Otherwise, the mass economic and political suicide of California voters at the polls Nov. 8 is goods news for Nevadans and others in the inland West, who can expect plenty more California employers and investors to pull up stakes and move this way, as a corrupt political class and runaway state employee unions were successful in winning a blank check from voters to continue “business as usual.”
Apparently fed up with a bloated regulatory state clogging up the economy like a week’s worth of bacon fat, Californians two years ago went to the polls in a recall election and swept a bright new face, free-market fan Arnold Schwarzenegger, into their governor’s mansion.
The Governator has done his best, but found his path to sensible reform blocked at every turn by entrenched legislators in gerrymandered districts that make them almost impossible for voters to remove, as well as by powerful state employee unions which can extract vast sums from their members and use them not just for collective bargaining or to lobby for better working conditions, but for direct political activism in behalf of that entrenched political class and their weird leftist agendas, even when such nonsense (blocking new oil refineries? blocking new, affordable housing?) is in direct opposition to the wishes of their own members.
Gov. Schwarzenegger drafted a series of sensible reforms and submitted them to his electorate.
Proposition 76 would have placed limits on the growth of state spending. Proposition 77 would have taken the drawing of state legislative district boundaries out of the hands of the entrenched political class, turning the task over to retired judges. Proposition 74 would have required teachers to work longer to obtain tenure. And Gov. Schwarzenegger’s fourth proposal, requiring unions to get specific permission from their members before using their dues to promote partisan political flights of fancy, also went down in flames.
Mind you, this in a state where cities including San Diego are hopelessly mired in unfunded employee pension mandates, and where state government threatens to follow the same path, like a team of oxen stampeding blindly towards the cliff.
Yet, offered an opportunity by their new governor to embrace a “Year of Reform,” Californians went to the polls Nov. 8 and voted that state and local governments should continue growing at double-digit rates which will soon make them the biggest employers in the state (try to bust the power of the tax-fattened employee unions then!); that the entrenched political class in Sacramento should not be bothered having to explain themselves to their constituents in competitive races in sensibly drawn new districts, and that unions should please continue to grab as much money as they want from workers and use it to further advance the radical left-wing agendas of the elite governing class -- without even getting the written permission of their dues-payers in advance.
The concert band now returns from their cabins bearing their life vests, assembles on the tilting quarterdeck of the once grand ship of state, tunes up, and begins playing “Nearer My God to Thee.”