California uber alles
By Michael Di Domenico
Picture this. In any town, in any state, sits a nice, happy neighborhood with say, 50 houses. Some are bigger, some smaller, and while minor issues are unavoidable, for the most part everyone gets along.
At the end of the cul-de-sac rests the largest house in the neighborhood. The beauty of the home is exceeded only by that of the land, complete with lakes, rivers and open fields. For years, the community gets along without incident. It's the American dream.
Those in this quaint neighborhood watch as the family in the big house seem to have an endless supply of cash for expensive endeavors. Some have a hard time understanding how it could be so, but pay little mind beyond that. "It's their life and really none of our business and as long as it doesn't affect us who cares," they would mumble to each other.
It turns out though that, intoxicated on the notion that the good times would never end, those people in the big house didn't just spend wildly; they borrowed to do it. They installed an indoor, Olympic-sized swimming pool completely on credit even though they already had a pool that would have been too big for most of the rest of the homes in the neighborhood. They bought five cars, complete with monthly payments, for a household with just four licensed drivers. Multiple beach homes were purchased complete with boats and other fun toys they just had to have.
With each new expense, the outflows grew faster than the inflows and for a while, this was acceptable. At a point, the owner started to run a yearly deficit, but was always able to find a bank to loan him the money needed to not only get by, but to continue living their extravagant lifestyle. And so, the deficit grew.
No matter, he thought. He had a good job and the beach homes were an investment. If it really hit the fan one year, he could just dump one of those properties for a tidy profit and walk away a genius. What could possibly go wrong?
Then the economy slows. He loses his job and his new one only pays half of what he used to make. Where he once pursued the bankers, they're now after him. And those beach homes prove unmovable in the kind of down market a more prudent man would have at least considered. While this owner is down, he's not out. He devises an ingenious strategy to extricate himself from this mess.
So he's off to City Hall to implore the local council to listen to his idea. He explains that the survival of his neighborhood cannot be separated from his own. After all, what will happen to the value of those other 49 smaller, less-important homes if he's allowed to go under? And further, the town would be hurt too. Did they want to be known for its bankruptcies? After a few hearty harrumphs, the council agrees and together, they legislate to "save the neighborhood."
The plan is really quite simple. Each of the other 49 homes in the neighborhood will pony up enough cash to help the big home get out of trouble. Regardless of the struggles going on in each of those households, they must understand that it's for their own good.
What's to say that, while smaller, those other households aren't facing their own tough financial situations? Some may have been as irresponsible, relatively speaking, as the big house and will get no help. In fact, they'll face an even larger expense when forced to pitch in for their patrician neighbor. Even worse, what of the homeowners who spent wisely and loathed the excesses of their neighbor? Did they save their pennies for someone else's rainy day?
The idea is sold as a way to help the whole neighborhood, but of course, it's clear that this foolish folly can only lead to discontent that will tear this once-peaceful group of homes asunder.
Don't worry. This idea won't happen in your little town. No, an idea this colossally asinine can only come from Washington, DC itself. As 2010 begins, California, facing a $21 billion deficit for the year, is ready to ask the federal government to bail them out. For those who don't get it, the federal government isn't some benevolent tooth fairy that floats around sprinkling magic pixie dust on poorly run businesses and states; it's us.
We, the states, sans California, are those other houses. Some states like Texas have prepared for the tough times. Others, like Arizona where, over the last three years, revenues have fallen 40% while spending has doubled, have not done quite as well.
But what lesson will be learned by California if they get to avoid facing the disaster they've created with their pie-in-the-sky Socialist claptrap? For starters, they won't change. They'll be like the derelict who begs for change, only to run off to buy a bottle of hooch, a cycle that has no option but to repeat.
Worse yet, it's the other states, like New York and Michigan, who are on the train to insolvency that will be the observant students. When those states should be saying that they won't give money to California because they have their own issues, what they'll actually be saying is, "Where's our money?" This path cannot work.
For the record, California isn't asking for a bailout. They're calling it an "investment." If you believe that, as the old saying goes, I've got a bridge to sell you. No. Wait. I mean invest in. This is the same state that forced its own citizens to float them an interest-free loan, which they're due to repay this year. So that means the federal government will take our money to help California pay off their own constituents. What happens next year; another forced no-interest loan levied through taxes on Californians to pay us back? You have to be blind not to see this. It's like a shell game without the shells.
What's particularly galling about hearing this from California is that for the last several generations, these clods have spoken down to us like children. Hollywood and their lopsided leftist agenda have been painting conservatives with the same broad brush they wrongly assume average Americans use.
The next time you see a movie or a television show about politicians, look closely. The liberal is always, always the good guy; the champion for someone put upon by greedy businessmen or racist Southerners. On the other hand, the conservative is lucky if he isn't shown eating homeless people for sport.
But it doesn't stop at movies and shows about politicians alone. Hollywood is the propaganda outlet for all the tentacles of the Socialist agenda; environmentalism, abortion, open borders, healthcare, the hatred of big business and the military to name a few. Remember, this agenda in action, is why California is broke in the first place. But never let an economic collapse ruin a good Socialist party. So on and on it goes.
This isn't anything new. On an episode of All in the Family from way back in the seventies, in an effort to open the eyes of his father-in-law to the education problem in America, Meathead asks Archie, "Why do you think it's so tough for a black man to become a doctor," to which Archie responds, "Because no one wants to see a black guy coming at them with a knife." Funny, maybe, but as a realistic stance, it's ridiculous. This is no accident. The subliminal message here is that conservatives are mongrels, devoid of rational thought while filled with irrational hatred.
The ideology is even reflected in the awards shows. Beyond the fact that among the people thanked, or even spoken about, are never the United States military, look at who wins. When Al Gore announced that he'd made a documentary on global warming, you might as well have given him an Academy Award right there. The film could have been shot upside down and it wouldn't have mattered. I've got an idea. We hate George Bush. He's a cowboy and we all know that conservatives think homosexuals should be burned at the stake, so let's make a movie about gay cowboys. And the nominees for best picture are…
Seriously, I've had it with the lectures from the least responsible among us. It's like a friend who's entirely screwed up their life on drugs, coming back from rehab and explaining where you've gone wrong. Well, let's see. I've got a house, a family, and a great job while you have six weeks sober, a police record and a hole in your septum. Don't get me wrong. I'm glad you're clean. Now shut the hell up.
And if California were actually going to rehab, mending their ways, I'd at least feel better about things. Remember the story of the Prodigal Son? It's from Luke 15:11-32. For you people from California, that's from something called the Bible.
As the story goes, a man has two sons. The older one works hard in the fields, while the younger takes off with his inheritance only to squander it on hookers and such. Oh. We just got California's attention. So anyway, destitute, the son returns to his father who welcomes him back with open arms. This annoys the hard-working son. But the key to parable is that the younger son had learned his lesson and returned with hat in hand, begging just to work for his father. The father explains his actions to the older son thusly, "…this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found."
To rewrite the story to fit California's current characteristics, the returning son would need to be Lyle and Erik Menendez rolled into one, back to pilfer the rest of the inheritance, kill the family and head back for the hookers, only to worry about the consequences tomorrow.
Well worrying about the consequences tomorrow can only go on for so long. Even an amateur would notice that in the amalgamated version, the son would again run out of money, but this time would have nowhere to turn. The witching hour is coming for California.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has turned from Terminator to Predator, and he's after your money. We should have never bailed out the banks. We should have never bailed out the car companies or AIG. And we must not bail out California. When they say it's too big to fail, I say I'm too disinterested to care. If you don't want my values, you can't have my money.
Now it is 1984.
Copyright Bald Eagle Press, LLC 2010 Contact Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit his website at www.baldeaglepress.com
Get weekly updates about new issues of ESR!