Wednesday, 9 November 2005

I propose you all shut the #&^@ up!!!

I propose you all shut the #&^@ up!!!
Well, as most of you already know, none of Arnold’s propositions passed. I find myself quite conflicted by this outcome. The proposition system in California is an abomination, and if I had my way all current and future propositions would be sunsetted. On the other hand I whole heartedly supported most of Arnold’s propositions. It is not that I think that they were brilliant policy so much as I thought that they were necessary.

The unions (which I hate and will rail against at a later date) have too much political power nowadays, and I liked that Arnold was slapping their wrists. They would have quickly found a loophole in Prop 74 and would have continued interfering, but they would have been on notice. Also, I detest protectionism in any form so I was pleased that tenure was being made more elusive. Let’s face it; teachers who are not at the graduate, undergraduate, or research level do not need tenure. We don’t want them deviating from the curriculum and so we don’t need them to have intellectual freedom. They are and should be merely tools of the state. Finally, I find it horribly hypocritical that most Californians criticize Bush for his borrow and spend tendencies, and then support those exact same tendencies (which on a proportional basis are much worse) here in California. Any proposition, even one which gives more power to the governor, is better than the current situation. Arnold is right, California is addicted to spending money, and the habit needs to be controlled by someone.

Back to why I detest the proposition system. The way I see it there are three major failings of the proposition system;

People are generally incompetent.

We don’t have a direct democracy for precisely this reason. People don’t have the time, inclination, or the intellectual horsepower to really consider all of the effects of the propositions that they are asked to vote on. Legislators are barely competent to make the decisions that they make, and they theoretically spend all of their time thinking about policy. Also consider the fact that most citizens today lack a quality education, or the ability to think critically, and yet have enormous power to control all of our destinies.

Because our society is made up of cognitive misers (see above), special interest groups have vastly disproportionate power through propaganda. For an example of this, see any commercial run by the teachers, firemen, and nurse’s union in the past 4 months. These commercials were nonsensical emotional appeals based purely upon the proven fact that most people place a great deal of faith in workers in these categories. Like it or not, the proposition system is the closest thing in our society to paying for policy.

Propositions last long beyond the time that they have become obsolete. Essentially Californians are carrying an ever growing stone around their necks. Currently 80% of the state budget is spent before the government ever gets to start making policy. 80 fucking percent!!! This is ludicrous. How can we blame any government in this state for our problems when 80% of the spending decisions were mismanaged not by the government but by voters (many of whom have been dead for a generation or more)? Fuck fucking fuckity fuck!!! I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.

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