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October 9, 2009

Modern Governoring

-- by Dave Johnson

This post originally appeared at Speak Out California.

What does it mean to be a "governor?" What does it mean to "govern?"

In the news, the Governor has threatened to veto 700 bills in an attempt to force the legislature to do his bidding on water policy.

700 important items all held hostage, trying to stampede and scare the legislature to do something in a hurry, while terrible scare stories circulate on talk radio and throughout corporate media. Does this sound like a familiar tactic?

Water policy is complicated because over many decades wealthy real estate developers bought permission to build huge swaths of housing in dry area, so water needed and needs to be piped in from  ... somewhere else. And huge agricultural interests make a lot of money using water that used to be heavily subsidized, meaning the people paid for the water and a few wealthy corporate interests pocketed the profits.

At the same time there is less water to go around.  We have had three years of below-average rainfall, which is possibly a permanent condition because of climate change (which Republicans deny is happening). And the destruction of the environment and fisheries and groundwater caused by past bad practices is catching up, so hard choices must be made.  Does our government protect the people, the environment, corporate profits?

So on one side of this we have giant corporations and the short-term profits they suck out of our communities and state, and of people who are where they are after being lured there for the sake of those short-term profits, and who eat the way they do because government had been "persuaded" (paid) to subsidize the water for the sake of those short-term profits.  People need water to drink even if they do live in a desert and need to eat and have gotten used to food that costs less because the water has been subsidized. (But maybe they don't need to water their driveways and nice lawns.)

On the other side we have the long-term interests of most of the people and of the environment.  See if you can guess which side the Republicans and the Governor are on?

Click through to Speak Out California

Posted by Dave Johnson at October 9, 2009 12:37 PM


Comments

You forgot to factor in one thing. SoCal's pretty much a desert-type area to begin with. Not a huge population boom until, what, the 1920s and 1930s? It's not just overpopulation, it's people living in an area that's not designed to maintain this sort of living standard in the first place. Like Vegas only not as drastic (yet).

Posted by: Elayne Riggs [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 9, 2009 9:38 PM

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