Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Progessivism vs. Populism -- A False Choice

Whoever wins the 15th Council District seat in Los Angeles, it will not be a win for Los Angeles, or rather for San Pedro, which although its borders count as an integral part of the City of Angels, the residents of that city should listen to their better angels and break free as soon as possible.

Ever since Protestant Progressives attempted to form a Utopian-like government for Downtown City Hall, corruption, waste, pandering, and all other kinds of centralized and decentralizing maneuvers have done very little to serve the needs of the Harbor area.

It was a nasty land grab that initiated the "consolidation" of San Pedro with the rest of Los Angeles in 1909, a move which I am sure almost every resident in San Pedro regrets was ever made. The Downtown leaders wanted a strong hold on the LA harbor, which was still prized property of the little knoll of San Pedro.

Even in 1909, when city leaders were debating the merits of joining with the Queen of the Angeles to the North, some citizens complained that they would have to settled with Los Angeles' decrepit school district, slow response time, and inferior city services. Despite the promises that Los Angeles would provide water, fire, and police protection, it would appear that the wary citizens who discouraged the consolidation were correct in their assessment.

And now, San Pedro, Wilmington, and the LA Strip must haggle over who will be the next city council representative for the Harbor Area.

Populism stirs up people's sentiment, people who are made at government for not attending to their needs. Ironically, in their charge to take on City Hall, so to speak, they end up granting more power to the state, as they expected their elected saviors to do more for them through the power of government.

Progressives, on the other hand, want to reign in government, as opposed to rein in government. Using every means of force and fiat in city hall, elected progressives want to make decisions for the voters, whether they approve or not. They want to control economies and equalize outcomes for their citizens, moves which ultimately impoverish the individual and limit his freedom.

Whether a populist or a progressives takes over for the wannabe populist-progressive who advanced to Washington D.C. last summer, the 15th Council District will still suffer neglect, will still endure abuse, and will still wait for leadership that attends to the needs of the residents and businesses of the harbor region as a whole.

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