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Aaron747
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Op-Ed: California Has Failed To Live 'Woke' Values

Sat Feb 13, 2021 4:01 am

An interesting NYT opinion column today by Ezra Klein talks about the reckoning progressive politics are facing when seen through the lens of poor governance. Incompetence in government is always a popular topic, but criticizing voters for their decisions is not. He makes a controversial, and perhaps not incorrect assertion that SF voters (and Californians at large) are loudly proclaiming wokeness, while failing to vote for actionable policy. Of course it isn't THAT simple...dive deeper and there's a lot of historical and legislative background to why things move too slowly in CA. It's still up to voters to understand that and undo it.

"What we see at times is people with a Bernie Sanders sign and a ‘Black Lives Matter’ sign in their window, but they’re opposing an affordable housing project or an apartment complex down the street,"
@Scott_Wiener told me.


https://twitter.com/ezraklein/status/13 ... 32641?s=20

I worked in SF local government years ago and it was just too difficult to get small projects built. A major developer could afford the legal bills to push something through, but if you wanted to renovate a 6-story residential building or convert a warehouse to affordable housing, forget it - the planning commission meeting would be taken over by one or two locals opposed to shadows, early morning garbage collection noise, parking impact, whatever reason to oppose it.

Two other prescient examples:

In Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti persuaded Angelenos to pass a new sales tax to address the city’s homelessness crisis, but the program has fallen far behind schedule, in part because homeowners fought the placing of shelters in their communities

I have seen this time and again anywhere I have lived in the state - everyone is for homeless shelters, but they don't want them in their own ZIP code. Last year I had to convince my mom not to vote against a zoning change that would allow shelters in her area, yet she attends church regularly.

Then there's the issue of housing. A lot of Californians think they can vote for a single proposition and it'll change the building landscape like a magic elixir. But the existing laws are extensive and require carve outs, exemptions, and community action against NIMBYs to make it happen.

Some of this reflects the difficulty of wielding power in a state where authority is often fractured and decentralized. But that does not explain all of it. Watching SB50, State Senator Scott Wiener’s ambitious bill to allow dense construction near mass transit, fail has become an annual political ritual. Last year, Toni Atkins, the Democratic State Senate leader, sponsored a modest bill to allow duplexes on single-family lots. It passed the Senate, and then passed the Assembly in slightly amended form, and then died because it was sent back to the Senate with only three minutes left in the legislative session..

All Twitter quotes are Klein's and reference his article below:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/11/opin ... hools.html
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flyguy89
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Re: Op-Ed: California Has Failed To Live 'Woke' Values

Sat Feb 13, 2021 4:38 am

He’s not wrong. Not only is there the shambolic and sclerotic processes just to get new housing built (let alone designated affordable housing), but the government further handicaps itself by saddling on various special interest qualifiers (Union labor only, must pay highest prevailing wage, etc. etc) that by the time they finally can build, the per unit costs have ballooned so much that they can only build a fraction of the housing the dollars were originally earmarked for. So you end up with a situation that perpetuates poverty through high costs of living and unaffordable housing. Meanwhile, school boards busy themselves with renaming schools and money continues to get thrown at a non-high-speed "high-speed rail" and actual policy and reforms that would meaningfully alleviate people’s suffering is ignored.
 
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stl07
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Re: Op-Ed: California Has Failed To Live 'Woke' Values

Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:01 am

I never considered CA to be this socialist utopia that the media and people not from there portray it to be. Sure, they are blue but so is every other state with a high urban population.
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Aaron747
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Re: Op-Ed: California Has Failed To Live 'Woke' Values

Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:49 am

^
Yes, California is the intersection between runaway capitalism and social ills unsolved by well-meaning voters plugging the wrong leaks.
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Op-Ed: California Has Failed To Live 'Woke' Values

Sat Feb 13, 2021 8:30 pm

The politically powerful sell the idea government actions will benefit the “masses”; then proceed to use the political power to bend the outcomes to their benefit. Surprised? Zoning laws in California are expressly written to benefit the incumbent population, for example
 
luckyone
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Re: Op-Ed: California Has Failed To Live 'Woke' Values

Sun Feb 14, 2021 2:55 am

Strident political opinions often run afoul of personal benefit. Liberals and California aren’t unique to it. Heck, go to any church and hear the lip service and see how many of them are hung over from Saturday night.
 
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Aaron747
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Re: Op-Ed: California Has Failed To Live 'Woke' Values

Sun Feb 14, 2021 4:18 am

luckyone wrote:
Strident political opinions often run afoul of personal benefit. Liberals and California aren’t unique to it. Heck, go to any church and hear the lip service and see how many of them are hung over from Saturday night.


That's an excellent point too - perhaps most adults just aren't that good at introspection.
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c933103
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Re: Op-Ed: California Has Failed To Live 'Woke' Values

Sun Feb 14, 2021 7:20 am

luckyone wrote:
Strident political opinions often run afoul of personal benefit. Liberals and California aren’t unique to it. Heck, go to any church and hear the lip service and see how many of them are hung over from Saturday night.

Well, if you compare liberal and conservative, since the left-leaninh ideology are more inclined to believe in government's role in fixing things, so flawed political in the left can create more impact
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DL717
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Re: Op-Ed: California Has Failed To Live 'Woke' Values

Sun Feb 14, 2021 1:48 pm

I will never understand, and probably every other observer, why they didn’t dump everything on a coastal route (which makes more sense) between Santa Barbara and San Diego first, then use the revenue (and likely profit) to build out from there. Dumb.
Funny. It only took one pandemic for those who argue endlessly about natural selection to stop believing in natural selection.
 
luckyone
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Re: Op-Ed: California Has Failed To Live 'Woke' Values

Sun Feb 14, 2021 4:32 pm

c933103 wrote:
luckyone wrote:
Strident political opinions often run afoul of personal benefit. Liberals and California aren’t unique to it. Heck, go to any church and hear the lip service and see how many of them are hung over from Saturday night.

Well, if you compare liberal and conservative, since the left-leaninh ideology are more inclined to believe in government's role in fixing things, so flawed political in the left can create more impact

“Conservative” inaction can be just as impactful as “liberal” action.
 
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c933103
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Re: Op-Ed: California Has Failed To Live 'Woke' Values

Sun Feb 14, 2021 6:06 pm

luckyone wrote:
c933103 wrote:
luckyone wrote:
Strident political opinions often run afoul of personal benefit. Liberals and California aren’t unique to it. Heck, go to any church and hear the lip service and see how many of them are hung over from Saturday night.

Well, if you compare liberal and conservative, since the left-leaninh ideology are more inclined to believe in government's role in fixing things, so flawed political in the left can create more impact

“Conservative” inaction can be just as impactful as “liberal” action.

Citizens like to call for action on something but rarely would people call for inaction.
It's pointless to attempt winning internet debate. 求同存異. よく見て・よく聞いて・よく考える
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LCDFlight
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Re: Op-Ed: California Has Failed To Live 'Woke' Values

Sun Feb 14, 2021 6:17 pm

California is limousine leftist. These tech company guys don't care about poor people. They care about status and their own snobbery. CA is run by affluent government employees and their special goals. Their goal is to choke the wealthy, to get as many hundreds of billions as they can (for the affluent government employees.) None of it has to do with poor people. And California has an absolute ocean of them... partly because of environmental policies that prevent enough housing from being built. Those policies are designed to make rich white people feel good, and to enrich the government workers who get high salaries to administer them.

I would think if you study Brazil, you would understand California. In a nutshell, corruption, privilege, wealth and ignorance in the right places.
 
cpd
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Re: Op-Ed: California Has Failed To Live 'Woke' Values

Sun Feb 14, 2021 7:12 pm

I can find poorer people who also support environmental policies and who are also leftists.

Hmm, guess that doesn’t fit the model being pushed by the astroturfers.
 
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Aaron747
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Re: Op-Ed: California Has Failed To Live 'Woke' Values

Mon Feb 15, 2021 12:54 am

LCDFlight wrote:
California is limousine leftist. These tech company guys don't care about poor people. They care about status and their own snobbery. CA is run by affluent government employees and their special goals. Their goal is to choke the wealthy, to get as many hundreds of billions as they can (for the affluent government employees.) None of it has to do with poor people. And California has an absolute ocean of them... partly because of environmental policies that prevent enough housing from being built. Those policies are designed to make rich white people feel good, and to enrich the government workers who get high salaries to administer them.

I would think if you study Brazil, you would understand California. In a nutshell, corruption, privilege, wealth and ignorance in the right places.


There is corruption in certain places, especially as regards the public utilities and public consulting arenas. As for the other generalizations you made, they require some serious fact checking:

Tech people don’t care about the poor. Wrong...tech companies have completely changed the landscape of philanthropy in recent years, with giving approaching $10 billion.

https://www.fastcompany.com/40527428/am ... ilanthropy

The criticism that CAN be levied is that little tech charity money finds its way to the immediate community in CA because foundation interests tend to be global or too wide in scope. These people see their companies as global entities and they may even view local things like homelessness as the government’s problem.

As for being run by affluent government employees, I suppose you’re referring to eye popping city manager and university athletic coach salaries. But the average salaries in the largest public employers in the state are middle class by CA standards.

13 of the 20 largest employers in the state are state or county entities.

https://www.careerinfonet.org/oview6.as ... &nodeid=12

The average salaries are not affluent, according to PayScale:

University of CA system: $75K
LA County Sheriff: $87K
Caltrans: $72K

There is one other major state employer left off the linked list, and that’s the UCLA Health System with 32,000 employees. The latest data from PayScale says their average is $55K.
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Tugger
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Re: Op-Ed: California Has Failed To Live 'Woke' Values

Tue Feb 16, 2021 12:36 am

Aaron747 wrote:
As for being run by affluent government employees, I suppose you’re referring to eye popping city manager and university athletic coach salaries. But the average salaries in the largest public employers in the state are middle class by CA standards.

13 of the 20 largest employers in the state are state or county entities.

https://www.careerinfonet.org/oview6.as ... &nodeid=12

The average salaries are not affluent, according to PayScale:

University of CA system: $75K
LA County Sheriff: $87K
Caltrans: $72K

There is one other major state employer left off the linked list, and that’s the UCLA Health System with 32,000 employees. The latest data from PayScale says their average is $55K.

The problem though is the spiking that is allowed. And the salary averages do not take that into account. But the pension payments do. Me personally I would say limit pensions to a max of double the average in the class, regardless of what the "finally year wage" was. No overtime or medical or buying years spiking pension.

And I am fine if some "highly qualified" bloatocrat is lost to another state or system. (County and Federal are the other giant pension spikers. I'd kill that too.)

Tugg
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Aaron747
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Re: Op-Ed: California Has Failed To Live 'Woke' Values

Tue Feb 16, 2021 1:55 am

Tugger wrote:
Aaron747 wrote:
As for being run by affluent government employees, I suppose you’re referring to eye popping city manager and university athletic coach salaries. But the average salaries in the largest public employers in the state are middle class by CA standards.

13 of the 20 largest employers in the state are state or county entities.

https://www.careerinfonet.org/oview6.as ... &nodeid=12

The average salaries are not affluent, according to PayScale:

University of CA system: $75K
LA County Sheriff: $87K
Caltrans: $72K

There is one other major state employer left off the linked list, and that’s the UCLA Health System with 32,000 employees. The latest data from PayScale says their average is $55K.

The problem though is the spiking that is allowed. And the salary averages do not take that into account. But the pension payments do. Me personally I would say limit pensions to a max of double the average in the class, regardless of what the "finally year wage" was. No overtime or medical or buying years spiking pension.

And I am fine if some "highly qualified" bloatocrat is lost to another state or system. (County and Federal are the other giant pension spikers. I'd kill that too.)

Tugg


Agreed. The spiking has caused outrage every year due to the level of transparency in state payroll data but there has not been a serious effort to curtail the silly pay seen in top medical and athletic positions.

We have touched on pensions in these discussions before - 2/3 of the final salary is obviously way too high, but voters erroneously chose that too.
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Op-Ed: California Has Failed To Live 'Woke' Values

Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:38 pm

Tugger wrote:
Aaron747 wrote:
As for being run by affluent government employees, I suppose you’re referring to eye popping city manager and university athletic coach salaries. But the average salaries in the largest public employers in the state are middle class by CA standards.

13 of the 20 largest employers in the state are state or county entities.

https://www.careerinfonet.org/oview6.as ... &nodeid=12

The average salaries are not affluent, according to PayScale:

University of CA system: $75K
LA County Sheriff: $87K
Caltrans: $72K

There is one other major state employer left off the linked list, and that’s the UCLA Health System with 32,000 employees. The latest data from PayScale says their average is $55K.

The problem though is the spiking that is allowed. And the salary averages do not take that into account. But the pension payments do. Me personally I would say limit pensions to a max of double the average in the class, regardless of what the "finally year wage" was. No overtime or medical or buying years spiking pension.

And I am fine if some "highly qualified" bloatocrat is lost to another state or system. (County and Federal are the other giant pension spikers. I'd kill that too.)

Tugg


Pretty hard to spike a Federal FERS retirement—1% per year of base salary, OT or comp time not included.
 
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Tugger
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Re: Op-Ed: California Has Failed To Live 'Woke' Values

Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:12 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Pretty hard to spike a Federal FERS retirement—1% per year of base salary, OT or comp time not included.

The one that bugs me is the allowance to "buy back" (buy in?) previous years of military service. Thank you for your service, it is valued and appreciated but if you quit the military and didn't get a retirement that was your choice (or you didn't meet the mandatory requirements).

I also completely against just 5 years as a federal elected official earning a full pension at 62.

Tugg
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