The threads of the story have become so entangled it’s like a crazy dream that is so vivid you think it’s reality.
How dumb do they think we are?
That’s the question that has come to mind thousands of times over the years as I’ve observed the insanity that passes for our local government.
Today, what came to mind for the first time is “How dumb are we?”
The evidence is mounting everywhere that it’s us who are out of our minds, not them. They are just selfish little people who will do and say anything to protect and serve themselves. We are the fools who keep on paying the bills and electing them to office.
They conned us into paying billions, nearly $20 billion, to build mammoth monuments to miseducation that cost as much as $400 million each but now can’t pay the salaries of teachers to staff them so they want another tax for that.
It was all for the “sake of the children,” they said, so we taxed ourselves to build parks and libraries that will soon be shuttered.
But they’ve got money lying around to build yet another park to connect City Hall with the DWP, presumably so city and county workers will have a place to nap in the daytime and the homeless to sleep at night since they’ve been rousted from Skid Row so developers given huge subsidies can build luxury apartments that no one can afford.
How dumb are we?
I’ll tell you how dumb we are, we borrow a fortune to build a new Convention Center because the old one is a bust and subsidize it to the tune of $40 million a year and then when it starts making money, we are going to sell it to the billionaire who is getting even richer on Staples Center and LA Live that were built with our generosity to provide playgrounds for the rich.
We give slick operators like the CIM Group everything they want and when their deals flop, like Hollywood and Highland, we bail them out.
We cut secret sweetheart deals with the emirs of Dubai and New York billionaires for the Grandiose Avenue Project and we forgive them millions in penalties when they don’t deliver.
We watch our elected officials beating their breasts because their incompetence and cowardice puts the future of our city in jeopardy and sit silent as they piously talk about firing contractors and their workers to save the jobs of city workers they no longer can afford to pay. It would be wrong, they say, to make our horrifying unemployment numbers worse even as they make them worse.
Oh, the horror, the horror…
But instead of storming their palace of self-service, we come as peasants begging for a crumb from their lavish marble and gold table.
We are fools. We are dumb. We are slaves and they are masters. We have gotten what we deserve.
Nothing will change until we — business, labor and the community — get up off our knees and stand up like free men and women and show them who’s boss, show them we will not be fooled any longer.