“Abe Lincoln championed government for the people and said you can only fool some of the people all of the time. In San Diego, government gives succor to a handful of the most affluent people while the taxpaying suckers foot the bill — seemingly all of the time.
San Diego has inadequate police protection; undermanned and underequipped firefighting forces despite periodic catastrophic wildfires; a wastewater system out of compliance with federal rules; a hemorrhaging library system; a rotting infrastructure; a lack of downtown affordable housing despite developers’ solemn promises; a big pension shortfall; and a staggering structural fiscal deficit. Yet political and business leadership conspire to steer public money into downtown projects that should be financed with private capital. Real estate developers and their toadying lawyers and lobbyists get rich on taxpayer money while the quality of life for most of those taxpayers declines.
A new book outlines the historical, political, economic, sociological, and journalistic forces that brought about these twisted priorities. This book is Paradise Plundered: Fiscal Crisis and Governance Failures in San Diego, published by Stanford University Press. The publication date is September 10. It will go into stores and can be purchased online around that time…