Viewing blog posts written by Gino DiCaro

Economic stimulus gaining the Big Mo'

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Dec. 19, 2008

A Christmas gift that just might make it under the tree?   A New Year's resolution that conceivably could be met in early '09?  It just might happen.  Economic stimulus in California is gaining the big mo' after a week of tireless negotiating, legislative votes and a vetoed budget package that included only small plans for job recovery.

Signals to employers that California will be cost-competitive appear to be of utmost importance to Gov. Schwarzenegger and the general public that he governs.  Fears that companies truly are shying away from California's unwieldy tax, wage and regulatory structures are setting in with average voters.  Household Christmas discussions across the state lead with comments such as "Just be happy you have a job, Jimmie" ... or "I'm so worried about my job, bro" .... or "I am so angry my company had to lay off employees" ... or "I got layed off so I had to take a lesser paying job so I could get through Christmas."

Depressing, I know, but reality has set in.  California's excess without comprehensive plans to attract high wage jobs that drive an entire economy has come home.  In the minds of the California Governor and citizenry it is not only obvious but mandatory that California devise comprehensive economic recovery in the overall budget plan, as opposed to just some quick cash.  Families now want economic development for themselves and their government.

An employer contacted me this week and said this:  "Listen, Gino.  California is becoming an analogy for the auto industry predicament.  The state's public sector has driven up an unsustainable environment and now we can't pay for it.  This has to be fixed now."  I told that employer to keep the pressure on to do the right thing ... that the tide is turning for California to send a huge signal that its lawmakers understand what it takes to compete in this marketplace and attract high-wage jobs.  I hope I'm right and that next Christmas, I'm blogging about California household discussions that lead with a merrier tone, like "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays."

Here's a few tide turning indicators along with the millions of household Christmas discussions:
  • Governor's comment today on unemployment :
    "California’s unemployment rate reinforces the need for the state legislature to pass a real budget solution that includes aggressive economic stimulus – because we must do everything in our power to help Californians affected by the economic downturn get back to work.  I've said countless times that any budget plan sent to my desk must include real stimulus that creates jobs, keeps Californians in their homes and provides strong, long-term recovery solutions for our state’s diverse economy."
  • Governor's veto comments at press conference
  • Senator Lou Correa's "no" vote on budget package indicating there is some growing understanding within the democratic caucus
  • National Fox News piece on California's budget and cost structures
  • CMTA President Jack Stewart interview on stimulus (ok we've always been there but it's a good synopsis of why and what needs to be done)

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