California, much like Rick Ross, had everything going for it. Ross has a way with words and a voice of unparalleled depth and power. California has natural resources; a young, massive population and booming technology and entertainment sectors.
For California or Rick Ross to prosper, it would only take a team of semi-competent managers to oversee the translation of raw talent into success. Only utter morons could prevent either entity from achieving greatness.
Of course, both Ross and California gave all the power to utter morons.
The end result is that Rick Ross and the (formerly) great state of California are unmanageable, broken and bad for your health. It would be fun to list off Rick Ross’ problems (e.g., smoking a dozen blunts a day or getting into fights at award shows), but it would be more socially responsible to describe what’s wrong with California.
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), which guarantees pension payouts to public workers, has a $38.5 billion unfunded liability. Prison guards have a better economic outlook than Harvard graduates, per analysis from the Wall Street Journal. California ranks fourth in salary for teachers, yet 47th in per-pupil spending.
If something seems off, don’t worry. It gets much worse.
In our great state, a public elementary schoolteacher can blindfold a student, spoon feed the child semen and take photographs of the whole event — and then get paid $40,000 to quit his job. Google search “Mark Berndt $40,000” for more details regarding that triumph of organized labor.
A reasonable person might expect officials in a representative democracy to do something that would prevent an injustice of such epic proportions from happening again.
As it turns out, state Senator Alex Padilla is a reasonable person. A few months after Berndt was paid off, Sen. Padilla wrote a bill that would make it easier for schools to fire teachers accused of committing serious acts of depravity like giving drugs to minors or spoon feeding semen to blind-folded children.
Slam dunk, right? Say no to drugs! Tough on sexual predators! Protect our kids!
Bills like Padilla’s are what politicians dream of getting to vote for. But for some reason, the bill didn’t pass. And everyone who voted against it went silent.
Why didn’t the California legislature want to make it easier to fire teachers-turned-sexual predators?
Consider the following:
First, the California Teachers Association made over $200 million in political contributions from 2000 to 2010 to the mostly Democratic legislature. (For context, that’s what each of the “evil” Koch Brothers volunteered to donate on a national scale in 2012.)
Second, the California Teacher’s Union opposed Senator Padilla’s bill.
And then there’s Proposition 32, which, by the way, unions have spent over $30 million trying to defeat.
The proposition prevents groups like the California Teachers Association from forcing its members to give up part of their paycheck to defend child molesters.
I’m not going to tell you how to vote. I’m just going to tell you that the CTA defends child molesters — and Prop 32 will hit those depraved sociopaths where it hurts. The people might actually have a say in policy once again, too.
Or the state can just keep going on the Rick Ross path—nothing wrong with that, especially if you’re not afraid of gunfire.
Adam O’Neal is a third-year literary journalism major. Please send all hate mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Filed Under: Opinion