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Can the fading 'American Dream' be revived?

Original post made on Mar 9, 2018

The so-called "American Dream" of better days ahead economically for one's children has itself seen better days, according to a recent report by Stanford University economics researchers.

Read the full opinion here Web Link posted Friday, March 9, 2018, 6:32 AM

Comments (60)

20 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 9, 2018 at 9:20 am

The country has matured significantly since the industrial revolution. We no longer have boundless natural resources and indigenous cultures to plunder. We must now earn our wages through productive and sustainable work. Making a comfortable living is certainly still possible, but we must do so in a way that doesn't rob our neighbors or our children.


34 people like this
Posted by inequality
a resident of Meadow Park
on Mar 9, 2018 at 10:13 am

"... boundless natural resources and indigenous cultures" - Wow.

How about income inequality? Educational disparity and educational debt? There are real, substantial reasons to discuss, not some amorphous solution that "doesn't rob our neighbors or our children".

Start with:
- repeal Trump's tax cuts for billionaires and corporations, use that money to build education systems and reduce costs of education
- repeal the Bush tax cuts, specifically raise cap gains to it's former levels; capital should not have preferred tax rates over labor.
- instead of cutting Social Security and Medicare, improve them. Fund improvements by removing the payroll tax cap (currently around $117,000). Too much for PA'ers to swallow at once? Put in a donut hole exemption for the cap from 117K to 250K.

And go on from there... at least those will slow down the billionaires and corporations who "rob our neighbors or our children".

Working class children will do better than their parents if their parents can retire and get reasonable benefits from the safety net earned after a life of hard work.

Not a GOP dystopia of cut benefits to fund tax cuts for billionaires.


25 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 9, 2018 at 10:45 am

I was lucky to grow up in Los Angeles during a time period in which the mayor - Tom Bradley was black. The airport International section is named after him. West Hollywood is a gay community incorporated into the County. And the Los Angeles School System moved people around to promote diversity. That was in part because the population was moving outward and new high schools were being built to accommodate the population increase. There was a middle class in all race groups due to the diversity in the economic choices - manufacturing, entertainment, sports, etc. And we all thought this was "normal". This started to change when manufacturing was pushed out of state or the city due to tax increases. Change your economic and job choices, increase your population, and you start decreasing your options for a successful city and sane governance.
Comments above:
1. Social Security is a deduction from a person's paycheck what is matched by the employer up to a defined amount. Government employees do not have that deduction called FICA because their retirement is handled through a different method.
2. Corporations are the bedrock of the tax system - they produce products that are sold and they pay taxes. Why do people rail against corporations?
3. People who work for the government in any capacity are users of the tax system. Their job is dependent on tax payer funding. The goal is to decrease the number of people on the government dole.
4. Railing against the tax program is a giant hoax. We want corporations who pay taxes and pay the FICA offset for their employees which is where Social security comes from.
5. If you work for a non-profit then you are scamming the system and not putting in your fair share to the tax base. That includes churches which own a substantial amount of land and buildings.
6. The number of "takers" of the tax system has increased and the number of "givers" to the tax system has decreased. Keep going in that direction then you have a socialist or communist set-up.


29 people like this
Posted by inequality
a resident of Meadow Park
on Mar 9, 2018 at 1:38 pm

"Why do people rail against corporations?"

Not "railing" against healthy, fair tax paying businesses. That's a straw man.


see: Web Link


"The Sage of Omaha has done it again. He beat the S&P 500, as Berkshire Hathaway almost always does, but this time Warren Buffett said it was not all his doing.

"The $65 billion gain is nonetheless real – rest assured of that. But only $36 billion came from Berkshire’s operations," Warren Buffett wrote in his annual letter to shareholders on Saturday. "The remaining $29 billion was delivered to us in December when Congress rewrote the U.S. Tax Code..."

$29 Billion in tax cuts, with the stroke of Trump's greedy pen, and nothing was contributed to our economy (that wasn't being contributed the year before the tax cut.)

And you claim: "We want corporations who pay taxes..."

Uh-huh. A giveaway of $29 Billion to a single company, that could have been used to balance our budget. Instead, more debt for future generations. Less participation of the working class in their economy.

More debt for our children, with less services for them and their aging parents.

Yay for the billionaires!



16 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 9, 2018 at 1:48 pm

Posted by resident, a resident of Adobe-Meadow

Hi resident, I'm a little confused by some of what you wrote:

>> 2. Corporations are the bedrock of the tax system - they produce products that are sold and they pay taxes. Why do people rail against corporations?

Not all corporations are equal. Do you think it is OK to rail against corporations that are defrauding customers, creditors, investors, or the government (taxes)? Enron is a perfect example -- it came up in a discussion on these bulletin boards regarding Palo Alto Utilities.

>> 5. If you work for a non-profit then you are scamming the system and not putting in your fair share to the tax base. That includes churches which own a substantial amount of land and buildings.

Many non-profits do things like help disabled children and adults. Most of the time, they can't recoup all of their expenses, even if they sometimes get a little revenue through sheltered workshops. How is it possible for them to be a profitable business?

>> 6. The number of "takers" of the tax system has increased and the number of "givers" to the tax system has decreased. Keep going in that direction then you have a socialist or communist set-up.

It is somewhat the case that labor force participation has declined. Unfortunately, it isn't that easy to create jobs for everyone. What do you suggest?


9 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 9, 2018 at 2:46 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

Jay's having fun in journalism is how he made his name (and fame) a familiar name to thousands of his readers. Sorry to hear that you lost your dad at such an early age, Jay, but being thrown into that different path worked out well for you, while you acknowledge the income disparity that it created. It worked out well for your readers also. How many of us would have ever known your name if you were with that hypothetical brokerage firm, "Thorwaldson and Son"? Not many, and I feel privileged to know you personally.

Everyone entering the income earning years of their lives today have tough decisions and choices to make...more so now than when I was a young man. College? All the way to get a Phd? Or a trade school to become certified, or a community/junior college to get an AA degree. What field of study to pursue? How long will it take to pay off that student loan? Some fields are collapsing, others are growing. What jobs will be left after robots, autonomous vehicles, and artificial intelligence driven operations replace hundreds of thousands of jobs?

Physical labor, hands on labor...not thinkers and stock brokers...made our economy strong years ago, when I was growing up in the 40's and 50's. Now that many of those hands have been idled, what do we do with them? Some day, in the not too far off future, there will be no gas guzzling internal combustion engines in cars. Mechanics' jobs, along with the wrench industry they support, will disappear. And tell me again great grandpa...what was a gas station? Doctors and dentists might also be affected. Robots performing surgery?


36 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 9, 2018 at 3:04 pm

"If you work for a non-profit then you are scamming the system and not putting in your fair share to the tax base."

False. Workers at non-profits pay all the taxes that workers at for-profits do, including income tax, Medicare, and FICA.


"The number of "takers" of the tax system has increased and the number of "givers" to the tax system has decreased. Keep going in that direction then you have a socialist or communist set-up."

True. The Republican Tax Bill of 2016 drastically lowered the "give" to the tax system, dumping a gianormous debt on the grandkids and their progeny so the current generation can have a party.


13 people like this
Posted by Welfare takers
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 9, 2018 at 3:59 pm

Givers vs takers?!?

Oh! Ya must be talking about red States and their Red States Welfare!

Red States TAKE more from our government than they give.

Blue states give more than they TAKE.

Glad we could come to an understanding about the real givers and takers!



Web Link
Blue states already subsidize red states. Now red states want even more.
What the state and local tax deduction fight is really about.


19 people like this
Posted by Pillaging the American Land
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 9, 2018 at 4:43 pm

"... boundless natural resources and indigenous cultures"

I don't recall my father and grandfather taking advantage of either the "boundless natural resources and indigenous cultures".

Now, perhaps the Koch brothers, or the Rockerfellers maybe... you know, the ones getting all the taxcuts.

Working families? Not so much.


17 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 9, 2018 at 6:19 pm

Blue states have great industries that park their money offshore because of the tax issues. THAT IS BEING FIXED NOW. Blue states want foreign workers who do not actually work for the company - they work for a subcontractor who manages their contracts - so the place where they show up does not have any FICA matching funds going in - a scam to the Social Security system. What a savings that is to FB and Google. Blue states have more government workers which are now a huge tax on the retirement system. They keep trying to hide that so Mr. Brown looks good.

I do not have to go any further than SF or Oakland to see how the whole BART system is collapsing - not from technical problems but from people problems. SF has a lot of money in it's budget but cannot manage itself. Same for Chicago. And you keep pulling the same lines of argument - look at those awful corporations and their millions. My corporation from which I am retired just gave me a raise - they reduced the Federal taxes withdrawn from my retirement fund. Bottom line is that the George Soros who are in the same boat as the Koch Brothers will prosper because they know how to do it with no help from anyone else. As will Ms. Pelosi and Ms. Feinstein and her husband because they know how to do it. Check out the billionaires list - most are foreign or Democrats - Mr. Amazon. Please do not throw millionaires names around because all parties are well represented in that category.
Baltimore is a good example of a city that used to have the second biggest port on the east coast. Steel, spice industry are now gone. The biggest employer is a non-profit. You can look at the results of the great blue states all over the east cost.


35 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 9, 2018 at 6:41 pm

The Silicon Valley business model explained in 15 seconds:

1. Eliminate as many jobs as possible by developing & marketing automation.
2. Export any jobs that can't be easily automated to low-wage nations.
3. Import workers from low-wage nations to suppress wages for all of the jobs that can't be easily exported.

Pretend it is all about inclusion and diversity. If anyone challenges the model, call them a "raciss".


4 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2018 at 9:16 am

Posted by resident, a resident of Adobe-Meadow

>> Blue states ... Blue states ... Blue states ... My corporation from which I am retired just gave me a raise - they reduced the Federal taxes withdrawn from my retirement fund. Bottom line is that the George Soros who are in the same boat as the Koch Brothers will prosper because they know how to do it with no help from anyone else. ... Check out the billionaires list - most are foreign or Democrats - Mr. Amazon. ... great blue states

Resident -- it sounds to me like you are trying to convince yourself to move to a Red state. Since you probably wouldn't like the climate in North Dakota, I would suggest Florida. But, not the Miami side -- too expensive. Check out Tampa/St. Petersburg, and especially, some of the suburbs up and down the coast. Real estate is very affordable there compared to anywhere in California, and, for keeping in touch with your friends and family in California, TPA is a major international airport with most major carriers, including Southwest. Lots of warm, pleasant Gulf air along the coast. Check it out.


22 people like this
Posted by Restoring Balance is Key
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2018 at 12:14 pm

The taxes of millions of middle class people in high-cost-of-living states just went up a lot, as will ours. The tax cut for the wealthiest was once again largely financed by further burdening the middle class, selectively in this case.

The children will have fewer opportunities because of Feudal Economics (which is a more apt name than trickle-down or the even less-specific laissez-faire). Feudal economics is more apt because it better describes what happens both with the wealth and the power in the society. Republicans have been dishonestly serving Feudal Economics ever since Reagan, whose massive deficit spending on defense companies was used to prop up the economy from drops that came from the tax cuts to the wealthiest as the nation disinvested in things like education, healthcare and infrastructure. (Do our younger readers remember that this is the exact point in time that homelessness and especially mentally ill homelessness became a huge problem in this nation?)

Reagan's budget director admitted that the whole supply side theory that has become a kind of religion among Republicans was a Trojan Horse for cutting top tax rates. This POTUS is the logical conclusion, the epitome of the MO: whatever lies are necessary to keep Feudal Economics and a permanent majority going to keep those tax cuts. They don't really believe in marketplaces, competition, individual freedom, or even Jesus, except where they can create divisions that support Feudal economics. When we support a system that leaves us with fewer freedoms and choices except how we serve the Lairds and collect the crumbs of their table, of course we get less upward mobility.

Everyone is happy with fewer taxes, but the short-term gains in the upper crust hiring a few more under butlers and spreading a little cash to the peasantry, metaphorically, are nothing like what happens when public investments are more fair. In order for the wealthiest to become what they are, they relied on past public investments that created the infrastructure, water and sewer and electrical systems, education and education infrastructure, health infrastructre, economic and political stability and might, military might and stability, roads, airports, railways, bridges, dams, ports, engineering accomplishments, national labs and research, stable monetary system, democratic systems and judicial system that they use and benefit from disproportionately, etc, etc, etc.

Not a single one of them was capable of paying for even a tiny fraction of those things before they used them to make their money. Once they did, it should be their moral and patriotic duty to pay back for what they could never have paid to start. There is a reason none of them went to wartorn Sudan to make their fortunes. What are all of those benefits and investments worth and what would anyone have to pay to create them?

The wealthiest should pay back so that the investments ordinary people in turn need to make their success are also available: education, healthcare, decent safety nets, enforcement and/of laws that protect them from being fleeced, clean air and water, etc. Why are these public investments needed by the public for their the success considered their own problem to pay for in advance or they are leeches, but the wealthiest can take take take and never pay back for the public investments they disproportionately use and benefit from to become successful? Why can the wealthiest with impunity buy their own political party that perpetually lies to thwart democracy and real competition in a fair marketplace, and to retain the Feudal Economic structure?

History shows that when those most benefitting from power that disproportionately enriches one small segment ignore the injustice, eventually things snap back in the other direction, violently. The sad thing is that balance and broad prosperity that comes from ferreting out corruption, valuing public investments, and true democracy, enabled the prosperity of today's plutocrats, who now want to dismantle it for more short-term easier gain.

The solution is going back to the lie of "supply side" or "trickle down" and revealing what it really is: Feudal Economics. It involves looking at the web of lies that yes, Republicans have created in order to thwart the power of government by, for, and of the people that counters plutocracy. "Feudal Economics" explains far more about the power dynamic and why it is bad for our society as a whole, and doesn't have to be.


18 people like this
Posted by Prophet
a resident of another community
on Mar 10, 2018 at 6:21 pm

The American Dream existed only in the mid twentieth century, when Americans elected Democrats like FDR, HST, JFK, and LBJ. It went away during the increasingly radical Republican administrations that were subsequently brought in, beginning with Nixon in 1968, under the backlash to LBJ's Civil Rights legislation. Red voters would rather pull everyone down, including themselves, than share the Dream with Those Other People. American Bigotry Trumps The American Dream. That's it, folks.


11 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 10, 2018 at 11:43 pm

All I see here on this thread are the most privileged people on earth arguing about how underprivileged they are. Back to the original post, if you don't think your children are better off economically, they certainly seem to be carrying more telephones in their pockets than any previous generation. Go back another generation and ask how many were vaccinated against polio. Before we fly off the handle at each other, perhaps we should remember who was the richest man in Bedford Falls.


13 people like this
Posted by @musical
a resident of another community
on Mar 11, 2018 at 1:17 am

Right, because the real measure of economic well-being between generations isn't comparative earning power, but the comparative availability of pocket computers and avocado toast.


4 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 11, 2018 at 1:26 am

What did an airline ticket to New York City cost in the sixties?


7 people like this
Posted by @musical
a resident of another community
on Mar 11, 2018 at 1:47 am

It doesn't matter if specific technologies have become cheaper over time. How has buying power changed between generations? How have wages risen compared to inflation?

Your argument is the equivalent of saying that someone with a refrigerator and a microwave can't possibly be poor because someone in the 1800s wouldn't have had such technological marvels.


24 people like this
Posted by @ Ahem
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 11, 2018 at 9:35 am

@ Ahem

I could not have said it better myself...

I just lost a project due to the developer buying his own excavation equipment, then putting his uninsured, undocumented workers to operate the tractors... This is what is called in Silicon Valley as politically correct. I in no way blame the undocumented workers. I blame the system.

The American dream is gone, and will never come back.


13 people like this
Posted by @ musical
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 11, 2018 at 9:43 am

You claim it is better? For who?

No housing security? no health security?

It is 2018 things are not better for most people.


21 people like this
Posted by Sophie
a resident of another community
on Mar 11, 2018 at 11:26 am

Posted by @ahem
“The American dream is gone, and will never come back.” Instead, CA politicians prefer to help illegal immigrants to reach their dream by DACA and other program.


10 people like this
Posted by Collins
a resident of Menlo Park
on Mar 11, 2018 at 12:46 pm

"What did an airline ticket to New York City cost in the sixties?"

You might try eBay, but I doubt any airline would accept it today.


9 people like this
Posted by Restoring Balance is Key
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2018 at 2:00 pm

I can't afford to go to NY, what has that got to do with anything?


7 people like this
Posted by Restiring Balance is Key
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2018 at 2:01 pm

@Sophie,
The discussion about whether the condition of the fishing village is getting worse and can ever be improved is separate from whether the fishing boats should throw a lifeline to someone in the water in need of help. I wonder where all the rightwing religious freedom drumbeaters are now, given that there is so much in the Bible about how we should treat aliens specifically as honored guests and as we would ourselves want to be treated (even while there is zero, nothing at all, not one word, against lesbians). Just speaking of people on the right having made Feudal economics their religion and its leaders and anti-Biblical culture wars conflicts the idols they worship.

Liberal politicians and voters are as much to blame by failing to make the arguments for democracy, and figuring it is beneath them to argue and keep at it if they fail. They allow themselves to be sucked into negative framing, never realizing that they have lost the argument every time the issue comes up just by how it is billed.

The irony of what has happened with guns in this country is one example. "2nd amendment freedoms" vs. gun "control" - who won just by their phrasing? Yet --
The 2nd Amendment came about because back then, everyone remembered how the revolution hung on the ability to get firearms by the colonists. They didn't want that to happen again. But the whole point was that distributed access to arms were a last resort TO PROTECT THE GOVERNMENT OF, BY, AND FOR THE PEOPLE THAT WE HAVE, that we won through revolution, not to keep arming to threaten, drown (Gingrich term), and overthrow it.

We decided that all "gubmint" is not bad, but that government of, by, and for the people was the best way and needed to be protected. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance and all that. But ironically, the 2nd amendment has been used by the right since Reagan to weaken and possibly (escape hatch) overthrow our government of the people in favor of power of the plutocrats, who mostly want the power so they never have to meet their moral obligation to pay back the public investments that enabled their riches. Plutocracy is, further irony, going back to what we fought the revolution to get rid of, a hierarchical system controlled by concentrations of wealth and power that is fundamentally incompatible with government of, by, and for the People (in which very wealthy people can prosper, don't get me wrong). In order to get the upper hand during the Reagan years, the plutocrats went after our own government to weaken the government of the people in favor of plutocracy; "permanent Republican majority" was inherently anti-democracy, and ironically anti- the very form of government we fought the Revolution and established the Constitution to get.

(Large parenthetical: Please note that I am not against having a political party that is for fiscal responsibility, ensuring freedom and the rights and autonomy of individuals - a major tenet of our system - it's just that sadly we haven't had a political party doing that in as long as I can remember. I really don't understand why Democrats don't go after that fiscally responsible "brand" because there is far more support of their being the pragmatic adults who deal with the complexities of life and the Republicans being self-absorbed, selfish bully babies running up debt for no good reason. Right now, Trump is attacking California, not because they didn't vote for him, but to destroy the power of the narrative: here is an example of a large state in which Republican administrations have overseen massive deficit spending and social cuts, but a Democratic Governor oversaw extreme fiscal stewardship and responsibility, getting us out of debt during a recession to surplus, making a rainy day fund that his Republican predecessor could only talk about, and being a net donor to the national treasury. Not to let Democrats off the hook, who in California are being used by developer plutocrats in almost the same ways as those on the right are used by their respective overlords, but right now the national seesaw is tipped way far to the right, even when Democrats are tenuously in power, because of the better rightwing narratives and their greater willingness to lie and be lied to ala politics-is-their-religion. The California story is not the only one that blows Feudal Economics out of the water, but it's a clean, powerful one. I don't know why Republicans would be worried about Democrats suddenly wielding a narrative well, though. Republicans shouldn't be afraid even if they do, it really just means going back to their honest conservative roots, and EARNING their power rather than lying and manipulating for it.)

Until recent history/esp Reagan, the NRA mainly tried to ensure responsibility of gun ownership, they were all about the kind of regulation, training and restrictions they now decry. Ensuring responsibility of ownership and keeping guns out of irresponsible hands was more in keeping with the intent of the 2nd amendment. The rightist plutocrats and rightwing militias that sprung up were ironically focused on weaponry in the event of fighting their own government, the form of government the 2nd Amendment was intended to preserve. Their power-focused ideology more than anything else is destroying democratic institutions and broad prosperity, giving power to those who benefit from Feudal Economics and weakening/destroying the government we fought a revolution to establish.

Looking back, the right has decided to denigrate Republican President Eisenhower, who largely built our national infrastructure without running a deficit by asking those at the top to pay their fair share, while shepherding the rise of our nation to superpower status and the broad prosperity of our Golden Era, and they enshrine Reagan who propped up the economy after his massive tax cuts to the wealthy by slashing investments the public needs and his massive Keynsian deficit spending in the defense industry (that Eisenhower was suspicious of giving too much power, ironically), while making the suspect Big Lie that this won the cold war. (Recall again that Reagan's own budget director, no liberal, admitted that the whole trickle down thing was just a cover for cutting top tax rates. I can only imagine the discussions around how they would cover for the Keynsian deficit spending on the defense industry to prop up the economy. Here I blame the 4th Estate for being permanently asleep at the wheel.)

The narrative is part of how we reclaim and protect democracy, and this will allow broad prosperity again. Don't cede the narrative, unless you think another violent episode with pitchforks and guillotines, metaphorically, is inevitable.


6 people like this
Posted by but - cell phones!!!!!!!!!
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 11, 2018 at 6:21 pm

Comparing a phone with dropping wages, higher income inequality, and ballooning college debt loads.

Yeah, right.


1 person likes this
Posted by Mike
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 12, 2018 at 8:21 am

Jay Thorwaldson - I just want to say I really enjoy your writing! Even in well-deserve retirement, I’m thankful you keep contributing to the Weekly. Thank you Jay!


13 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2018 at 11:04 am

From the paper:

"The more broadly shared growth scenario increases the average rate of absolute mobility to 80%, closing 71% of the gap in absolute mobility between the 1940 and 1980 cohorts. The broadly shared growth counterfactual has larger effects on absolute mobility at the bottom of the income distribution, whereas the higher growth counterfactual has larger effects at higher income levels. Since income shares of GDP are larger for high-income individuals, higher growth rates benefit those with higher incomes the most, while a more equal distribution benefits those at the bottom the most. The results in Figure 5A imply that much of the decline in absolute mobility is due to changes in the distribution of growth rather than reductions in aggregate growth rates."

For those who worry about such things, after the postwar adjustment, the thing that distinguishes later decades are a series of tax cuts and tax policy changes that resulted not only in reducing taxes on the rich, but, reducing the taxes the rich paid on consumption spending. Back in the day, the way taxes were structured, luxury spending by the rich really cost.

My conjecture is that restoring the tax code to resemble the code of the 1950's would go a long way towards "fixing" the current system. But, I don't sense that the rich think the current system needs "fixing".


1 person likes this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 12, 2018 at 2:12 pm

@Anon, so the solution is to put Stanford Shopping Center out of business?


Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2018 at 3:21 pm

Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde

>> @Anon, so the solution is to put Stanford Shopping Center out of business?

I don't know. Do they sell yachts there?

Here is a link to the page with the papers FWIW: Web Link


7 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 12, 2018 at 3:23 pm

ANON- I have long time friends who grew up and went to college in CA and lived a good life here. Now they live in Palm Beach and cannot figure out what happened to CA and have no intention of ever living here again. Most people who have lived here all of their lives can see how this whole place is falling apart.


Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2018 at 3:46 pm

Posted by resident, a resident of Adobe-Meadow

>> ANON- I have long time friends who grew up and went to college in CA and lived a good life here. Now they live in Palm Beach and cannot figure out what happened to CA and have no intention of ever living here again.

Interesting. What specifically do they prefer about Florida?


>> Most people who have lived here all of their lives can see how this whole place is falling apart.

Can you be more specific about the changes that you don't like? Are you referring specifically to Palo Alto, to the Bay Area, or all of California?


10 people like this
Posted by inequality
a resident of Meadow Park
on Mar 12, 2018 at 4:03 pm

>> Most people who have lived here all of their lives can see how this whole place is falling apart.

It's part of that old meme that CA folks are moving out, companies are leaving CA, etc..

He earlier railed against the tax system and "givers and takers" but those memes were blown out of the water also. (See: Warren Buffett's $29 Billion tax cut, and the "red state welfare" takers above.)

My guess is: if you see any response, it will head down a completely different rabbit hole.


12 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 12, 2018 at 4:44 pm

This thread is hilarious. All the hippies are out in force.

(munching popcorn)


13 people like this
Posted by old and hip
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 12, 2018 at 8:54 pm

I think the righties are the hilarious ones - opinions without supporting facts.

(nibbling organic popcorn)


Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2018 at 9:24 am

Posted by inequality, a resident of Meadow Park

>>> >> Most people who have lived here all of their lives can see how this whole place is falling apart.

>>> It's part of that old meme that CA folks are moving out, companies are leaving CA, etc..

>>> He earlier railed against the tax system and "givers and takers" but those memes were blown out of the water also. (See: Warren Buffett's $29 Billion tax cut, and the "red state welfare" takers above.)

>>> My guess is: if you see any response, it will head down a completely different rabbit hole.

And here I was, suggesting somewhere in the Sarasota-Cape Coral area, when it turns out that all you have to do is move across the bay to Fremont!

Web Link

You live and learn.


6 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 13, 2018 at 9:31 am

"I think the righties are the hilarious ones - opinions without supporting facts."

This whole thread is full of opinions without supporting facts. What's lacking is self-reflection of the unintended consequences of their own viewpoints.


Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2018 at 9:42 am

Posted by Me 2, a resident of Old Palo Alto

>> This whole thread is full of opinions without supporting facts.

There are a number of papers and presentatinos (PDF and PPT) right here that explore various aspects of the original subject: Web Link


8 people like this
Posted by inequality
a resident of Meadow Park
on Mar 13, 2018 at 9:50 am

"This whole thread is full of opinions without supporting facts."
Yet facts were presented, just ignored by you: Warren Buffett's $29 Billion tax break as an example of the tax plan's giveaways that will burden our children with more debt, the red states being the "takers" with red state welfare from productive states, etc..

Fact: Web Link
Fact: Web Link

---

>>> My guess is: if you see any response, it will head down a completely different rabbit hole.

>And here I was, suggesting somewhere in the Sarasota-Cape Coral area

There ya go - down, down, down... say 'hello' to Alice.


1 person likes this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 13, 2018 at 4:05 pm

Anon - have you read the research in detail? That would make you more knowledgable than 99.9% of the people posting here.

As for inequality:

LOL.

(I wish I could do emojis)

"I read it on the Internet so it must be true."

Hahahahaha...


30 people like this
Posted by inequality
a resident of Meadow Park
on Mar 13, 2018 at 4:21 pm

[post has been removed.]



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Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 14, 2018 at 8:56 am

"The Greatest Obstacle to Discovery Is Not Ignorance—It Is the Illusion of Knowledge" - someone (not Stephen Hawking, RIP, but often attributed to him)


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Posted by Red vs. Blue vs. common good
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 14, 2018 at 12:27 pm

Red vs. Blue vs. common good is a registered user.

Let's take off our red and blue political team jerseys and start working together. This isn't a game. Our future and our children's future is at stake. We have different points of view. That's not new. What's new is that we have stopped listening to each other. We have stopped trying to find points of consensus because we are so busy blaming and throwing darts. We are grappling with shared problems that are going to be dumped on our kids and grandkids if the grown-ups in the room don't start behaving like adults.

Please stop it. If we don't start working together effectively, our great nation will be in real trouble. How will our kids ever forgive us?

Let's roll up our sleeves, friends. Let's do less yammering, more listening and problem solving. Let's discipline ourselves to get offline and pull up to a table to share ideas face-to-face with fellow citizens who may have a different point of view. Let's talk with each other. We have done it before. We can do it again.

Social media is breaking down the community that made democracy work. This thread is a great example of that. If we were physically present with each other, none of us (on either side) would be so abusive and rudely dismissive as many of the contributions on this thread.


6 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2018 at 3:24 pm

I'm all for working together. But, we are already in real trouble. Here is what Steve Bannon said in Lille, France on Saturday:

“Let them call you racists. Let them call you xenophobes. Let them call you nativists,” [Bannon] said. “Wear it as a badge of honor.”

Source: Web Link

Bannon is not interested in "working together".


4 people like this
Posted by Zweisteinen
a resident of another community
on Mar 14, 2018 at 7:13 pm

"The Greatest Obstacle to Discovery Is Not Ignorance--It Is the DELUSION of Knowledge"


5 people like this
Posted by George
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 15, 2018 at 10:00 am

Red vs. Blue vs. common good comments above are absolutely right. The biggest problems now are nationwide and many are especially critical in states like California where selfish politics, lack of community, reckless development and reckless spending are at crisis levels. Pot, the new and very foolish el dorado. Crime. Debt. Crime. Congestion. Housing sprawl and greedy developers. Lousy schools.

No, the American Dream is better found someplace else. California’s minority, one-party mob rule won’t end well.


4 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2018 at 10:33 am

Posted by George, a resident of Old Palo Alto

>> No, the American Dream is better found someplace else.

Couldn't agree more, George. Let's talk about better places to live. I propose Lufkin, TX, and Huntsville, AL, although older people probably prefer the warm, mild breezes of Sarasota county.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 15, 2018 at 11:15 am

The problem is not what we like about somewhere else - it is what we used to like in CA and now don't like. Carl Nolte of the SFC in his Sunday opinion piece came back from DC to report that DC is a clean city while SF has turned into a junk heap. So now just not my opinion but opinion of long time people who remember what it used to be like. I used to ride BART up to the city for a day or evening event and now that is not a good experience. I even used to go to Oakland on BART. Civic Center now closed off for BART so that is forcing everyone into cars who have season tickets. SF seems intent on ruining the whole place for tourists which is what half of the businesses are there for. And the Board of Supervisors of that city are a joke.
I know lots of people who are looking at property in Tennessee. Some have moved there and love it. The movie business has moved to Georgia.

I personally do not plan on blowing tax dollars on bond issues in which the purpose of the bond does not see light. Lots on water now. How about the school bonds like Alum Rock in Santa Clara County - somehow the school system got diverted into using a SOCAL company the is taking the money and not performing the job of construction. They are in the paper every week. So don't suggest a bond issue because we know whatever the purpose it will not happen. What a disgrace. Mr. Brown and company need to focus more on fixing the state. He seems to forget that is his job.


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Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2018 at 3:51 pm

Posted by resident, a resident of Adobe-Meadow

>> I used to ride BART up to the city for a day or evening event and now that is not a good experience. I even used to go to Oakland on BART. Civic Center now closed off for BART so that is forcing everyone into cars who have season tickets.

I could be wrong, but, I thought that some -entrances- were closed off, not the entire station.

I agree with you that there is a problem in SF with homeless people. It is a problem all up and down the west coast. I have a proposed solution, but, it will require spending tax money.


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Posted by Janine
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 16, 2018 at 6:32 am

I'm afraid that the 'American Dream' in the shape that we know, won't be revived. It's not possible to go back and recreate reality as it was before. But we can build a new dream, on a little bit different terms. Still it can be promising for our children and their children. However, the think that needs to be changed is our mentality. We need to be more careful, responsible and aware of our capabilites.

Regards,
Janine
Web Link


8 people like this
Posted by Living the dream
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 16, 2018 at 7:02 am

There's a reason it's called a dream and not a promise, but to reach it, I needed to make good choices early in life, work, plan, and patiently save.
In the 90's I took a job in high tech, but never got the windfall bonus or salary I see others now making. Over the course of working and saving and sacrificing I was able to buy a 1BR condo, then traded up a few times until we got married and moved into our current single family home. This was about a 20 year journey and it seemed unreachable at the time, but looking back it was not. It's more difficult now to do this in this area, but it's still not impossible. It's just not a promise and never has been. First you have to quit frittering money away. One years worth of $ not spent on bar tabs, restaurants, cell phones and plans, invested over 20 years, makes for a nice return. The thing to remember is that you are chasing a dream, not a promise. Dream big!


1 person likes this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 16, 2018 at 8:26 am

Bond issues -
1. In the SJM today it is reporting that the San Jose Water Company (SJW) is going to merge with a company in Connecticut - Connecticut Water Services. The taxpayers are voting on water issues now in CA in which we authorized bonds for water retention dams that are not being built - taxpayer funds are hostage to some group of people. I am sitting here thinking that CA water within the county of Santa Clara is at least within the state and up for debate but now a new wrinkle comes into play - SJ water is merged with a company on the east coast - Connecticut Water Services. How does a utility paid for by the taxpayers get so messed up?
2. Alum Rock School District has a taxpayer funded bond issue for construction that got directed to to a company in SOCAL that is currently being sued by a number of school districts for non-performance. Bond issues are dtermined at the state level for schools? That means that our state legislaters are running the educaion bond world without county control?

Bottom line is that the state in general does not have control of their resources and taxpayer funded entities are being mismanaged. Meanwhile Mr. Brown and other on this line are saying what a great economy we have here. NO - not so.
ANON - think up your own ideas instead of playing off other people's POV. Take a position of you own without captilizing on other people's ideas.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 16, 2018 at 11:11 am

Old and Hip - do you have any thing factual to contribute other than you are eating popcorn? The SFC, WSJ, NYT, and SJM despite their editorial opinions do have the Associated Press downloads that are sold to everyone and not opinion pieces - they are fact pieces. Africa? check out the respective nations in Africa for their on-going attempts to control their political and economic situations. EU? Same old group who spent centuries tying to colonize the world and strip them of their best resources and perpetuate war on each other. Not impressed with that groups opinions as they are in their own self-created mess now. They wanted the US to be the ATM money card for their perpetuation of control over their old colonies. And we have to deal with our previous colonization by Spain.


8 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 16, 2018 at 9:34 pm

"Mr. Brown and company need to focus more on fixing the state. He seems to forget that is his job."

He has fixed it. California went from yawning deficits under The Terminator to comfy surpluses under Gov Moonbeam. You know, the usual Republican to Democrat trajectory.

Want deficits again? Elect Republicans again.


2 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 16, 2018 at 9:50 pm

I do not believe anything that comes out of Sacramento. The retirement system is not being managed correctly or reported correctly. The bond funds that we have authorized are not being spent where we directed. The money the state has is not being spent on infrastructure. Gov. Moonbeam surpluses are because he is not putting the money where it is required and where we all voted it should go. Total lack of performance.


6 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 17, 2018 at 11:03 am

Posted by resident, a resident of Adobe-Meadow:

>> 1. In the SJM today it is reporting that the San Jose Water Company (SJW) is going to merge with a company in Connecticut - Connecticut Water Services.

San Jose Water Company is a regulated -investor-owned- monopoly. San Jose taxpayers don't fund it-- other than paying their water bills. So, your assumption that taxpayer-based investments are being misused is not incorrect.

Why then, you ask, is SJW merging with a company far away? I don't know, but, I will observe that ~20 years ago energy companies were playing those merger-and-acquisition games, and, back then, the benefits did not flow to either ordinary taxpayers or ordinary stockholders. Think Enron. So, I'm skeptical of the benefits of the SJW merger, but, since I am not an investor, I guess I'm out of the loop. Regardless, it has nothing to do directly with the public bonds that you are talking about.

>> The taxpayers are voting on water issues now in CA in which we authorized bonds for water retention dams that are not being built - taxpayer funds are hostage to some group of people.

That isn't what happened. What happened is that the bids and projected spending for the authorized projects came in well under bid. Happens all the time. Here is an editorial which describes the situation. I disagree with the editorial-- they are basically saying, "spend all authorized money". That is naturally what construction companies want, but, that isn't how bond authorizations are supposed to work-- they should be a "not to exceed" number.

Web Link

>> I am sitting here thinking that CA water within the county of Santa Clara is at least within the state and up for debate but now a new wrinkle comes into play - SJ water is merged with a company on the east coast - Connecticut Water Services. How does a utility paid for by the taxpayers get so messed up?

As above, SJW may be a contractual customer of some public water supplies, but, SJW is not "a utility paid for by the taxpayers". It is an investor-owned utility.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 18, 2018 at 8:36 am

Anon- thank you for the clarifications. In the SJM today is an opinion piece by a individual running for Board of Supervisors, Santa Clara County District 4. Not my area but the opinion piece is full of opinions concerning immigration. No distinction here between legal and illegal immigration. Just throw everyone in the pot and the US taxpayer pays for it all.
Let's start with some facts:
1. Mexico City is the biggest city in the North American Continent. Go to any travel web-site to see pictures of a city that has all of the big boulevards, statues, museums, historical locations as any major European city. Then visit the web-sites for the resorts on both the Pacific and gulf coast locations. Then visit the technology build-up in Guadalajara to encourage technology development.
2. Commercial in a previous Super Bowl concerning the wall that is straight out of the Wizard of Oz - little girl going to the magical city of OZ. Hey Mom - why bypass the biggest city on the North American continent? Isn't that the best location to look for jobs and education?

The bottom line here is that everyone is being sold a bill of goods concerning the idea that we are the land of OZ and wherever they came from is a desert waste-land. The country of Mexico needs to provide all of the amenities people are asking for within it's own country. The people should be conducting riots in Mexico against the current political regime to make that happen. The narrative keeps starting in the middle of the problem instead of the origin of the problem.

Side note - my relatives who were teachers in Central Valley used to go to Mexico in their motorhome and see other Americans who all visited a beautiful lake every year. That was back in the time of "normal" when people were building their own countries up and enjoying the amenities and culture of their own countries. The period of "normal" no longer exists and we are not the land of OZ - the people behind the screen who are perpetuating this are people who actually have no interest in the actual people being affected.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 18, 2018 at 7:29 pm

@ Anon

"Can you be more specific about the changes that you don't like? Are you referring specifically to Palo Alto, to the Bay Area, or all of California?"


How does the saying go?

" If I tried to explain, you would never understand."


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 18, 2018 at 7:34 pm

@ Living the dream

This Only applies for tech workers... No one else.


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Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 18, 2018 at 7:58 pm

Posted by Resident, a resident of Barron Park

>> How does the saying go?

>> " If I tried to explain, you would never understand."

Check out Port St. Lucie, FL. Only 40 miles up the coast from your friends in Palm Beach, and, Top 40 on the happy list.

Web Link


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Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 18, 2018 at 9:42 pm

In the time of Normal Tom Bradley was the Mayor of Los Angeles from 1973 - 1993, coming out of the LA Police Department. The LAX International Airport is named after him. Check out his bio on the Internet. In San Francisco Willie Brown was elected to the CA State Assembly as Speaker 1980 - 1995, and San Francisco Mayor 1996 - 2004. A whole generation of people do not realize that history moved along and they now want to start all over from scratch. Every generation seems to need to prove itself and are not aware of the achievements of the prior generations. It is exhausting and tiring that all cannot move ahead, chalk up the achievements and use that as a platform for the next generation. We need to do better to educate our youth on the current history of achievements so they know that they are not operating in a vacuum. They do not have to operate in "start over" mode.


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