I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Capitalists Governing Arizona: No Wonder.

I already embedded a few comments (okay - veiled expletives) in the article, just so you know I have a real problem with this forum. They do something like this every month it seems - round up experts to put their stamp of approval on capitalist exploitation and repression. It's always the economists who are telling us how we should fix our social problems most authoritatively - guess that is the bottom line here.  As far as I'm concerned, though, the economic model itself is the problem, but you'll never hear one of these folks say something like that. They're "experts", and that's why my legislators will listen to them but not any of us. We're just The People - we should shut up, work hard, pay our taxes, and let them do their magic to make this a beautiful place for all of us (they've done such a good job already).

Encouraging non-partisan, objective look at fiscal facts


By Jack Cox
Special to the Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 11.15.2009

On Tuesday more than a third of the Arizona Legislature from both parties will meet with leaders from throughout the state in a Governing Arizona Forum to focus on the important decisions ahead that shape the future of the state.

Though low taxes and limited government have kept down the cost of living in Arizona, the state's future economic strength will be driven by a robust business environment dependent on an educated work force, sufficient public services, and an equitable tax system.

The nation's financial downturn has significantly impacted Arizona by reducing tax revenue which, in turn, impacts public education, public safety, law enforcement, transportation and other vital services traditionally provided by the government.

The recession has also impacted private businesses through slowed sales, forcing some to close their doors, and dramatically reducing home construction.

As policy makers debate Arizona's government spending and revenue issues, it is critically important that leaders in the public and private sectors balance the appropriate role of government in providing services while evaluating the potential need to realign the state's fiscal and tax policies.

The bottom line is that Arizona has important decisions to make today that will impact the future of generations to come.

Governing Arizona's goal

These decisions must be based upon substantive, objective, non-partisan information and analysis and not upon political rhetoric or public opinion polls.(this forum isn't objective...)

That is the purpose of Governing Arizona, a project of the Thomas R. Brown Foundations (TRFB), based in Tucson, and The Communications Institute (TCI), to provide objective analysis of Arizona's fiscal condition and to provide that analysis to the public and leaders from all sectors.


Governing Arizona, as a non-partisan project, is chaired by two former presidents of the Arizona State Senate: Supervisor Pete Rios of Pinal County, and Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett. It is based upon previous work of the sponsors, which involved the input and sponsorship of leaders from both parties including members of the State Legislature, the Governor's Office, and the Arizona Corporation Commission.


The project includes the development of objective research assessing the spending and services provided by governments at the state and local levels, and the operation of the current tax system.

The first report will be presented at state-wide forum of leaders on Tuesday, including more than a third of the members of the state Legislature.

It was developed by Alan Maguire, an expert on Arizona fiscal history and advisor to numerous governors and Legislatures from both parties, plus scholars from the University of California-San Diego and the University of Southern California.

The report provides the first comparison of state spending and taxation over four decades plus an in-depth assessment of how other states have been impacted by fiscal challenges and their causes.


The program is being presented with W.P. Carey School of Business and the Department of Economics at Arizona State University and the University of Southern California. It is also being cosponsored by the Arizona Daily Star, Arizona Republic, Arizona Capitol Times, the County Supervisors Association of Arizona and the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.(okay - no way is this thing "non-partisan" or objective - look at that list)

Governing Arizona project is a natural extension of previous work done by TRBF and TCI working in part with the Arizona Daily Star.(A little self-congratulatory, aren't we? Is the AZ Daily Star really in a position to claim that they're objective if they're promoting their own stuff? Ah, well - it is just an opinion piece...)

In the last four years, TRBF and TCI have conducted programs and research projects on immigration, sustainable growth, energy and the economy.

These programs have utilized respected scholars and research from such leading institutions as Harvard University, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, RAND Corporation, Sandia National Laboratories, University of Pennsylvania, Arizona State University, University of Texas-Austin, University of Arizona, University of California and University of Southern California.(I don't find them all that impressive).

In 2010, Governing Arizona programs will reach citizens and policy makers with a variety of events throughout the state.

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