Okay, in the spirit of Constantly Amazingness, I have figured out a way to fix California's shattered economy. You're chuckling already? Well, this could be the one that wins the biscuit. All it requires is some of the same civic-minded progressive volunteerism that "Hollywood Liberals" are known for.
Here's the deal, truthseekers:
Of the things for which California is reknowned, at the top of the list, thereabouts, is: The Film Industry. And if there's one thing the Studios know how to do, it's make money. I mean, it's an American stereotype, isn't it? Rich producers, directors, actors & actresses, and all manner of industry insiders. Even talentless human mannequins who chatter with celebs of all levels make more in 5 minutes than I'll probably earn over my entire lifetime.
So, with that in mind, here's my idea: California already has all the infrastructure in place, as well as most of the industry talent, so: I think that the state should go into the movie business.
Now, just for clarification, I am not talking about tourism documentaries here. I am talking about full-blown world-class movie making, with all the production value of a seasonal blockbuster. Picture this: Directors, performers, etc., volunteer their time to contribute to the production of a film that is designed to generate profit. Again, I am talking real-deal cinematography here. Imagine some of the greats who are financially able to contribute and would be happy to do it: civic-minded directors like Rob Reiner come to mind, or Ron Howard, (Scorcese would do it... for NY), and countless others from, as I said, all areas of the entertainment industry. Tim Robbins & Susan Sarandon. Barbara Streisand. Janene Garofolo!
Eventually, after a hit or two, volunteerism would not be necessary, as the state-run studio would be self-sustaining and profit-generating. It could establish its own competitive television network, with all profits going into state coffers.
The scenario I imagine is a serious enterprise, not a publicity stunt. What kind of money are we talking about? Well, here are a few profitable movies and their numbers:
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King $470,513,663.00
Jurassic Park $397,050,000.00
Shrek 2 $388,060,852.00
Star Wars $387,950,000.00
ET: The Extra-Terrestrial $385,955,277.00
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest $382,185,666.00
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers $369,142,189.00
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone $362,278,946.00
Star Wars: Phantom Menace $347,144,149.00
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets $339,493,940.00
Finding Nemo $339,457,489.00
Independence Day $333,484,628.00
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring $324,841,547.00
Lost World: Jurassic Park $318,343,340.00
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith $309,235,289.00
Lion King, The $304,777,781.00
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire $296,106,518.00
Sixth Sense, The $291,250,838.00
Forrest Gump $284,700,000.00
And that's just a few movies. If I am not mistaken, there is even bigger money in television and DVD releases.
California's budget deficit is something like $40 billion. It has all the tools at hand to start is own entertainment empire; one that would reap profits at hundreds of millions of dollars a pop. That's one way to make a dent in a deficit.