California — A Progressive's Paradise

Jerry Brown  Barbara Boxer

On November 2, 2010, California voters were offered Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina, two highly qualified women who know what must be done to rescue their state from fiscal failure. Instead, they chose Jerry Brown, a 1960's-era flower-child re-tread, and Barbara Boxer, an aging leftist ideologue. These two stalwarts and a host of other elected and re-elected Democrats were right there as California dug itself into a hole, and they bear a good measure of the blame for California's budget crisis.

The least California voters could have done was what New Jersey voters did — choose candidates like Chris Christie, face the music, and start digging out. But apparently that was just too much for them to manage. One can only conclude Californians actually want more of what the Left has delivered thus far.
 
And what is it that the Left has delivered? As Victor Davis Hanson put it (National Review Online and Orange County Register, Dec 15, 2010):
 
[California is] … a state that has the highest sales and income taxes, the most lavish entitlements, the near-worst public schools (based on federal test scores), and the largest number of illegal aliens in the nation, along with an over-regulated private sector, a stagnant and shrinking manufacturing base, and an elite environmental ethos that restricts commerce and productivity without curbing consumption.
 
After summarizing his own anecdotal observations, Hanson concludes:
 
[The attitude of Californians] … can only be termed “indifferent.” California does not care whether one broke the law to arrive here or continues to break it by staying. It asks nothing of the illegal immigrant — no proficiency in English, no acquaintance with American history and values, no proof of income, no record of education or skills. It does provide all the public assistance that it can afford (and more that it borrows for), and apparently waives enforcement of most of California’s burdensome regulations and civic statutes that increasingly have plagued productive citizens to the point of driving them out. How odd that we over-regulate those who are citizens and [who] have capital to the point of banishing them from the state, but do not regulate those who are aliens and [who are] without capital to the point of encouraging millions more to follow in their footsteps. How odd — to paraphrase what Critias once said of ancient Sparta — that California is at once both the nation’s most unfree and most free state, the most repressed and the wildest.
 
It's often said that our republic form of government is meant to allow for 50 independent "lab tests" of government style across our 50 states.  Given the results of November's elections, I suggest Californians end their alleged "indifference" and go all the way.  It's time to demonstrate to the other 49 states what it's really like to live in a Progressive's Paradise.  For example, California could now:
  • Amend the state constitution to declare healthcare, education, food, and housing to be an unalienable human right to be provided by the state.  Banish the term "illegal immigrant", grant these human rights to all, and extend sanctuary-city policies to cover the entire state.
  • Raise taxes by 50% on all forms of fossil fuel consumption, inspect all public and private dwellings for energy efficiency, and fine those that do not comply with state regulations (but provide taxpayer-funded improvement subsidies for low-income households). 
  • Raise incomes taxes by 50% on all corporations and high-income individuals
  • Outlaw all private ownership of firearms and create a new state agency for confiscation thereof
  • Legislate explicit racial preferences and quotas in all hiring & contracting (both public and private), and create a new state agency for enforcement thereof
  • Provide 100% state-funded, no-questions-asked abortions to anyone who wants one at any time during any pregnancy
  • Outlaw all religious expressions or displays by any public official, in any public document, or on any state property, and create a new state agency for monitoring and enforcement of same
  • Outlaw and fine all politically incorrect expressions or displays, and create a new state agency for regulation and enforcement thereof, exempting only "artistic expression" such as that practiced by those in the movie or music industries
  • Increase the current California minimum wage from $8.00 to $12.00 per hour
  • Discourage wealthy taxpayers from fleeing California by enacting a 50% exit tax on any profit from the sale of any real estate or business by any taxpayer who changes his/her residence to any place outside California

This is only a starter list … I'm sure California's progressives could come up with a lot more.  If you have some suggestions of your own for Californians, please use the "Comments" section attached to this blog (just keep it clean!).  I'll collect them and publish them in a new blog at a later date.

Just think: one day soon, California's proud progressives may show the rest of us benighted souls what a true Progressive Paradise looks like.  The only requirement we non-Californians should insist on is this: No bailouts from the other states … not now, not ever … not one dime.

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