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Haiti: a warning to California

by Chelene Nightingale, published

Haiti’s tragic events could happen anywhere in the world.  Some estimate the 7.0 earthquake could reach a final death toll of nearly 200,000 individuals.  In addition, Haiti’s capital city, Port-au-Prince, has been ravished due to poor building design and construction.

Not only is Haiti one of the poorest countries in the world, but according to the International Corruption Perceptions Index, it is also one of the most corrupt ranking near the bottom at number 168.  In contrast the United States is ranked only 19th on the same corruption index and although our national debt is hovering around $12 trillion, we still are considered a wealthy nation.  In fact, if the state of California was an independent nation, we would be considered the 8th largest economy in the world (though that status is falling).

But with a historically rising 12.2% state unemployment rate and a $68 billion public debt, our financial foundation is weakening.  In fact, with the increasing unemployment rates, home foreclosures are reaching record highs

Of course economic woes cannot compare to the thousands of lost lives from the devastating earthquake.  However, Haiti is an alarming reminder that a nation needs a solid foundation to endure the unexpected tragedies in life.  Although America did prevail in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attack, our nation was indeed stronger back in 2001. 

If California was rocked with another Northridge type earthquake, would our state recover?  The Northridge earthquake was one of the costliest natural disasters in US History with an estimated $20 billion in damages alone.  The quake literally shut down the Los Angeles region stopping business and production.  In addition hospitals, schools, media, radio and freeways were affected.  The entire infrastructure was stressed but eventually the city recovered.

But 15 years ago, even in a recession, Californians enjoyed higher than the national average in employment wages.   Although our state debt and borrowing began to dig us in a hole back in the 90’s, we still did not have the overly explosive debt, plus overwhelming population that we do today.  If we continue on this financial road, then the next natural disaster could devastate California in a similar manner as Haiti.  

How then, do we prepare for and prevent such a fate?  We must repair the financial damage by implementing the following ten measures:  

1.  Ending state welfare benefits for illegal immigrants

2.  Abolishing AB 32 which will end the regulations killing state businesses

3.  Allowing water to flow through the Central Valley to prosper our state’s agriculture

4.  Reverse the high business taxes and strict regulations that have chased both business and production out of our once Golden State.

5.  Return the legislature to a part-time status

6.  Investigate wasteful spending and create solutions

7.  Sell state parks back to the private sector

8.  Wrangle down the power of public employee unions stifling our state

9.  Force sanctuary cities to utilize their own resources instead of state’s resources for breaking the law.

10.  Support small businesses and legal California workers

In addition to these ten solutions, we must implement a state-owned banking system like North Dakota has established.  Due to their state bank, North Dakota is not experiencing an economic downturn or high unemployment rate like the rest of the nation.  Since California is considered a bad debt now, a state bank would allow us to create our own credit, deposit our funds, and return profits into the public system.  Since California is still one of the largest economies in the world, our state could run independent of the increasing national economic crisis while strengthening our own foundation.

As we pray, hope, and donate to Haiti, we cannot forget that earthquakes are part of California life.  We need to ensure that our structure and economy sit on a solid foundation.


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