To See America’s Democrat Future, Look At California Now

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Posted: Jan 21, 2020 9:09 AM
To See America’s Democrat Future, Look At California Now

Source: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

If Americans wonder what will happen if the far-left takes control of the entire country, they have no need to look any further than to California. California is a disaster headed nowhere but down. Even four more years of economic growth from a second term for Trump will not save California from its folly. California has fallen victim to the far-left’s hatred for our country’s founding principles and its ignorance regarding the benefits of competitive markets.

Consider the current condition of this state that once had the wisdom to elect Ronald Reagan to two terms as their governor. The horrible problems of homeless concentrations in San Francisco and Los Angeles (including increasing public health dangers) are out of control. California’s state and local governments are helpless at best and responsible for many of the problems at worst.  

Consider the scorecard. California has the highest poverty rate in the country.[1] According to a recent Congressional study, California has over 40% of the U.S.’s welfare recipients despite having only about 12% of its population.[2]

Every instinct of the leadership of California is wrong. Those who consume more than they produce are rewarded while those who produce more than they consume are punished. The state keeps raising taxes and wasting the money. The politicians generate waste wherever they take control.

Take for instance the huge debacle of California’s attempts to build a high speed rail line between LA and San Francisco. According to bizjournals.com[3]

In 2008, California voters approved $9 billion […] to begin construction on high speed rail between San Francisco and Los Angeles. [...] Today, only a small section of rail is under construction in California's Central Valley, falling far short of its promise to connect San Francisco and Los Angeles. The initial estimated completion date of 2020 has been pushed to 2033, and the estimated cost has more than doubled.”

I believe that by the time this boondoggle is actually completed electrically-powered self-driving automobiles (working in tandem with very smart ride-sharing software) will make all such over-centralized public transportation projects obsolete. But who in California cares? The government boondoggles are viewed as creating jobs (albeit unproductive jobs) and, more importantly, they line the pockets and pad the power of the state’s political elites and corrupt businesses.

Consider the horrible inner-city messes of LA and San Francisco. LA is in the midst of a massive low-income housing program supposedly designed to address its homeless problems. In truth it is an economic debacle transferring wealth from taxpayers to politicians and businessman. Reports[4] indicate average costs for each low-income unit exceeding $500k. The construction projects are experiencing huge delays and have completed astonishingly few units.

Let’s take a look at how well California has done in making sure that its population receives cost-effective and reliable electricity. California’s ridiculous oversight and over-regulation of its electric utility company has been, literally, disastrous. According to the Wall Street Journal,[5]

“PG&E’s electric lines, after years of deferred maintenance, were threatening drought-parched California. When the Camp Fire started to burn in late 2018, eventually killing 85 people, it was the first of four fires that PG&E reported it sparked that day. It was its 408th of 2018, and the 1,961st since record-keeping started in mid-2014.”

The net result of years of government oversight and regulation is a bankrupted utility (PG&E) and regular intentional outages of power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses to avert wildfires. California’s leaders do not understand simple economics. When everybody owns an asset nobody takes responsibility for it. How can California’s taxpayers and government officials be so ignorant of basic economic principles?

Given California’s abysmal record of leftist economic policies, one would think that some common sense or humility would temper the state’s enthusiasm for additional economic boondoggles. But leftists do not see through time. Recently, California’s Governor Gavin Newsom[6] proposed that California be the first state to “make” and sell its own generic prescription drugs. Yes, California’s government sees itself as being far more capable than free enterprise to meet consumer demand at attractive prices.

California’s past is identical to the future being proposed by leftist candidates: 1. Regulate a problem into existence, 2. Seize the means of production, and 3. Displace economic efficiency with political expediency.

California should change its motto to: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt -- and its state bird to the dodo bird.

[1] See https://www.city-journal.org/html/california-poverty-capital-15659.html accessed January 2020.   

[2] See  https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ofa/resource/twelfth-report-to-congresshttps://www.acf.hhs.gov/ofa/resource/twelfth-report-to-congress accessed January 2020

[3] See https://www.bizjournals.com/albany/news/2020/01/02/high-speed-rail-new-york-albany-cuomo.html accessed January 2020    

[4] See https://www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/proposition-hhh-audit/  accessed January 2020

[5] See   https://www.wsj.com/articles/pg-e-wired-to-fail-11577509261  accessed January 2020

[6] See https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/california-could-be-1st-state-to-sell-its-own-prescription-drugs accessed January 2020