Editor’s Note: This article was written for Nina Royal’s North Valley Reporter and was published this week.
After three decades of rising poverty levels and a shrinking middle
class, the time has come to declare L.A.’s experiment is municipal
socialism a failure and to get to work creating a healthy economic
climate that attracts and retains good-paying jobs and expands
But the opposite is happening, an acceleration of
efforts to chase away middle class residents and jobs and subsidize the
lives of the poor and working poor.
Despite the overwhelming
evidence of the failure of trying to defy the laws of a free enterprise
economy, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the City Council are more
committed than ever to artificially raising the incomes of minimum wage
workers with living wage legislation and to guarantee anyone who lives
here a decent home whether they can afford it or not.
at a few of City Hall’s actions in recent days: Requirements that new
Home Depot stores like the one being fought against in Sunland-Tujunga
to provide toilet and other comfort facilities to day laborers, that
all new developments provide homes for the poor under “inclusionary
zoning” rules, that foreclosed homes be bought up with federal money
for resale to lower income families.
The result is the flight of good-paying jobs and people who can afford to live in L.A. to the suburbs and beyond.
policies and other like the refusal to crack down on illegal immigrant
gangsters and criminals while cracking down on fast food and plastic
garbage bags are not just a coincidence.
What’s going on is a
deliberate policy that can only be stopped by building a mass
organization of concerned citizens like the Saving L.A. Project is
launching in an effort to change the city’s agenda and change the
Take a look at the extraordinary vision for L.A.’s economy
that the mayor articulated six months ago that went virtually unnoticed
at the time and received little or no critical comment. It’s available
The length of the web address tells you something about how visible they want this document to be.
As tax, rate and fee hikes imposed by the city soar – and will soar
higher if the mayor’s salesmanship backed by millions of dollars from
special interests and the complicity of the press fool voters once
again — it’s worth examining exactly what they mayor of the L.A. and
wannabe governor believes is the path to out economic well-being
After squandering the biggest revenue increase in
the city’s history during his three years, the mayor declared his
Economic Action Plan was launched to “confront a slowing economy,
families and businesses in
need, and move thousands of Angelenos into living wage jobs.”
security, safe streets and bright futures for working families in our
City,” he said. “The health of our economy depends on a steady supply
of good jobs for
local residents. With this six-point plan, we are on track to move 100,000 Angelenos into
high quality jobs by July 2010.”
mayor pays lip service to the importance of potential growth industries
– tourism, logistics, health care, construction utilities and the like
– and the need to create and coordinate job training with educational
institutions, business and labor.
Then he gets down to the real
agenda of his six-point plan.starting with efforts to “leverage public
sector hiring and contracting,” specifically to “create living wage job
opportunities in the public sector.”
There is the program to
connect young people to jobs with “special emphasis on the young adults
striving to secure living wage employment and begin their careers” and
the commitment to have the public sector take “the lead in moving low
wage workers into living wage jobs.”
And finally, we learn why
taxpayers have given away hundreds of millions of dollars to
billionaires to subsidize L.A. Live and Grand Avenue Project and why
we have to trash the Studio City area with the oversized NBC-Universal
“The city will provide direct and indirect financing,
technical assistance and tax incentives to businesses that offer living
wage jobs..(and) to ensure that projects generating the greatest
revenue and most excitement also create middle class job,” the plan
So how is Antonio’s blueprint for municipal socialism where middle class is $10 an hour jobs, or less with health benefits?
very well, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The L.A.
economy has lost 30,000 jobs since the mayor announced his plan.
that has something to do with sucking money out of the public’s
pockets at a time when people are losing their jobs and their homes,
paying exorbitant prices for gas and afraid to buy anything for fear of
what tomorrow will bring.
Of course, that should be obvious to anyone who’s studied American Economics 101.