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George Ledo
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We're been going thru some very interesting meetings at work recently, given the coming of the new fiscal year and some retirements that have caused some rethinking about the business. Oh, yeah, I work for a theatre that's part of a public agency.

To make a long story short, it seems that every time we talk about the budget, the number one priority is to "balance" it, to the point where discussions about providing the services we're supposed to provide always fall into the background. If there's a problem area, the discussion always goes into "balancing" the budget instead of looking at where the problem is and solving it. So it would appear to this observer that the mentality here -- the goal -- is to come out with a balanced budget regardless of whether we are providing the services we're supposed to provide.

Given the recent publicity about our Governor Brown balancing the CA budget, I have to wonder if this way of thinking is prevalent in other government agencies, so I'm throwing it out as a question.

BTW, I do have my own opinion based on nine years of working on architectural projects for government agencies in my previous career, but I'm going to hold off on that until I read some of your comments. Smile
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
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MagicSanta
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Brown has been completely out of the picture on the news here surprisingly (since our local stations border California and are shown there). Arnold was always on the news. How is ol' Brown doing?
landmark
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The way teachers are being treated all around the country should tell you everything you need to know. The concept of "educational reform" has nothing to do with education. It's all about cutting the budget as much as possible, transferring the money to the rich, and seeing what they can get away with. It looks like as you indicate that it's no different with the arts.
gdw
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Welcome to bureaucracy.

This far to often one of the distractions in government agencies, probably made such a big focus because they simply can NOT keep within their budgets to begin with.

There's also no real connection between their effectiveness in providing their "services," and their budget/funding, when it should be one of the primary factors.

How people think organizations run like this are supposed to actually help people in the end is nothing but insanity.
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
HerbLarry
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Quote:
So it would appear to this observer that the mentality here -- the goal -- is to come out with a balanced budget regardless of whether we are providing the services we're supposed to provide.



I would have to know what these services are that we are supposed to provide. In my mind Police, Fire, and a Court System is it. A County/area Hospital & Library would be next in line if funds collected could provide them. I think that spending only what you have, that is a balanced budget, is the correct & right thing to do. Either tax more or defund existing programs. I realize people like neither but we gotta realize debt is no good for anyone in California or any other State. THE problem is living outside of your means on a personal & governmental level regardless of what advertisers think.
You know why don't act naive.
MagicSanta
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California has the big bucks. In Santa Clara county they rebuilt all the libraries, not remodeled, rebuilt, and all the highschools got big electronic billboard signs out front and the football fields were all redone.
tommy
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Griftopia

I am not sure if this relates to what you fellows are talking about here but I have just read these two cool eye opening articles here in Rolling Stone from Matt Taibbi about all this scandalous stuff that is going on with money. The same sort of stuff is going on here in England. Although I can relate to the story the USA characters in the plays I don't really know. I am getting this book anyhow.

America for Sale:

An Exclusive Excerpt from Matt Taibbi’s New Book on the Economic Meltdown Our cash-strapped country is auctioning off its highways, ports and even parking meters, finding eager buyers in the Middle East

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/new......20101018

Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail?

Financial crooks brought down the world's economy — but the feds are doing more to protect them than to prosecute them

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/new......20110216
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MagicSanta
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I've news for ya. If I was California I'd start charging a toll to enter the state. They have those agri check centers on major highways, use 'em. I would also sell advertizing on the side of overpasses and soundwalls. Heck, I'd even sell the rights to San Andreas Fault, let 'em call it AT&T Fault for a couple hundred million a year, if the big one hits it will be great for them "AT&T Fault Hits Los Angeles, Homes Previously Flooded, Burned, and Slid Down Hill Damaged.....Again". I'd name schools after sponsers too, think about it, Apple Elementary, Hewlett Packard High...Home of the Fighting PCs! Why not rent out Browns forehead when he gives speeches? Golden Gate Bridge? Forgetaboutit...try The Google Gate Bridge!
EsnRedshirt
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Why would any company want a part of our education system named after it? Same goes for our highways. I guess a company that sells swiss cheese might see some benefit, but...
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MagicSanta
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I wondered the same thing about traffic reports on KGO and the companies do it. I would be sitting stopped in traffic and they would say "Traffic is brought to you by Smith Industries" and I'd think "well thanks a lot Smith Industries"
cairo
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Here's how to balance the budget: Charge a very high tax on gasoline, cigarettes, alcohol, gun sales, gambling wins; and the budget crisis will be solved. Unfortunately, lobbiests for those industries will never let that happen.
gdw
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On 2011-03-04 18:21, cairo wrote:
Here's how to balance the budget: Charge a very high tax on gasoline, cigarettes, alcohol, gun sales, gambling wins; and the budget crisis will be solved. Unfortunately, lobbiests for those industries will never let that happen.


Uh, don't they already have high taxes on those things?
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
MagicSanta
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You don't believe very high taxes don't already exist on those things? Why do you include gasoline in with cigareets, alcholol, gun sales, and gambling? Gas is required by people to get to work, school, the grocery store, doctors, you name it. It is not at all in the same catagory as the other items and the simple fact is not everyone has access to public transportation or are with in or capable of walking or biking. Taxing gas any further is punishing the working man, is that your goal?

If you want to tax gambling tax the Indian casinos because the winners are not the patrons, they are not in any casino. There is no way to tax on line gambling because it isn't allowed in the US. You'll not get the guns taxed because they already have a sales tax applied to them and the gun owners will say it is restricting their right to bare arm to pay any additional tax. Booze and cigs? They tax them, at least the cigs (I've no clue about booze) and take into account money not yet collected, people quit smoking, the dollars are less and the states having already spent that money now are in a deeper hole. Well, I guess that leaves gas and goodness know every day people don't have enough problems today without paying an extra buck for a gallon of gas.
EsnRedshirt
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CA budget could go a long way towards balanced by revising the property tax laws so they don't affect corporations the same way as individuals. According to good ol' Prop 13, property taxes can't be raised over a certain percentage annually, so you can't have your rates jacked up 10% a year and get priced out of your home. The base tax rate is reassessed according to current market value when the property is sold. However, corporations tend to hold on to land rather longer than individuals, so Disney is currently paying about five cents a square foot on most of the ground in Disneyland.
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MagicSanta
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Property tax is a real issue there. My fathers house was worth twice what mine was and my property tax was over 6,000 a year and his was under 300 bucks. Makes sense to me.
George Ledo
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Well, given what I see at work every day, I have to suspect that the bureaucracy itself is probably costing far more than some of these programs and services that keep getting slashed. Of course, for a politician to say let's slash the bureaucracy would be instant political suicide. Smile
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
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gdw
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On 2011-03-05 11:38, George Ledo wrote:
Well, given what I see at work every day, I have to suspect that the bureaucracy itself is probably costing far more than some of these programs and services that keep getting slashed. Of course, for a politician to say let's slash the bureaucracy would be instant political suicide. Smile


This is why I'm so against it, and people call me crazy for it. Yet, they are the ones who insist on continuing to support it, expecting things to actually change.
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
stoneunhinged
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On 2011-03-05 12:42, gdw wrote:
This is why I'm so against it, and people call me crazy for it.


No one--and I really think I speak for virtually all of us--thinks you're crazy for being against the wastes of governmental beaurocracy. No one.

We remain skeptical regarding how a large state (or would you suggest getting rid of nation states--by magic, perhaps?) could function without any beaurocratic elements whatsoever.

It's kind of like complaining about taxes. Sure, we hate 'em. But we live off the roads and traffic lights that they bring.

This is my second biggest complaint with Austrian economics (and GDW, don't think that I somehow missed your failure to respond to my biggest complaint, in another thread; apparently you respect me so little that you don't think I have the slightest idea what "Austrian economics" is): who paints the crosswalks? And how do we pay for the paint?
gdw
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That's like asking who designs and makes the bags that your bread comes in, and how do you pay for them.
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
stoneunhinged
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On 2011-03-05 13:48, gdw wrote:
That's like asking who designs and makes the bags that your bread comes in, and how do you pay for them.


Right.

It's a good question, in my opinion.
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