A Los Angeles Worthy of Candide
Everything’s working perfectly. The Los Angeles City Council has allowed several major real estate developments, including residential towers, to begin construction in Hollywood on or near major earthquake fault lines. Geologic surveys were never ordered, but the developers, major political donors all, assured everyone that there was no problem, so it was therefore decided that building on the most dangerous land in Los Angeles was no problem.
The chief of the Department of Public Works has resigned for “personal reasons,” just as Sherriff Lee Baca resigned for his personal reasons, an impending FBI probe of his rotten department among them. Ron Nichols, the DWP king, stepped down as questions swirled around him regarding the mysterious use of $40 million in ratepayer money that was funneled into non-profits aimed at improving labor relations.
Los Angeles also earned the (dis)honor of having the largest percentage of residents living in poverty. More than New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Washington – larger than any major American city. You can see a growing number of these folks camped behind dumpsters and on sidewalks and doorways around Hollywood, minutes from where tourists from around the world flock to take photos of celebrity names engraved in the streets. Ordinances are being proposed that would ban the feeding of homeless people in public, and, thus, the problem was solved!
Everything’s working perfectly. Boeing, one of America’s most respected companies, extorted their workers and various Untied States into a contract agreement that will put less money into the hands of skilled laborers and more money into the accounts of shareholders and company executives, where it belongs. If Boeing had been unsuccessful in shaking down their workforce, LA county might have gotten the privilege of building the next generation 777X airliners. Unfortunately for America’s richest-poorest municipality, Capital defeated Labor again, the way it always does. And we’re stuck looking for another corporation to bribe with tax breaks.
Speaking of which, we now understand, thanks to reporting in the Times, that most of the tax credits the Hollywood film industry has lobbied for from the state are actually being resold by production companies to hedge funds and other rich people looking to lessen their tax burden. The most valuable members of our society are getting the breaks. Everything’s working perfectly.
The Grocery Manufacturers Association is seeking the “natural” label for products that contain bio-engineered ingredients. For instance, a vanilla flavoring extract made from engineered yeast would be called “all natural,” because, let’s face it, everything came from nature at some point, right? Take plastic. It comes from petroleum, which is what you get when you put the remains of living creatures under geologic pressure for a few million years. So, you see, plastic is actually “all natural,” too. Why confuse busy consumers? Everything is natural – and everything’s working perfectly.
The only complication in our otherwise flawless system is the recently enacted ban on plastic shopping bags, which critics contend are one of our largest sources of litter, tangling in trees and befouling riverbanks. The do-gooders don’t understand that plastic bags are natural products. (See above). So consumers are being forced to carry their purchases in what one assumes must be un-natural containers. And one fears that can’t be good.