Crane's Corner: 6-17-21 Six Flags Over Gavin

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I recently made the observation--which here in California is probably not the majority view--that Governor Gavin Newsom got it right--that his handling of the Pandemic, which led to some long and frustrating shutdowns worked out better, in terms of numbers than many other states, including big ones like Texas and Florida that re opened earlier. California has fewer Corona virus deaths per capita, and while lots of jobs were lost, they came mostly from the travel and hospitality industries, which combined have a relatively small impact on the state's GDP. In fact 15 months after CO VID came calling, California has a 75 billion dollar budget surplus.

Well leave it to Gavin Newsom to make one rethink his management style--and his priorities. Here we are in mid June, in the midst of a long triple digit heat wave. The Governor should be trying to figure out how the lights will be kept on for millions of residents, and how to handle what always seems to be triggered in a California heat wave, wildfires which consume acreage and all too often, homes and human lives. He should also be working harder on the state budget, which isn’t quite ready, even though the courageous state legislature gave it’s preliminary blessing without which, under state law they would forfeit their paychecks.

So what has Newsom been doing? Giving away big money to people already vaccinated. The idea is big payouts will incentivize more people to get the shot. No, Governor it won’t. You have to be in it to win it as they say and the money will have been doled out to those already in the pool--people whose names were harvested from a documented list of the already vaccinated. So far 10 lucky Californians have been picked as the winners of a 1.5 million dollar prize. 30 other immunized Golden Staters got 50 grand for getting the shot. They get money for having gotten the shot, not for thinking about getting one. To motivate the unvaccinated, the amusement park chain, Six Flags is donating $4.5 million in free tickets, quite a thank you to the guy who put them out of business for a year.

Newsom has said he’s had fun acting like a TV game show host, and feels like Oprah as he gives away money. Big money to people who got the shot, less cash or other compensation to those who finally get around to it.

It sounds like it should be the other way around. Or just a highly publicized plan to get voters on your side as California edges closer to a vote to get Newsom to stop spending millions, by taking away his job. The recall effort will probably fall short, but if you’re Gavin Newsom with all that cash to throw around, why take a chance?

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