Friday, October 28, 2011

Is San Jose the Next Vallejo?

A Moment of Clarity

I have been monitoring the debates taking place on the local blogs and online newspaper articles and have come to the conclusion that our great city is on the verge of bankruptcy and not just financially but morally as well.  Writing that just gave me pause accompanied with extreme sadness.  I would have never though in a million years I would ever say that about my city.  For those of us that have lived in the Bay Area most of our lives, that very thought must surely shake you to your very core, does it not?

United We Stand, Divided We Fall

When you consider the state of the economy, the continued collapse of housing prices in the Bay Area, persistent unemployment, skyrocketing pension and health care costs, and a fiscal emergency being declared by the Mayor of San Jose, and suddenly you find yourself on an express train towards bankruptcy; couple that with an ever growing desire for class warfare and you no longer have a community working and living together for a better society and way of life. 

From Prune and Cherry Orchards to Pensions and Benefits
Santa Clara Valley, Circa 1950

Like it was yesterday, I remember walking to school though the cherry orchards on my way to John Muir, reaching over my grandma’s back fence to pick prunes, watching a matinee at the Garden City, or going with my Dad to the San Jose State v. Fresno State game.  Now those memories seem to be shadowed by the veil of bickering over pension plans and health benefits.  The “have” and the “have not’s” seem to have drawn lines in the sand and it appears that the battle is going to be very bloody. 

Too Depressing to Recommend

I first started to write the above on September 19 of this year in response to a Vanity Fair article I read titled “California and Bust” written by “Moneyball” fame Michael Lewis.  However, the seven page article addressing the current financial turmoil in the State of California and in particular, San Jose, was so disturbing that I decided then wasn’t the time and quite frankly, I just wanted to ignore it.  However, I noticed the article was mentioned again in the San Jose Mercury News and so I decided to read over it one more time and I can attest, it is just as scary now as it was then. 

Michael Lewis is a great writer and the interviews with former California Governor Arnold Swartzenegger, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, and Vallejo Fire Chief Paige Meyer will make your hair stand on end.  I highly recommend that every citizen in the Bay Area and the nation read and discuss this very bleak outlook into the future of what was once the seventh largest economy in the world.  

Posted by:

Crosshair Fire Investigations and Safety Consultants
Clayton, Ca. 
(925) 693-0161

"Keeping you safe and informed" 

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