California and its 58 counties have put the hammer down on our economy. Record unemployment makes the Golden State look like storm clouds are pouring bad news upon it.

Many economists,business owners and executives say things, like, “California’s economy goes as well as Silicon Valley companies go.”  Others say, “Oil production, refineries, agriculture, retail, small business, hospitality, and defense manufacturers help drive the economic engine, too.”

I think they are all correct.

Expect California’s Legislature to take a pay cut. They don’t set their own pay like many legislative bodies at the city and county level. How will the independent committee that sets their salaries be able to do anything else but cut their pay?

Expect the state’s big payday that comes from capital gains taxes each year to be nonexistent. Two, maybe three, state prisons must close. Corrections deputies will be laid off. If it co mes to a choice between keeping prisons open or entitlement programs funded, it’s goodbye prisons and prison guards. So much for safe streets. Other state agencies will see layoffs.

So, with most of the businesses shut down in the state, county and city sales tax revenues are down. Revenues are down and reserves can’t last long in city and county governments. Some local governments have just two months’ payroll in reserves. That’s it.

So, as governors ponder when to turn their economies back on, we need to get safely back to work and do so yesterday. California has great people. So do the 49 other states it competes with. President Trump  says he’ll work with the governors to get Americans back to work and he hopes to see our economy recover quickly.

Enter one elected official who understands the importance of beating down the coronavirus and building our economy up, again.

V. Manual Perez is a Riverside County Supervisor and currently serves as chair. In some states similar posts are called County Commissioners. Perez’s county is the 10th largest in America and his Fourth District has some 550,000 residents. With a county of 7200 square miles to serve, this Supervisor understands the importance of getting the county back to work. It’s workforce is almost 900,000 — or was before the governor shut down the state.

As the former Majority Leader in the State Legislature, Perez knows how important it is to get the state’s economy up and running. The Great Recession is still fresh in his mind. It devastated Riverside County’s  workforce with unemployment at a record 15%. Teamwork is the key with the public sector getting the private sector going.

In a recent visit to Mathis Brothers Furniture, Perez saw first hand how businesses can serve constituents and operate safely. All employees had gloves, masks, and were strictly enforcing social distancing guidelines. The business kept a count of customers in the store on an LED board.

So impressed, Perez said, “I will be advocating for Mathis Brothers. They are doing it right.”

This is the kind of leadership we need across the country!

Kudos to Mathis Brothers’ management are also in order. Now, opening the entire country and states are  a must.

Today we have, as most all know, record levels of America’s workers filing for unemployment. We need our elected leaders standing up for the workforce and the job creators on every level of public service.

Governors, legislators, county commissioners/supervisors, city council/selectmen/aldermen must step up and get America back to work. This should be all about country — not about party.

Some areas have turned neighbor against neighbor encouraging us to report people making “non essential trips.” That’s not what we should be doing. This isn’t China or the old USSR.  Police using drones to track Americans’ movement is why many Americans lose faith in our government.

Most Americans are staying home as their governors have asked. Most have sheltered in place for weeks now.  Those who work, like our police, firefighters, medical teams, and other essential workers are doing great things. We must be united and not divided  by bureaucrats who want us to be the “Essential Trip Police.”

While Supervisor Perez has had to deal with a global pandemic, the former school teacher, has performed well. He’s the first to admit he isn’t perfect and the county can do better. As he often says “ It is what it is folks.”

Perez and other policy-setters must work together to jump start the economy and put Americans back to work. Advocates for business and public safety are what we need — not the finger-pointing of bureaucratic nattering nabobs of negativism.

The late Tip O’Neil, Speaker of the House of Representatives, during the Reagan years. said,  “All politics are local.” O’Neil and Reagan got it right and worked past differences in political ideology. Real leadership is in short supply these days. Perez is showing what real leadership looks like.

Nothing is better than seeing local voters working and making American families strong and back on their feet again. Stay healthy!

Image Sources

  • Get back to work: Shutterstock