California Dreamin'

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is obviously not living in the real world. Of course, he's governor of the Dreamland known as California, so I guess I can't blame him. In opening the 2009 CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany, he told those attending to not be "losers" and to "pump up the economy". The state's head cheerleader said, "Losers whine but winners move forward in a strong and powerful way."

Of course, he didn't offer any advice about how, specifically, we were supposed to pump up the economy. Resellers are facing an enormous downturn, PC sales are predicted to hit record lows, customers are cutting back and delaying projects, and deal sizes are getting smaller. When you're a small business with less money coming in, or when you've just gotten laid off from your job, or when you're a homeowner facing foreclosure, there's not a whole lot of pumping up that you can do. But Arnold and his rich friends would know nothing about that.

The Governor's home state knows very little about "pumping up the economy", rather, it does much better at driving away businesses and the middle class that makes it work. As a former Californian myself, I've seen this directly, in my one-time residence of San Francisco. In the most recent issue of The Economist, an article titled "Californication" drove this point home, saying "...San Francisco, is a combination of a playground for the ultra-rich and a sewer for the underclass, with the middle classes priced out of the market." (I currently live in the Midwest, where a middle-class person can actually still buy a house.) Wall Street, bankers, the government, and the great State of California as well, have all given us the shaft, and now Governor Schwarzenegger says for us to just take it and stop whining.

Of course, we do, as an industry, have to "move forward". But, I think we've earned the right to complain as well.

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