Monday, June 1, 2009
Hellhole, CA. (h/t Robert Cruikshank at Calitics)
The latest eminations from the Corner Office at the Capitol -- on top of what's already been proposed or enacted -- will push California way off the edge of civilized societies, into uncharted realms of barbarism and despair.
We have not been down this path before.
We're looking at the virtual elimination of every state program and service that benefits the poor and working class -- so as to maintain, insofar as possible, the comfort and convenience of the Upper 1%.
There will be no more CalWORKS -- the welfare-to-work program instituted as part of the "welfare reform" package passed during the Clinton Administration. Hundreds of State Parks will close. In Home Support Services workers will have their pay cut by a total of 20% since the beginning of the year and services will be limited to only the most gravely ill and/or disabled; people who can at least sit up on their own, tough luck.
State worker pay will be cut 14% and at least 5000 will be laid off. 19,000 or more prisoners will be released early. Probation services will be sharply reduced. Drug abuse and rehabilitation programs in prison: ffft. Gone. Mental health services will disappear. Access to Medi-Cal will be severely restricted and payments to providers will be further reduced.
All levels of public education will face severe cuts. The K-12 school year may be reduced by up to seven days. CalGrants for college students will go away -- this on top of all the additional charges added for college tuition and housing.
Healthy Families medical insurance program will be eliminated, forcing close to a million more children into the "uninsured" pool, there to sink or swim as may be. The Adult Day Health Care program is to be eliminated, ending day care for recovering patients. People on SSI will have their benefits cut again to the federal minimums.
And these are just some of the proposed cuts on top of those already enacted.
Will this lead to a Social Darwinist/Randian struggle for survival? Or will these and many more reductions and eliminations of state services be accepted with hardly a backwards glance, as the corpses of the old, the sick, the frail, the very young, the disabled and the deranged pile up in the streets, to be collected (we assume) by some private company on a no-bid contract for disposal?
"Bring out yer dead!" indeed.
At this point, I'm not really sure there will be any wide-spread murmuring as those who have got theirs batten down and those that don't... tough luck. Suckers.
No. What I'm sensing is that a lot of Californians, despite their supposed "liberal" bent, really like the idea of cutting off the old, the sick, the halt, the lame and the very young and letting them fend for themselves, or -- as one Republican put it: move somewhere else.
Emptying California of its "surplus" population seems to be percolating in the think tanks, the idea being to just get rid of those useless extra mouths. When the housing market collapsed -- years ago now -- a lot of the illegals who were building all those houses that are now being demolished went home. As joblessness rose in many sectors, the roads cleared of congestion. ERs were no longer as full. The casinos were not as jammed. Who could complain?
If Californians can figure out how to dump their homeless, their diseased, their deranged, their old, and their surplus young elsewhere -- in other states or countries, or just someplace else -- Hellhole, CA will be turned back into the Earthly Paradise it was meant to be, ne?
There's been no leadership from the Democrats in the Legislature at all. The Orange Waxy Man is leading the charge to slash, cut and dump, and very few coherent voices are being raised against him. Instead, we have the usual set of "interests" demanding their own pieces of the shrinking pie before it's all gone. There is no comprehensive alternative to the march of barbarism. Nothing.
So. Into perdition we go.