California Ensures Its Economic Demise

Yesterday, Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection reviewed Victor David Hansen’s account of his journey through central California and found it to be scarily reminiscent of the Soviet Union in the 1980s — a third world country surrounding pockets of first world wealth:

Leaving the ring road was like taking a step a hundred years back in time. No modern toilets, donkeys pulling carts, manual pump water wells, and so on. This was a scene repeated from city to city. If all you ever saw were the cities, you couldn’t understand the country.

I commented at the time (I have witnesses!) that I didn’t see how the country could last another decade given its intrinsic third world economy supporting a first world military, and it didn’t.

Fast forward to 2010, and Victor Davis Hanson has a chilling account of California which resembles in many ways the Soviet Union of the early 1980s — first world cities of relative wealth sitting on top of an increasingly third world economy. . . .

He concludes that “[i]t can’t last another decade.” 

It won’t even come close.  Yesterday, California made sure of that:

California regulators voted to cap the greenhouse gas emissions of the state’s major industries and establish a carbon trading program. California’s 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act requires the state to reduce emissions by 15 percent from today’s levels by 2020. “This is an historic venture,” said Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board. The Board voted 9 to 1 to approve approximately 3,000 pages of regulations.

* * *

The cap and trade plan would require 600 industrial plants in the state to cap their greenhouse gas emissions in 2012, and reduce those levels over the next eight years. Allowances would be granted to plants based on the tons of carbon dioxide they could emit. Plants could raise their limits by purchasing offsets from timber companies that pledge to preserve more carbon in forests.

As its economy slides further into the regulatory tar pit, more high earners and corporations will flee the state, tax revenues will contiunue to decline, and California’s economic demise will accelerate.  You cannot tax, spend, and regulate yourself to prosperity.  It is amazing that, with all of its manifest problems, California’s political class just doesn’t get it.  Of course, neither do its voters, since they just reelected Jerry Brown to the governorship.

The call for a bailout is inevitable.  Conservatives must resist.  Taxpayers from responsible adult states should not bail out the irresponsible politicians, regulators, public employee unions, and voters of California.

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Published in: on December 17, 2010 at 3:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

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