Thursday, August 14, 2008

How to Irritate the Mayor of Los Angeles...

...Ask him about basic economics.

I'm still in Los Angeles. After a morning meeting at the Omni Hotel, I headed out to grab a burger at Casey's Bar and Grille on Grand Street. As I walked through the California Plaza area, I noticed a half dozen or so cameras setting up. I asked one of the cameramen what was going on. "The mayor is going to give a press conference in just a few minutes about the water shortage and new laws that are going into effect because of it." "Jeez," I think to myself, "doesn't the mayor know that a shortage is just a case of mis-pricing in the market and that a free market price will end the shortage?"

Then, I say to myself, "I think I'll ask him."

So I wander closer to where the cameras are being set up and notice an area that appears to be where the reporters are gathering. I notice a woman handing out some type of papers to the reporters. I look at a building-type badge dangling from her belt that says in large bold letters, MAYOR. Since I hadn't read any news in the papers of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa having any recent sex change operations, I quickly surmised that the woman was one of the mayor's aides.

Since I had now decided I was covering the Mayor's press conference for EPJ, I felt I needed one of whatever the aide was handing out to the other reporters. I approached the woman and said, "Can I have one of those?" She looked at me and for obvious reasons didn't recognize me as one of the regular beat reporters. She said, "Who are are you? Are you with the media?" I said yes and handed her one of my EPJ business cards. She looks and says, "Oh, OK." and hands me the papers. I considered this an official approval from the Mayor's office to ask questions at the event.

The papers listed all the new regulations that will take affect when the mayor signs the new water legislation.

It includes:

The ban on the use of water on hard surfaces, such as sidewalks (except for water brooms)

The ban on the serving of water to customers in eating establishments, unless water is requested.

A limit on outdoor watering to 15 minutes per water station.

The ban on washing cars without shut off mechanisms on the hose.

The banning on watering of large landscape areas that do not have rain sensors.

The requirement that hotels and motels inform guests of the option to reuse towels (yuck).

The allowance of an exemption for using gray water (double yuck).

So the Mayor arrives and gives a brief speech, blah, blah. It turns out that Los Angeles, the mayor informs us, will have an army of drought busters. 16 strong. The drought busters will patrol LA, to insure that no one, for example, waters their lawn for 18 minutes instead of 15. A series of warnings and fines have been designed for the drought busters to issue to uncooperative citizens.

Then someone from the Department of Water and Power spoke, more blah, blah.

Then question time. Two questions were asked and then it was my turn. I manged to work my way directly in front of the mayor and ask my question eyeball to eyeball:

Economics 101 teaches that a shortage is only caused by incorrect pricing of product. Why don't you just let supply and demand set the price for water and eliminate the shortage and eliminate the need for an expansion of the bureaucracy?

And I waved my hand toward the drought busters. The mayor's response?

A total 100% diss. He turned completely away from me and said, "Next question."

No, "That will take too long to answer at this conference."

Just a brutal, cold, turn and "Next question."

More questions were asked, and in one answer the mayor said, we are going to teach the kids in school about conservation." My knee jerk free market economic instincts took over. OMG, the kids, the kids! They are going to teach the kids commie anti-free market distribution methods. The mayor took half a breath, just enough for me to shout out another question: "Do you teach basic economics in your schools?"

Of course, the mayor ignored the question.

Who ever thought that asking a Mayor a simple question about basic supply and demand would irritate a mayor, and cause him to diss the questioner.

Well, Mr Mayor, the great media outlet EPJ will not take being dissed, lightly.

I have held a corporate wide meeting with myself and reached the conclusion that we will now monitor for EPJ the complete mayoral policies of one, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, specifically with regard to economic policies and economic knowledge. It will be thorough, on going and deep. Further, I am pulling all copyright restrictions at EPJ on all posts that reference Antonio Villaraigosa. Anyone doing opposition research in any future election race against Villaraigosa is free to use any knowledge, information or dirt we uncover about him. Let's nail this clown.


  1. How the heck do you expect mayor Villaraigosa to know Economics when he can’t even pass the Bar Exam (he failed in all 4 or 5 attempts). And he is supposed to be a lawyer.

    Another product of ‘Affirmative Action’, maybe?

  2. Not serving water at restaurants (unless specifically requested) isn't just a useless measure — it could be harmful.
    People tend to not drink enough water — inadequate hydration is a health risk. If customers drink a soda instead — that could contribute to obesity. Finally, some people will buy bottled water, after leaving the restaurant — and that would go against the latest eco-fascist cause

  3. L.A. and Cali in general are getting what they voted for.
    Pure socialism. Enjoy it.