To visitors the signs that mark a third-world county are obvious. Crumbling infrastructure, people sleeping in doorways, a wide gap between rich and poor, little or no middle class, limited government services unless you pay "extra," and all political and economic power concentrated in the hands of a small elite minority whose sole mission is to perpetuate their power and wealth.
These characteristics also describe the once proud city of Los Angeles where disintegrating sidewalks are fixed only when homeowners agree to come up with extra cash. Los Angeles, where subsidizing downtown development projects for already-wealthy business interests takes priority over picking up the trash -- another service for which homeowners will now pay extra. It is the city of angels that levies an art tax, but can't seem to fix the potholes in the streets unless residents are willing to pony up extra in the form of a proposed $1.5 billion infrastructure bond...
Los Angeles residents are told they must pay more for trash collection if they want more police to protect them from gang crime. Yet the city continues with Special Order 40 in force, which limits the ability of police to apprehend illegal alien gang members.
City leaders show an arrogant disrespect for the views of average citizens. When hundreds made the effort to show up at city hall to speak in opposition to a 154 percent increase in the trash collection fee, council members limited many to only a few seconds of comment. However, the rules were bent for a former colleague who was given five minutes to bloviate about perceived inequities in the three-strikes law, an issue that was not on the agenda.
City residents must be prepared for electric service interruptions on hot, peak use days. The city-owned utility cannot afford to maintain aging transformers because 10 percent of its income is funneled away by City Hall to fund pet projects. However, those same officials who are pikers when it comes to providing services to city residents can be generous to those interests that support them. Double digit pay increases for public employee unions, who have backed winning council and mayoral candidates, have become more the rule than the exception... In Los Angeles, a city that a generation ago epitomized the middle class lifestyle, those in the middle are fleeing, leaving behind a city made up of the fabulously wealthy and the working poor.
(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)