.” 
  • This action resulted in median home values becoming the highest in the country which caused even the renters in California to spend more than a third of their income on their homes. 
  • This pushed California to become the state with the highest poverty rate in the country. 
  • According to Tyrone Buckley, policy director for Housing California: “Gov. Brown was really our primary barrier. Because he didn’t like the fiscal impact on the budget.” 
  • In a last desperate attempt to fix what he broke before he left office, he did push through some bills that would begin to address the problem. 
  • But in true Democratic/liberal way, he did so by instituting a new tax, this one on reality transfers, in California, when in doubt, raise taxes. 
Just another example where politicians make a bad situation worse. Nowhere else int he country are citizens taxes and lives regulated as much as in California and nowhere else int eh country is life so screwed up, including the housing market. Coincidence? I do not think so.

2) But it was not just the housing market and economy that Brown screwed up in California, he did a brilliant job screwing up the state of the art train system he envisioned for the state, a bad idea to begin with that just got worse and worse and more expensive as time went by. Consider the details of this massive screwup as discussed in a recent article on the Hoover Institute website:
  • The California High Speed Rail effort began in 2008 and was supposed to build a high speed rail line from norther California through the Central Valley to southern California. 
  • It was supposed to cost $39 billion for the whole effort. 
  • But in rue government/political class ineptness and inefficiency manner, the estimated cost is no closer to $100 billion, two and a half times the original cost put forth just ten years ago. 
  • The first passenger to ride from southern California to norther California are now projected to occur in the year 2033, four years longer than the original completion estimate. 
  • $5.4 billion have already been spent with not much to show for it. 
  • The California High-Speed Rail Authority, the government agency responsible for building the high speed line, only has a budget of $12.7 billion, about only 13% of what is need to compete the whole project. 
  • This amount is not even enough to build the first two legs of the line, from Bakersfield to Madera and from Gilroy to San Francisco. 
  • Even worse, the $12.7 is not enough money to even connect these two legs even if they were built.currently has about $12.7 billion, which is probably not even enough to build the two first legs of the planned route, from Bakersfield to Madera, and from Gilroy to San Francisco. Moreover, this $12.7 billion doesn’t include the cost of connecting these two routes. 
  • According to the article, there is no viable plan that exists or in the works that will fund the remainder of the project. 
  • Somehow the state politicians thought that private investors would step up and help fund the project, an idiotic idea then and especially now, given the sad condition of the plans and progress. 
  • Things are so bad that the High Speed Rail Authority itself did a study in 2014 that estimated total benefits of the line over time to be $80 billion. 
  • But those benefits would happen way out in the future and really who cares if the long term benefit is $80 billion when the current cost is $100 billion, which will probably go higher, simple math would say why continue to fund and plan for such a bad paying project that will lose at least $20 billion over time? 
  • The article points out the gross mismanagement that has infested the entire project from the start and which will probably lead to a final cost higher than the already gross cost of $100 billion: "These mistakes range from awarding construction contracts before securing the land needed for the project, to failing to determine how utilities would be relocated, to making key decisions before all parties involved had signed agreements. Not surprisingly, litigation runs amok over this mess." 
What a mess. Cost overruns, construction delays, mismanagement every step of the way. Given that we just found out that above that California has a housing, homeless, and poverty crisis, think how much better that $5.4 billion could have been spent to alleviate the hardship of needy California citizens vs the pipe dreams of state politicians and their greedy contractors.

3) Bernie Sanders is a Socialist Senator that gave Hillary Clinton a good run for her money in the 2016 Democratic primaries. While Clinton prevailed, Sanders built up a large base of younger folks who were looking for an alternative to the current political class.

Sanders has been an avid critic of Trump, like many Democrats, acting holier than Trump when it comes to women's rights and respect. This position helped Sanders build up his follower base.

But recent news report are dispelling this myth that Sanders, and Democrat in general, are such advocates of respect for women:
  • A recent New York Times article claimed that Bernie and his male staffers were not very friendly to women's rights and respect. 
  • Keep in mind as you read on that this story comes from the New York Times, a newspaper that loves anything Democrat, liberal and socialist so the situation must have been really bad for them to actually publish it. 
  • The Times article described the Sanders campaign as a boys club which allowed complaints about sexual harassment to go ignored or not taken seriously. 
  • In addition, female staff members were paid less than their male counterparts. 
  • Female staffers have been sharing their stories on a group Facebook page. 
  • For example, a Sanders male staffer told a female staffer that she had beautiful hair and wanted to touch it. 
  • She consented, thinking it would be just a touch of a strand or two but the hair touching went much further, entering a groping stage. 
  • When she complained to a higher ranking staff member, Bill Velazquez, he told her that, “I bet you would have liked it if he were younger,” and then laughed, doing both in the presence of another woman who verified the exchange. 
  • According to another staffer, “I did experience sexual harassment during the campaign, and there was no one who would or could help,” said Samantha Davis, the former director of operations in Texas and New York. 
  • In addition, she was stripped of responsibilities when she refused to go to her supervisor's hotel room. 
  • Another example: “I don’t think he has to be the vehicle or the platform for the movement that emerged from his campaign,” said Sarah Slamen, who worked for the campaign in Texas.“Do you know how hard that is for me to say after working so hard for him?” 
  • Ms. Slamen eventually quit the Sanders campaign when she was berated by a male member for suggesting a certain plan for the campaign which she claims was done in a sexist manner. 
  • Samantha Davis, discussed above, was paid about $2,400 a month as a senior staff member but a younger male sho was supposed to report to her received $5,000 a month. 
  • Another female staff member was assigned to work in Chicago and was sent to a campaign house where she was told she would be sharing a bedroom with three men she did not know: “I was shaking with fear,” she said. “Literally, I remember thinking to myself, ‘What am I going to do?'” 
Hypocrisy abounds in this situation where Sanders and other Democrats have played the holier than thou women's rights card so many times when, in fact, they were just as despicable as Trump in so many ways. Proving once again that there is a special kind of pompousness and hypocrisy and ego when it comes to anyone of the political class.

That will do it for today: the sexism and disgusting behavior of Bernie Sanders campaign and the incompetence and resulting failures of California politicians. More insanity to come.

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