Patterico's Pontifications

6/8/2022

My Problem with Californian Progressivism (and Progressivism in General) in One Salient Example

Filed under: General — JVW @ 7:25 am



[guest post by JVW]

It turns out that this report dates back to February, but the always invaluable CalMatters blog neatly illustrates the reason that I am so antagonistic towards progressive government, especially here in the Golden State:

A new California program to financially reward college students for volunteering has drawn national attention — but less than half of its budgeted money is going to actual student aid.

The California Volunteers College Corps program, backed by $159 million in mostly state money, promises to award up to $10,000 to 6,668 low-income students who volunteer in K-12 education, on climate action or to reduce food insecurity.

That only works out to $66.7 million for students, though. So where is the other $92 million going?

Mostly it’s going to hiring and administrative costs despite no guarantee the program will continue past 2024. Some experts think that money split makes sense because students could benefit from training and there’s a chance the program would get additional funding in the future. Other experts think the money should go directly to students, so fewer of them will have to work on top of their other responsibilities.

Try to find me an instance where Democrats propose a new government-sponsored initiative designed to help the working poor, or minorities, or homeless, or the middle class, or children, or any other favored constituency which doesn’t include creating hundreds if not thousands of make-work jobs for government bureaucrats, the most favored Democrat constituency of them all. Rather than reallocating funding and reassigning paper-pushers from existing programs which haven’t proven to work as intended, California Democrats (and national Democrats for that matter) invariably jack up the overall funding alongside of the headcount as they chase new dragons to slay.

The CalMatters piece goes on to quote two progressive Democrats, one a professor at UC Berkeley who thinks that the high overhead for this program serves an important purpose and is thus appropriate and the other a former Obama Administration official who believes that it would have been better to give a much larger chunk of the fully appropriated sum directly to the students. The reporter then turns to the California Community College Chancellor who — surprise! surprise! — thinks the high administrative costs are totally justified and a USC professor who has some concerns but overall is supportive of the plan. This being California, the reporter couldn’t rouse himself to get the opinion of any Republicans or small-government types, even though CalMatters is generally pretty balanced in the presentation of this sort of material.

Anyway, more intellectual ammunition for my argument that governments exist to waste money by first and foremost feather-nesting their own domains. Living here is to know what it feels like to forever be the mark.

– JVW

19 Responses to “My Problem with Californian Progressivism (and Progressivism in General) in One Salient Example”

  1. A really smart Republican governor in a deep blue state, a Charlie Baker in Massachusetts or a Larry Hogan in Maryland for example, ought to demand that any new program proposed by Democrat legislators be staffed (and perhaps even funded) by taking existing resources from current programs which are not meeting expectations. I think that would be a strong platform upon which to govern.

    JVW (020d31)

  2. I’m curious as to what it means to volunteer on climate action.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  3. I’m curious as to what it means to volunteer on climate action.

    I’m assuming it involves a lot of walking, recycling, and holding of one’s breath. Fifty simple things you can do to save the planet.

    Oh, who are we kidding? It involves lobbying in the political process, naturally, and that’s why our tax dollars are funding (along with the brand-new bureaucracy supporting it).

    JVW (020d31)

  4. It does seem like a lot of overhead to promote “volunteering”. Yeah $92M for staff (offices, travel, computers) is a boondoggle. California is beautiful with great weather…but I would hate to always be in the tax-man’s crosshairs to be funding this stuff.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  5. When they designed the Los Angeles housing bond issue, unions demanded (and got) a prevailing-wage clause on all construction. Needless to say “prevailing-wage” isn’t the prevailing wage but a special extra-high wage that only government pays to connected unions.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  6. I’m curious as to what it means to volunteer on climate action.

    Scold people in blog comment sections about climate change?

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  7. I wonder how much of this volunteering involves canvassing precincts.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  8. Kevin M-

    You’ll love this, coming in November:

    DraftKings, FanDuel Battle Tribes for Control of California Sports Betting
    …….
    A coalition led by FanDuel Group, DraftKings Inc. and BetMGM said Tuesday it had submitted more than 1.6 million signatures in support of their online gambling measure, well above the roughly one million required to place it before voters this fall.

    If verified by state officials, the measure will appear alongside an already-qualified ballot measure that would legalize sports bets only at casinos operated on Native American lands and at horse-racing tracks.
    …….
    “You have at least two well-funded measures, a growing number of well-staffed campaigns and a jaw-dropping amount of money at stake,” said Jason Kinney, a Democratic consultant who isn’t connected to any of the sports-betting proposals.
    …….
    “For us, this is not about money, it is about protecting our tribal gaming rights and long-term self-sufficiency,” Mark Macarro, chairman of the Pechanga Band of Indians, said in a statement.

    A coalition that includes Mr. Macarro’s tribe is planning to spend as much as $250 million to pass their measure and defeat the one allowing online gambling, according to Mr. Macarro.

    Another group of tribes, led by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, has vowed to spend another $100 million to defeat the DraftKings measure. A spokesman for that group says it has already raised roughly $35 million and spent more than $12 million on television and digital ads featuring tribal leaders asking Californians to reject the online-betting measure.

    The San Manuel tribe and its allies are also gathering signatures for a third ballot measure, which would legalize both online and in-person sports betting but leave tribes in control.

    State political consultants say the fight over sports betting will likely be the most expensive political battle this year and could be among the costliest in state history.
    ……..
    In California, legalized online and retail sports betting could generate about $3 billion in annual revenue for gambling operators from $50 billion in total bets placed every year, said Chris Grove, a gambling-industry analyst at research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming. If sports betting in the state is restricted to in-person wagers, the market will likely be measured in the hundreds of millions, he said.
    ……..

    Personally, I will be voting for the DraftKings/FanDuel measure, and against the others. The Native American tribes have been running ads for months against that measure even before it has qualified for the ballot. The tribes have a mortal lock on gambling in the state, a monopoly that needs to be broken.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  9. I had seen the sports betting initiatives, but thought them mundane compared to the tax-millionaires-for-pet-projects things.

    I admit I was shocked when I saw that DraftKings was the official sports betting service of the NFL. I think they should hire Pete Rose to front one of these initiatives.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  10. Just think how much money could be made for schools if the state opened opioid and crack dispensaries.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  11. Biden supporters now attempting to assassinate SCOTUS justices.

    Elections matter.

    SaveFarris (10280c)

  12. Schools got a 5% COLA increase this year and last year. How much of that did the schools or on-site staff in my district receive? None so far. We do have 3 new administrative positions at the district office though.

    Nic (896fdf)

  13. You know, JVW, there is a way to stop being a mark.

    norcal (3f02c4)

  14. @11. Leakers matter more: it’s all on Alito.

    DCSCA (e40417)

  15. Biden supporters now attempting to assassinate SCOTUS justices.

    Rescinding a right by a group of bureaucrats that can’t even keep track of some important papers ain’t popular with anybody. But pissing off modern American women– Gosd help them. Besides, until they find the leaker, any decisions they make a void and irrelevant. Ignore them. Rest easy: Sam’s an Italian wine man; but Brett may have some concerns 😉

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HlKpWdrq-4

    In Heaven there is no beer
    That’s why we drink it here
    And when we’re gone from here
    All our friends will be drinking all that beer!

    Frank Yankovic

    DCSCA (e40417)

  16. Mostly it’s going to hiring and administrative costs

    Well, of course.

    Try to find me an instance where Democrats propose a new government-sponsored initiative designed to help the working poor, or minorities, or homeless, or the middle class, or children, or any other favored constituency which doesn’t include creating hundreds if not thousands of make-work jobs for government bureaucrats,

    Anything without eligibility requirements or that piggybacks on already existing ones, including the income tax system.

    Example: Extending unemployment insurance benefits, or continuing eligibility for Medicaid without the need to recertify.

    These programs are often hit by fraud, though.

    government bureaucrats, the most favored Democrat constituency of them all.

    Unionized bureaucrats, or people who belong to professional associations, which can make political contributions, or organize volunteers.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  17. 7. Kevin M (eeb9e9) — 6/8/2022 @ 9:52 am

    I wonder how much of this volunteering involves canvassing precincts.

    Nothing so blatant.

    But there will be some patronage handed out. Which may help pay the rent for offices.

    The volunteering helps justify the existence of soe groups.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  18. Schools got a 5% COLA increase this year and last year. How much of that did the schools or on-site staff in my district receive? None so far. We do have 3 new administrative positions at the district office though.

    HQ always comes first. I think Bob Bennett called it “The Blob.”

    When I went to HS, back in the previous century, there were about 15 admin people for a school of 2500. No doubt more back at HQ, but that’s what you saw. A principal, a couple or 3 VPs, some support staff. Most of the guidance councelors and such were teachers getting extra work.

    Last time I was there, 30 years on, they had put in an admin building.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  19. Nothing so blatant.

    In Santa Monica, city employees get 13 weeks vacation time. Wise employees take part of it around election season.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

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