Wednesday, July 22, 2009
The most liberal state in the nation, with the most liberal policies, has driven itself into bankruptcy.
And now, to borrow and twist from Reagan, it's "Mourning in America"
Also, this event proves that my ideology is correct, beyond any shadow of a doubt, and permanently discredits your ideology, whatever the two may be.
Parts of California may be very socially liberal - but it is not "the most liberal state in the nation".
You cannot believe how awful this is here. The cuts are so deep we must cut many truly wonderful and successful programs and people.
So, my many thanks. And wish us luck.
It is, actually, a failure of pure town-hall-style democracy on a grand scale (in the size of the town hall and the scope of the failure). As I have mentioned here, I have been reading Fareed Zakaria's 2003 book "The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad". It devotes an entire section (pp 187-198 to save you time in the library) to California. That is one of many places where Zakaria anticipates things that have happened recently. Check it out.
To oversimplify a century of US history, it is the result of La Follette progressive ideas from Wisconsin about popular initiative meeting up with the LBJ/W ideas from Texas about having a large government active in social issues while cutting taxes so someone else has to pay for it.
Now someone has to pay for it, and, as you note, the party is not nearly as much fun now.
The only good thing about this situation is that things are so bad that previously untouchable options are now on the table to discuss. We will see what redistricting and the loss of the 2/3 rule do for our legislature and budget.
But what I view with horrified fascination is the willingness of people to abandon kids, the poor, the disabled, and the elderly because they don't want to pay even one dime more in taxes. I see the misery this causes from a health perspective and it is brutal to watch. In what universe it is better to close most of the state parks than to pay a $15 fee on vehicle registration to keep them open? I just don't understand what people are thinking.
In what economic (or rational) sense does it fit to tax automobile users to pay for (themselves and) others to use state parks.
Tax cars to pay for Roads? Sure (but why not tax the use of the road?) Tax timber pulled out of state parks? Sure.
But taxing one thing (because we already have authority there) to pay for something else? Odd..
In order to implement a "progressive solution" the following conditions must be claimed to exist:
1. A specifically identifiable and suitably sympathetic group must be found that is either "suffering" some lack of benefit or could "benefit" from some collective action; and
2. The costs of correcting the "problem" or providing the "benefit" must not fall on any specifically identifiable and/or suitably sympathetic group.
Over time, you will eventually create two conditions:
A. Benefits that greatly exceed the ability to pay for them; and
B. The ratio of Net Givers/Net Takers in society exceeds 1.0 . . .
[The word verification is "begar" how appropriate is that?]