J and D's Corner

From the Letters Archive

The "Runners" mentioned below are a husband-and-wife political bloc who navigate California's stupid "term limits" laws by trading elective positions and, to fill in between elective offices, snagging lucrative appointments to one of California's myriad and well-compensated Boards and Commissions.

Another local hot-button mentioned in the letter is the "Section 8" housing program which pays most of the tab for private rental homes occupied by the 'needy'.  Predictably, the poorly monitored program is rife with fraud; the iconic Section 8 house can be identified by its trashy yard on which are parked new Cadillac Escalades with chrome wheels, the ride of choice for the supposedly needy tenants.


To:  AV Press

Date: 02/07/2011

Re:  More Government, less Politics

Today’s Letters section featured a couple of digs at our local political mini-conglomerate, the Runners, related to their demonstrated skill at “gaming the (political) system” to extract maximum financial & career gratification.  Also featured was part of an exchange between regulars Sly and Aylesworth related, broadly speaking, to the difference in focus between the Democrat and Republican parties.

Underlying all these letters was the too-often ignored reality that we humans are just like all life-forms: We are hard-wired to take advantage of opportunity. 

If you offer someone an opportunity (Section 8 housing, money or citizenship for having babies, a paycheck whether you work or not, a political appointment that pays $128,000 for meeting twice a month, etc.), then guess what?  They will take advantage of it. 

Do I spurn my Social Security check, even though I could exist without it?  Not bloody likely.  If you are a union member, will you have an affinity for the party that promises to always take the union side? You bet.  If you are a businessman or independent worker, do you vote for the party that portrays you & what you earn as evil and promises to take away your earnings for distribution to its own constituents?  Don’t think so.

I’m not against government per se; government is a necessity.  What frosts me is that we don’t have government, we have politics.  Politics is where you bribe votes out of people with promises to create rules that promote their individual interests over those of other citizens.  Government is where you craft rules in such a way that the nation in total benefits from whatever behavior the rules create.