Monday, January 13, 2014

Los Angeles and the Wages of Sin

El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles, the Pueblo of our Lady, the Queen of the Angels, born in lies and raised in crime, inequity and hypocrisy, known throughout the world for its glamour and its beaches and its women and its economic opportunity, but remember, always remember: the wages of sin is death.

Serious business people could understand the failure to enforce the fire detector laws in buildings whose designs were known to be deathtraps, even though it resulted in the fiery deaths of so many of your citizens. The deaths were only of poor people and minorities, so who really cared, it might affect the profits of the landlords. When freeways destroyed entire communities and you did nothing, you could take comfort in the thought that your actions and inactions had destroyed any chance of a minimal mass transit system to alleviate the traffic that existed and the even worse traffic that was known to be coming. When Beverly Hills sued to keep the subway from coming west of Highland, you bent over in submission to the rich, with barely a whimper. You knew very well who was really going to get fucked, the people you represented, or failed to represent.

Case after case, example after example. Oh you need more? LAX is an ugly nightmare, known throughout the world as one of the most unpleasant airports to arrive at. Dirty, undesigned, stupid. And totally under your control. The Port of Los Angeles, famous for permitting the worst environmental violation, in order to keep prices down, throw people out of work due to globalization, and yet cause a huge percentage of the smog in the area which affects the health and total lifespan of those exposed to it: particularly the children who are raised in it. To damage the lives of innocent children, children in your care, without them even knowing it, can we not call that a sin? The Port of Los Angeles, one of the busiest ports in the world, is totally under your control. Let us look no where else for who to blame, the people to blame are right here, in the administration and government of Los Angeles.

Now the 2020 Commission on Economic Development in Los Angeles, or something like that, has issued a report on some of the problems facing Los Angeles. It is filled with interesting material, the way the City Council knowingly lied about Fire Department statistics for years, and many other tidbits. But it also exudes an unmerited optimism. It thinks it is possible for LA to work its way through the problems. I am not so sure of that. But I do think and encourage everyone who lives here or who might live here to read the report. It is at the bottom of the following link in PDF form. After you have read it, I will continue with some thoughts on how to proceed.

Hope lies only in radical change. You see, Los Angeles, it takes time and very serious money to fix the problems you have created for yourself. You kicked the can down the road and the road ended. To fix things now will be 10 times more expensive than it might have been before. Where will the money come from, well I have some ideas. But where will the strength of character come from? I dont know. I see no reason to think that it exists here in El Pueblo.

Ugly as sin, they pump around the clock for their anonymous masters

But here are some thoughts, humble thoughts, for your consideration. First, nationalize the oil wells, and use the profits taken from the ground and people of Los Angeles and apply it to saving the lives of the people who live here. How many active wells are there in the Los Angeles area? 10,000 wells? More? The obscene oil sucking insects pump around the clock in Baldwin Hills without even a veil of trees to hide their obscenities. Second, nationalize the Getty that does precious little for the culture of Los Angeles, and use its assets to pay for reform. Turn the so-called Museum in Brentwood into a magnet school, for example. Third, tax every car driven in Los Angeles that is worth more than $50,000 an extra $5K/year and an extra $1.00 per gallon.  Charge the container ships waiting at the Port of Los Angeles an extra 100K / day (or something) that they sit in the harbor blasting out fumes and use the money to pay for an offshore electrical system, more efficient in terms of power generation than just running their engines and fouling the air.   Won't that encourage ships to go to other ports?  Yes, I certainly hope so.   For once, use price theory to help the world instead of just as an excuse to exalt the rich. (1)

But please, please, please don't tell me that any of these suggestions are illegal. Everyone knows LA is built on violating the law and you should know that best of all. If you say these are illegal, I will say you are a lying hypocrite, which you are. The difference is that these illegalities will help the poor instead of your masters, the rich.

These are just a few ideas, simple and just, to generate income for your rehabilitation. After you have done these, come back, and I will have more ideas for you.

You are very welcome.


1. People have wanted to know if I was actually serious in any way about these proposals, and the answer is "of course".  LA is not going to do anything to deal with the problems at hand, so why not make silly proposals.   Nihilistic?  Sure.

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