Friday, July 22, 2011

The rebellion continues

Jeff Stone, the Riverside County supervisor who's become the latest to float a breakup of California, continues to press the idea --- creating a website complete with manifesto and even a Facebook page whose fans have already created the "South California" flag.

If you can judge from our recent online poll, the sentiment for a divorce remains very strong in the north state as well. Only one problem: Under Stone's plan, South California's secession --- which would carve off some of the more conservative-leaning parts of the state --- would leave our equally conservative region lumped with the even more liberal remainder.

Just to put it in perspective, voter registration in today's California is 44 percent Democratic, 31 percent Republican, which has given Democrats a complete lock on the state government.

Without the counties of "South California," it would skew even more strongly --- 48 percent Democratic and just 20 percent Republican.

For those many Shasta County conservatives who feel alienated from the state government and the values it embodies, this particular breakup plan would make things far, far worse.


Monday, July 4, 2011

The social rebellion will burst into violence

This protest is the start of a broader and much more serious social rebellion. It is an expression of terrible anger that will burst out in violence," the owner of a large consumer products factory told "Globes" today.

He added, "Bibi is a nice guy, he has created a free economy, flourishing, but the partners to this prosperity are the owners and a very thin socio-economic layer of talented and young people in senior positions in high-tech, in industry and in the banks. 50% of the population have sub-normal salaries and are not part of the celebrations."

He continued, "In the end it will be like a bomb hitting our heads. We cannot carry on with 10% of the population living and 50% of the population earning the minimum wage plus a little. A democratic state will be here for many years only if there is a very strong middle class. There cannot be a polarization of the rich when most of the population has their heads in the ground. I'm hurting."

What's hurting you? You yourself belong to the top 10%.

"I also want my children to be millionaires and I don't want them to be in a position where they will say to us. Hello hello bring us your money."

How exactly?

"They will impose a tax and take 20% of our property and that will go to the Treasury. I think there is such a possibility because the polarization will lead to revolution. There are many Israelis that are not going out onto the streets but they have good reason to do so. And in the end they will go out."

The senior executive is harshly critical of the government. He said, "What sort of government do we have? What sort of idea was it to raise excise on fuel? It's OK to take excise on fuel but what's the point of putting up excise when the price of all fuels is going up? The government is putting up all prices all the time and without any limits."

He added, "They are asking women to go out to work. And who will look after the kids? How can a young couple where both partners are working spend NIS 5,000 on two children per month? Why do we need such surpluses in the government coffers? To build more roads in the territories? While putting the age of compulsory kindergarten down to three, give something to ordinary citizens."

Isn't industry contributing to the situation?

It is not the role of industry to set the minimum wage. In my company there is no concept of the minimum wage, we pay 5% more than the minimum wage without thinking about it but I cannot speak about all industry. If a factory can't pay the minimum wage or more, it shows that that industry has a problem."

If you sat in the government what would you do?

I see the macroeconomic picture. Those in the government only see a picture where they need to air the opinion that it is possible to raise the minimum wage. The revolutions in the Arab countries are not happening because of Mubarak's corruptness but because of 40% unemployment among young people. If we want to prevent that we need to give to the population. I'm in favor of enlightened capitalism not greedy capitalism."