MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘California’

Empty Christmas stockings? Don’t blame COVID; blame California – American Thinker

Posted by M. C. on October 17, 2021

Empty Christmas stockings? Don’t blame COVID; blame California

https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2021/10/empty_christmas_stockings_dont_blame_covid_blame_california.html

By Andrea Widburg

The conventional wisdom from the left is that COVID is the reason that shipping containers are in the waters off California with no stevedores or truckers available to take care of them.  The implication is that if people would stop being selfish and take the vaccines, the whole problem would magically vanish.  That’s nonsense.  As a couple of astute articles explain, the problem is that California has passed two laws — one for “climate change” and the other as a sop to the unions — that destroyed much of California’s trucking industry.  Add in woes unique to the industry and COVID payments that discourage people from working and…voilà!…empty Christmas stockings.

Stephen Green, at PJ Media, explains some of what’s going on.  As a preliminary matter, truckers are aging out of the job, and new ones aren’t coming along.  Because federal law requires that truckers be at least 21, kids who leave school at 17 or 18 get involved in other careers, leaving trucker shortfalls.  Women don’t offset this problem because, as is typical for most physically difficult jobs, it’s not their thing.  Those are long-term problems.

The short-term problem, though, is that California has passed laws taking trucks off the road:

Twitter user Jerry Oakley reminds us that “Carriers domiciled in California with trucks older than 2011 model, or using engines manufactured before 2010, will need to meet the Board’s new Truck and Bus Regulation beginning in 2020.” Otherwise, “Their vehicles will be blocked from registration with the state’s DMV,” according to California law.

“The requirement is to purchase electric trucks which do not exist.”

Top Articles By American Thinker

The Left’s Psychiatric Weapon

Sundance, at Conservative Treehouse, expands on this, explaining that the EPA reached an agreement with the California Air Resource Board

to shut down semi tractor rigs that were non-compliant with new California emission standards. [snip] In effect, what this 2020 determination and settlement created was an inability of half the nation’s truckers from picking up anything from the Port of LA or Port of Long Beach. Virtually all private owner operator trucks and half of the fleet trucks that are used for moving containers across the nation were shut out.

In an effort to offset the problem, transportation companies started using compliant trucks (low emission) to take the products to the California state line, where they could be transferred to non-compliant trucks who cannot enter California.   However, the scale of the problem creates an immediate bottleneck that builds over time. It doesn’t matter if the ports start working 24/7, they are only going to end up with even more containers waiting on a limited amount of available trucks.

That’s Problem No. 1.

Problem No. 2, again according to Green, is California’s infamous AB-5, the law that, as a sop to the Democrats’ beloved unions, killed the gig economy:

“Traditionally the ports have been served by Owner Operators,” Oakley says, who are non-union. But under AB-5, “California has now banned Owner Operators.”

Just like the union longshoremen, union truckers work under a whole host of work rules that simply can’t accommodate crisis conditions like the ones in Los Angeles.

(Incidentally, Green says AB-5’s language is included in the “Build Back Better” bill in Congress.)

All of this means that Biden’s grandstanding about having the ports operate 24/7 won’t make a difference.  The greenies and the unions killed the infrastructure to unload those ships, with COVID restrictions, trucking restrictions, and free money landing the coup de grâce that led to this situation.  Biden does have the emergency power to order those California laws in abeyance, but you know he’s not going to do so.

But the more serious underlying problem is that, in a distant, wonderful past, America didn’t need to rely on containers from Asia to fill her store shelves and Christmas stockings.  America was a manufacturing dynamo that fulfilled American needs and still had enough left over for the rest of the world.  Those things were well made, too.

Thanks to our Devil’s bargain with communist China, we have no manufacturing sector and are utterly dependent on China, both for things we like and things we need.  Biden’s inflationary politics and crackdown on fossil fuels mean that it will be virtually impossible for a renaissance in American manufacturing.  Trump tried to stop this situation, but China owns so much of America’s political and industrial class that the pushback shackled his presidency and pushed him straight out of the White House.

It’s a depressing scenario, but the rosy side is that China’s got a problem if America can’t open the door to its products.  Add to this the disastrous collapse in China’s real property sector, and China may be hurting as badly as we are.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

California bans gas-powered lawn equipment and other ‘small off-road engines’

Posted by M. C. on October 13, 2021

The law will apply not only to gas-powered lawn equipment, but also to generators and emergency response equipment and other assorted categories

Jameson Dow

California will ban “small off-road engines” (SORE) primarily used in gas-powered lawn equipment, such as leaf blowers and lawnmowers, in a law signed by Governor Gavin Newsom this weekend.

The bill, AB 1346, directs California’s Air Resources Board to draw up regulations that will go into place by 2024. It bans the sale of new SOREs, but does not seem to ban their operation.

The law will apply not only to gas-powered lawn equipment, but also to generators and emergency response equipment and other assorted categories. The bill does give regulators some leeway with the regulations based on what is found to be “technologically feasible,” so some portions of the regulation may be pushed back beyond 2024.

California’s reasoning for the ban is because gas-powered lawn equipment produces surprisingly high levels of pollution, but these devices have not been subject to nearly as much regulation as vehicle engines allowing them to pollute with impunity. The small engines in this equipment don’t fully combust the gasoline used to run them, which means they emit high levels of particulate exhaust. This exhaust forms smog, which contributes to poor air quality and harms health.

In fact, they’re so dirty that according to California regulators, SOREs in California contribute more total nitrous oxide (NOx) and reactive organic gases (ROG) pollution than passenger cars do statewide. Operating a gas leaf blower for one hour can produce as many NOx+ROG emissions as driving 1,100 miles in a new passenger car.

Passenger cars still produce more global warming emissions than SOREs do, but the health effects of these small engines are much heavier than you’d think. And they’re annoyingly noisy, too (and noise pollution also kills).

The bill underlines that there are perfectly good zero-emission replacements for these engines, and these are available at low cost. Some regulators already have rebate programs to reduce the cost of shifting to electric lawn mowers, for both residential and commercial users. These programs have been in place for a long time because lawn equipment is comparatively cheap and very polluting, so regulators can get a lot of bang for their buck by incentivizing retirement of SOREs. AB 1346 directs state agencies to increase funding to these programs to support the transition to zero-emission equipment.

If you’re in California (or anywhere else that has air), check out Electrek’s “Green Deals” section where we periodically post green tech deals. You’ll find deals on electric lawn equipment quite often, so save yourself a few bucks while helping to save the lungs and ears of your neighborhood, too. And check with your state clean air regulator to see if any rebates are available – here’s California’s page, with links to regional incentives for various parts of California.

People who’ve made the switch to electric lawn equipment also seem to love them. I’ve heard a lot of positive feedback from owners. In particular, our publisher, Seth Weintraub, loves his (and he won’t stop talking about it in our Slack channel either):

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Gavin Newsom Named U-Haul Salesperson Of The Year

Posted by M. C. on September 21, 2021

https://babylonbee.com/news/gavin-newsom-named-u-haul-salesperson-of-the-year

SACRAMENTO, CA—U-Haul has named Governor Gavin Newsom its Salesperson of the Year for the third year in a row after a record-setting sales quarter.

“We are astounded by the growth we’ve seen in California,” said U-Haul’s Western Regional Director Fennick Buggstein. “Thanks to Gavin Newsom, literally every middle-class family has moved out of the state! It’s been impossible to keep up with demand! Also, most of our workers left the state too, which kind of stinks.” 

In their second-quarter earnings statement, U-Haul revealed their sales on the West Coast have increased over 37,000% as every human with a pulse and marginal desire for a better life has packed up all their worldly belongings and chosen to leave for greener pastures in a giant U-Haul truck. 

“We are deeply grateful to Gavin for our success in 2021,” said Buggstein. “The only problem now is that we’re all out of trucks. And no one is willing to drive a U-Haul back to California. And I’m leaving with my family as well. So I guess this is it! Bye everyone!” Buggstein then jumped in the last U-Haul with his family and took off for Texas. 

Congrats to Gavin Newsom!

Bee seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Change Is Coming to California — Recall Election or Not – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on September 15, 2021

Welcome to the new American revolution. Cultural and spiritual revival is breaking out all over California, home-by-home, person-by-person. It is not going away. Quite to the contrary, it is going to spread from California across this country.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/09/allan-stevo/change-is-coming-to-california-recall-election-or-not/

By Allan Stevo

It is Recall Day, September 14, 2021, and ballots are everywhere, as freely as syringes on the streets of San Francisco.

People all over the state are showing up to vote and being told they have already voted.

Police in California pulled over a guy with a back seat full of blank recall ballots and drugs.

This will be the crookedest election since whatever election was the last one to take place in some third world banana republic.

There is only a year and some months left for whoever wins the recall, and that period in office may be significantly shortened by the inability to determine results any time soon.

One of the system’s plans is to lengthen the counting process considerably and leave Newsom in his seat.

Whoever wins the recall will have a massive government working against him or her to deal with. This will make change hard. Unless, of course, it is Newsom or a Democrat who wins, in which case government will work for them and no change will take place.

Nonetheless, Newsom is sweating. French Laundry, where he dined with lobbyists with no mask, is dragging him down. His son going to camp with no mask, is dragging him down. Rules for thee, but not for me, is dragging him down. The leader of his party, is even dragging him down, even during the honeymoon period of his time in the Oval Office.

The leader of the party is more popular than even Barack Obama, with the current leader of the party having revived 81 million votes. The highest vote winner of any presidential candidate ever, somehow doesn’t have the polling numbers to support that theory. In some jurisdictions, he was so popular among the people that he even got more votes than there are voters. The narrative is falling apart.

Yes, Newsom is sweating. He is begging his base for help by claiming that candidates running against him are far right extremists. These are candidates that are about as politically centric, flexible, and uniparty-friendly as Marco Rubio or John Kerry. Extreme is simply not the word to describe them.

See the rest here

Allan Stevo [send him mail] writes about international politics and culture from a free market perspective at 52 Weeks in Slovakia (www.52inSk.com). He is the author of How to Win America, The Bitcoin Manifesto, and numerous other books.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

The ABC’s of PRO | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on June 22, 2021

California’s bill to regulate the gig economy of freelance contractors… regulate out of existence. Unless, your freelance job is protected by a powerful, well-funded Union, like the truckers union, who have received exemptions. A judge has ruled that truck drivers in California are not subject to Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5), a new gig economy law that seeks to reclassify many contractors as employees. 

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/the-abcs-of-pro/

by Bob Fiedler

Just when you thought our wise overlords in government couldn’t make our economic situation any worse, Joe Biden dares to dream the impossible dream, and endorses legislation to stick it to freelance contractors called: The PRO Act. This is nearly identical to the legislation California’s democratic super-majority pushed through on a State level.

I covered that bill’s causes and effects in both an article and podcast episode called “California Reaming.”

That may be helpful to watch or re-watch, to compare California’s Assembly Bill 5 (or AB5) with Biden’s current PRO act legislation.

As we all know, there’s nothing Democrats care more about than looking out for “the little guy.” It’s precisely that selfless compassion that makes them a better person than the rest of us. But their genuine belief that the important thing is to do something to feel like you are helping, instead of judging their success by a real-world assessment of this kind of legislation’s effects has already proved ruinous to California businesses. There is no reason to expect any difference on a national level, should the PRO Act pass.

In this article, I want to discuss what is known as the ABC test that has been used to apply to judicial scrutiny in places like CA where this law is in effect and is a central feature of the PRO Act as well. This will be followed by a deep dive into the Constitution’s “Contracts Clause” to discuss what this clause means and the myriad ways it relates to modern legislation like AB5 or Pro Act.

California’s bill to regulate the gig economy of freelance contractors… regulate out of existence. Unless, your freelance job is protected by a powerful, well-funded Union, like the truckers union, who have received exemptions. A judge has ruled that truck drivers in California are not subject to Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5), a new gig economy law that seeks to reclassify many contractors as employees. 

The regulations, which went into effect January 1 of 2020, were drafted in response to the case of Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles. Filed by Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, the landmark court case established a three-pronged “ABC test” to determine if an individual is properly labeled as an employee versus a contractor.

What Is ABC Test

The PRO Act uses an identical ABC test to delineate employers and contractors and is crucial to understand. So precisely what does it entail and how does it function

  1. A contractor must control their workload,
  2. Not perform work within the business’s primary scope of operations,
  3. And be “customarily engaged” in the occupation.

This test constitutes the level of judicial scrutiny applied when a law is challenged. In this case it is done so as a matter of rational basis review. Rational basis review seeks to determine whether a law is “rationally related” to a “legitimate” government interest, whether real or hypothetical.

Companies are trying their level best to circumvent that standard, which would unravel large portions of the gig economy. 

See the rest here

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: California Is Worse Than You Think

Posted by M. C. on January 14, 2021

For example, the California legislature in its progressive wisdom effectively decriminalized theft as long as thieves take less than $950 worth of merchandise, officially reducing such theft to a misdemeanor but in effect making it legal, since progressive California prosecutors don’t like to be bothered by petty criminals.

Democrats also have the immigrant vote in their back pockets, and California has seen a wave of immigrants help turn it into a one-party state. For now, the numbers are just overwhelming, and we can expect California to move even further to the left as its housing and poverty problems become worse and Democrats successfully convince voters that free markets are cause.

https://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2021/01/california-is-worse-than-you-think.html

By William L. Anderson

My colleague from the philosophy department was becoming increasingly angry. He was trying to be polite, but it was clear that he was raging inside. After a few minutes, he smiled a very strained smile and excused himself.

Our conversation was about California, or to be more specific, California governance. As readers can imagine, he was bullish on how the Democratic Party governs the state, California being perhaps the most one-party state in the USA. Every statewide election has gone to a Democrat in the last decade, and Democrats have a supermajority in the state legislature, which means that there is no meaningful Republican opposition and whatever the Democrats want, they get.

Not surprisingly, California governance is squarely progressive. The unions representing government employees effectively run the legislature, and as a result, pay, benefits, and pensions for those workers increasingly are straining the state budgets. (Steven Greenhut, a libertarian journalist based in California has documented the unsustainable growth of government in that state for nearly two decades.) Yet, the state continues to march politically and economically in the progressive direction as though the laws of economics didn’t matter.

For the most part, I have observed progressive California from far away, but my life took a different turn a few years ago, and the state is becoming my new home. I married a retired nurse from Sacramento in 2018, and because of health issues with her adult daughter, she has had to remain in that city, something not in our original plans. Because our campus either has been closed or severely restricted during the covid-19 lockdowns, I have spent most of the past year working from my wife’s home.

Living and working in California has offered me the opportunity to observe California progressivism up close, and it has been an interesting experience. Yes, the state where I officially reside, Maryland, is famously one-party and progressive, but the progressivism of California makes Maryland’s legislature look almost red state by comparison and surreally so in some ways.

For example, the California legislature in its progressive wisdom effectively decriminalized theft as long as thieves take less than $950 worth of merchandise, officially reducing such theft to a misdemeanor but in effect making it legal, since progressive California prosecutors don’t like to be bothered by petty criminals. In practice, that means consumer goods are much harder to find in California stores than one might experience elsewhere. For me, the difference was quite revealing, as I recently returned to Maryland after spending close to nine months in Sacramento.

When I go to the Walmart near my wife’s home, I find that many things that openly are on display in Maryland are behind locked cases in California. Furthermore, California’s draconian labor laws mean Walmart has fewer employees, so if I wish to purchase something I easily could buy in Maryland, I have to wait for a long time and often I just walk away because no one is available to open the glass case. Yet, even with these provisions, shoplifting losses for California retailers are enormous, and the state’s protheft laws have encouraged organized grab-and-run rings.

My progressive colleagues, like my philosophy professor friend, see no problem with such developments. To them, the real thieves are the capitalists, the retailers like Walmart that refuse to pay “living wages” to their employees, and, according to Senator Bernie Sanders, the capitalists have “been looting” Americans for years. Thus, the wave of theft in that state is a positive development, according to progressives.

I can go on, but it isn’t difficult to expose the vast array of sins (economic and otherwise) committed by the California political classes, and I liken this kind of punditry to swinging a bat in a room full of pinatas—one simply cannot miss. Steven Greenhut has been exposing California’s follies for years. However, perhaps the best recent commentary I have read on the progressive mentality that governs the state comes from blogger Mike Solana, who deftly skewers progressive politicians from the Golden State who now are accusing the tech industry of having “extracted wealth” from California and then left for the greener pastures of lower-tax havens such as Texas and Florida.

Solana’s rip is worth the read if for no other reason than that he exposes the cluelessness of progressive politicians and pundits, and one can be assured that progressive politicians will fit Tallyrand’s description of the Bourbons: “They had learned nothing, and had forgotten nothing.” Yet, Solana also is puzzled as to why Bay Area politicians who fail spectacularly also win landslide elections:

Nothing in San Francisco can be set on a path to slow correction until at least six of the eleven district board seats along with the mayorship belong to sane, goal-oriented leaders cognizant of our city’s many problems, and single-mindedly focused on solving them. These politicians will likewise need to be extremely well-funded. This is to say we need a political class, funded by a political machine, neither of which currently exist. Even were both the class and the funding apparatus to rapidly emerge, and even were the new political coalition to win an undefeated string of miracle elections, it would take four years to seize meaningful political power from the resident psychotics in charge, who, as per the last election, appear to be very popular among close to ninety percent of voters (a curiosity for another wire). This is to say nothing of the broader Bay Area political toxicity, nor the state political dynamics, which are poised to exacerbate every one of our problems. It is a multi-front political catastrophe.

During the covid-19 pandemic, which California politicians—and especially Governor Gavin Newsom—mismanaged spectacularly, California voters overwhelmingly chose the progressive status quo. While writers go on and on about the mind-boggling politics of California, the voters continue to send the left-wing progressives into office at all levels of government. While some might believe that “education” is the key to the so-called self-governance of democracy, voters in California clearly are choosing their candidates for reasons other than demonstrating wisdom in office. Indeed, why voters insist on putting the worst on top is perhaps the most intriguing question one asks about California politics.

Typical wisdom says that voters “vote for their pocketbooks,” but the progressives whom the lower-income voters overwhelmingly choose to elect are responsible for California having the nation’s highest poverty rates. Furthermore, for all the antiwealth rhetoric that California’s progressive candidates spew out, the very poor and the very rich voters in California tend to choose and support the same candidates, and the Democratic Party is the party of choice of the state’s large number of billionaires.

There is little or nothing that the current progressive state government has done that promotes the promotion of real wealth in California, yet even as state authorities actively destroy economic opportunities, the voters respond by demanding more of the same. That would seem to be a mystery, but maybe not. Let me explain.

In the past few years, wildfires have ravaged huge tracts of mostly public land in California (and in much of the West, although California has been hit the hardest). There are many reasons for the fires, the most obvious being that most of California receives little rainfall and many fires occur in mountainous terrain, where it is difficult to fight them. But there is much more, and most of it has to do with progressive policies. Even the George Soros–funded Pro Publica recognizes the role of fire suppression-based land management practices in making the fires worse:

The pattern is a form of insanity: We keep doing overzealous fire suppression across California landscapes where the fire poses little risk to people and structures. As a result, wildland fuels keep building up. At the same time, the climate grows hotter and drier. Then, boom: the inevitable. The wind blows down a power line, or lightning strikes dry grass, and an inferno ensues. This week we’ve seen both the second- and third-largest fires in California history. “The fire community, the progressives, are almost in a state of panic,” (Tim) Ingalsbee said. There’s only one solution, the one we know yet still avoid. “We need to get good fire on the ground and whittle down some of that fuel load.”

Yet, the progressivist religion that defines the Democratic Party in California cannot acknowledge that the leave-nature-alone policies could have anything to do with the scope and intensity of the wildfires. Instead, the powers that be have decided that climate change—and only climate change—is responsible, and the way to deal with the problem is to impose draconian rules that make life difficult for most people living there, from outlawing new natural gas residential hookups to its infamous “road diets” imposed to discourage people from driving cars. Despite the fact that California politicians, such as Gov. Gavin Newsom, claim that these policies will significantly reduce global temperatures and make wildfires less intense, the reality is quite different, as California accounts for less than 1 percent of so-called greenhouse gases in the world.

Perhaps the most symbolic action by California’s government of progressive arrogance is the continued development of the “bullet train,” an ambitious (to be charitable) project to build high-speed rail from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Under urging from then governor Jerry Brown, voters in the Golden State in 2008 agreed to permit a bond issue to begin funding what Brown claimed would require a maximum of $33 billion. California’s mountainous terrain forced design and route changes, turning the LA-SF “dream” into a train that would run between Bakersfield and Merced, two cities in the flat Central Valley. To make matters even worse, passenger rail service via Amtrak already exists in the valley, and even if everything were to go to plan (a heroic assumption, one might add), the bullet train would save only forty-five minutes in travel from the existing route.

As the proposed length of the bullet train becomes shorter, the costs continue to skyrocket. The original $33 billion estimate now has ballooned to more than $100 billion—if the project even is completed. Yet the project continues to live. Last year I spoke to a former coworker of my wife who enthusiastically supports the rail project. When I asked her about the cost and the fact that there really is no demand for this service, her response was instructive: “But we NEED trains!” Never mind that this is a boondoggle that dwarfs almost anything else we know as government waste; never mind that California taxpayers are being forced to fund a massive wealth transfer to politically connected contractors in which there are all costs and no benefits. The state “needs” trains.

My faculty colleague also became angry at my panning the California bullet train, and I have wondered why progressives are so defensive about this project. There is no doubt that it is a huge waste of money and that the passenger-mile costs are well above anything else that exists in public transportation, but that doesn’t seem to matter. One would think that “good government” progressives would see the disconnect here.

One possible explanation comes from Murray Rothbard, who recognized that progressives ultimately are at “war with nature.” While Rothbard was writing about egalitarianism, nonetheless one can argue that progressive policies are aimed at producing very different outcomes than what would happen if people were free to make their own choices, and especially choices with their own money.

Because of the rise of the tech industry, California has seen an increase in wealth that probably is unprecedented in the history of this country—and maybe the world. Not surprisingly, the state’s tax take has massively increased in the past two decades, with the percentage of income tax revenues rising dramatically as tech entrepreneurship has created a new billionaire class. While one can think of these new billionaires as a new class of wealthy, in many ways their outlooks (at least after they become wealthy) often reflect the outlooks of the wave of entrepreneurs such as Andrew Carnegie who developed new technologies, put them to economic use, created vast amounts of wealth, and then created the foundations that ultimately would be governed by a wealth-destroying philosophy of progressivism.

In part, the wealth created permits foundation-financed “visionaries” to demand that resources be directed in a different way than would be done in a market economy, with “serve the people” and “make a difference” as mantras. We see that time and again in California, where tax-engorged “visionary” progressive politicians seize wealth created by private enterprise in order to pursue their own causes such as environmentalism.

Of course, as we already have pointed out, progressive policies tend to make the original problems worse. Not only have progressives made mass wildfires more likely, but they also have been behind the rise in homelessness in California. In the late 1970s, the San Francisco city government instituted rent controls. Not surprisingly, housing shortages followed, and the real price of housing skyrocketed. As shortages became worse, progressive politicians doubled down on the controls. Today, more than five thousand people live on the streets in San Francisco, and the government—bound by its own progressive ideals—is helpless to do anything but hand out money and defend its policies. And this in the city with the most billionaires per capita in the world.

There are three reasons why California governance will not change even as it heads toward a fiscal cliff. First, and most important, progressive ideology is intractable and does not yield to the laws of economics. Progressive politicians are feted in the mainstream media and in California’s left-wing education institutions, and voters don’t seem to want any alternatives. (After all, California “needs” trains.) Politicians who raise questions as to this model of governance can expect to be demonized in the media and will face violent protests if they show up in public venues—and especially on college campuses.

The second reason is that California voters are drawn to progressive Democrats no matter what disasters these politicians might inflict. The highly educated voters do not support progressive Democrats just on economic issues, but also on the highly contentious social issues, and with the 2020 “revolt of the rich” dominating Democratic Party politics at the present, it is doubtful that this current wave of progressive-favoring voters will change direction.

Democrats also have the immigrant vote in their back pockets, and California has seen a wave of immigrants help turn it into a one-party state. For now, the numbers are just overwhelming, and we can expect California to move even further to the left as its housing and poverty problems become worse and Democrats successfully convince voters that free markets are cause.

The third reason things won’t change in California is that progressive government creates its own sets of monopoly rents that are distributed to politically connected interest groups. In the case of the Golden State, state-employee and municipal labor unions are by far the most powerful political entity, and they control vast blocs of voters. Their power was recently demonstrated by their support of the covid-19 lockdowns in the state—during which public employees continued to draw full pay even as the lockdown policies ravaged the state’s tax base.

Should one doubt the power of California’s government-employee unions, witness the “success” of what was called AB 5, the law that almost killed the “gig” industries in the state, putting thousands of freelance writers and musicians out of work. Written by the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations) as a means of ending the Uber and Lyft rideshare services (and protect unionized taxi and public transportation workers), the fallout was so bad that even the legislature had to back off some of the restrictions. Voters did the rest last November when they beat back most of the most onerous provisions of the law. (One doubts that the musicians and writers that lost their jobs changed their progressive voting patterns in the most recent election. Such is the staying power of progressive ideology.)

If one believes that perhaps the wave of progressive voters will become “converted” to a “free minds and free markets” approach (the “left libertarian” position), the experience of New York City should be instructive. In 1975, the economy was in recession, businesses were fleeing the city’s onerous tax rates and antibusiness climate, and city officials were fraudulently selling capital bonds to pay for previously issued capital bonds. (William E. Simon, the US secretary of the Treasury in 1975, laid out the entire scenario in his blockbuster A Time for Truth.)

New York’s problem was obvious—except in the minds of progressives. Where most of us would understand that having unions running away with the budgets while suppressing productive private enterprises is a losing proposition, progressives see a nefarious capitalist plot. That New York City had a relatively brief renaissance in large part because of the deregulation of banking and finance (which was begun by President Jimmy Carter) plays no role in progressive thinking at all.

Unlike New York City, California does not have an economic ace in its pocket. Even though much of the tech industry has prospered during the state’s draconian pandemic shutdowns, the state government (not to mention cities and counties) is facing the worst financial crisis perhaps in its history. Not surprisingly, the progressive response is to increase incendiary rhetoric toward wealth creators and demand even higher taxes and more business regulations.

Progressivism is a utopian philosophy of governance that will never find nor create its utopia. If California voters and politicians do not understand the current crisis and how it came about, they probably never will understand. Instead, we will see the continuous march to perdition as California politicians refuse to acknowledge that they are killing the geese laying the golden eggs.

William L. Anderson is a professor of economics at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Maryland.

The above originally appeared at Mises.org

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Elon Musk on the Mass Exodus of Business from California

Posted by M. C. on January 2, 2021

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

How California Is Filling Its Hospital Beds With Covid Patients – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on December 21, 2020

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/12/no_author/how-california-is-filling-its-hospital-beds-with-covid-patients/

By Bill Sardi

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Don’t ‘Californicate’ The Rest Of America – Issues & Insights

Posted by M. C. on November 20, 2020

It isn’t pretty, but that’s precisely where California is now. Other states should be concerned. As Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds observes, some tax refugees from California and other “migrants from high tax states might bring their political attitudes with them, moving to new, low-tax states for the economic opportunity but then supporting the same policies that ruined the states they left.”

Never mind that the party for his buddy, himself a lobbyist, also included a bunch of medical industry lobbyists. The photos show not only more people in attendance than allowed under state guidelines, neither the governor nor his wife were wearing masks.

Newsom called it a “bad mistake.” A better term might be rank hypocrisy, as Newsom himself admitted: “I should have stood up and … drove back to my house … the spirit of what I’m preaching all the time was contradicted,” he said. “ I need to preach and practice, not just preach.”

Nice words, but Newsom isn’t alone in his two-faced behavior. This week, a handful of California legislators are enjoying an expenses-paid five-day vacation in Hawaii, where they’re attending the annual Independent Voter Project conference at a high-end resort.

https://issuesinsights.com/2020/11/19/dont-californicate-the-rest-of-america/

By I & I Editorial Board

Photo: Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

California was once a shining exemplar of everything a state should be — inventive, creative, energetic, freewheeling, fast-growing and conservative. No more. Today, it’s a giant welfare economy run by far-left kleptocrats and union shills who can’t even keep the lights on. As hundreds of thousands of Californians flee the once-Golden State, the rest of America should ask itself: Will they bring their politics with them?

Put another way, will California’s broken model be adopted by much of the rest of the country, turning reliably red states blue and seeding the nation with high taxes, more rules, corrupt politicians, and slow growth?

We hope not, but given the 2020 election, it’s not an idle question. California’s political class is widely regarded as among the most corrupt, irresponsible, hypocritical, hard left and incompetent of any comparable group of state politicians in the country, which is saying a lot.

The troubles have been on full display this week.

A week after imposing sweeping new restaurant closures across much of the state and telling Californians not to gather in groups for Thanksgiving, California Gov. Gavin Newsom admitted on Monday that he attended a birthday party for an old friend at an ultra-swank Napa Valley restaurant, The French Laundry.

Never mind that the party for his buddy, himself a lobbyist, also included a bunch of medical industry lobbyists. The photos show not only more people in attendance than allowed under state guidelines, neither the governor nor his wife were wearing masks.

Newsom called it a “bad mistake.” A better term might be rank hypocrisy, as Newsom himself admitted: “I should have stood up and … drove back to my house … the spirit of what I’m preaching all the time was contradicted,” he said. “ I need to preach and practice, not just preach.”

Nice words, but Newsom isn’t alone in his two-faced behavior. This week, a handful of California legislators are enjoying an expenses-paid five-day vacation in Hawaii, where they’re attending the annual Independent Voter Project conference at a high-end resort.

The Associated Press says the event “includes policy discussions and schmoozing with corporate sponsors.”

“Organizers booked about 50 rooms and have about 120 people staying at the Fairmont Kea Lani on Maui’s southwest shore,” the AP reported.

In short: One set of rules for average Californians, who have just had a new, strict lockdown imposed, and another for the state’s political elite.

These are just the most recent examples of the misrule and mismanagement of California, which has become a de facto one-party state under the Democrats, who were way ahead of the national curve in turning the state’s elections into fraudulent farces that encourage cheating which systematically benefits their party.

Faced with such poor governance, many Californians have said, “Enough!”

With taxes soaring, quality of life plunging as violent crime and homelessness surge, home prices out of reach, nonsensical government regulations spreading, an increasingly heavy-handed government and a slumping job market, California now ranks 47th out of 50 states on the widely followed Economic Freedom Index issued annually by Canada’s Fraser Institute.

As their future prospects dim, many longtime and even native Californians are leaving for better times in neighboring states such as Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, Utah and New Mexico.

More recently, the departing have moved even farther away, relocating in Texas, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Georgia and Alabama. It’s a “reverse Beverly Hillbillies” migration.

From 2007 to 2016, some 7 million Californians (gross total) left the state, most of them middle-class or upper-class in income. In 2018 alone, the number of economic and quality-of-life refugees surged by nearly 700,000, and the flood appears to be continuing today.

Here’s the problem. It’s one thing to move from a state because it’s going in the wrong direction. It’s quite another to move and not understand that you had something to do with it.

Looking at California’s surrounding states, once bright red in their political hue, there’s an increasing amount of purple and even blue. Former Californians who didn’t like what happened in their state have held on to their foolish leftist voting habits and beliefs, and repeated the pattern elsewhere.

In short, Cali, not to mention New York and other high-tax, high-regulation states that punish businesses and citizens alike, are hemorrhaging citizens to more-friendly states around the country.

The trends in California are especially ominous. As City Journal’s Steve Malanga pointed out in a piece earlier this year dubbed “Calculating the Californication,” a Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies, found that 52% of those living in California were considering moving elsewhere.

Among those, more than 71% blamed soaring housing costs and 58% cited high taxes, while almost half pointed to the state’s increasingly radical left, toxic political environment — everything from the “cancel culture” and rampant political correctness, to a reliance on green energy, a crackdown on religion, the release of violent felons, and a decaying, union-run education system that teaches kids to hate America but not basic skills.

As evidence of the latter, one need only point to a recent headline: “Huck Finn, To Kill A Mockingbird, Other Classic Books Banned In California Schools For ‘Racism.’ ” Any wonder that a majority of confused, ignorant young people now embrace socialism and its ideas, while rejecting the greatest wealth- and freedom-creating system ever?

As for those who are leaving, numbers don’t lie.

“Conservatives and moderates are the most unhappy with the state and most anxious to leave,” says Malanga. “Liberals, by contrast, are mostly staying put, and some think life in California is just great. Only 38% of Democrats said that they were considering leaving, compared with 55% of independents and 71% of Republicans.”

As Michael Anton wrote in his recent book, The Stakes: America at the Point of No Return,” which details California’s dystopian government and dysfunctional political culture:

In barely one generation … California was … transformed into a left-liberal one-party state, the most economically unequal and socially divided in the country, ostensibly run by a cadre of would-be Solons in Sacramento and in the courts, but really by oligarchic power concentrated in a handful of industries, above all Big Tech and Big Hollywood.

The middle class — what’s left of them — continue to flee high taxes, higher costs, cratering standards of living, declining services, deteriorating infrastructure, worsening quality of life, and an elite that openly despises them and pushes policies to despoil and dispossess them.

It isn’t pretty, but that’s precisely where California is now. Other states should be concerned. As Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds observes, some tax refugees from California and other “migrants from high tax states might bring their political attitudes with them, moving to new, low-tax states for the economic opportunity but then supporting the same policies that ruined the states they left.”

American states, beware. Take in as many Californians as you wish. But don’t accept California’s far-left, utterly broken governance and cultural model. It’s not “progressive” in any true meaning of the word. And once adopted, it will ruin your own state.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Erie Times E-Edition Article-Progressives inflict progress in California

Posted by M. C. on September 19, 2020

Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation requiring all 430,000 undergraduates in the California State University system to take an “ethnic studies” course, and there may soon be a similar mandate for all high-school students. “Ethnic studies” is an anodyne description for what surely will be, in the hands of woke “educators,” grievance studies.

https://erietimes-pa-app.newsmemory.com/?publink=02be34d5b

California, our national warning, shows how unchecked progressives inflict progress. They have placed on November ballots Proposition 16 to repeal the state constitution’s provision, enacted by referendum in 1996, forbidding racial preferences in public education, employment and contracting. Repeal, which would repudiate individual rights in favor of group entitlements, is part of a comprehensive California agenda to make everything about race, ethnicity and gender. Especially education, thereby supplanting education with its opposite.

The 1996 ban on preferences was not intended to, and did not, end all measures to increase the participation of minorities and women in the state’s post-secondary education, or in doing business with the state government. So, Proposition 16 should be seen primarily as an act of ideological aggression, a bold assertion that racial and gender quotas — identity politics translated into a spoils system — should be forthrightly proclaimed and permanently practiced as a positive good.

California already requires that by the end of 2021 some publicly traded companies based in the state must have at least three women on their boards of directors, up from the 2018 requirement of one woman. Last month, the legislature mandated that by the end of 2021 at least one director shall be Black, Latino, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Native Hawaiian or Alaskan Native, or identify as LGBTQ. And by 2022, boards with nine or more directors must include at least three government favored minorities.

Where will this social sorting end? Proposition 16’s aim is to see that there is no end to the industry of improvising remedial measures to bring “social justice” to a fundamentally unjust state, and nation. The aim is to dilute, to the point of disappearance, inhibitions about government using group entitlements — racial, ethnic and gender — for social engineering. Most important, Proposition 16 greases the state’s slide into the engineering of young souls.

They are to be treated as raw material for public education suffused with the spirit of Oceania in George Orwell’s “1984”: “Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.” Progressives have a practical objective in teaching the essential squalor of the nation’s past. The New York Times’s “1619 Project” — it preaches that the nation’s real founding was the arrival of the first slaves; the nation is about racism — is being adopted by schools as a curriculum around the nation. If the past can be presented as radically wrong, radical remedies will seem proportionate.

Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation requiring all 430,000 undergraduates in the California State University system to take an “ethnic studies” course, and there may soon be a similar mandate for all high-school students. “Ethnic studies” is an anodyne description for what surely will be, in the hands of woke “educators,” grievance studies.

Discussions of the proposed high-school requirement are being conducted in the progressive patois about “collective narratives of transformative resistance” in the “postimperial life” of a nation groaning under the bondage of capitalist, patriarchal and other “systems of power.” Students will be taught to become “positive actors,” with the government’s public-education bureaucracy stipulating what political positions are and are not “positive.”

Coming in the context of such measures, Proposition 16’s proposed repeal of the ban on racial preferences should be understood as repealing all scruples about the government- approved groupthink that Orwell warned against in “1984.” In this enterprise, California progressives have company.

Writing in the British journal Standpoint, Charles Parton, with 22 years of diplomatic experience working in and on China, explains that President Xi Jinping’s hostility to freedom’s prerequisites includes root-and-branch rejection of education, understood as the development of individuals’ abilities to think critically. Xi, who calls teachers “engineers of the soul,” wants education to be, Parton says, “collective, ideological and political.” The Chinese Communist Party says education begins by “grasping the baby,” primary school promotes “loving” the party, socialism and the collective, secondary schools inculcate “the ideology of socialist builders,” and universities must be, in Xi’s words, “CCP strongholds.”

The CCP’s and California’s indoctrinators differ somewhat concerning the particular mentalities they aim to impose. But both groups would extinguish actual education — teaching individuals how, as opposed to what, to think.

The principal difference is that the CCP is more candid than California is about replacing thinking with the regurgitation of governmentstipulated orthodoxies.

In 1932, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis celebrated how a single state “may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” Or as a warning to it. George Will is a Washington Post columnist. Email him at georgewill@washpost.com.

George Will

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »