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Jerry Brown: Zen and the Art of Pandemic Response

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/03/30/jerry-brown-zen-and-art-pandemic-response

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Jerry Brown is a nasty little fukk. He blew ALL his credibility as a descent guy during his tenure as not-governor-moonbeam-anymore. Just blabbing on about an ancient philosophy he clearly doesn’t practice does not restore his image nor grant him sage status. The puke!

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Eskow has it correct in spades. My blush: I was not aware that he is a senior advisor at Social Security Works–which it does, if the thieves and vandals are kept on short leashes. I have mentioned it several times recently in these pages.

The legacy of FDR lives on in Social Security Works, in Social Security itself, and in the coherent analysis of how we got into this hole. This article recounts the true nature of American greatness (to the extent that it ever was), especially regarding the role that the US government has played in virtually all of the technologies and institutional arrangements we value most highly.

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Jerry Brown of the 70s is not the Jerry Brown of today. Apparently he put his finger to the wind and determined that neo-liberal was the american way since the 1980s. It’s not all his fault - a lot of americans went that way and a lot of conservative California voters went for the Jerry Brown of the last decade. He showed his true colors as Mayor of Oakland and his protoge Libby Schaaf continues on.

“Small is beautiful” is true and if people locally were more informed, better educated and allowed to understand and participate in what goes on we might have had more informed decision making on everything at the local (small) level. Too much money has gone to Washington over the decades that could have been left in local communities to build local hospitals and health care centers.

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It’s what that money was spent on (mostly wars for which there was no excuse) more than just state v federal. Because only sovereign nations can create money, most of the really large scale projects in the US beginning with FDR have been funded by the Federal Government, even though many of them passed the money back to the states to hire private contractors to do the actual work. When done honestly that approach works quite well, and is partly responsible for the economic expansion from WW II to the present day.

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Got to get those relatively inexpensive medical reserve facilities back up and running, now with new pandemics becoming more the norm, and the federal government less willing to help.

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I liked Jerry Brown, I remember his father too. I think when he is evaluated, he did a lot more to stabilize California than he is given credit. He also had the good sense to reject SB 562, sometimes success comes from not doing something.

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Times have changed, how well we adapt is another matter.

DID YOU FOLKS MISS THIS PART?
" Jerry Brown … came into office facing a $26-billion deficit."

I clearly remember when Brown vehemently opposed Proposition 13 by Howard Jarvis, the guy you should all really be hammering. That evil legislation shifted the property tax burden, a main source of revenue, onto every subsequent younger generation of homeowner in the state while the fatest of Fat Cats made out like bandits. Meanwhile our tax coffers tanked.
Try to get the voters to rescind Prop. 13 and let’s get back to realistic property values and a better funded state treasury.
Then hammer governors who chose to drive fleet Plymouth’s to work themselves instead of the chauffeured limo in an effort to cut costs.

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The 20th century Brown was indeed far different than the 21st century Brown.

I was working on expanding public transportation north of Sacramento to the Oregon border during Brown’s first two terms (1975-83) and Brown was ardently working to expand local and regional rail transportation, battling corporations’, their politicians’ and Cal Trans myopic highway expansion mentality every step of the way.

All of those trains you have seen relieving freeway congestion in California during the past 3 decades would not be there if not for Brown. Instead, California would now be facing a pandemic while concurrently gridlocked.

Brown’s 21st century failures are the result of his not leaving the Democratic Party after the 1985 Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) formation.

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Why do we even need property taxes? Income taxes could fund everything and we could get rid of the property tax problem.

Henry George, one of the most insightful and most widely read economists of the 19th century and an amateur at that, suggested in his book Progress and Poverty that the fairest and simplest tax was the tax on land, and that the land tax if appropriately administered would eliminate the need for any other taxes. Overlooking some technical details, the idea is simply that it is a tax no one can avoid because virtually every person either owns land or rents it, and because it is constant in its quantity so it falls proportionately on every acre of ground. It sounds flakey at first, but it is still taken seriously by a good many well-informed people. In practice the details can pose problems, but it is worth consideration.

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Land (and/or buildings) themselves do not create cash flow or provide liquidity. This is the problem many older homeowners were having being on fixed incomes and getting hit with huge tax bills based on market value that has gone up substantially since their purchase. Anyway, there are many inequities. Income, however, provides liquidity and even property could be taxed when it is sold and income and/or cash is generated by the sale. To tax property basically says the government has an interest in your property forever and technically can take it away from you if you can’t pay up. I really think income/liquidity approach is much fairer and reasonable.

“Lifesaving programs like Medicare and Social Security are products of a large central government and would have been impossible without it.” People want a government that works, size is not important. That is right wing talking point, big government, regulation, tax, just steal our money and give it to the Oligarchs. No one opposed SS or Medicare because it was big government except the right wing nuts.

And if the funding for those programs wasn’t stolen to fund unnecessary foreign wars there would be no angst about their continued solvency.