“From the volumes of history we witness repetitions; lessons the student seems most unwilling to learn.”
This opening quote is from the book Valor in Prosperity and is one of many anecdotal references designed to crystalize a series of observations into a single phrase; likewise the case with the title of this offering, The Collective’s Re-Engineering of Chaos. In as much as I suspect that there are few who argue the facts affirming government failure I acknowledge in advance there will be far less who will agree as to the cause.
This past week the Think Long Committee for California, funded by billionaire Nicolas Burggruen and consisting of an eclectic group of seventeen notables such as former California Governors Schwarzenegger and Davis, Eli Broad, Willie Brown – former Speaker of the California State Assembly and Mayor San Francisco, Maria Elena Durazo – Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County, AFL-CIO, Condoleezza Rice – former United States Secretary of State, George P. Shultz – former United States Secretary of State and David Bonderman – Founding partner of TPG Capital – A Blueprint to Renew California.
Who is Nicolas Berggruen? He’s an investor, financier, art collector and Son of Heinz Berggruen himself known for his impressive art collection valued at $1.2 Billion in 2004 noted also being the art dealer for famed impressionist Pablo Picasso’s. Berggruen estimated $2.2 Billion fortune is the product of a rather enigmatic investment strategy preferring to focus on often obscure targets of opportunity; interests in hotel chains, various real estate and renewable energy ventures to name a few. His $20 million investment in Think Long Committee for California is part of his developing interest aimed at reengineering failed or failing political systems and California is a choice target.
- “To this end, the Think Long Committee proposes to establish a Citizens Council for Government Accountability. As this would involve amending the California Constitution, the Committee intends to qualify an initiative measure.”
- “In short, its purpose would be both foresight and oversight, balancing the short-term horizon of the legislature and Governor with a long-term perspective that extends beyond political cycles.”
- “The Council would be composed of 13 voting members and four ex-officio non-voting members.”
- “The Council would have the following powers: Placing initiatives directly on the ballot. Authorization to direct the Secretary of State to publish the Council’s comments and positions on relevant proposed initiatives and referendums on the election ballot. Subpoena power.”
(Quote(s) Source: Report – Think Long Committee for California)
It goes without saying that I heartily encourage every person of conscience to read the twenty-three page report if for no other reason than to witness first-hand what and how communal group-think articulates a remedy to a problem created by like-minded travelers. Furthermore, as I elucidate in many of my own writings, it is the very type of mechanism that will most likely be used to seal the fate of this Republic.
The Committee’s report is a crowning achievement serving best as a monument to vested interests and narrow-mindedness of purpose. The Committee generative process is the by-product of talent having spent entire careers migrating about the taxpayer-funded trough of economic entitlement having little or no fundamental understanding of the physiology of native economic routines which, by the way, is the very engine that creates the fuel which funds their processes. Moreover, whether it be in understanding the role of government and how it is to be funded, the costs and financial burden of infrastructure demands, the realities of global economics and its implicit design flaws, the value and refining characteristics of efficiency, the virtues of true cost-benefit analyses, the systemic bias of matured divisiveness that has poisoned our education system as well as the cavalier approach the Committee feigns in redesigning and re-interpreting the unalienable right of an Individual to define what becomes of choice both as to governance on to the entirety of one’s personal and private domain – this cabal’s ties to the political architecture-of-excess renders many of the Committee members supremely unqualified to offer objective recommendations.
The following summary of defects are my personal observations specific to the TLCC report and best understood once having read the same; still they are none-the-less of equal value when considering any review of government dysfunction:
1. Empowering Government? It is quite often the case that suspect bureaucracies, in search of concealing a flaw, commonly transfer oversight duties particularly when the fiduciary role and responsibility is implicit to their primary function. Formalizing what amounts to nothing more than an excuse for failure or even worse a rubric or blueprint for its own perversion of a societal commodity is not, to my mind, a recipe for functional reformation.
This Committee completely side-steps or outright ignores the imbedded processes of enabling legislation which leaves the domain, the function, regulations and punitive measure to a non-elected body that persists and operates outside of the government legislative function.
The most conspicuous of all is the Committee’s approach to specifics problems is the opting for a blanket approach to remedial action; an impulse response to a perceived premise – the public good – that is neither in evidence nor beneficial. A systemic response is always deferential to systems preservation and never to its refinement and this is why the central planning – such as promoted by this regime of thought – is nothing but an attempt to broadly socialize a population toward a submissive role whereby the interests of those who benefit from or by the process are both its architect and its benefactor.
2. Tax System for the Future? Revenue Tax policy reformulation of the type (such as these) often projected by government-committees will always trend toward the favor of bureaucracies; it seeks to find new and more global mechanisms for feeding the system and sees no connection between the ever expanding growth of the System and the alternative being the benefit of efficiencies that if affected would serve to minimize the presumptive need for colossal bureaucracies.
3. Budget Reform? The Pay-Go (a.k.a. Pay-as-you-go – a legislative funding requirement) system is an acutely precise example of the implicit flaw in bureaucratic presumptiveness: Think about it: if the System is not capable of maintaining alliance with a fiduciary responsibility and regard for their oath of office (itself a form of law) then by what means would the communal-thought of the collective-coterie believe that they would honor a Pay-Go regiment?
4. Term-Limits: The Committee extends the über-conscience of the collective to yet another extreme when crafting its assault on the Public’s growing demand for term-limits – their premise being what they believe to be an unacceptable side-effect of term-limits – inferring that the political pool of expertise is being forced out of the political process. Had the Committee functioned with a fulcrum of credibility then perhaps its first order of business would have been to focus on the underlying cause of the Public’s concern. I believe the Public’s best interests are best served by doing everything possible to eliminate this influential pool of vice and by doing so initiate organic processes aimed at slowing the explosive growth of inefficient and self-serving government. Clearly the alleged and implied qualitative composite of talent has proven itself self-serving and most certainly not viable, reliably and faithful to the ideals of government in the service of the consenting governed.
5. Economic Growth? Far too many have fallen into the rabid ideological-trap surrounding the China-threat metaphor and the “if you build it they will come” routine. Economic growth in any Nation has never proven to be driven by external forces; positive and sustainable economic growth is built upon and occurs [only] as a product of Native Demand. It should be remembered that China’s economic growth was stirred by external (Western Investment) intended to seed Western access to China, not the reverse. Were this not the case then China’s economic advancement would have occurred from within and then further sustained by its own native demand. Further, any posit suggesting China, as well as much of the region, to be a near and long-term economic threat invariably must ignore significant economic and social factors which defeat the premise. To believe that economic growth for California or for that matter the balance of the now universally contaminated U.S. Economy is achievable through any mechanism aligned with these neo-global constructs will ultimately require one to believe that economic growth will occur by violating every proven economic principle. In the end, the policy of predation has never proven itself a viable economic principle.
6. Jobs & Higher Education? One of the most complete examples of institutional-induced failure lies in the architecture of government-funded education. The Committee absolves itself from conscious thought by making what appears to be an inseparable link between the roll and purpose of higher education, the health of an economy and the means by which it should be funded. How is it possible to attach, from any practicable and rational construct, that the cost of higher education is a price that is to be borne by the Public? Specifically the costs of developing and maintaining the massive infrastructure of these institutions which possess no functional economic routine and are not subject to a specific and deliberate output mandate. To hold that higher education is the “incubator” of the economic engine of enterprise is both a false premise and a by all statistical measures clearly not a fact-based assertion. Any deliberate and reasoned solution must be built upon a perspective of honesty and focus on this single question: Given that none should question the need for a superb K-12 education format – and I mean Academic and not Socialization – as a base-line fundamental then we must move beyond that structure to a much greater inquiry; who benefits most from a system of higher education? I am deliberately articulating the question in this manner from a foundational premise which suggests that the now evolved structure of so-called higher education persists to serve academia, as a functional mechanism for national socializing and in the services of select components of an economic infrastructure which benefits directly from it all occurring. If this is the case then why is it the taxpaying public should pay for it?
In the area of K-12 development the Committee falls into the same trap that has long been the argument of the Education Establishment; more money means better education and as is the case with most systemic government failures, the problem is not a lack of resources but one that rests primarily on a system-wide ideology that controls the choices made available. This is both a universal problem and the native flaw in committee mind-set – serve the master by enslaving the servant [taxpayer].
As faithfully exhibited by the State of California’s efficient maturation of errant government practices, the Committee completely ignores two distinct components contributing to the degradation and ultimate demise of representative government: (1.) Special & Selective Interests have conscripted the ability of government to leverage the resources of the taxpayer and disenfranchised private sector toward a self-directed benefit. And, (2.) By licensing the former, the lines between the role of government and the function of practical and limited government have been vaporized and whereas the more appropriate target should have been the mechanisms which entitle this abusive form of licensing, the Committee chose instead to expand their domain of authority.
To be sure, whether by coincidence or design, this rather peculiar alliance of interests ability to form and operate as it has and with relatively little oversight and fanfare proves by what means and resources most Americans are kept completely unaware of the commitment directed toward institutionalizing Global-Uniformity in favor of Collective Mediocrity. Considering the media-centered collective of the day is anyone surprised that the TLCC has received scant coverage? This committee-minded process is becoming more and more routine and if one will recall the speed and efficiency by which the U.S. Congress crafted the Debt Super-Committee arrangement – also a champion amongst the ranks of the lowest possible common denominator of collective thought – then every American must be on guard for the new face of reform; The Committee!
“A single candle paints a luminescent hue; the light defines each image whilst shadows move about the room. Journey from thy light it fades, no longer form or shadows pose; now chilled in roaming darkness all about the shapeless maze. Trapped in longing absent warmth about my face, I pray a certain path upon each step that I retrace. And still the plan remains and thy patient flame awaits.”
Curtis C. Greco, Founder