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« Making Medical Decisions | Main | Stand Your Ground – Some Thoughts »

21 April 2012

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Russ Steele

Plunging toward global socialism - Rio+20 Agenda: Trillions Per Year In Green Taxes, Transfers And Price Hikes. George Russell, at Fox News has the details. [My emphase]

The upcoming United Nations environmental conference on sustainable development will consider a breathtaking array of carbon taxes, transfers of trillions of dollars from wealthy countries to poor ones, and new spending programs to guarantee that populations around the world are protected from the effects of the very programs the world organization wants to implement, according to stunning U.N. documents examined by Fox News.

The main goal of the much-touted, Rio + 20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, scheduled to be held in Brazil from June 20-23, and which Obama Administration officials have supported,  is to make dramatic and enormously expensive changes  in the way that the world does nearly everything—or, as one of the documents puts it, "a fundamental shift in the way we think and act."

Among the proposals on how the “challenges can and must be addressed,” according to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon:

--More than $2.1 trillion a year in wealth transfers from rich countries to poorer ones, in the name of fostering “green infrastructure, ”  “climate adaptation” and other “green economy” measures.

--New carbon taxes for industrialized countries that could cost about $250 billion a year, or 0.6 percent of Gross Domestic Product, by 2020. Other environmental taxes are mentioned, but not specified.

--Further unspecified price hikes that extend beyond fossil fuels to anything derived from agriculture, fisheries, forestry, or other kinds of land and water use, all of which would be radically reorganized. These cost changes would “contribute to a more level playing field between established, 'brown' technologies and newer, greener ones."

-- Major global social spending programs, including a "social protection floor" and "social safety nets" for the world's most vulnerable social groups  for reasons of “equity.”

--Even more social benefits for those displaced by the green economy revolution—including those put out of work in undesirable fossil fuel industries. The benefits, called “investments,”  would include “access to nutritious food, health services, education, training and retraining, and unemployment benefits."

--A guarantee that if those sweeping benefits weren’t enough, more would be granted. As one of the U.N. documents puts it:  “Any adverse effects of changes in prices of goods and services vital to the welfare of vulnerable groups must be compensated for and new livelihood opportunities provided."

Sustainability is just a code word for socialism.

Earl Crabb

Given the current economic state of the industrialized nations, I would expect these proposals will go over like the proverbial lead balloon, except in California where the balloon crash will be designated as a superfund clean-up site.

Gregory

Earl, I luv it! Yes, the state Lead Balloon crashing in California would be a Superfund event!

Scott Obermuller

Florida? Check this out.
"Where is a terrorist more apt to be found? Not these days on an airplane more likely on the interstate," said Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons.
I know there's been several suspected terrorists in my vehicle. Not! WTH is going on here? The biggest threat on the highways are the drunks and the folks watching videos on their dashboards.
http://www.newschannel5.com/story/15725035/officials-claim-tennessee-becomes-first-state-to-deploy-vipr-statewide
How about we boycott Tennessee and let them know why. I am registered on several vehicle related groups and will suggest that this be implemented nation wide. Want to be a Police State? Then we take our money elsewhere. C'mon lefties, this isn't Dem or Rep, it's our country. Send the emails now. And follow through with action. When we were in Mexico, they told us to expect that there would be armed checkpoints here and there. We saw them, but were not pulled in. They have some machine gun toting guards out on the road, and if they point at you and you don't respond properly, you get it. Get it? Do I have to carry a copy of the Constitution around in my car to inform my govt? I can see why Ted Nugent is ranting. I learned about a wonderful govt called USA in school. Where is it? Where is a terrorist more apt to found these days? Why, at home in bed at night of course. We know who they are because they're slow to open the door. Welcome the brave new world.

billy T

I like clean water and clean air and Granny when she cleans up and takes a bath. Why are so many greenie feel good ideas nothing but job killers? With the greenie jobs comprising 2% of the California workforce, it will be miles to go before the tree huggers sleep, miles to go. Even if we have 100% build out of all things green, energy and taxes will so expensive that we will have to cut back on frivolous things like food and clothing and kids birthday parties. The EPA is threatening to sue my company and is doing on site dumpster inspections to make sure there are no Bozo no-nos in the trash. Rather odd cause we manufacture nothing. I am a horrible person. I once threw a small cardboard shoe box in the trash instead of the cardboard dumpster and probably threw a plastic water bottle or two in the wrong bin in my time. I even cut off that "do not remove" tag from my sleeping bag. I just was wondering how much it costs the taxpayers for those dumpster diving inspectors with their shiny little trucks. At least they could have car pooled. I am looking for hope and change. Instead I am getting shame and blame.

Russ Steele

billyT07:16AM

Yes, and on Earth Day and you are still exhaling CO2, spewing pollution according to CARB and EPA, causing millions of children to die from ozone. How unthoughtful of you.

Steven Frisch

Perhaps this should be recast as the myth of the downward spiral. For the informed, rather than the opinion journalist, the sky is not falling....

http://www.ccsce.com/PDF/Apr12_CA-Economy-Update.pdf

David King

Thanks for the link Steve.

“This report was prepared by the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy (CCSCE) at the request of the management team…” of the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy…

LOL!

Steven Frisch

David, it was prepared for the management team of the California EConomic Summit occurring on May 11th in Santa Clara.

http://www.caeconomy.org/

David King

From the last paragraph:

"There is not yet agreement on the best mix of reforms and additional targeted resources and, to the extent additional resources are needed, how best to collect more investment funding."...

Hummm? It sounds like more study is needed from the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy.

:)

Steven Frisch

D.King, the intent of the effort is to get as close to an agreement on what the strategies are, what the appropriate state role is, and what implementation actions should be advanced, before it goes to legislative or administrative action, in order to reduce the likelyhood of partisan friction. You will note that the organizing committee's and aggregated efforts of the California Stewardship Network, California Forward, Think Long Committee, and Lt. Governor's initiative, who are all involved in this forum and committed to making economic development a top priority of this and future administrations, include a bi-partisan cross section of the state.

My organization has been involved in this effort for 3 years--supporting an approach that includes regional strategies, budget reform, pension reform, regulatory reform, and developing resources to help the private sector in the Sierra Nevada be more responsive to emerging markets--and intends to stay involved permanently.

George Rebane

So if we are to believe the Center for Continuing Study ..., then we are to ignore the departing legions of businesses, the increasing and hopelessly inaccessible $500B+ of unfunded liabilities, the state budgets that have no hope of being balanced, the backward tax policies that continue to tax more and bring in less to state coffers, the exploding list of agencies and their regulations (led by the rogue CARB), that every tenet of UN's Agenda21 is being not only followed but "led" by California, the bottom ranking of California in terms of individual liberties and business climate, and wholesale international recognition of all this and that California is broken; instead we are to believe the assessments and prescriptions of some in-state progressive think tanks (oxymoron?) that are the progenitors of the ideology and resulting policies that have gotten us here??? I think not.

And if SBC gets public monies to participate in this rats nest, then I protest.

billy T

Mr Frisch. Most all economists and statisticians say the slow grow will continue for years, duh. The optimism lies in the future. Locally our area needs construction to pick up, but it will be awhile before all the nail pounders die off or go on disability as people can't afford remodels or building permits. Plus most jobs don't pay enough to purchase a home and pay for a new car with insurance on a single income. The high earners and those in skilled vocations will always survive. The po folk will always get aid. Its the ones in the middle that are squeezed. California taxes the rich 10% and a single person making 48k/year 9% state income taxes. We have the highest sales taxes around and highest businesses taxes. Our gasoline prices are always near the top, usually behind Hawaii. Housing prices are above the national norm as well. The good news is it is always easy to find California because our state is always near the top of any negative list. Even better news is that the recession is over and we jumped over the shuttered factories of Michigan to claim the #2 spot for highest unemployment. Nationally there are fewer people in the labor pool than before the recession started which disguises a true 11% unemployment rate had not those people disappeared off the face of the earth. Oh, I am not leaving California for wetter or drier pastures. I have lived in every West Coast State except Utah, which is probably a great place to raise a family for the 20-35 age demographics because to Utah's quality of life, jobs, and cost of living. What the link does not take into account is that California is a darn expensive state to live in and disposal income is my bottom line. We have the haves on one side, the have nots on the other side, and the little guy like me in the ball busting vice.

Earl Crabb

Perhaps this study group could advise the dimwit legislature in Sacto to do a little more homework themselves before they make decisions that affect us all.
http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/22/4432469/dan-walters-california-court-system.html

Steven Frisch

What I am saying to each and every one of you is that the picture of the economy regularly painted here, based on anecdotal or narrowly defined information, or on studies like the California Lutheran University Studies, are painting an inaccurate picture of the California economy. Yes we have lost businesses, and we have gained businesses as well, creative destruction goes on.

We actually have more businesses today in California than we did in 2006.
The pension issue is solvable, and a solution is on the table that I have yet to see those here who claim to care fully support.
Tax policy does need to be reformed...I think we all agree...and solutions are out there...and the causes are many...but they really all go back to the insanity of Prop 13--which was done by you guys..I think we should fix it by reforming Prop 13..and doing a VAT.
California actually has less agencies boards and commissions than it did in 2004...they have been regularly cut by a string of Governors you have loved to hate.
No one in California government gives a damn about Agenda 21..they are instituting policies they think are right and that the people are asking for, some of which may have some similarities to ideas in Agenda 21...but if one of your posters had an idea similar to using the language of the Nazi party, would you call them a Nazi?
Your sources for individual liberty and business climate are really incredibly biased--California is actually in the top middle of the pack on taxes and regulation.

The one thing you are right about is that California is broken in many ways--but that just means we all have a responsibility to get in there and fix it....you just can;t sit at a table and get along with anyone without calling them a fascist, communist, collectivist, or socialist.

And finally, I am no different than an employee of any other non-profit, including your church, the SESF, or your local chapter of the NRA. I exercise my free speech rights, under the law, and you can put that in your pipe and smoke it.

By the way, are donations to the SESF that you sit on tax deductible?

Scott Obermuller

Great posting from the far, far left Steven F. The litany of woes concerning the financial problems of the cities, counties and the state govt itself are thrown aside as too narrowly focused. No more money? Not a problem for the left. We just print a bunch more! See? Easy fix. Except they can't print any more ala the feds. When we have no more money, what then? It's like saying to a pilot that he's too focused on the fact that he's running out of altitude and airspeed. His problem is merely that he is too focused. Saying the answer to the pension problem is on the table is true, but whose table are you talking about? Brown's is far too little, too late. The answer that will fix it completely has been declared DOA by the powers that be. Then there is the evergreen carp that Prop 13 ruined everything. "WE" did it? I think you had better check the vote count, Steve. I can clearly recall that my Democrat-voting relatives could all hardly wait to vote for it, including a very loud mouthed union-loving uncle. The state govt has made far more in revenue from property taxes because of Prop 13. Having stable protection from ruinous property taxes allowed a greatly increased land value base. The actual amount raised from property taxes in this state have gone up faster than the population and inflation. Incoming revenues are not the problem, the spending is. It's really funny that you should castigate a very popular prop passed by a large majority and then say that folks in CA govt are just trying to institute policies that the people are asking for. Really? I don't remember skyrocketing electrical rates being on the ballot. This state is being run by the left. When it has been run into the ground completely, the left will still blame some one else. Count on it.

billy T

Fair enough Mr. Frisch. BTW, I would put it in my pipe and smoke it, but that is a California major pastime. I haven't smoked any wacky tabaccy in over 21 years. I agree solutions are in order, but when one proposes living within one's own means, we are the ones called Nazis and fascists. Think it was President Obama who recently called Paul Ryan's budget proposal "Social Darwinism". Yes, it was our President. Ryan's plan calls for whopping mind boggling 2% cut of the budget in future years when the economy recovers. Think it was Ronald Reagen who said the closest thing to eternal life on earth is government bureaucracy. Back home in California, our largest city (The City of Angels) is in dire straits. Solution: Build a bullet train. Funny, with all the stops planned and speed concerns, it will be a train, but not a bullet train. Who cares if it costs billions. Perhaps the po folk will pay the tab. Closer to home, the Sacramento region is in the toilet as your graphs show. Too many people hired by the government in our region, which again is a recipe for disaster as Sac has found out. Glad there are more small businesses. Small businesses usually take it on the chin when our government agents stop by to help. Noticed Apple is building a new center in Texas. Think that is a mere 130,000 jobs added to the Texas payrolls. Or is it 36,000 jobs. Hard to keep up. I am certain that little clothing boutiques will compensate for the big boys leaving the state. At least the millionaires are staying put in Malibu and Marin and Monticello. You don't have the power to bring back mining or logging or building another Air Force Base here, but I am glad that you are trying something, anything. Tech is looking good. As they used to say, its location, location, location. Loma Rica with its 10% grade on icy roads and not near a major transportation hub is not a good location. Nowadays they say its all about jobs, jobs, jobs. Perhaps Mom and Pops could revive us all. Not in the down towns mind you, but maybe in some old vacant school buildings.

David King

Steve Said:
"...but that just means we all have a responsibility to get in there and fix it..."

Which brings us to Crabb's link. You would think judges would know who butters their bread. But alas, agenda trumps self-preservation in Steve's world.

George Rebane

SteveF 110pm - Yes, SESF is a 501c3. And I do not begrudge SBC receiving any private monies pre- or post-tax, that is nothing but your ideological colleagues exercising their free speech rights. More power to you.

But I do take exception to state agencies funding any politically active NGO. And the usual progressive response that pre-tax contributions are also an indirect government funding is gratuitous, specious, and egregious. We are still a country where enough private property rights remain so that the money belongs first and foremost to the person who earned it.

Steven Frisch

I have never received any local, state or federal monies that have been used for supporting or opposing any political cause. That is policed by having audited financial statements, doing audited grant reports, having a vigorous financial oversight board committee, having a robust audit committee, and having very strict conflict of interest policies. That is the law, it is the same for everybody, and there is no rationale for critiquing me for using private raised funds within the legal limits for supporting or opposing political issues. Your attacks on my organization, or the attacks you have countenanced by allowing false and libelous information to be published here, have been manifest here for years.

George Rebane

SteveF 217pm - I don't recall anyone "critiquing (you) for (SBC) using private raised funds within the legal limits for supporting or opposing political issues." That's the prerogative of SBC's board.

Steven Frisch

You really don;t recall both Todd and Barry Pruett doing that? You must be blind.

Earl Crabb

Steve, you'll be happy to know that after working for years to pay off my home that I've lost my prop 13 exemption. Property taxes more than doubled overnight. So now I don't make house payments, just rent to the state. Every government entity I do business with is gouging me for more moolah, and they want more. Why shouldn't I be upset with the Democrats who have run up all this debt?

Gregory

The "Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy" appears to be a one man consultancy. Impressive name, isn't it? As is the "Sierra Business Council", which isn't a business council.

billy T

Gentlemen, great bantering back and forth. Very insightful. Mr. Frisch, if you are no different than any other employee working for a non profit, then you must realize your livelihood depends on results. Not agenda, not feel good ideas and solutions (like A.P.P.L.E),but down and dirty results and down and dirty sustainability, financially speaking. Be self supporting if you will. Many a person working for a church or non profit has gotten the pink slip when money is tight. I am fiscally conservative. I believe in living within my means, albeit I have foolishly used the credit card when the pocket book was thin when I had a broken thinker. It was a painful lesson to learn that the borrower is a slave to the lender and I mortgaged my future and sustainability by taking money from the present to pay for the sins of my past. Soon I will be shouting from the mountain tops "Free at last, Free at last, thank God in heaven I am free at last". Same with government borrowing. Debt just does not disappear. Money does not grow on trees. I am also concerned that our dear friends with broken thinkers have twisted the Keynesian theory of economics into something resembling buzzard guts being dragged by a train. The fact that I am no fan of the Keynesian theory is a given, but I wish our friends with constipated brains would accurately acquaint themselves with the theory before the diarrhea oozes from their lips. Keynesian theory states that in good times gov'ts hunker down and spend like misers. Cut spending and start saving. Hopefully they build up a nice war chest in good times. In bad times, gov'ts open up the lock box and spend like drunken sailors. Shit for brains always cheer the latter and hate the former. As this "recovery" continues, we have found out that unemployment compensation was designed for 26 weeks, not the years that this "recovery" will take. It was fun fun fun until my daddy took the t-bird away.

billy T

Steve, I was not referring to you on the latter part of the above post. Just because tiny reforms are on the table does not mean a thing until the rubber hits the road. A pox on all their houses. If you think that my stating the nail pounders (just a random example) will all die off or go on disability is over the top, I was meaning every word of it. Today we have 10.8 million people eligible for permanent disability. Just 3.5 years ago, that figure was HALF of what it is today. Blame Bush or blame Obama, but if I read the tea leaves correctly, 5.4 million workers are either milking the system or we have become a nation of softies. A third possibility is folks are in the survival mode. Whatever, having 4.5 million people added to the roles in just 3 and a half years shows people are in the survival and results mode, not the agenda mode. Reality is a rude awakening for those who consider disposable income important and don't like the direction of this Democrat controlled state. We have 1/3 of the nation's welfare cases and 11% of the nation's workers. Stand in line if you want to call me someone who has been duped by corporate America, naive and ignorant. I am the private sector's biggest fan and governments biggest detractor.

THEMIKEYMCD

The Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy title is too long... let's go with Deaf, Dumb and Blind (or DDB) from here on out. LOL.

If the DDB ignores budgets, unfunded liabilities, exodus of wealth, suffocation by regulation and simply focuses on the weather the outlook is rosy.

THEMIKEYMCD

BREAKING:... Social Security (and Medicare) is a ponzi scheme.

http://www.ssa.gov/oact/TRSUM/index.html

"Through the mid-2030s, due to the large baby-boom generation entering retirement and lower-birth-rate generations entering employment,"

billy T

Mr. Keachie, good news on the horizon. If Jerry Brown's tax hike passes in Novemeber, half the revenues with go to the schools...er...well, not school buildings or computer classes or pencils or textbooks. All that money will go directly to the teacher's pension fund. So a vote for the November tax hike with go to back fill the teachers' pension shortfall. And all this time I thought money for our schools meant money for our schools. How stupid of me. I must have egg on my face. Typical politicians telling us it is for our little bright eyed school children. Not! It is for our little bright eyed school children's teachers retirement. Of course option two is that the voters reject another tax increase. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304432704577348111047489438.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

George Rebane

billyT 1214pm - thanks for picking that out of today's WSJ. I will also have more to say about it in this week's commentary, but in the interval it is important to counter the perpetually prevailing progressive propaganda that lefties (like our local Mr Frisch) continue to dish out.

I believe it was Lenin who pointed out to his lads that, no matter how outrageous, indefinitely repeating a lie (here about the status of California) will make it an accepted 'fact' among the sheeple (Stalin perfected it while Goebbels was a second rater). We all know that this is the main reason why in authoritarian countries, sooner or later, the ruling elite make listening to outside news a crime.

In America, the progressives have effectively achieved the same result by co-opting the educational system. This coup has the added benefit of having made broader inquiries for other viewpoints inaccessible to their graduates and dropouts. The reports (on RR and elsewhere) of the asymmetrically partisan impacts of this "dumbth" abound.

Gregory

Here's a good one from the WSJ today:

"California Governor Jerry Brown is trying to sell his tax hike to voters this November by saying it will go to schools. The dirty little secret is that the new revenues are needed to backfill the insolvent teachers pension fund.

That's the news from an actuarial report presented to the board of the California State Teachers' Retirement System this month indicating that pension contributions would have to increase by about 68% to pay down its $65 billion unfunded liability over the next 30 years."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304432704577348111047489438.html?mod=googlenews_wsj#articleTabs_article

Douglas Keachie

So you all want to up the quality of teachers you attract by dumping pensions at a time when mathematicians ARE GENERALLY PULLING DOWN $99,000/YEAR IN PRIVATE INDUSTRY? GOOD LUCK!

George Rebane

DougK 410pm - As long as schools are run by unions for the benefit of the teachers, they will not attract good people regardless of what is done to the pensions of the existing cohort. And anyone who today enters the public school systems on the basis of hoped for union negotiated pensions is the last class of idiots we want in front of our kids.

Douglas Keachie

So which group of idiots do you expect to have teaching in our schools, given the disincentives you are so found of? If you use inferior demons, you get inferior results, and of course if the parents of the children to be educated have already been ruined as citizens and parents by an economic system that can't shoot straight, then what? 1/20th of the world's economic GDP is illegal, see: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/23/us-un-crime-idUSBRE83M12P20120423

billy T

Sadly, today's public school system is not about learning. Its all about the teachers unions. Money for schools is code for money for teachers. Money for teachers is code for money for teacher's unions. Somebody forget all about the pupil in this current Reign of Terror.

George Rebane

DougK 555pm - I'm in favor of schools run locally with teachers hired and fired based on merit in their ability to teach kids. Today, the overwhelming part of the K-12 public education system is beyond repair. Communities would do better in withdrawing from the socialist education bandwagon, and rebuilding local school districts with journeymen and volunteer teachers. It should start with local jurisdictions 'just saying NO' to sending their tax dollars to remote bureaucracies to misspend and mis-prescribe before conditionally returning a fraction of it. And most certainly, teachers unions have no place in the entire mix.

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