Jim Horton | California, Fools and Folly: Can It Be Explained?

SCV Voices: Guest Commentary
SCV Voices: Guest Commentary

When you lack depth, it is highly unlikely that you’ll be able to problem-solve. To carry the thought further, many people view the world in simplistic terms and are satisfied to settle for the first thing that pops into their mind.

I have referenced the ancient Greeks in my other writings and alluded to their importance to our modern world. An understanding of our history is equally important to round out a basis for understanding our present-day circumstance. There are many people who believe that what’s here today is all that matters and that what came before is of no consequence; a fatal mistake. 

The politicians of today are no different from those who have come before. Within the herd are always those who seek to gain an advantage over others by manipulation and guile. It’s been said that people ultimately deserve the government that they get. I use those words time and again but it is the constant of civilization.

Folly is the art of doing something that is not in your own best interests. The history of mankind is fraught with examples of folly. It’s short-sighted people carrying out an activity that at the time sounded like a good idea and yet is laden with unintended consequences. 

California stands as a prime example of the folly of well-intentioned people or perhaps some not-so-well-intentioned people.

When an individual does not have a firm foundation of understanding, it is the same as building a house on unstable ground. In short order, the whole thing is liable to tumble down around your ears. Socrates maintained that you first must know yourself before anything else. He hoped this would give each individual some insight into their motivation for doing, yet people remain the same. 

Having heard that, does anyone stop and ponder their direction?

People are always a unique combination of strengths and weaknesses. My own belief is that we are granted certain “gifts” upon our birth and it is God’s desire that we fulfill our potential. But life is a crapshoot. How many of us can identify our strengths and can honestly say that we have built on those strengths?

It’s been said many times by many different people that the state of California is a mess caused by the politicians that we (not me) have elected. Who are the people who elect these fools and what is their motivation for the way they vote? I believe that a 12-year-old boy or girl could do as well and might even be an improvement over our current collections of fools.

Local SCV resident Paul Raggio, business consultant, recently wrote that decision-making was an art and that people should have training on how to arrive at reasonable solutions to problems. I agree with him completely, but how would this be achieved? 

There are those who go to school only to get by as quickly and easily as possible, thus don’t know themselves or what their possible strengths might be.

That can be carried further to point out that many people are good at something but never find out because they lack the exposure or the opportunity. A person could potentially be a great baseball pitcher but never picked up a baseball to realize it.

California politicians justify the added taxes that Californians pay because of “need.” The state needs this money in order to function but what if these so-called needs are invalid and simply a state of mind? Suppose that we didn’t have a bullet train to nowhere. Suppose that money was spent where it should be, on our roads and infrastructure. Just suppose we paid the same cost for our gasoline as Texas or Colorado.

There’s a huge gap between what is needed and what is wanted. Any wild hair that some loony thinks up is viewed as important by some faction of government and it’s then acted on. You can see this in our unfunded liabilities with California’s pensions of public employees. One fool after the next keeps adding to the pot and it impossible for the state (we taxpayers) to pay these commitments. 

Assembly Bill 5 is another of the tax grabs that the super-majority has conspired to foist on our gig industry. One politician stated that if the companies and the individuals didn’t pay the additional taxes then the rest of us would have to pay. Again we must question the need. If the state’s “needs” were pared down to the necessary, is any additional taxation necessary?

I would like to hear justification from the voters who put this current collection of fools in office.

Jim Horton is a Santa Clarita resident. “Right Here, Right Now” appears Saturdays and rotates among local Republicans.

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