After decades of a failed experiment in municipal socialism, Austin Beutner looks like just the right man for the job of reviving LA’s sagging economy from the tornado of mismanagement and poor leadership that has hit it, a steal at $1 a year.
He is the man who the mayor says “led a team that helped the Russian people in their transition to a market economy” after the fall of communism. If that doesn’t convince you. consider that he made a goodly chunk of his fortune as an investment banker and expert putting people to work in Third World countries with an abundance of cheap labor.
A Third World economy, cheap labor and all the assets of the DWP, harbor and airport to work with — it’s right up Beutner’s alley.
You can gamble your tax bill on his ability to wipe the nearly 14 percent jobless rate, put the 200,000 people who have abandoned even looking for a job to work, balance the city budget and erase the $10.5 billion city pension debt.
It’s only a matter of time before he leads us to that somewhere over the rainbow and becomes known as the Wizard of LA.
There are a few obstacles he will have to overcome, however, like the ambitions of the mayor and council to stay on the public dole for the rest of their lives without actually doing anything for the public benefit.
Can the Wizard of LA find a brain for Scarecrow Tom LaBonge (who wants to be mayor), a heart for Tin Man Dennis Zine (Controller) and courage for Cowardly Lion Bill Rosendahl (US Senator)?
If he does, he still faces the challenge of getting help from Good Witch Glinda (Lt. Gov. Janice Hahn) to help Dorothy (Mayor Jan Perry) and Toto (Assemblyman Richard Alarcon) to get back home to Kansas or wherever they’re from.
Surely the Wicked Witch of the West (Mayor Wendy Greuel) or is it Mayor
Eric Garcetti will have a lot say about what he is trying to do,
especially if it makes any sense.
No, it’s not going to be easy, what with the yellow brick road all cracked and broken and the Emerald City flooded by bursting water mains.
But he does have help from the man who counts, a mayor so desperate to be Governor or Senator or Ambassador or just plain rich like him that he swears on the stack of bibles and promises to give him all the support he needs no matter what.
Of course, his promises in the past have proven to be about as valuable and reliable as AIG securities.
No matter. The Wizard can fix it all if only everyone really believes it’s possible.
And that’s the twist in this little story that makes it all just a fantasy.
This cast of characters has betrayed the public trust. Nobody believes anything they do is for anyone’s benefit but their own and the people who put them on the public stage.
It’s simply a question of faith and you got to wonder if the Wizard of LA even has clue about that..