(Upper) Class War

California, you may have heard, is broker than than Steve Garvey on alimony day. Pick a horrifying number: There's the immediate $28 billion budget hole, the more than doubling of both debt and debt service since Arnold Schwarzenegger took office, or the estimated half-trillion shortfall in funding the Golden State's pension obligations. Incoming Gov. Jerry Brown has taken his first look under the hood, and declared that Californians have been living in "fantasy land."

So what are the state's leading academic lights doing to help solve this wretched state of affairs? Threatening to sue the University of California Board of Regents "unless the regents lift a $245,000 cap on how much salary can be considered when calculating pensions." I shit you not.

The demands aren't new; they're part of a pension-spiking agreement cobbled together in the annus extravangus of 1999, in which the UC would indeed peg retirement payouts to north-of-$245,000 salaries pending a waiver from the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS delivered in 2007, the perenially budget-pinched UC balked at delivering, and now the academics are holding firm. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, it would cost $5.5 million a year to fund the pensions of those 200 or so executives (of which 36 have joined the lawsuit threat), plus another $51 million to backfill to 2007. The UC's current unfunded pension liability is $21.6 billion.

Among those threatening litigation is none other than Berkeley Law School Dean Christopher Edley, who the Chron says made a $336,511 salary in 2009. Here's how Edley defends himself:

"I accept the criticism of me personally for insisting that UC stick to a promise that is financially important to my family," Edley told The Chronicle[.] [...]

"In terms of public relations, this is about a commendably frugal UC standing up to craven scum," he said. "All UC employees have made sacrifices - pay freezes, furloughs, reorganizations and layoffs. We craven scum (who signed the letter) are prepared to make further sacrifices, but disagree with UC staff about what's fair, necessary and wise."

If the regents go back on their 1999 promise to increase executive pensions, he said, the university will have trouble attracting good people to run the vast system of campuses and hospitals, whose total annual budget tops $20 billion.

"If UC is perceived as untrustworthy by senior job candidates, the damage may be significant," Edley said.

Doubtless.

University of California administrators have been telling themselves for decades that they are patriotically taking a huge paycut in order to enlist in the marvelous project of public education. This has fostered a long-notorious culture of extra-salary perks and the entitlement culture that goes along with them. Recall that the president of the UC system–who makes $591,000 a year–gets an $11,500 monthly housing allowance while the 10-acre mansion earmarked to house him goes into expensive, rat-eaten decay. They, like a lot of California's privileged class of public sector workers, are indeed contractually obligated to all kinds of goodies the state can't possibly afford.

On a wholly unrelated note, Dean Edley made a name for himself earlier this year by arguing in The New York Times that broke states should be allowed to borrow money directly from the Fed. Oh, and Edley once supported the (temporary) unhiring of Erwin Chemerinsky as founding dean of the UC Irvine law school on grounds that he was being too political in his op-ed writing. Fun quotes from back then:

"[UCI Chancellor Michael Drake] lost confidence in Erwin's willingness to subordinate his autonomy and personal profile for the good of the institution," Edley said.

Edley, who worked in the Clinton administration, said it was nothing that he had not been called to do himself.

"I was questioned explicitly by people who feared I would turn the deanship into a platform for my own ideological commitments," he said. "But it was clear to me then, and it's clear to me now, that the job requires something else."

Yes, it sure does.

Reason on the class war here; on failed states here.

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  • Johnny Longtorso||

  • Colin||

    Can't wait for the day the state files for bankruptcy, as it inevitably must. Then, these public leeches will really have something to complain about.

  • Rrabbit||

    Don't cheer yet. They might find a way to file for bankruptcy and yet pay out those overblown pensions.

  • ||

    If the regents go back on their 1999 promise to increase executive pensions, he said, the university will have trouble attracting good people to run the vast system of campuses

    Nothing in my extensive interactions with university administrators would lead me to believe that the job couldn't be done equally well by Koko the Signing Gorilla.

  • Almanian ||

    Koko signed, "So that's the best I can do? Thanks a LOT!"

  • BakedPenguin||

    Koko? Why not this guy? At least he doesn't fling poo (although admittedly, that could be a bonus when dealing with state bureaucrats).

  • The Replacements||

    I've seen monkey shit fights at the zoo that are more organized than this!

  • koko||

    Koko sing, no lick arses

  • ||

    Keep digging that grave, Edley. Get your name plastered all over the news so that when CA goes into the shitter for real, the average taxpayer knows where to find you.

    Side note: where are all the leftists complaining about executive compensation for these administrative scum? I guess only corporations can "overpay" executives, especially since the corporations are at least doing it with their own money.

  • Matt Welch||

    They are busy calling us hypocrites for not valuing the sanctity of contract!

  • ||

    Oh, partisanship: it makes hypocrisy a true way of life.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    We are all hypocrites now.

    I suggest Reason's New Year resolution be to sign your work.

  • Matt Welch||

    Whoops! Squirrels get hungry on New Year's Eve.

  • ||

    Wasn't it Matt who complained about unsigned NYT editorials...and perhaps even LA times editorials.

    This might be an inside joke we are not getting.

  • ||

    Side note: where are all the leftists complaining about executive compensation for these administrative scum?

    I hope that was intended as a rhetorical question.

  • Attorney||

    I had Edley (a/k/a "Deadly Edley") as a professor when he was still at Harvard. A very dull guy, who seemed to consider teaching a nuisance. (Full disclosure: he also gave me the lowest grade I got in law school, the bastard!)

  • BakedPenguin||

    What does a law school professor have to do but teach? Are they also supposed to be writing papers, etc., like other professors?

  • Attorney||

    They're supposed to publish, like real academics. Then if you're one of the lucky ones, like Edley, you get consulted by the government, appear on NPR, etc. Doesn't leave much time for dealing with those pesky students.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Also, for $300,000 a year, you think the guy could get a better suit, and some glasses that were made in the past 20 years.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    At least he's not letting his Soul Glo, so there's that.

  • Heh||

    And someone to handle his PR.

  • A for a Lay||

    Maybe your performance wasn't worthy

  • Attorney||

    Prof. Edley, is that you?

  • Mrs Attorney||

    Guess again

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    To be fair, law school professors are typically the worst lawyers in the nation short of the ambulance chasers. Like a lot of academics, they've holed up in the universities because their limited skillsets can't hack it in the private sector.

  • BakedPenguin||

    So Education professors are there because they can't even teach?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Well, to be fair an EdD IS considered a less rigorous degree than the other doctorates. :)

    Seriously, though, considering the quality of educators and education curriculums coming out of the various teacher training programs these days, I'd say that remark is probably more accurate than a lot of people would care to admit.

  • ||

    You poor baby...do you want a lollipop?

  • Spiny Norman||

    Incoming Gov. Jerry Brown has taken his first look under the hood, and declared that Californians have been living in "fantasy land."

    That's ridiculous. I don't know what Disney's revenues are, but I'd be willing to bet that Fantasyland is profitable.

  • cynical||

    California is also profitable, for the people that own its government.

  • ||

    The solution to all of this is obvious.

    If you want to make the University of California spend less money, then we need to raise property taxes--we need to get rid of Prop 13.

    Because as everybody knows, the only way to make drunken sailors spend less money is by giving them more of our money to spend.

  • ||

    If the regents go back on their 1999 promise to increase executive pensions, he said, the university will have trouble attracting good people to run the vast system of campuses and hospitals

    I *love* that argument.

    Well, yes, of course... the pool of candidates is so tiny it's utterly inconceivable that anybody would step forward. Except for some evil moneygrubbing scab, that is; we cannot risk allowing the Wrong Sort attaining such an august position in society. It's not about the money, anyway.

    And- I realize the Progressive Paradise is an expensive place to live, and everything, but if a guy who makes 330k can't be bothered to put a little something aside for his golden years, then I'm perfectly okay with seeing him live on dog food burritos.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    A. I'm taking that last line and putting it on Facebook.

    B. The pool of candidates for positions within academia has probably never been higher. Out of graduate school, I applied for some professorships at community colleges in California (I really have no desire to teach at any other level, but I thought a PT community college gig would be useful), and my lowly, ivy-league Masters degree wasn't even considered because there were so many Ph.D's floating around.

  • ||

    that is my experience as well, Sean the marketplace should be driving these salaries way down. There are plenty of people who would love these positions for half the pay. In academia, like the corporate boardroom there seems to be a growing sense of entitlement, I can only hope that eventually the rules of supply and demand will catch up and bring in a major adjustment.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I *love* that argument.

    Especially because Edley likely scoffs at high CEO salaries based on the same argument.

    Progressives of this particular stripe are so steeped in their own unwarranted sense of self-regard that they blatantly contradict themselves without a second thought, trip over the truth inadvertently, then pick themselves up and move on as if nothing happened. Hell, look at Paulie Krugnuts' entire career.

  • The Devil Inchoate||

    Let the state go bankrupt, then cancel their pensions altogether.

  • hmm||

    attorney + academic = worthless drain on any society

    What an arrogant egotistical douche nozzle.

  • Dominar Rygel||

    Our president was a law school professor, silly.

  • ||

    A Farscape reference? That's not something one sees every day.

  • ||

    I am willing to admit I love farscape unrepentantly.

  • ||

    The first season was truly excellent, but in the second they started to get more serious and it began to go downhill from there.

  • ||

    You must have liked the new Star Trek too. Grrrrr.

    I couldn't get past how, in the first Farscape episode, they played up how the aliens were able to understand each other's languages only because they had translator microbes injected into their brains at birth...but then in the second episode, Crichton's language is understood perfectly by the inhabitants of a planet that had never had any contact with anyone from Earth or anywhere else, and thus could never have had access to the translator microbes.

    If you're going to come up with an implausible BS explanation, at least stick to it for more than one episode!

  • ||

    I've never been able to sit through more than two minutes of Farscape, but if I were the creator of a line of engineered microbes which could help different species understand each other, I'd make them as contagious as possible.

  • ||

    Muppets.

  • hmm||

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    His hagiographers call him a professor, but typically achieving that rank involves publishing something other than a navel-gazing autobiography.

  • hmm||

    Does Krugnuts ever get tired of getting owned?

    http://mises.org/daily/4946

    I guess not.

  • ||

    Without the guiding wisdom of true quality leadership, how would Berkeley ever have been able to attract a fine legal mind like John Yoo? That's gotta be worth something.

  • hmm||

    I think you can legally be tortured for that comment.

  • johnl||

    The state should be suing administrators for allowing the pension fund to get 20 billion in the whole.

  • Lo Pan||

    Indeed! And you should be suing the administrators for passing you on your English courses.

  • ||

    "If the regents go back on their 1999 promise to increase executive pensions, he said, the university will have trouble attracting good people to run the vast system of campuses and hospitals, whose total annual budget tops $20 billion."

    When he says "good people", I don't think he means the same thing I mean when I say "good people".

  • Jerry||

    Obviously the "good people" are those who can rake in the most federal subsidy money by using their political connections.

  • ||

    When I talk about hiring "good people" to run things? I'm not talking about hiring somebody who will insist on unreasonable pension demands--and then sue us if their benefits package is driving us out of business.

    In the private sector, when we talk about trying to attract "good people", those aren't the kind of people we're talking about trying to attract.

  • bgates||

    You know, they always called each other "good people". Like you said to somebody, "You're gonna like this guy. He's all right. He's 'good people'. He's one of us." You understand? They were "good people".

  • Rrabbit||

    I remember quite a few recent cases where a top manager in a private company first made many millions, then his business strategy failed (or worse), then he got fired, and then he sued for the additional millions from some benefits package he still felt he had earned by wrecking the company.
    All of this not limited to the US, it happens in other countries as well.

    Yes, the private sector hires those "good people", too.

  • ||

    Luckily they do it with their own money....

  • Rrabbit||

    Not with their own money. With their shareholders' money.

  • Apogee||

    Yes, but the shareholders can sell their shares at any time, and face no visits from men with guns.

    They can also - surprise! - bring suit if they allege that fraud has occurred. No sovereign immunity there.

    Also, those same shareholders presumably purchased those shares. They weren't forced to buy them because of some "grand plan" from some minority stock market group.

  • ||

    Why do we have to keep repeating these things? Shouldn't this shit be common knowledge by now.

  • ||

    It should be, but as I tell my kids: There are a lot of morons out there!

  • ||

    "I accept the criticism of me personally for insisting that UC stick to a promise that is financially important to my family," Edley told The Chronicle[.] [...]

    He is aware that breaking that "promise" (and another hundred like it) is financially important to me and my family, right?

  • ||

    Why doesn't Tim sign half of his articles?

  • ||

    wait this reads sort of like Matt wrote it...

    WHO ARE YOU MASKED MAN???

  • Matt Welch||

    I don't think Cavanaugh would play the Garvey card up front.

  • ||

    Zombie Garvey, perhaps.

  • db||

    Those are the ones that David Koch writes.

  • Don't be silly||

    He doesn't have the balls to write here

  • ||

    The problem with raising the income cap is that it creates more income inequality for state workers. It would allow the rich state retirees to get richer while the average state retiree would see income stagnation. This is no good. Instead, they should reduce what those at the top end of the state system earn in pension benefits so that they are more in line with the rest of the state retirees.

    Here's a better idea, tell these leaches they have two choices: 1) be happy with what you've got and shut your pie hole, or 2) Ballot initiative to negotiate a new contract that only counts the first 70K of earnings to count towards retirement benefits.

  • ||

    "It would allow the rich state retirees to get richer while the average state retiree would see income stagnation."

    I'm not sure I understand what you're saying, but if you mean that we need across the board income stagnation for all state employees? Then I think that's a good first step.

    The fact is that this problem won't get any better until--unless--we see thousands of state employees protesting in the streets. Until we see thousands of state employees protesting in the streets, we know that this problem still isn't even being properly addressed.

  • hmm||

  • Almanian ||

    Wow. Good dog!

    PS Love how they show what is clearly NOT a Labrador's teeth...at least judging by the umpteen labs I've had over the years. Looks more like some type of bull terrier or doberman or something like that. Ah, the news...

  • kennewick man||

    Animal Control “determined that the dog was acting true to its nature by removing the wound from the victim as it would in the wild” and the incident was not a violation.

    The 3 inch spear head lodged in my hip disagrees.

  • mclaren ||

    This doesn't even begin to touch on why CA is in such crappy condition.

    Reason 1: CA for 40 years financed itself with a growth Ponzi scheme. It worked like this: people from other states stampeded into CA to live. They were mostly young people looking to start a family and get a job, and back in the day, with the aerospace industry booming and the housing market exploding and all the furniture stores and appliance stores growing like weeds and the new K-12 schools and universities sprouting up, jobs were plentiful in California.
    So people moved to CA in droves and paid property taxes and sales taxes and income taxes but they didn’t take very many services. 40 years ago Mexico had a much lower population and relative to America, their economy was doing well. So there wasn’t a flood of illegal immigrants either.
    Cities and towns in CA and the entire state got a bonanza. Constantly rising tax revenues with very low tax rates, simply because a giant tidal wave of people kept moving into CA and getting jobs and paying taxes but not using very many expensive services like medical or welfare or public transit.

    Gasoline was cheap, there was plenty of empty cheap land, life was good. People keep moving into CA in ever-increasing tidal waves, the state tax income kept going up and up and up but the state never had to put out much in outlays.

    Then, after 30 years of people moving to CA in droves, eventually all the cheap land got bought up. The first arab oil embargo hit in 1973, then the second one in 1978. A combo of skyrocketing housing prices + sky-high gasoline prices suddenly hammered the California Dream. And people no longer moved into California in giant ever-increasing tidal waves.

    Suddenly the tax revenue Ponzi scheme broke down. And California now had a huge flood of illegal immigrants to deal with plus huge numbers of newly impoverished people who needed state services—impoverished because CA started building prisons instead of universities, and because its aerospace and other industries dried up and blew away. Offshoring to China destroyed those good jobs and there was no more cheap land left and no more cheap gas.

    By the early 2000s more people were leaving CA every year than were moving in.

    That’s the main reason why California broke down. The state was built on endless growth fueled by a university/aerospace/hi-tech boom based on a freewar car culture built on $1-per-barrel oil in the 1950s.

    When the university/aerospace/hi-tech went away or got outsourced to Asia and the freeway car culture became unsustainable, the endless growth stopped and the California tax revenue Ponzi scheme fell apart.
    Where’s my proof?

    My proof that public employees have little to do with CA’s collapse is simple—look at the other states in the American Southwest fueled by the same now-dead freeway-car-culture and tax revenue Ponzi scheme. The most prominent of these states is Nevada, which used exactly the same endless growth scheme to fuel itself with constantly rising state revenues but low expenses.Yet, no vast apparatus of public employee unions in places like Nevada or Arizona.

    Nevada is in even worse fiscal shape than California.

    The reason Nevada/Arizona is collapsing is the same reason California is collapsing—both states ran tax revenue Ponzi schemes based on infinite growth forever, and that isn’t realistic. It took a long long time (50 years) but eventually the growth stopped. The cheap land got bought up, the commutes became unreasonably expensive, the gasoline stopped being cheap, the pollution and freeways and overpopulation made what had been a nice place to live a hellhole.

    This touches on the other important reason why California has fallen apart. Reason 2: CA used to be a great place to live 40 years ago. Little congestion on the freeways, lots of nice beaches, relatively clean air, great universities. Today California’s beaches are horribly polluted and often closed by the public health department (and in HelL.A. gang patrol cops sweep the beaches for tourists and warn them if they’re wearing the wrong colors. If you wear the wrong colors, used by the crips or the bloods, it can get you shot. That wasn’t true 40 years ago). \

    Today California’s freeways are impassably congested, the air isn’t as brown but there are so many more people that it’s much more toxic (now equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day in HelL. A.), and California has one of the worst school systems in the nation. When California turned itself into a giant penal colony with a nice ocean view, it stopped being a place everyone else in the United States wanted to move to. That’s an important part of why CA collapsed too.

    Bottom line: it was a combination of peak oil, the outsourcing of it's industry to Asia, a massive influx of illegals that caused California to collapse, not public employee pensions or Prop. 13. And the same fate awaits the United States.

  • ||

    TL;DR herp derp peak oil

  • ||

    TL;DR

    What this?

  • ||

    Too Long; Didn't Read.

  • ||

    Typing is hard.

  • Almanian ||

    Peak Stupid - when does CA get to Peak Stupid?

  • ||

    Since stupid is an inexhaustible resource....never?

  • ||

    Wow, dude: a wall of text, plus nativism and peak oil. You win today's douche award.

  • mclaren ||

    Wow, such a well-reasoned response!

    Let me know when you can respond on my intellectual level, until then go play with your Star Wars figurines and let the adults talk.

  • ||

    oh shit....

    I think we are about to bear witness to some anarchist ninja ass kicking...plus we might get our Friday funny this week in the comment section

    /popcorn

  • ||

    Oh, the time-honored "let the adults talk" tuff gai internet response.

    Tell you what: any moron who posts a wall of text like that is too dumb to even understand how online discussions flow, so you might want to be a little more hesitant in referring to your "intellectual level", subgenius. Plus you don't get any points for your nativism, and you get scored as "imbecile" for peak oil.

    You want my Star Wars figurines now, big guy? Maybe we go get you an ice cream? Maybe a Happy Meal?

  • hmm||

    Did someone say Happy Meal?

  • ||

    No toy for you, hmm! San Fran says so.

  • hmm||

    That's it. I'm getting my cap gun and going on the offensive!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Epi, this guy is no SubGenius. He hath no Slack.

    Seems more likely he's a Pink Boy.

  • ||

    Needs something about the "Homosexual Agenda".

  • ||

    If he had just called me a fag, that would have done it. I'm actually a little disappointed he didn't.

  • BakedPenguin||

    If it makes you feel any better, Epi, I think you're a fag.

  • ||

    Thanks, BP. (wipes tear from eye)

    But I honestly don't ride a Harley.

  • Epi's boyfriend||

    He's no fag. He likes to play pitcher!

  • BakedPenguin||

    But I honestly don't ride a Harley.

    That explains why you returned the leather jacket & gloves I got you for Xmas. Well, fuck it. Next year I'm just getting everyone on my list an 8-ball.

  • ||

    You got my hint! Remember, an 8-ball is always the better gift.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Hey mclaren, here's a well-reasoned response: you're fucking wrong, asshole. NV & AZ do not have debt problems anywhere near CA's on a per capita basis.

    Their pension obligation issues are nearly as bad, but then, you said state employees weren't the problem.

    Kindly fuck off now.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I don't think his premise is entirely mistaken; Arizona (well, specifically, the Phoenix metro area) has had a 60 year run of exponential growth. Nevada skyrocketed once the corporations took over the casinos in Vegas and made every effort to squeeze as much money out of visitors as possible.

    There might be disagreement over the particulars, but I don't think it's mistaken to point out that growth cannot be sustained forever and is not always positive.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I think where mclaren really missed the point, as you said, is by arguing that state employees weren't the problem. Well, yes, not the WHOLE problem, but they sure have been an important contributor in the post-Kennedy era.

    Perhaps the problem is that mclaren didn't see how the growth he criticizes and the power of the state employees go hand in hand. With growth comes ever-increasing demands for "services," typically followed by the justifications of "we need this money to provide for the communities!" The probability of the impact of a significant economic downturn coupled with the migration of retirees to other states never crossed their minds because the state employees made the same dumb assumptions about growth that everyone else did. The problem was that they are in a much better position to suck the remaining citizens dry despite ever-decreasing rates of return on revenues.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Some states have dealt with growth - and the demands for services - far better than California. Texas and Florida come to mind. Neither state is perfect, of course, but compared to California, their government spending has been far more disciplined.

    Also, both states have fairly high levels of illegal immigrants, knocking away one of his main arguments.

  • Rrabbit||

    I have my doubts on that.
    It isn't important enough for me to look up all the details, but compare just this:

    California state budget:
    FY 2011: $86.6 billion
    FY 2000: $78 billion (actual)

    Texas state budget:
    FY 2010-2011 (two years): $182.3 billion
    FY 2000-2001 (two years): $101.9 billion (actual)

    Florida state budget:
    FY 2011: $70.4 billion
    FY 2001-2002 (one year): $48.1 billion.

    It seems that when taking into account the different sizes of the respective economies California isn't spending more than Texas or Florida.

  • ||

    These numbers are a complete misrepresentation. The way that budgets are calculated by each state is so different that comparisons are almost impossible to make. Your numbers for Texas include federal funds, whereas I don't believe that you are including federal funds in California's numbers.

  • Rrabbit||

    Correct, the Texas numbers contain Federal funds, and the California numbers apparently contain only a fraction of the Federal funds.

    I also agree that the numbers aren't comparable for other reasons. And I readily admit, again, that it isn't important enough for me to reserach all the details.

    Still, apparently Texas state tax revenue in 2010 was $69 billion, and California state tax revenue in the fiscal 2009-2010 year was $89.5 billion, thus Texas is collecting a slightly higher share of the state GDP as taxes than California.

    It seems to me that overall, Texas is not spending less per capita than CA, and also is not collecting less taxes per capita than CA.

    All of them spend way too much.

  • ||

    Still, apparently Texas state tax revenue in 2010 was $69 billion, and California state tax revenue in the fiscal 2009-2010 year was $89.5 billion, thus Texas is collecting a slightly higher share of the state GDP as taxes than California.

    "It seems to me that overall, Texas is not spending less per capita than CA, and also is not collecting less taxes per capita than CA.

    All of them spend way too much."

    I agree with all of the above, however we were discussing the events leading up to the current calamity between the years 2000 and 2008. Those numbers tell a completely different story.

  • ||

    Also, your numbers are for years after the recession already began. It would be more relevant to see what each state was spending leading up to the recession. California is spending substantially less in 2011 than they spent in 2005. California's spending is only as low as it is now because they have made a hundred billion dollars in budget cuts across a three year period. Oh yeah, and they still have a large deficit.

  • Rrabbit||

    Did you notice that I put the 2000 numbers there as well?

  • BakedPenguin||

    In addition to what tkwelge said, FL & TX have environments where businesses can actually exist. And I didn't say they were paradise, just better than average, and much better than CA.

  • ||

    http://2007-08.archives.ebudge.....ummary.pdf

    THe 2007 to 2008 budget for california was 103 billion dollars. That's quite a bit higher than the 78 billion that they were spending 7 years before. The 2007 to 2008 budget also represents a slowing down of the state budgets growth relative to the years before it.

  • ||

    Oh yeah, and texas had much higher population growth rates than california.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Inevitably, the "they trk ur jerbs!1" crowd shows up.

  • mclaren ||

    Inevitably, a libertard quotes South Park and thinks he's witty.

  • ||

    Inevitably, a humorless douchebag nativist complains about being mocked in South Park and thinks he made a point.

  • ||

    What?!?!

    no stay on epi ignore the rest.

    You hit the best target when you choose epi first.

    Sorry epi...but the lunatics always choose you. One cannot deny fate.

  • ||

    I'm on it, Joshua.

  • I am not the Governments ATM||

    In this corner, mclaren, weighing in at 84 IQ. In the other corner, Epi, the HR blog destroyer and troll favorite. This is not going to end well for you mclaren

  • ||

    Epi, the HR blog destroyer and troll favorite, the Thread Shredder, The Render in December, Knockdown Champine of The World.

    *raucous cheers*

    (Wish someone else would've done a better boxing announcer screed.)

  • ||

    The crazies always love, Epi. They whimper to be beaten and he obliges.

  • ||

    Are you implying I'm a sadist? Or just a dominatrix?

  • Banjos Kick Ass!||

    You are definitely the sadist in the relationship. SF is clearly the masochist as shown in his obsession with Jezebel.

  • Huh||

    Flies prefer shit. Why is that?

  • ||

    Joshua says it, and you show. You're not too good at self-awareness, are you.

  • Huh||

    I was just passing through and I noticed flies buzzing about. Figured it must be about Episiarch. Was right. Ooh, that smell.

  • ||

    I was just passing through

    Sure you were, stalker. Sure you were.

  • Huh||

    Paranoid much?

  • Epi's boyfriend||

    Happy New Year Huh and stay away from my man ;-)

  • ||

    It's so adorable how the collective bands together to defend their Queen.

  • Destrudo||

    South Park is not on his intellectual level.

  • ||

    Dude! What the hell just happened here?

    Haw haw haw!

  • ||

    I blame Reagen for everything as well.

    I heard he invented cancer.

  • Almanian ||

    I thought Bush the Lesser invented cancer? And hurricanes?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I had a hangnail yesterday. Painful as fuck. And ALL Bush's fault.

    Oh, and I also blame him on my lawn mower dying on me a month before the end of mowing season.

    But my deep-freezer conking out and ruining eight pounds of deer meat? That's Gore's fault, the pig fucker.

  • ||

    now equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day in HelL. A.

    Is this a reference to Hank Moody?

  • I am not the Governments ATM||

    Mucho fail there bro, you haven't been paying attention.

  • shorter mclaren||

    Asians takin' our jerbs

    Mexicans takin' our jerbs

    Mexicans takin' our state services

    Peak oil

    Too many other people, just enough me

    Mother Earth's California arm is sick

    Evil non-white gangsters frighten me

    Public employees salary and benefits demands are perfectly reasonable

    Government of Cali isn't wrong. High tariffs and no immigration will solve everything.

    Herp-a-derp. Herp-a-derp.

  • Shannon Love||

    mclaren,

    Nice try but all the factors you list as causing California's downfall apply equally or more strongly to Texas and we are doing great. For the last 3 years, Texas has generated at least 50% of all new private sector jobs in the country.

    Heck when it comes to "now-dead freeway-car-culture " Texas makes the rest of the Southwest look like Holland by comparison. We're are way more spread out, have way more road miles per capita and routinely travel much longer distances.

    And building prisons? Hell, it's virtually a state sport.

    Californian's solvency in the past was never "ponzi scheme". People moving into a state don't bring wealth with them. People move to a state because wealth is being created there. People moving to California were a result of California prosperity and not the cause. You see the same pattern with Texas today.

    California was a great place to live because the political culture was right of center until the 70s. California was all about getting business done and building things. It was the polar opposite of the political culture you have today.

    California is in bad shape because in the 70s they decided to base their political culture on leftwing utopianism and its hostility to economic creatives and economic creativity. They declared war on the wealth creators and their tools.

    That is why the state is a wreck. The runaway public employee spending is just a manifestation of that political culture.

  • JoshInHB||

    You're half right, but only half and you completely miss the problem.

    Exponential growth from 1940 - 1990 allowed the state government to be incredibly sloppy in fiscal matters because no matter how extravagant the spending or how stupid the policies, people kept coming and tax revenue kept rising.

    You're also right that it was unsustainable in the long run. What you fail to see is that the feel good policies enacted by idiot progressives during the boom years are exactly what chased businesses out of the state and encouraged parasites to keep moving in.

  • ||

    As far as this story is concerned, what caused the money to dry up is a secondary consideration. Either way the money is gone and the state cannot afford huge pensions for its public employees. I don't see anyplace in the article where it's claiming that this is solely the fault of the public employees; it's just that they're going to have to suck it up along with everybody else.

  • smartass sob||

    It's Friday. How come no Friday Funnies?

  • Almanian ||

    Also noted at the drunk-driving entry:

    Almanian|7.30.10 @ 9:52AM|#
    It is a day etched firmly in the memories of Reasonoids - The Day They Stopped Posting Friday Funnies. As with the Kennedy assassination, everyone we spoke with remembers where they were and what they were doing that morning.

    "I was overcome with conflicting emotions...joy and happiness...at no longer having to experience the pain of Friday Funnies that weren't, and forcing myself to say HAHAHAHAHAHA when I really didn't mean it", said sage.

    Warty reflected, "Bok and Payne - rot rest in hell, you autofelching humor vaccuums, have fun sucking troll balls with Steve Smith."

    Suki offered that, "Friday Funnies were never the first thing posted - their lack of utility in allowing me to wish my colleagues at Reason 'Good Morning' contributes to my satisfaction with their demise. Plus, they weren't funny."

    The Gobbler offered succinctly, "Good bye, Shit Facktery!"

    July 30, 2010 - a treasured day in history, the day the humor was given its freedom.

    RIP Friday Funnies.

  • Warty||

    Ah, autofelching. What a fine word.

  • db||

    Autofelch the News!

  • ||

    July 30th? Gone that long? Really? Science, I smoke too much.

  • ||

    If you want Friday Funnies, Tulpa is troweling his special brand of determinedly obtuse power worship on the "drunk driver" thread.

  • ||

    But what role did CheapChineseCrap play in the destruction of America?

  • ||

    But what role did CheapChineseCrap play in the destruction of America?

    symptom not a cause.

    though symptom might be to harsh.

    Unrelated beneficial phenomena that masked the severity of the disease perhaps.

  • Restoras||

    You should re-do this as a haiku.

  • Almanian||

    Pretty close to perfect as is

  • ||

    Unrelated beneficial phenomena that masked the severity of the disease perhaps.

    If you can compress this down to 5 syllables then you win the internet.

  • BakedPenguin||

    "good signs hide black heart"

  • ||

    Californian
    epiphenomenalism:
    perfume on dead pig

  • BakedPenguin||

    Fuck, that's good. If I knew you were going to show up, SF, I wouldn't have bothered.

  • ||

    That's 8 syllables!

  • ||

    ep i phe nom e nal ism... 7 according to freedictionary.

  • ||

    You would use freedictionary. God, you're cheap.

  • ||

    CheapChineseCrap = Happy Meal Toys = Homosexual Agenda >> Shitty Schools >> Fat Kids >> Chinese Invasion.

    WOLVERINES!

  • GI Joe||

    **drops cock - grabs socks**

  • ||

    Did you hear that John Milius is working as a writer on Homefront?

  • ||

    Yeah, they explicitly tell you that in their commercials for Homefront.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Fat Kids >> Chinese Invasion.

    We're back to South Park again.

  • ||

    Here are the sustainable consequences of the decisions of a $500,000 salaried public employee at University of California. Is this what Californians expect? University of California Chancellor Robert J Birgeneau’s eight-year fiscal track record is dismal indeed. He would like to blame the politicians, since they stopped giving him every dollar he has asked for, and the state legislators do share some responsibility for the financial crisis. But not in the sense he means.

    A competent chancellor would have been on top of identifying inefficiencies in the system and then crafting a plan to fix them. Competent oversight by the Board of Regents and the legislature would have required him to provide data on problems and on what steps he was taking to solve them. Instead, every year Birgeneau would request a budget increase, the regents would agree to it, and the legislature would provide. The hard questions were avoided by all concerned, and the problems just piled up to $150 million of inefficiencies….until there was no money left.

    It’s not that Birgeneau was unaware that there were, in fact, waste and inefficiencies in the system. Faculty and staff have raised issues with senior management, but when they failed to see relevant action taken, they stopped. Finally, Birgeneau engaged some expensive ($3 million) consultants, Bain & Company, to tell him what he should have been able to find out from the bright, engaged people in his own organization.

    In short, there is plenty of blame to go around. Merely cutting out inefficiencies will not have the effect desired. But you never want a serious crisis to go to waste. An opportunity now exists for the UC President, Board of Regents, and California Legislators to jolt UC Berkeley back to life, applying some simple oversight check-and-balance management principles. Increasing the budget is not enough; transforming senior management is necessary. The faculty, Academic Senate, Cal. Alumni, financial donors, benefactors await the transformation of senior management.
    The author, who has 35 years’ consulting experience, has taught at University of California Berkeley, where he was able to observe the culture and the way senior management work.

    (Cal ranking tumbles from 2nd best. The reality of University of California Berkeley’s (UC Berkeley) relative decline are clear. In 2004, for example, the London-based Times Higher Education ranked UC Berkeley the second leading research university in the world, just behind Harvard; in 2009 that ranking had tumbled to 39th place.)

  • kinnath||

    Just wanted to thank the regular posters at H&R for keeping me amused through out another year.

  • db||

    Oh shit, now you've done it...blog posting is now interstate commerce.

  • BakedPenguin||

    The sad thing is, CA isn't even the worst among states with outstanding pension obligations. The Forbes map I linked to above shows Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Connecticut, New Jersey, Minnesota, New Mexico, Hawaii & Alaska all with higher outstanding pension obligations than California.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I'm willing to bet Illinois blows up before California does--at least vendors are accepting CA's IOUs. State troopers in IL can't even get their cars fueled up because the state never pays its bills, and they're looking at doing an internet sales tax retroactive to 2004 just to get revenue. Desperation (or cluelessness, take your pick) doesn't even begin to describe the situation there.

    The sad part is that a lot of IL residents will probably move across the river to Missouri and end up supporting the same stupid policies that got their state in such a bad position to begin with (see: California migrants to Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, and Colorado, and soon Utah, Texas, and Idaho)

  • Coloradan||

    "see: California migrants to...Colorado"

    This. As a Coloradan, I cannot understand how this works. You milk your state - a state with almost every single natural advantage imaginable - completely dry to the point where falling into the ocean is imminent, and instead of introspection on the choices you made to get CA there, you move here and ruin my state.

    Thanks CA, state destroyer.

  • JoshInHB||

    The locust effect.

  • ||

    Edley is the only surviving member of the disastrous Beard Club For Men. Their insane procedure of transplanting asshole-hair plugs into the face was condemned by beardologists the world over, but they wouldn't listen. Edley survived, but you can see the cost. Grotesque.

  • hmm||

    I heard they were disband for relations that could or could not be confirmed with sheep.

  • ||

    Those who survived having asshole-hair beards were driven insane by the droves of unlimber internet trolls who followed them around, begging incessantly to let them lick their face. Only Edley survived intact, only to succumb to the delusion anything he could teach would be worth more than Patagonian minimum wage per hour.

  • hmm||

    What is the Patagonian minimum wage?

  • ||

    I'm afraid it invloves sheep.
    http://www.monteleon-patagonia.....ejera.html

  • hmm||

    I knew it! It was the solicitation of sheep that cause the disbanding.

  • ||

    Your writing is third-rate, "SugarFree."
    Please stop sending us your manuscripts.

  • ||

    It may be third rate, but it is FUNNY. Especially when it is directed at epic douche nozzles like Edly. True, not as disgustingly revolting as some of his work (which is disappointing considering the level of ass-hatishness of the target) but still pretty fucking funny.

  • ||

    Funny as a hernia.

  • Draco||

    It would be a sacrifice, but it's one I'd be willing to make...

    I hereby offer to run the UC system for a mere $500,000 / year with no housing allowance.

    Happy New Year everyone... it's almost martini time (Bombay Sapphire, 5-1, shaken violently, lemon twist, chilled glass).

  • Spur||

    We want two states - there's no culture - there's no spies - but seriously breaking the state up into two or three states is prolly the best solution cause CA is just too big - never gonna happen but...

  • ||

    They still have enough money to keep Scott Peterson on death row when he should be out of prison by now.He was convicted of killing a fetus which would not even be a crime if a woman did it.For killing his spouse he should have gotten two months in jail like Mary Winkler did.

  • anon||

    don't be fooled into thinking there are only 200 employees this will affect, that was the lower bound

    there are at least 4300 employees system-wide that make this much in salary
    http://cloudminder.blogspot.com/
    (scroll down about 1 page for the calculation)

  • Sidd Finch||

    In related news, haters hate college football.

    "It's a sad commentary given the general conditions out there: 10 percent unemployment, economic stagnation," said Tom Palaima, the University of Texas' representative on the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics, a group that believes spending on sports has gotten out of hand. "You look at $1,500 per capita [at Auburn], that's a large outlay. I just don't see how it can be justified given that most of the revenues will still end up on the sports side of the ledger."

    The asshole has the nerve to pick the team that played in the two most watched games this year while using a meaningless per capita number that just happens to make Texas look good. Apparently funding the entire athletic department while giving something less than most of the revenue to the academic "side of the ledger" isn't enough.

    "If you need a nice weight room to attract a top athlete, you're going to do that, but you need that weight room to help that athlete get better, too," Foley said. "If you have to spend money to pay a coach like Urban Meyer, you're going to do that, too. You've got to spend money to make money. It doesn't just happen."

    I suggest all future articles on the subject put this quote after every sociology professor bitchfest.

  • ||

    There isn't a single job in the entire UC system that couldn't be filled with a better worker for less than $100K.

    -jcr

  • prolefeed||

    Incoming Gov. Jerry Brown has taken his first look under the hood, and declared that Californians have been living in "fantasy land."

    This may have been noted upthread, but you know you're hosed when Jerry Effing Brown is the voice of prudence in your political system.

  • ||

    Edley sounds like the ultimate state employee: keep your mouth shut and take all the money you can.

    Someone should do a FOIA request for the travel budget too. A friend of mine was laid off one day last semester, and her boss and a bunch of execs took off for a junket to Asia the next.

  • ||

    The UC system made an deal. They should be forced to stick with the deal.

    Personally I would fire whoever made the deal in the first place. If money is tight, I would also fire the 200 executives making the big bucks. Why is it always the guys at the bottom who have to suck it up when an organization is short on cash?

  • .||

    It's the whole point of having "guys at the bottom" - how else would shit roll down hill? And shit must roll down hill, you know.

  • ||

    The University of California Public Employees are in for a big surprise! 1) They are not going to retire at those obscene retirement salaries and 2) there isn't anything they can do about it.

  • ||

    It appears we that the fix (lessening of expenditures) made to welfare in the 90s (poor people) was merely a transfer payment to the public employees.

  • juris imprudent||

    Late for a threadjack, but some of you may be interested in this. Seems that a certain litigiously inclined fellow has taken aim at our free speech.

  • Apogee||

    His aim appears off. According to the link, he continues to blow holes in his own hull, despite the signs of taking on water.

  • ||

    For all I know, Wolf may be a sheep fucker. He does remind me of someone who sodomizes goats. I certainly wouldn't leave a pet dog with the man.

    I do know, after reading the shit-head's whine, that he is a colossal turd. Imagine the litigation that would ensue if you could successfully sue people for insulting you on this board.

  • ||

    Please posts pictures of these morons.

    Also, where can I buy tar & feathers?

  • rhea||

    Digging a hole for their keepsakes, and just mummify all these idiots...
    http://www.pathtoasia.com/jobs/

  • ||

    I am physically unable to think like a government employee. If I ever made over $245,000 per year, I would NOT be worried about a government run pension, I would have a real retirement plan in place.

    I mean, a pension is nice and all, but putting at cap at $245,000 is not going to destroy my retirement. If I'm smart enough to get that level of salary then dammit I'm smart enough to figure out how to invest some of it for the future.

  • han||

    The demands aren't new;

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