Things are tough for the American Dream these days.
California, once a gleaming jewel in the crown of the capitalist system (it was, for a brief, shining moment, the world’s 5th largest economy but is now the world’s 8th largest economy), has long been down on its luck. As with many US states, it has been run by a series of Republican, then Democratic, then Republican, Republican, then Democratic administrations over and over again, with each thoroughly corrupt gang of criminals ripping off the state and promising workers the sky and the moon if only they’d not go on strike and would keep on loving capitalism.
It worked for decades, more or less. Of course, the trickle-down theories of former Governor Ronnie Reagan never did trickle down much to the millions of workers living on the bottom rungs of California’s social ladder – the black and Latino masses who are forced to live in poverty-stricken ghettos where between the gangs shooting it out on the streets and the racist cops’ enforcement of capitalist “law and order” the working people can’t figure out who is worse.
Over the past decade or so, California went through one of those hair-raising boom-and-bust-and-boom-and BUST cycles that characterize the capitalist system everywhere. First, the “Dot-com boom” sent wages and employment rocketing skyward – along with the cost of living, and especially the cost of housing. During the big boom cycle of the dotcoms, all Americans were promised – during the Democratic Presidency of Bill Clinton – that we would all become millionaires if we’d just take all our money out of our meagre savings accounts and put it all on the eternally rising dot-com stocks!
Well, that was fun while it lasted. Then, before the smoke from the burning hulks of the never-showed-a-profit-dot-coms had even begun to clear, the speculators in Washington and Wall St. had another get-rich-quick-scheme going: real estate!
Yes, Bill Clinton was at it again, going on national TV saying that “every American should own their own home”. That sounded funny to us, given that most poorer working people have a hard enough time paying their rent, never mind making mortgage payments, which are almost always much higher than rent. Ah, but those “Friends of Bill” running US banks had an answer for that one: with housing values going up 17% and more every year for ever until either the sun explodes or Jesus comes back, no one will have to worry about paying off any loans – and they won’t even need to have jobs to qualify for their loans!
So, California real estate soared in value like a condor full of hot gas until… well, you know what happened.
We were having so much “fun” remembering all the great things capitalism has done for California over the past 20 years we almost forgot the Enron scandal! Yeah, the Enron scandal – remember that? – it came and the people of California saw their normally overpriced electricity bills soar right after that high-flying real estate condor like they were gonna kill that condor and eat it for breakfast!
Well, after all that, the Californians got so mad they “threw out the Democratic Bums” and got them a brand new Republican Governor – a no-nonsense, law-and-order Republican like Reagan. In fact, even tougher than Reagan – this one was made of a mimetic metal alloy! Or something like that, we forget.
So, in came the Terminator and that was fun until the bottom fell out of the real estate condor or something and housing values plunged like last year’s starlet’s movie career. That took the bottom out of the budget for every town and village in California, and next thing you know the Terminator was telling everyone that the worlds 8th largest economy was broker than Ron Paul’s hopes of becoming President! What a ride! We loves us some capitalism, don’t we?
The nation’s largest Public Employee Pension Plan, California’s own CalPERS, upon which the retirement dreams of millions of American Dreamers in that land of celluloid phoniness had pinned their future to, turned out to have had a bunch of dumbass economists running it who so completely swallowed Bill Clinton’s and his banker friends’ line about housing values never coming down again that they made a bunch of bad bets on worthless CDOs and lost billions of dollars in retirement money. The unions, whose “treasurers” were supposed to have been keeping a close eye on their fellow members’ retirement nest eggs, turned out to be as clueless as
Alfred E. Neuman.
The state’s finances got so bad that they had to make massive cuts to every social, educational and healthcare program that the workers of the state depend on for providing the basic necessities of life. California Uber Alles? Fuggetaboutit.
Now, we read once again in the Los Angeles Times about not one, not two, but many California cities are headed for bankruptcy.
Yes, California cities like Stockton, San Bernardino, Vallejo (been there, done that) and yes Los Angeles – home to millions of workers – are either in bankruptcy, about to go into bankruptcy or “headed towards” bankruptcy . And since every one of these cities has either a lying Democrat or a lying Republican running it, who really knows what the hell is actually going on? There’s no oversight of these criminals. This entire generation of California politicians has been responsible for the wiping out of billions of dollars of retirement money and life savings invested in houses and businesses that have gone upside down faster than you can say “CUT!”
So, brother and sister workers in California: who are you going to vote for this time? The Democrats who screwed you before or the Republicans who screwed you before? It’s like the whole state has just been one big porno movie, with the working class of California having money shot after money shot spewed into its face by a conga line of Democratic and Republican porn stars!
Think it’s time for a new workers party yet? Or haven’t you had enough?
If you still want more, all you gotta do is… you know… say ACTION! The Dems and Repubs are lined up ready for your next big money shot!