25 May 2009


my state is looking pretty stupid and sounding pretty weak these days. we are gridlocked financially, on the brink of economic collapse, and the entire political system is in desperate need of a reorganization.

first, there's prop 13. in 1978, the voters of california passed a ballot initiative to cap property taxes. in those first years, californians saved about $530 million per year. imagine what that has cost california these past several years, as home values have skyrocketed while the state coffers saw little to no benefit.

since passing prop 13, californians have voted to spend billions more on pet projects, by that same ballot initiative power. a power clearly too great for the greater public. as opposed as i am to this outlier democracy, at its simplest, the problem with the ballot initiative system is really only two-fold.

first, it generally means that the side with the most money buys the most advertisements, which means that the rich guys in special interests suits are buying laws. and that's because, secondly, the system gives legislative power to dummies, whose emotional connection to the issue is the driving force behind which way we pull the lever.

folks, we elect representatives to read bills, study history, hear both sides. we the voters either see some skewed pieces of propaganda, or we go off and read a 3-paragraph synopsis that makes less sense than memento, and then collectively, we vote to make laws.

let me make this clear, we are not educated enough in all of the intricacies of law, politics, and history to make laws. it is above our voting grade. and dear california, we will be in bankruptcy, and we will take the country with us, if we do not get our act together and fix this broken political system.




  1. I can't help wondering how bad things need to get before anything changes. (And, I don't want to imagine what that's going to look like.) I was a poll worker in Orange County last week for the "Special" Election, and you should have heard some of the crap I had to listen to (even though, technically, people weren't supposed to talk about anything political). They just couldn't help themselves. "Legislative power to dummies," indeed.