Heard on MarketPlace:

Kai Ryssdal’s final note…

Ripped from the headlines right here in Los Angeles.

You might have heard about California’s budget troubles and how some state offices have been closing one day a month to save money.

They’ve got nothing on L.A.

This afternoon Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced that all city departments — except police, public safety and those that make money — they’re going to have to shut down two days a week.

The city controller said yesterday L.A.’s going to run out of money by the end of the month.

I remember watching Vivian Albertine when she was playing in Chicago. She started into life in London during the early seventies that included stuff about the city getting its electricity shut off at 7pm and three days/week workweeks for government employees. She then went into life as a punk, and how things were going well in the scene when The Heartbreakers came to town…

“and brought heroin (a pregnant, wistful pause here) and Nancy Spungeon”

She then launched into a song about drugs and the Sex Pistols (what I think the babies line refers to, I’m thinking. Not that I’m in any way sure about it…).

Thing is, while the reference to Sid Vicious is probably the deepest cutting part of her comment, the stuff about London (or LondON, as the city’s advertised to the world as nowadays) struck me equally as deep. After all, this one-time capital of the world seemed about to enter the nether realms of the third world – and we’re talking Dysfunctional African City, not Calcutta or a South American City. And this during the time of Labor Power.

Almost makes you glad for Margaret Thatcher. At least it silences any criticism I may have for the Iron Lady.

And now Los Angeles is about to enter this nether realm of 3rd World status.

Maybe it’s not L.A., nor the state of California.

Maybe it’s the whole of the US joining Mexico as a 3rd world country, with its tent cities (slums) and extreme unemployment. With L.A. leading the way.

Just a thought….

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