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Antonio Villaraigosa's $30,000 a Day Trip to Asia: Another Empty Gesture as 13 Percent Jobless Rate Grips Los Angeles

Antonio Villaraigosa with other people's money.

KCETAntonio Villaraigosa with other people's money.

Thankfully, we have CitywatchLA explaining how Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa spends bundles of cash on pointless gestures. His trip to Asia, which will have zero effect on the Los Angeles economy, is burning $30,000 a day.

Villaraigosa says he's going to create jobs by going to China. Villaraigosa, a long-struggling politician, has no clue how to create jobs.

L.A. relied, insanely, on constructing buildings for its jobs in the 2000s. It was mad group behavior. Books one day will tell how the obsession by speculators, lenders and politicians caused L.A.'s bubble and burst, leaving ugly 13 percent unemployment. The obsession's grinning cheerleader was the badly educated, barely business-savvy Villaraigosa:

"I want the official bird of Los Angeles to be the construction crane," Villaraigosa grinned and told the cameras repeatedly.

People asked if the city should put all its eggs in one basket:

Should the key political policies at City Hall, supposedly aimed at growth, be tilted so wildly toward erecting buildings? Even as the city's decaying infrastructure and high taxes were driving out the very the businesses who would occupy the new buildings and whose workers would buy the new condos?

That economic question was a question any economics major at Cal State Northridge or Cal State L.A. could ask.

But it was too difficult for Villaraigosa and his 200 personal aides, an entourage so big it has never before been seen in Los Angeles City Hall.

Now, we see a trip to Asia, supposedly to bring back the "jobs." Or is it just more patronage money floating around in City Hall?

As CitywatchLA says:

Are first class travel, luxury suites, and sumptuous dinners appropriate given the dire conditions of the City's finances? And are these type of expenditures even permitted under the travel policies of these two proprietary departments?

The writer, Jack Humpreville, goes on to mention the blockbuster on KCET the other day, in which the public TV station revealed the following:

Massive expense account abuse is still rampant at the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles. This included over $14,000 spent at Harold & Belle's Creole Restaurant, one of Herb Wesson's favorite watering holes, and the beneficiary of a highly questionable $2.6 million loan to finance the son's leveraged buyout of his family's business.