I'm quite disappointed that I may have uncovered some of the most shocking and intriguing news of the day on, ugh, PerezHilton.com. However, it's quite ironic, quite hyperbolic that I found this bit of news regarding one of Los Angeles' darkest and most prosthletized moments on a website that has gained notoriety by highlighting the personifications of the very same thing: celebrity trainwrecks.
Los Angeles, in and of itself, has become a trainwreck.
Mayor Villaraigosa has announced that in light of the budget crisis, he will shut down city operations two days per week starting on April 12th. The only services that will remain open all standing working days are police, safety, and revenue generating services.
This announcement came promptly after the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (Chinatown anybody?) announced it would not send the Los Angeles city treasury a much needed $73.5 million contribution. This decision was made since the city decided not to increase electricty rates.
Thank you for the humanity, LADWP. Lo', though I must remember, the city was not owed this $73.5 million. This would have been a luxury, not a requirement. It would have been a charitable act that LA never should have placed its bets on.
First we had race wars, then a school district that increased in shittiness year after year, then we were a center stage for the nation's "concern" over illegal immigration. Now, Los Angeles is a microcosm of a nation that has overspent, under prepared, and under taxed.
Los Angeles' ever present and enigmatic wealth gap is what turned me into a socialist. Never before had I seen such selfishness amongst a large group of people so wealthy, unwilling to contribute to the poorest and to their city's infrastructre via taxes. It's very easy to forget that the infrastructure is what you'll turn to when part of your $10 million Hollywood Hills home collapses on you in an earthquake, when on any given day, it's a fortress of solitude.
No matter what you drive, you need decent roads to drive on. No matter what you do, you need a decently educated population to provide services for you.
I can sit here and bitch about rich people not paying enough in taxes and voting against tax increases all day long (and I'll do so, happily, with a whiskey drink) however, Los Angeles has a city much larger than it has ever accounted for. We may not truly know how much we need to be taxed. Illegal immigration and the census as it relates to the issue are as, Biden would say, a "BFD". By creating an impossible to negotiate immigration system, we only create a population of un-reportable people. These people can't and won't be counted for fear of deportation. We cannot tax and allocate funds appropriately for a city that we don't know the size of.
Yes, the government is responsible for propering managing the money it brings in, but it is short sighted for the population to reject reasonable amounts of taxation*, which is to vote for an investment in a stable way of life.
*Municipalities have voted in sales tax increases, however property taxes have not increased since 1978. While real estate values increased, many properties were not re-assessed if they were not on the market. Many weren't.