Priorities

Two stories caught my attention this morning, the first is one about California state legislators traveling abroad while the Assembly and Senate were called into special session to deal with that massive budget crisis that California is in. These people sure do travel a lot… but seriously, do our state representatives really need to travel to India to “observe” their high tech industry? Can’t they just, you know, drive down to Mountain View?

The two-week jaunt through India for eight state senators was sponsored by the California International Relations Foundation, a nonprofit tied to the state Senate. The goal of the trip is to promote cultural, economic and political relations. Among other things, the senators were scheduled to observe India’s education system and its burgeoning high-tech industry.

[From State lawmakers overseas during budget crisis]

Second story, the 3 CEOs of Detroit automakers flew to Washington D.C. this week with hat in hand asking for zero and low interest loans to help them stay alive. While hemorrhaging billions of dollars each month these executives never thought twice about flying on luxurious private jets… keep in mind that business jets of this size run about $6k an hour to fly.

Normally I don’t get flustered about executive perks but this example is beyond the pale and neatly encapsulates much of what is wrong with these businesses, a desire to change everything except the things that affect the people calling for change.

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