What may no longer be a litmus test for Los Angeles is New Deal/Great Society-style economics. Even some of the more devout liberal true believers are beginning to face reality. Keynesianism isn’t working — from Athens to L.A.
Los Angeles, when I arrived back in the early 1970s, was one of the most powerful cities in the world, the media and lifestyle capital for the planet. It is now the shell of its former self, its pothole-filled streets and cracked sidewalks lined with empty storefronts, its freeways crowded and outdated.
No one knows how many are really unemployed and I don’t think anyone wants to know. The statistic would be too stark, as are the statistics for unfunded pensions, etc., which leave Los Angeles and California teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.
Something has to change and you would think that would be fertile ground for the free market-oriented Koch brothers.
Another rap on them is that they know nothing of the newspaper business. But even that may be an advantage. The newspaper business has been in freefall for some time. Unbiased fresh eyes might do something to save it. No one else has.
So I look forward to a Koch brothers takeover of the LAT and hope it happens. Some of this is personal. I have a nostalgic fondness for the L.A. Times. I used to write for it frequently in the past and it helped-jump start my writing career with rave reviews of my first Moses Wine novel The Big Fix and of the film I co-wrote with Paul Mazursky, Enemies, A Love Story. Other books of mine appeared as front-page reviews in their now defunct book section.
Of course that changed when I went to the right. I’m persona non grata now to the Times. Not a word appeared about my memoir of political change. I understand space is limited, but I don’t think it’s too excessive to say that as a hometown boy, I deserved better. I have strong reasons to believe — even to know — that they no longer wanted to hear from me.
I expect to be treated better under a Koch regime — not favorably, just equally. That would be a good libertarian approach.