In 2015-16, Candidate Trump ran on an anti-immigrant platform, claiming that Mexico was exporting its rapists, murderers and drug lords to the US. Not only was this not true, but there was no crisis at the border – illegal immigration was on a steady downturn and had been since the early 2000s.  Two years later, there is a very real crisis at the border, and President Trump is preparing his re-election campaign on the same themes of building a Southern border wall and cracking down on illegal immigrants. What was fiction then has turned into a real crisis under President Trump’s leadership and management skills (or rather lack thereof). Families from Central America are trying to get from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala into the US and Mexico to claim asylum from the dangerous conditions prevailing in their own countries.

President Trump seems to be in a deep and angry funk, lashing out and firing staff and cabinet members left and right, and is continuing to ever more deeply alienate all but his most core supporters.

I think the nation needs a candidate who can thoroughly trounce him in just as many states as possible – the industrial Midwest, parts of the South and the Southwest – so that there is no earthly doubt about his complete repudiation. It has to be with a message of hope and optimism that appeals to the best in Americans and looks to our collective future, not to their worst fears.

Farm incomes are down and farmer’s debt to asset ratios are increasing. The overall problem for US agricultural incomes is global over-production. This has cut US farmer’s net incomes by about 50% since 2013. The Trump Administration’s policies on trade and immigration are further hurting farmer’s bottom lines.

Steady and strong economic growth is central. It has been strong since the Great Recession under President Obama and now President Trump; however we are overdue for an economic slowdown. We don’t know when it will occur, how long it will last, or how deep it will be. It may occur in the next two to three years. If so, unemployment will rise; businesses will be hurt; tax revenues will fall, and programs most needed by the newly impoverished will be threatened. The next President needs a strong pro-growth economic program and a strong counter-cyclical economic plan to execute during a likely recession.  

By the start of the 2oth Century, Argentina was the 7th wealthiest nation in the world, based in large part on its strong agricultural sector, but also on its growing industrialization. Argentina is now ranked in the mid 50’s in per capita GDP; its per capita GDP is about 1/4th of the US. This is a huge, beautiful and under-populated nation of 46 million; most live in and around Buenos Aires (14 million). What happened to its economy over the last 120 years

Socialism is when the state owns the means of production. The British National Health Service is socialized medicine in that the state pays the doctors and nurses a salary (they are employees of the state and the state owns the hospitals); it works very well. Great Britain is not a socialist state, but it has chosen socialized medicine to deliver health care for its citizens. Cuba is a socialist state that likewise uses socialized medicine to deliver health care to its citizens. While its economy is a mess, its delivery of health care is excellent with very good health outcomes.

The California Constitution guarantees the right to a free public school education in Article 9. It finds “SECTION 1.  A general diffusion of knowledge and intelligence being essential to the preservation of the rights and liberties of the people, the Legislature shall encourage by all suitable means the promotion of intellectual, scientific, moral, and agricultural improvement.” In Section 5 it requires the state legislature to assure that every child is educated. “SEC. 5.  The Legislature shall provide for a system of common schools by which a free school shall be kept up and supported in each district at least six months in every year, after the first year in which a school has been established.” 

Public education funding in the US is mostly from local property taxes. As a result of residential living patterns, it is highly inequitable; students whose families live in high income communities get far more funding for their public school education while students whose families live in in poorer communities get far less.

LAUSD School Board Election on Tuesday, March 5

Allison Bajracharya for LAUSD Board District 5


There are a lot of candidates running to succeed Ref Rodriquez in LAUSD Board District 5. The problem is it’s a special election, and very few people vote in special elections, so learn about the candidates, do vote for the one you think can best make a difference in educating our children. We need a fearless, dynamic and effective leader for all children. I hope you’ll consider Allison Bajracharya.

California Spending and Funding for K-12 Education


In light of the LA Teacher’s strike, I have been wondering about California’s funding for K-12 education. In the Governor’s Proposed Budget for 2019-20, the Department of Finance (DOF) reports that California will fund K-12 education at a bit over $17,000 per student in the coming fiscal year. DOF points to very steady and very large increases in K-12 funding growing from $47 billion in FY 2011-12 to $80 billion in FY 2019-20.

We have a wealth of strong Democratic candidates to consider for 2020. So far I find Cory Booker the most accomplished, most inspirational, the gutsiest and most in touch with the directions our nation needs to move.

Governor Newsom has recently proposed to further improve California’s individual market, building on the improvements pioneered in the Affordable Care Act and implemented by Covered California. He mentions three key issues: premium assistance extended to 600% of the federal poverty level (FPL), greater assistance with premium assistance and cost sharing for individuals with incomes less than 400% of FPL, and reinstating the individual mandate. He as yet has given no details.