Foreign Matter

After reading our remarks with respect to Governor Schwarzeneggers State of the State address last week, one of our readers told us that our countering proposals sounded too simple. Good. They were meant to sound too simple. As opposed to the $ 222 billion in bond obligations dumped on future generations, anything would sound simple.

Look again at what Senator Alan Lowenthal said about the problems at the LA/Long Beach container ports. Retailers, he said, are the ones who want to move the goods to market. Theyre the ones using California as a landing. We suffer the congestion and pollution. He failed to follow up, however. He should have finished things off by asking why Californians should be expected to pay to clean up the mess, while others walk off with all the marbles.

And here are some further questions that proponents of the bond issue should be required to consider:
Why did our elected officials stand idly by for more than ten years while more than 8,600 U.S. companies were transferred, or sold outright, to foreign owners?
Why did our elected officials permit the transfer of more than $ 1.3 trillion in manufacturing assets to overseas entities?
Why were no steps taken to save the jobs of the millions of American workers formerly employed by these emigrating firms?
Why are our elected officials permitting these foreign owners to demand infrastructure upgrades at the expense of our disenfranchised citizens?
Why do our elected officials accede to the demands of the owners of foreign-built megaships with respect to the costly dredging of U.S. ports?
Why must U.S. consumers, many of them unemployed, subsidize foreign interests? As long as economies of scale profits are being raked in by these foreign interests, why not insist that they pay to upgrade our infrastructure and dredge our ports?
Because the greater number of newbuilds are in the 4,000 to 5,000 TEU range, why shouldnt access to U.S. ports be restricted to these more manageable vessels?
Who decided that LA/Long Beach should bear the brunt of this cargo onslaught, anyway?

By reducing the number of vessel calls at these crowded ports and systematically diverting ships to the states presently underutilized ports, congestion and pollution problems will be eliminated, employment levels in LA/Long Beach will be comfortably maintained, and additional employment opportunities will be created in other port communities … other California port communities, of course … and any hesitation could bring undesirable consequences. These undesirable consequences were foreseen by the governor when he said that the state must improve its ports to remain competitive in the face of increasing competition from other ports on the continents West Coast.

Outside investors would relish the chance to fund a well-managed transportation system, and $ 222 billion in bonds wouldnt be needed. Think kindly of your children, and theyll think kindly of you.