California Nightmaring, With Mass Immigration A Key Demon
California is a textbook case of stupid and irresponsible governance, largely because failed political ideologies are still popular in the halls of the state legislature. Economist Milton Friedman famously observed, "You cannot simultaneously have free immigration and a welfare state". California has surely demonstrated the folly of trying to do exactly that.
By Brenda Walker
The Golden State has been drowning in a maelstrom of self-created misery. A budget crisis of monumental proportions is exacerbated by one of the country’s worst unemployment rates, 12.2 percent in August.
But what’s really disturbing is the refusal of Sacramento to make the fundamental changes needed to return the state to a balanced budget and economic sanity. The state is victim to a perfect storm of idiot ideologies, from Open Borders creating a Mexifornian population explosion, to nutty environmentalism.
California is a scary reverse universe, where the legislature is purposefully creating job loss and economic ruin. The nominally Republican Governor Schwarzenegger has done little good and a lot bad—including his enthusiastic promotion of a unilateral state climate bill.
Even if you believe that human-caused climate change is real, it is still crazy for one state to cripple its economy when others nearby do not. For example, Nevada is happy to receive fleeing businesses. It has been successfully pitching itself as the lower-tax, lower-regulation alternative.
It is tragic to see Eden headed so resolutely to hell. California has been blessed with spectacular land, abundant natural resources and many brilliant, talented people. It has been the spawning ground of new ideas, both excellent and odious. Thus Silicon Valley changed the world and was started by some nerdy kids in their parents’ garages. Perhaps the laid-back lifestyle made ignoring state politics too easy, but the Jarvis-Gann tax revolt of the 1970s and passage of Prop 187 in 1994 (which would have prevented illegal aliens using taxpayer-funded services) showed many citizens wanted the state redirected. Nevertheless, the bad ideas have predominated in recent years.
The Tax Foundation rates California as #48 in the nation for business climate. Forbes recently rated it as the 12th worst state for business, a slight improvement from 2008:
“California has the country’s largest gross state product, at $1.55 trillion, far ahead of No. 2 New York’s $965 billion, but the Golden State is dead last in business costs and ranks 10th in growth prospects, 22nd in labor, 26th in quality of life, 27th in economic climate and 39th in regulatory environment.” [Forbes: California improves to 12th worst for business, San Francisco Business Journal, September 24, 2009]
California Nightmaring, With Mass Immigration A Key Demon | National Policy Institute