30 Jul 2002
(updated 30 Jul 2002 at 19:16 UTC) »
Battle of the Republics
The way I see it, energy banditos from Texas figured out how to transfer massive amounts of capital from the speculative boom of Silicon Valley to their own pockets by gaming California's energy market. Something that abruptly halted the day a Vermont Senator abandoned their political party of choice, transferring control of the investigative power of the Senate to the opposition. But the damage was already done with long-term contracts signed for way-over-market-rate energy for the next decade. The problem is the transfer of capital is not from those who got rich on the boom in California to those under investigation for shady business practices in Texas. It is from those recent home purchasers in California who are contributing half a billion dollars in increased property tax to the state coffers, money that would have gone to increase the outlay on education, and restore quality in California public schools that has ebbed away since Proposition 13. You stole from my kids, and you can bet I'm going to remember.
(ok,ok, that isn't quite so. Most of the cost of long-term energy contracts is passed on to all consumers and businesses rather democratically I believe, not paid by the state. But increased cost of living and/or manufacturing will show up as decreased state coffers, and fewer resources for education. I suppose vouchers will be the proffered solution. Grrr....).
In related news, Joel Klein, the former head of the Justice Department anti-trust prosecution against Microsoft, was appointed head of New York City public schools. Bye, bye Windows.