Friday, July 24, 2009
- NJ Corruption Is Not The Problem
I just got a note from a friend that was all but bubbling over with liberal platitudes about how this recent story proves that corruption is “the real problem’ in NJ. He was insisting that I should write more about it. And since many of you might be wondering why I usually ignore stories like that I’ll answer him here.
First of all, I’m not a journalist (and I have no ambitions to be) so I don’t care about informing people. But assuming that I was… is there anyone out there who didn’t already know that we have corruption problem in NJ? Every two years or so the federal prosecutors round up a bunch of politicians who were less good at covering their tracks than the rest. About half the time they also threaten to arrest a major political figure like the Governor or a Senator, or both. It’s as rare an event as high tide and hardly newsworthy if you ask me.
Secondly, even if the story wasn’t being covered by every two bit, dimwit mainstream journalist in the country, and even if there were still something to say about it which was both original and proved my broader thesis, the fact is, I don’t think corruption is the real problem in NJ at all. In fact I think it’s really just a distraction from the ‘real' problem.
The typical reaction to the not quite semi-annual corruption story is for the press to see what party the arrestees belong to and publicize it in their ‘oh so reliable’ way. If they’re Democrats they call them a ‘major political figure’ and if the are Republicans the call them “a major REPUBLICAN political figure”. Then the masses read it and elect the candidates from the other party, whichever that is. Then we all go on for a few more years until the new people get arrested and it all starts over again. But nothing changes for we peasants in NJ because the new guys are the same guys as the old guys.
Even though these guys all claim to represent 2 different political parties, they really don’t. The fact is, in terms of policy and practice, the differences between NJ Democrats and NJ Republicans are as modest as they are anywhere in the country. Our Republicans are pro-abortion, anti-gun, pro-union, and believe in a big spending, intrusively regulating government just like our Democrats. Anywhere else in the country they would be called Democrats.
(And I know I might get a note here from someone saying that this person or that in the legislature or town council somewhere is different in some way... but spare me. There are outsiders in any group and if he or she want's to move up in the machine they'll have to find a way to change their story to the party line. Besides, whoever it is I'm sure they are politicians first, so I'd check your watch and wallet after you meet with them if I were you.)
In practice, we're a one party state run by a single political machine which controls both parties from behind the scenes. That machine is run by the unions, by the civil servant class, and by a collection of powerful insiders and interest groups. And the one thing they all have in common is that they view we taxpayers as the idiot serfs who exist only to feed their machine with tax dollars.
We haven’t been citizens in New Jersey for a long time, we’re all mere subjects. We are ruled utterly by an elite class that is unconcerned about our opinions and disinterred in having us participate in government in any way except to pay for it. I know it’s laughable to some to describe that useless gaggle of mouth breathers in Trenton as an ‘elite’ but that’s what we’ve come to. I can think of no group of people for whom I hold a more universal contempt than New Jersey’s elected class. And if their policies are any indication, the feeling is mutual.
Until we figure out how to gut the state's political machine we’re never going to be free citizens in NJ. And electing this person or that person is not going to do it. If you live in NJ and don’t know how cheap talk is from a Trenton politician, then you are as stupid as the politicians and civil servants believe you are.
They will all promise to lower taxes, raise benefits, and have lots of free giveaways and perks for the members of the CWU and the IBEW. They will all promise a new era of accountability, and responsible spending. They will all promise to be the man (or woman) who will finally change NJ. And when the federal prosecutor leads them away in handcuffs, they will all swear they didn’t do it and if they did, it was only because they were a ‘Gay American’.
The good news is, the unfunded pension liability for NJ is so large that it’s going to bankrupt the state in another few years. California’s present is our future and it doesn’t matter who you elect. When that happens, it will take out all these thieves and liars so I don’t see a little corruption as such a big deal. It all looks to me like the waiters stealing the dining room silver from the kitchen of the titanic. One way or the other, they’ll all end up on the bottom, so I don’t much care if they fill their pockets first.
Gee... who could have seen this coming:
Network News Fails to ID Party of Pols Arrested in NJ