Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Thank Goodness for the "Declinists"
Opponents of California's high-speed rail program have been dubbed "declinists" by Gov. Jerry Brown and his Democrat allies in Sacramento and elsewhere. The moniker is meant to portray those critics, many of them on the Peninsula, as unthinking and uninspired neanderthals who prefer to see the state slip and slide down the economic pecking order. Frankly, if you care to gaze at the big picture, the declinists are actually trying to wave a caution flag at the direction California is taking, or at least slow down the inexorable fall. Let's get real here. California is a big-time mess. Its budget is in constant deficit, its population is sharply divided between the wealthy and the needy (and the legal and the illegal), its unfunded, long-term public pension responsibilities are crippling and the business climate is, to say the least, less than welcoming. Brown's fast-train foes are seeking to do him a favor. They are attempting to save him (and his profligate supporters) from himself. "Declinists?" "Realists" would be more like it.