San Bernardino, California Private Enterprise Zone - Follow Up
Thu, Oct 31, 2013 - 11:36am
Detroit is in the news again, and those poor retired folks just took one on the chin, almost certainly getting only $0.16 on the dollar for their “constitutionally guaranteed” pensions.
With that being the case, I wanted to revisit a post from awhile back, about an alternative idea to the broken “tax-the-productive” revenue scheme of the bankrupt cities across America.
Recall, that Cities raise revenues from taxes on businesses, property, and sales taxes from consumption. This is in essence a taking from the productive, for redistribution to the government or its favorite groups, whether public union members, or their dependent constituent classes who receive public benefits, welfare, housing subsistence, etc., all of which creates nothing, produces nothing of value, and instead is strictly a user of other’s resources that have been taken by force or the threat of force. This is not an essay about limited government, or government in general, but is instead a realization that government is here to stay, for the foreseeable future, and that it is best that we realign the incentive structures if we hope to have any chance of normalcy for our future generations.
So, this is really about a vision of what should be, based on where we are right now, with a blueprint of exactly how to do it, and why it would work, under the current system, using the current rules, provided there was political courage to implement it. I can foresee no legal, moral, or other practical impediment standing in the way to at least giving this plan a try. Maybe I am wrong, and I missed a major point, or failed to consider something which proves fatal from the outset. Fine, then point it out, and off I go to the drawing board to rethink this whole concept.
But for now, I want to revisit it, and try to open up the dialog again, now that current events have brought once again the concept of government ineptness, corruption, lying and deceit to the forefront, all of which proves beyond a doubt that the current system in broken in dire need of total overhaul. What we need are not band aids anymore. We need structural reform. We need new ideas, concepts, radical change from the status quo, but we need to placate all of the piglets at the trough. Without addressing the stake holders in the status quo, nothing will get fixed. So, here we go, let’s dig in.
The original post was here:
I read through all of the comments, noted the many gracious compliments, and some not so gracious ad hominem attacks. The primary reason I posted the whole idea, was mostly because I firmly believe it to be a radical departure from the conventional thinking; such thinking is precisely what is called for under the circumstances we find ourselves in at the moment (TEOTGKE). I wanted to elicit all rational, reasonable criticisms that every one of the critical thinkers here could muster, so that I could address the incentive structure of the idea to counteract the anticipated, emotional responses from the electorate as this idea gets rolled out. Elections are coming in one year, and I would sure like to have this idea vetted by then. My goal is to have this plan, as amended, refined or what not, into the public conversation for San Bernardino in time for the election. I want to make the election about new ideas, not just which puppet candidate can make the most empty promises.
For those that attacked my idea, again, I wanted to express my sincere thanks. Not only did I want to hear praise at the concept of the PEZ, and for that I am most humbly thankful, I was also hoping to have all of you brilliant thinkers attack the idea, too, so that I could refine it and incorporate improvements to address the shortfalls. I have spent literally the better part of a year trying to coalesce my thoughts into a cogent blueprint to address the immediate problem that is San Bernardino governance.
Someone on the past thread suggested criticized me for suggesting that the public officials were corrupt. This is incorrect, and demonstrates an emotional response from someone who dislikes me personally, as opposed to someone who has found a flaw with my idea. Nothing personal, but I care not what some anonymous poster thinks of me. Quite frankly, even if I knew the names of the attackers I would still care not one bit. Still, I want to put that silly argument to rest.
Here is sample demonstrating, beyond dispute, the reality of the corruption problem in San Bernardino, all of which information is readily available to anyone with an internet connection, a browser, and rudimentary intelligence. Here is the recent stuff:
Here is more corruption, from pending criminal cases:
And, the corruption of public officials is not limited to San Bernardino City, but is a feature in and among politics of city and county governance. In short, corruption is rampant, pervasive, and impossible to stamp out under the current system because the current incentive structure is hopelessly flawed:
Corruption in Bell, California:
Corruption in San Jacinto, California:
I am not the only one who seems to have taken an interest in the problem, and tried to offer solutions. Here is an expert’s perspective, from this article here:
“David O. Friedrichs , a University of Scranton, Pa., professor who has studied corruption, believes local cultures often provide the structure for corruption -- a sense of that's just the way things operate. Similar problems have surfaced in northeastern Pennsylvania, he said, leading to indictments and convictions of political figures, including former National Football League lineman Greg Skrepenak, who was sentenced recently to up to 41 months in prison on corruption charges.
"People often see the answer as a kind of greed and personal lack of integrity, but that's a one-dimensional answer," said Friedrichs. "When it's this pervasive and persistent, you have to look beyond the motivation factor into the factors that in effect create the whole structure, or the culture, that not only encourages this kind of activity but in many cases make it so ingrained that it almost becomes the natural thing."
Friedrichs argued that corruption has been part of American culture from the beginning, and that fear of prosecution obviously has not been an effective deterrent. Greater citizen involvement, including formation of oversight committees on such issues as pay levels, could help, he said, by casting more eyes on the process.
"It's a very difficult problem to address," Friedrichs said. "It requires active, independent citizens groups that can provide truly independent oversight."
So, with this backdrop, and with the above information fully part of the public’s open and apparent collective knowledge, despite some loathsome poster who had misguidedly tried to malign me with ad hominem attacks, I would once again ask for input on the PEZ concept. Let us try to collectively refine the ideas into a workable solution.
Let’s address this in the comments below, and I will reply tomorrow morning as part of the dialog. Anyone who posted before, is welcome to repost their comment from before here again, and I will address each one as soon as I can, hopefully in real time to keep the conversation alive and meaningful.
Let’s tighten up this idea. I will try to get it in front of some people that matter, and who knows?