Step on the gas
Unemployment has improved, but it is still too high. This year, we will choose who will try to fix that. We hear two very different proposed solutions. Democrats counsel stimulus plus increased taxes on the rich; Republicans favor reduced taxes on the rich and austerity.
Those arguing for austerity attack John Maynard Keynes as a purveyor of an ideology of profligate government — more spending fixes everything. But Keynes’ actual contribution was creation of the first reasonably accurate mathematical model of a market economy. It clearly is predictive of the economic results of increased or decreased net government spending. Keynes’ model predicts: stimulus causes economic acceleration; deceleration follows austerity.
Austerity in Europe clearly demonstrated once again the validity of Keynes model. Europe’s economies have economic stagnation and in some countries severe recession while the U.S. stimulus transformed a collapsing economy to growth (though sluggish). Sometimes our economy needs government to step on the gas (stimulus), and sometimes it needs the brakes (austerity). It is important to know which pedal is which.
Long trip to grocer
Scolari’s grocery store is closing. Great! Once again this area of San Luis Obispo will be without a grocery store. When the Safeway grocery store closed at this site, it was ridiculous how much time my family spent driving to the other side of town for groceries.
Maybe this time around, the mayor, City Council, Chamber of Commerce or, for that matter, Joey and Jerry Scolari, will lobby for a quick replacement; for example, Spencer’s Fresh Markets.
San Luis Obispo
Given their bumbling over student fees, presidential salaries and faculty contracts, it’s amusing to note that the CSU Chancellor’s Office believes it has a “better idea” for Cal Poly’s academic calendar. Cal Poly has a rich tradition of uniqueness — cultivated in four-plus decades of leadership by Julian McPhee and Bob Kennedy and maintained at San Luis Obispo under Warren Baker and at Pomona under Bob Kramer and others.
From the get-go, the two Cal Polys stood apart: “upside down” curriculum (major courses from day one); emphasis on “learn by doing” in polytechnic disciplines; a quarter-system calendar.
Uniqueness has always irritated the bureaucrats at CSU headquarters. As a Cal Poly alum and long-ago tenured faculty member at San Luis Obispo and Pomona (including a term as chair of the academic senate here), I often observed CSU efforts to force the Cal Polys into the “system” mold. Perhaps the Long Beach gang see a first-year president as an opening.
I prefer quarters, but what I really look forward to is watching Jeffrey Armstrong hold the line against regression to the mean.
Robert E. Alberti
For the third time in 20 years, the residents of Nipomo have said “no” to water from anywhere other than the aquifer under them. The Mesa Community Alliance (MCA) made a rather breezy statement after the “no” vote on the pipeline to Santa Maria. Something about protecting the groundwater source and finding an alternative water source. Really!
The water traveling in the state water pipeline is spoken for, and the agency in charge of it has said no water can be directly taken from that source. Desalinization was also floated as a source. With current technology, that process is prohibitively expensive. There is also the problem of what to do with the salt or concentrated brine.
The water in the aquifer is finite. If it is not in distress now (as some claim), it will be in a future with more users, and there will be more users. So, is there a water fairy somewhere that is going rescue Nipomo from its delusion?
Not MCA’s signs
Regarding Gina Kessinger’s letter (May 12) asking Mesa Community Alliance to remove campaign signs on the Mesa opposing the Nipomo Water Pipeline, while MCA strongly opposed the project, its members were not responsible for putting up any signs. The signs must have been the reaction of individuals to a poorly planned project by the Nipomo Community Services District.