2012 July 10 Tuesday
San Bernardino Headed Toward Municipal Bankruptcy

Municipal unions claim another victim. San Bernardino will be hard pressed to avoid bankruptcy.

Facing a mounting budget deficit and dwindling tax revenue, the San Bernardino City Council on Tuesday is scheduled to consider drastic budget cuts, possibly filing for bankruptcy, to save the city from financial ruin.

Update: San Bernardino decided to file.

Stockton, with a population of 300,000, set a record for largest population city to file for bankruptcy. San Bernardino, with about 200k population, won't break that record. However, around 2015 or 2016, when San Jose's pension obligations force that city into bankruptcy its nearly 1 million population will enable it to set a new record for US municipal bankruptcies. Good times.

The Stockton, Mammoth Lakes, and San Bernardino bankruptcies are signs of times to come. Recent pension reporting rules changes by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) are going to force state and local governments to more accurately report their unfunded pension liabilities. However, even the GASB changes fall short of what's needed to get an accurate recognition of the size of government pension liabilities.

A July 2 report by ratings agency Moody's Investors Service calculated that if it used a 5.5 percent discount rate, a rate more conservative than the method GASB proposed in its final rules, but closer to the way corporations value their pensions, it "would nearly triple fiscal 2010 reported actuarial accrued liability" for the 50 states and rated local governments to $2.2 trillion from $766 billion.

If economic growth remains low these liabilities will soar even higher. If Peak Oil causes an extended period of economic contraction then unfunded pension liabilities will soar while tax revenues shrink.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2012 July 10 08:17 PM  Economics Government Debt


Comments
Eddie said at July 12, 2012 6:02 PM:

Stockton too.

Not PC correct but accurate said at July 17, 2012 12:18 AM:

White tax paying citizens who number less than 40% of the population can't hold up an entire city of parasites.

Check it Out said at July 18, 2012 6:38 PM:

"White tax paying citizens who number less than 40% of the population can't hold up an entire city of parasites."

What exactly do you mean? That all non-whites are parasites?

Just don't go around saying that in public or you're in for a good beating. However I think you wouldn't have the guts.

James Bowery said at July 19, 2012 5:38 PM:

The non-Hispanic white population of San Bernardino is 19%.

This isn't a problem with the white population failing to hold up a non-white population. Its a failure of the religious belief "Diversity is our greatest strength." where "diversity" means state enforced panmixia.

Zamman said at July 20, 2012 6:03 PM:

Not PC wrote >"White tax paying citizens who number less than 40% of the population can't hold up an entire city of parasites."

The real parasites of society are:

1. politicians
2. big corporate owners (which now seem to be invisible)
3. religious ministers

Those are the real parasites. Hope you can get it through that hard-ass head of yours. Hating and fighting without knowing the real enemy is just like taking medicine without knowing what the disease is.

Zamman said at July 20, 2012 6:15 PM:

James Bowery wrote:> "The non-Hispanic white population of San Bernardino is 19%. This isn't a problem with the white population failing to hold up a non-white population."

Really? I mean, do you think San Bernardino is the only city heading for municipal bankruptcy? You're thinking too locally.

Bankruptcy is nationwide and coming to a city near you. That IS a problem.

Bankruptcy is worldwide. If it hits Spain, it IS a problem. If it hits Greece or Italy, it IS a problem.

ZZMike said at July 20, 2012 9:19 PM:

Nothing to worry about - a few small cities going belly-up is no big problem for California. We have shiploads of money to build high-speed railways with.

lastrebel said at July 22, 2012 9:27 AM:

The unions will probably bring back slavery (i.e. chain gangs for active and passive tax dodgers) so they can at least get their benefits in full.

Zamman said at July 23, 2012 9:53 AM:

You're so right ZZMike. We have nothing to worry about.

This is today's news. Take a look.

http://news.yahoo.com/us-poverty-track-rise-highest-since-1960s-112946547--finance.html

Come to think of it... don't even bother reading it. You're so right, you must pat yourself on the back very often....

James Bowery said at July 24, 2012 9:24 AM:

Zamma, it is clear that the more "diverse" a municipality the more likely it is to declare bankruptcy.

Moreover, California's state bond ratings are consistently at the low end among the States.

Does this mean that "diversity" is causing these bankruptcies? No. Correlation doesn't imply causation.

But at the very least you have to cut those of us slack who have never consented to your social experiments. By "slack" I mean treat us like fellow human beings and allow us to separate ourselves from your experiments and let us have governments to which we consent.

If you don't treat us like human beings why do you think we should treat you, who are using government force against us, to treat you like human beings?

Zamman said at July 25, 2012 11:24 AM:

James Bowery wrote:> "If you don't treat us like human beings why do you think we should treat you, who are using government force against us, to treat you like human beings?"

I don't really know what the hell you're talking about. Besides, what "social experiments" are you talking about?

James Bowery said at July 30, 2012 6:45 AM:

All laws and court rulings against locally chosen barriers that maintain the integrity human ecologies are social experiments. This includes laws against "segregation" per se and laws against exclusion of unrelated immigrants to locales. These laws do not violate your consent, so it is understandable that you may not concern yourself with them except insofar as they may prevent abuses of individuals by groups. It is understandable in the same sense that evil is understandable: benefiting yourself and those of your kind without regard to for others. Many people don't find privacy to be important to them, so they do not consider violations of privacy to be important. Moreover, violations of privacy may prevent abuses of privacy such as criminal activity -- so they may side with the government in its violations of privacy in the name of "fighting crime" just as you side with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 in the name of "fighting Naziism" or whatever evil you perceive may come from people choosing to preserve aspects of their ancestral environments that are important to them -- evil you perceive that may come from people not consenting to your preferred social experiment.

There is no "Natural Right" to freedom of movement, even in the absence of technological civilizations invention of radically new modes of transportation. Particularly when it comes to males moving between areas, the natural tendency is locally established males to challenge immigrant males to natural duel. Civilization inhibits natural duel so as to protect powerful positions necessary to its maintenance. It therefore has an obligation to those of us who are conservative to allow substitutes for natural duel when it comes to the movement of at least males -- otherwise we'll no longer agree to the social contract founding civilization and we'll fight as "fair" as do those whose preferences are enforced on us by civilization.

Check it Out said at July 30, 2012 4:54 PM:

The Enlightenment was the product of experimentation. Modern society is a product of experimentation. If there hadn't been new social, political and economic experiments we'd probably still be in the Middle Ages. Free enquiry, open communication and active experimentation are fundamental for progress. Otherwise we'll just continue to have this stinky stagnation.

"There is no "Natural Right" to freedom of movement, even in the absence of technological civilizations invention of radically new modes of transportation."

Even though freedom of movement can still be difficult to apply, I think your statement is a little dogmatic and could be wrong James:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNwdeWTb6f4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=zht-6BrX1b4&NR=1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQ2LjhSE3JE&feature=related

"Particularly when it comes to males moving between areas, the natural tendency is locally established males to challenge immigrant males to natural duel."

Yeap, also natural is the male tendency to bully, to kill, to plunder, to rape, to invade, to curse, to fist around. Perhaps that's the ancient world you'd like to go back to, and I have the feeling you'll have to go back in time quite a few centuries. So good luck challenging immigrant males to your "natural duels" in your neighborhood.

Natural tendency!! As a society we've repressed our natural instincts so much that it's even funny reading your sentence. Hey, Jimmy, let's take a shit on the first place we feel like, or grab the next good looking lady's ass when she passes by.

James Bowery said at July 30, 2012 5:47 PM:

Check it Out, there have been a lot of experiments throughout known history and one might even say that evolution is a kind of macroscopic experiment.

What the Enlightenment did that was unique was take seriously the idea that not only can people deliberately set out to do controlled experiments, but that their consent is crucial if the experiment involves humans.

Take, for example, the Catholic Church's imposition of its experiment on the whole of Western and Central Europe. The tight coupling between the Enlightenment and Protestantism was no accident.

Now, I understand that you believe that your preferred experiment is so important and valuable that for people to not provide their consent is implicitly demonstrating their inhumanity.

That's why people like you are inhuman and can be treated as a mere force of nature within Enlightenment morality.

Bread and Butter said at July 31, 2012 7:41 AM:

Has the Catholic Church ever experimented? A religious institution is mainly about belief, not experimenting.

Who is inhuman? Who is a terrorist? Who is a Nazi? Who is smart? Who is dum? Who is free? Who is acceptable? Who is dogmatic?

James Bowery said at July 31, 2012 10:26 AM:

An experiment is about belief. An experimental control is about doubt. What our politically correct authoritarians would have us believe is that there is no control experiment necessary -- nay, that any experimental control would appeal only to anaziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews. Likewise, the Catholic Church's belief was an experiment imposed by force on Christendom and any experimental control would appeal only to the demon possessed.

An experiment conducted without an experimental controls is the bread and butter of the sophist -- particularly the sophist who aspires to theocrat.

Zamman said at August 1, 2012 9:19 AM:

Chill James Bowery. What the hell are you talking about with all that experiment crap? Since you're kind of slow and stupid all you can do is insult and repeat the same, over and over. It doesn't become right just because you say it many times, you know.

Say what you mean and mean what you say. Give clear grounds and reasons for your opinions, clarify your thoughts before, though, before some of us start to think that the only experiment around here is you. One that might've gone bad.

Check it Out said at August 1, 2012 2:22 PM:

"An experiment is about belief"

Yeah right. You're beyond belief. So funny

James Bowery said at August 3, 2012 7:12 AM:

A working hypothesis is a belief put into action. An experiment puts a hypothesis into action. Within the experiment, the belief -- the hypothesis -- is adopted as an act of faith since it, by the very definition of an experiment, is gathering the evidence that would make faith less necessary in its adoption. Outside the experiment we transcend the belief and adopt skepticism but skepticism is made practical only by the control experiment to test the "null hypothesis" -- that the "treatment" is not causative of the hypothesized effect.

Sorry I have to give you theocratic ignoramuses a high school level introduction to science but there you have it -- not that it will penetrate the militant faith in your own beliefs for even a picosecond.

Check it out said at August 3, 2012 2:01 PM:

"A working hypothesis is a belief put into action."

ha, ha, ha, ha. So by your definition of hypothesis one can only conclude that a theory for you is a religion.
A hypothesis is never a belief. You, however are beyond belief.

This is what a THEORY is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ei3_jFE8vcc (at second 40)

And it has to do with EVIDENCE not belief.


James Bowery said at August 3, 2012 3:29 PM:

Theology... theory... they are separated only by a respect for experimental results.

The creationists are amateur theocrats when compared to you politically correct theocrats.

Just Chillin said at August 5, 2012 12:22 PM:

>"Theology... theory... they are separated only by a respect for experimental results."

Platitude. Truism.

Some statements are obvious that saying them makes one look clumsy.

What is a politically correct theocrat?

James Bowery said at August 6, 2012 6:30 AM:

Your theology is a confused hodgepodge of unfalsifiable assertions, all enacted into equally confused and selectively enforced "law" with the single object to take the nation built by founding stock Americans and divide it up as ethnic spoils using government force covered by moralizing rhetoric.

If some group of founding stock Americans begged and pleaded for a reservation somewhere, the response would be that they were "White Supremacists" hence "Hitler Possessed".


Classic theocracy.

Check it Out said at August 6, 2012 4:49 PM:

My goodness James, you are so deep.... Thank you for sharing all your wisdom with us.

"Your theology is a confused hodgepodge of unfalsifiable assertions, all enacted into equally confused and selectively enforced "law" with the single object to take the nation built by founding stock Americans and divide it up as ethnic spoils using government force covered by moralizing rhetoric."

Sounds like something a terrorist would do; however, I've never worked for CIA... So you can jam all that noise up your ass.

Mthson said at August 7, 2012 3:41 AM:

James,

I never read comments from the commenters above, so I have no idea what they say.

You make good points, as always. But I think the decline of US society is tolerable.

1. Nothing can be done about it, so thought spent on it could have been spent elsewhere bettering our lives or finances.
2. Kids from all ethnic groups born in 2050 will probably have heightened IQ from reprogenetics. So we're in a temporary decline... the "1970s-2050s Hidden Depression."
3. When ethnic diversity is all high IQ people, like here in Silicon Valley, it becomes irrelevant... high IQ people tend to share common culture and sensibilities.


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