Friday, September 30, 2011

Crane, Schwarzenegger On CA in Vanity Fair

this is a must read: California and Bust here is one passage:

David Crane, the former economic adviser—at that moment rapidly receding into the distance—could itemize the result: a long list of depressing government financial statistics. The pensions of state employees ate up twice as much of the budget when Schwarzenegger left office as they had when he arrived, for instance. The officially recognized gap between what the state would owe its workers and what it had on hand to pay them was roughly $105 billion, but that, thanks to accounting gimmicks, was probably only about half the real number. “This year the state will directly spend $32 billion on employee pay and benefits, up 65 percent over the past 10 years,” says Crane later. “Compare that to state spending on higher education [down 5 percent], health and human services [up just 5 percent], and parks and recreation [flat], all crowded out in large part by fast-rising employment costs.” Crane is a lifelong Democrat with no particular hostility to government. But the more he looked into the details, the more shocking he found them to be. In 2010, for instance, the state spent $6 billion on fewer than 30,000 guards and other prison-system employees. A prison guard who started his career at the age of 45 could retire after five years with a pension that very nearly equaled his former salary. The head parole psychiatrist for the California prison system was the state’s highest-paid public employee; in 2010 he’d made $838,706. The same fiscal year that the state spent $6 billion on prisons, it had invested just $4.7 billion in its higher education—that is, 33 campuses with 670,000 students. Over the past 30 years the state’s share of the budget for the University of California has fallen from 30 percent to 11 percent, and it is about to fall a lot more. In 1980 a Cal student paid $776 a year in tuition; in 2011 he pays $13,218. Everywhere you turn, the long-term future of the state is being sacrificed.

The author obviously has not listened to Crane at a UC Regent meeting -- "Crane is a lifelong Democrat with no particular hostility to government."-- wow.
"Even If We Had Legislators Who Liked Higher Education, And We Don't"-Crane @ UC Regent Meeting
"There Are No Lincolns In Sacramento, And There Won't Be Any" -Crane @ UC Regent Meeting

here is the whole thing.
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More troubling stories from The Fourth Estate:

Censorship -- or something else?-Why did two Bay Area newsrooms dismiss Peter Byrne's story about conflicts of interest in UC investment deals?
hat tip Remaking the University

and recall this development in light of the above:
School of Journalism hires online media outlet founder

Spot.us carried the Byrne story.
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Le Vrai Roi Soleil is going on at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass within the hour.
RP on a Hellman sponsored stage...
so conflicted
and yet
not
Critical Mass and OccupySF events today too, so it is gonna be crazy...lots of folks.
turns out Radiohead is not playing Occupy Wall St. ...yet

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