Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Have we UNDERSTATED what is at stake in the 2014 general election?

For several years, Somalia, a failed nation-state in Africa has been a standard example when the issue of chronic tax cutting or Libertarian "every man for himself" dogma arises for discussion.
Somalia is the most failed state in the world, according to the annual ranking by Foreign Policy and The Global Fund For Peace.
Located in the Horn of Africa, the majority Sunni Muslim country suffers from an ineffective government, famine, disease, piracy, militant extremism, and frequent external intervention.
No wonder it has topped the list of the most failed states every year since 2008.
What is a failed state?
A failed state is a state perceived as having failed at some of the basic conditions and responsibilities of a sovereign government. Although there is no general consensus on the definition, Fund for Peace characterizes a failed state as having the following characteristics:
  • Erosion of legitimate authority to make collective decisions
  • Inability to provide public services
Common characteristics of a failing state include a central government so weak or ineffective that it has little practical control over much of its territory; non-provision of public services; widespread corruption and criminality; refugees and involuntary movement of populations; and sharp economic decline.
Of course, no one now can reasonably consider Arizona a failed state. But IS it moving in that direction?

Tea Party and militia movements, especially at and concerning our Southern border demonstrate weakening practical control over territory.

Last year, when the CPS scandal emerged, that was but one example of non-provision of public services. It put a vulnerable population, children in families generally experiencing financial and emotional stress, at increasing risk.

A stark, but hidden from most Arizonans, example of widespread criminality and corruption involves a personal friend of mine who has been defrauded by real estate and mortgage loan operators. He had invested savings, from a more than 30-year career as a civil servant, in land in several areas of the state. He reports having lost more than $75,000 because of one unscrupulous, but licensed individual. Another individual had lost more than $100,000 at the hands of the same licensed individual.

This friend reasonably should have been able to expect relief -- or at least some action against the licenses of the perpetrator of the fraud against him -- from the Arizona Corporation Commission, the Attorney General and/or the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions. Instead, he has faced a disheartening loop of "go talk to the other agency" from all three.

An attorney advised my friend that this licensed mortgage loan officer was offering what amounted to unregistered securities. The Corporation Commission is charged with regulating securities. Arizona Revised Statutes § 44-1841 makes it a class 4 felony to sell or even offer to sell unregistered securities. ARS § 44-1822 gives the Corp Comm authority to investigate but does not require it to do so.

This is what my friend received -- standard boilerplate rejection language -- from Matthew Neubert, director of the Corp Comm's Securities Division:
"Division resources generally require that rather compelling reasons, in terms of the nature of the practice, the number of people involved, or the amount of loss, must be present in order to justify a lawsuit. We must, therefore, restrict our action to those cases which involve the greatest harm to the public, and which will have the greatest deterrent effect on fraud in the marketplace."
How does this not give license to those with sinister motives to bilk Arizona retirees and other investors?


Then there are the acute problems with K-12 public education funding. Since you're reading this, you likely know that overall, school funding took a gigantic nose dive when the Great Recession arrived. Scrooge McDucey owns a large portion of the responsibility for fighting restoration of funding since. He has declared that, if elected governor, he will NOT comply with court orders to pay schools the more than $300 million now owed and will vigorously fight it.

If you have school-age children or grandchildren, you should be very concerned about that. Average class size is increasing dramatically, as is turnover among experienced teachers.


Arizona has cut taxes in 23 of the last 24 years, according to Democratic gubernatorial nominee Fred DuVal.

As LD23 senate candidate Paula Pennypacker has said repeatedly, "where are the jobs?" "Where is the economic growth?"

“This is the first time in modern Arizona where we've trailed the national recovery. We traditionally underperform the rest of the country during recessions and overperform during recoveries,” according to a senior economist with Elliot D. Pollack & Co., as reported on just days ago.
The shortfalls projected by Arizona’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee in an Oct. 7 report put the state in more exclusive company. Only a few states, such as Nevada, Virginia and Hawaii, anticipate budget deficits in the current fiscal year, said Lucy Dadayan, a senior policy analyst at the Rockefeller Institute of Government at State University of New York in Albany.
Arizona’s dependence on revenue growth from new residents and businesses puts it apart from states that developed earlier, said Arturo Perez, fiscal affairs program manager for the National Conference of State Legislatures, based in Denver. 
Wouldn't you think that two decades is long enough to wait for the Voodoo Economics to kick in and supply Arizona with a booming economy?

Arizona, we cannot afford to elect Scrooge McDucey. The stakes are too high and his plan has already been tried and found wanting.

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