CA Government Assists Human Traffic Trade - Advertises Otherwise!
Food for thought?
Also of Interest...
Who can trust a Conservative Union Newspaper owned by the Liberal Sacramento Bee?
"Not I!," says this Independent. This weeks foray into incomplete journalism was a "Special to The Union." According to the article "Task Force Human Trafficking Report in California," the UC Berkeley Human Rights Center (UCBHRC) identified 57 forced labor operations in almost a dozen cities, between 500 individuals from 18 countries.
The intent is to make this sound like this horribly huge problem deserving millions, if not billions, of dollars of public attention. (It is in fact the largest criminal occupation in the world, not even tied for second!)
Let me put this in perspective by rephrasing. The UCBHRC identified 57 forced labor operations (Assuming that each operation is its own business, we're saying that out of 1,265,268 businesses, this industry represents .005% of CA businesses). ...in almost a dozen cities (there are 958 cities in CA, that's means less than 2% of CA cities have forced labor operations). Now all of these stats represent the years 1998 to 2003. Does that mean you can divide the above percents by 5? That makes the former .005% into .001% and the latter 2% into .04%.
Then we have 500 trafficking associated law breakers in a state of 36,457,549 people. That's about .001% of the people. They are from 18 countries out of 194 countries. That's 9% of the countries. Again, over 5 years. That's .0002% and 1.8% respectively. What proportion of the states budget is being spent on this? The article and the state are NOT talking.
According to the Kamala Harris, DA of San Francisco, SF couldn't handle the problem in their own city and needed CA to make a new law, AB22, The California Trafficking Victims Protection Act. Harris said, "California took an enormous leap forward with AB22 by providing powerful tools to crack down on traffickers..." What tools??? He/She says that the problem is the vastness of our ports, airports and borders.
The Union gives no mention of the task force costs, or the fact that our laws are the number one reason for the trafficking and associated problems. Let me point out that there's a lot of money associated with the problem. Should the problem go away, there would not be so much money. Take Kay Buck, Executive Director of the Coalition to abolish Trafficking & Slavery in Los Angeles. How much money does an executive director make? How much is CA spending on this small percentage problem? Some Californians think the money is irrelevant. Do they think that the money is irrelevant to the traffickers or folks that hire the trafficked? How much did AB22 cost? How much did SB1569 cost? What lobbyists were involved? What did they cost? What did the proclamation of January 11 of each year as National Human Trafficking Day cost? Only my hairdresser knows for sure.
These new laws as in the case of drug laws, will probably make trafficking even more rewarding by driving up the prices. Corruption will increase and government will devote more taxes to enabling the traffickers to make even more money.
Solving the Problem
I'll start by telling Californians what they don't want to hear. In the first place, it is "we the people" that enable the trafficking AND are responsible for the new laws created by our elected representatives. Sure, most of us want to make the world right, but if California is bankrupt morally and financially how can we solve any of California's problems with the hammer of a corrupt government that is so broke it is about to give the largest early release of prisoners in U.S. History. Californians have to use logic to overcome our emotions in order to fight our biggest problem, the deferment of our own personal responsibility to an "emotionally run" California government. Where are you going to get the money for the government to increase the problem?
Personally, we need to be more informed and the Union, like the Sacramento Bee, is too political to help. Both papers sell to our emotions and not to logic. Let's see some more facts and figures and not such an emotional one sided political response by those with a vested interest in the problem never going away.
Lastly, prior laws covered these problems. San Francisco didn't manage the problem in their own city. Amazing! A socialist city that can't cure a social problem! Of course they probably blame the rest of us, but really, it is simply another problem San Franciscans couldn't deal with "collectively" and too many San Franciscans can't think individually. Remember, it is some individual that's trafficking people or being trafficked. Perhaps it will take an individual to solve this problem. However, SF doesn't work that way. It works through social collectivism and that almost never works.
I say, "Take responsibility for your own problems, people of San Francisco. You mean to say that nobody in the neighborhood knows what's going on? Nobody says anything? Don't you trust your city government? Didn't you elect the right people from the Democratic or Republican party to run your government? Tsk! Tsk! Tsk! Quit crying to the state about it by misrepresenting the scope of a problem you are too lazy, afraid or bureaucratic to solve on your own."
Michael Patrick Murphy is the author of two books. The Greens and The Government, ISBN 0-595-30863-5. Both are available online or from your favorite bookstores by special order. Mike also ran for the California State Assembly in 2006.
Mike can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org