Issuing lies and pursuing willful blindness is not leadership: it's failure on a grand scale.
Though it may feel as if the budget is fixed, that’s a mirage created by a stock market that’s up more than 60 percent since Gov. Jerry Brown took office. A market drop of any meaningful size would crush California’s budget.
The reality is that California’s budget will not be fixed until four fundamental problems are addressed: a capital-gains-dependent tax system, unfunded pension obligations, unfunded state retiree health care obligations and explosive growth in Medi-Cal spending.
In other words, citizens are paying more but getting less, and because of the growth in retirement and health care obligations, they will get even less going forward — and all that is true even if the market keeps going up. When the stock market declines and the state reports deficits, Californians will feel as if they are on a roller coaster without a seat belt.
Even extension of the temporary tax increases won’t help because — you guessed it — more money will go to additional spending on pensions, retiree health benefits and Medi-Cal. That’s simply the unavoidable outcome when elected officials choose to make enormous unfunded retirement promises to government employees and to provide health care for one-third of the state’s citizens.
To repeat, California’s budget cannot be fixed until the Fundamental Four are fixed.
Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy(Kindle, $9.95)(print, $20)
Are you like me? Ever since my first summer job decades ago, I've been chasing financial security. Not win-the-lottery, Bill Gates riches (although it would be nice!), but simply a feeling of financial control. I want my financial worries to if not disappear at least be manageable and comprehensible.And like most of you, the way I've moved toward my goal has always hinged not just on having a job but a career.
You don't have to be a financial blogger to know that "having a job" and "having a career" do not mean the same thing today as they did when I first started swinging a hammer for a paycheck.
Even the basic concept "getting a job" has changed so radically that jobs--getting and keeping them, and the perceived lack of them--is the number one financial topic among friends, family and for that matter, complete strangers.
So I sat down and wrote this book: Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy.
It details everything I've verified about employment and the economy, and lays out an action plan to get you employed.
I am proud of this book. It is the culmination of both my practical work experiences and my financial analysis, and it is a useful, practical, and clarifying read.
Test drive the first section and see for yourself. Kindle, $9.95 print, $20
"I want to thank you for creating your book Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy. It is rare to find a person with a mind like yours, who can take a holistic systems view of things without being captured by specific perspectives or agendas. Your contribution to humanity is much appreciated."
Gordon Long and I discuss The New Nature of Work: Jobs, Occupations & Careers(25 minutes, YouTube)
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|Thank you, Helen S.C. ($10), for yet another splendidly generous contribution to this site-- I am greatly honored by your steadfast support and readership.|