Bureaucrat Beat: Look the Other Way, Ice Cream Outrage, and a Letter

Not only did banks make bad loans and and other bad decisions, regulators ignored the warning signs. We heard that about Bernard Madoff. A whistleblower made it clear that a Ponzi scheme was afoot. The Securities and Exchange Commission looked the other way. Swell. Now, we hear that federal regulators ignored information that Pasadena’s IndyMac Bancorp had indulged in “shaky loans based on inflated property values.”

We’ve dealt with “nudge, nudge, wink, wink” regulations. What do we need? A tyrant to make people behave? We hope not. But now, it seems, the trouble has cropped up in yet another place – the food business. According to the Los Angeles Times, the nation’s supermarkets have a big problem with the giant food manufacturers like Nestle, Unilever and Kellogg. Seems those big manufacturers have raised prices too fast and too far, even in the face of large drops in prices for fuel, corn, wheat and other commodities. Case in point – milk prices have gone down by 36% yet ice cream costs 14% more. Huh?!?

Somehow, somewhere, someone got the idea it was socially acceptable to cheat. Gee, I wonder where they got that idea? We in the Bureaucrat Beat newsroom think it was the guys at the top for the last 8 years, the ones who gave no-bid contracts to their friends and took big chunks of advantage for themselves at taxpayers’ expense.

And, don’t let us get started on the so-called legislators in Sacramento who fooled around for months while people lost jobs and services with no state budget. On that note, Bishop’s Stan Smith sounds off. Here is his letter:

Recently, Mammoth Lakes’ Town Council adopted some kind of an ordinance, outlawing loitering for school students, in the hopes of stopping street crimes, shoplifting, truancy and other school-age kid crimes. Shortly thereafter, the Bishop City Council adopted a similar or parallel piece of legislation.

Since the state’s lawmakers somehow saw fit to linger more than 6 months before coming to grips with running the numbers and adopting a state budget for California, maybe what we need is a good referendum or proposition to curtail loitering in Sacramento’s hallways? Maybe the solons should be picked up for vagrancy or truancy or not attending to business and put in Juvenile Hall if they don’t attend sessions and get business done on time?

Can you imagine The Governator and Willie and The Boys and Gals sitting in Saturday
morning detention beginning July 1st if they haven’t done their homework and
completed the budget and adoption process by that deadline? And every one of their
days is a Saturday if they don’t get the work done! Kinda’ like the movie Ground
Hog Days and its theme of monotonous repetition until you get the message and step
into reality and do something meaningful.

How about reducing their salaries by 10% DAILY until the budget is in place? After the 11th day I’ll bet we’d see some serious action! Midnight candles burning, nobody going home, everybody working furiously 24/7 forgetting partisan politics in their headlong rush to serve the people’s interest and avoid dipping into their own personal bank accounts because they’ve used up the public trust and the public trough and now are having to pay to stay and work for the people?

What if they get an “F” no matter what and have to do 2 years’ of sound community service without pay or perks or fleet autos or per diem? Maybe that “F” stands for Furlough for Life and gets stamped on their foreheads?

What if their Sacramento offices and home district offices and aides and assistants and computers and cellphones and furniture and water coolers and coffee machines and Capitol lunchroom privileges were suspended “for cause” and they had to repay the taxpayers treble damages and forced to resign and swear never to try for any public office ever again in this lifetime, or the next?

When is the next Tea Party being held in California? We have a couple of bays and harbors available for large floating parties, don’t you think? There’s even a Port of Sacramento: how handy is that?

How big a gangplank would we have to build to handle the whole motley scurvy-infested crew?

And, if we’ve passed that statewide anti-loitering law with a one-way-only,  no-return caveat, they couldn’t just mill around on the gangplank!

We could call it the Loiterers’ Lemming Law, don’t you think?

Stan Smith

We support your new law, Stan. Finally, we wonder if anyone in Washington listens to the Sunday morning talk shows. Repeatedly, the top economists in the world have expounded on what they think should happen to rescue the flagging financial scene around the globe. Paul Krugman, Joseph Stiglitiz, and Martin Wolf – some of them Nobel Prize winners – say that the government must spend more money and spend it fast to jump start the sick situation. They all support nationalizing banks that have failed. We hope that our federal legislators get over their egocentric ideologies and political identities and do what the people need. Demonizing President Obama or anyone else will not get us where we want to go. Okay, Rush?

With that, this is Benett Kessler signing off for Bureaucrat Beat where we await your word on our lives in the Eastern Sierra and beyond.

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