Hoover and the Depression Live
I was born only 34 years after the Great Depression, yet growing up the era was treated as if it was in the Cambrian epoch of human development, a world in black and white film far, far away in the past, the methods of market and society as stilted and clumsily jerky as human figures in the grainy images. The smug hubris of our very wealthy and educated is remarkable to behold, how very sure, we were told so many times, the Depression could never happen again, we had come so far, learned so much and put so much in place.
Right about when the global casino called the “financial market” blew up on a number of fronts--$400 billion in bailout money to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac alone in a howling maelstrom of desperately fucked up moves with little people money to keep Depression II behind the dikes--in the last two years California became ever more dysfunctional in its broken revenue streams. We collect taxes poorly, and when we need the money the most in a recession we get precisely the worst performance, we’re god-awful broke on the State books.
On State books, mind you, numbing trillions of worth flow throughout the State that could easily be taxed with a few adjustments to current rates and conditions to fix this nightmare in a week, but that means raising taxes (nominally, folks and the State would survive just fine, Jesus, what whiners Republicans are) and not only would 10% of the population go berserk that happiness could never, ever be theirs with $100 less in their pocket, the Senate Republicans will enable them and stop any tax increase.
A real Governor would have led us out of this, but Herbert Schwarzenegger is a huge fan of the stupid, vicious, Hoover Depression school of government and culture. With relentless Cambrian obtuseness we were told a million god damn times would never happen again California is doing precisely the wrong thing in this godawful Great Recession, cutting spending and spreading a roaring fear we’re dumbass fuckups who can’t learn, we’ll never get our State back or get out of this ‘cause it’s time to lay off 10,000 teachers.
We are not alone in our tragic blockheadedness, at least, we hear many stupid mean Republicans in the States haven’t grown up beyond learning to chew gum and will throw the little people in the street for want of a brain and a heart in these terrible times. It’s been said the entire ba-trillion wad of the almighty Obama stimulus that saved us from the New Depression is really a wash, what it spends the States neatly, evenly cut out.
At any rate here we are, every quarter Arnold Schwarzenegger demands more and more cuts as the revenue continues to spiral down. For California huge protests spilled out of the UC and State university systems as students angrily made a huge fuss about being screwed again, yet no one has any knowledge that the message this insanity from the past cannot go on one second longer has actually got through to Sacramento in the least. Schwarzenegger probably likes the idea of being a stupid terminator to little people’s lives, it’s all a freaking movie to him, but hopefully Maria can explain to him going down in history as the New Hoover in our New Depression is not the way to go.
Right, who am I kidding? Of course Arnie is into it, otherwise he wouldn’t crush us so every quarter. Hoover and Depression live, don’t kid yourselves for a second, he’s alive and thriving in Sacramento.
So far our misery has yet to spread to a conflagration nationally, but the federal stimulus is going to run out of funds sometime in the next 18 months, and California won’t even have a chance for 12 months to make critical changes, assuming we can elect a sane brave Democrat this Fall. Remember how smug we used to be about those ancient times in black and white films, how sure we were a Depression would never happen again?
Free clinics swarm with the poor, foodstamp rates set a record every quarter, unemployment howls at well over 10%, and all we can do is lay off teachers. Hoover and the Depression live, oh yes, and there’s nothing to stop it going totally national if more isn’t done by the Federal government to combat, nothing at all.