California Screaming

The Golden State's political class comes unglued in the face of a citizens' revolt.

On May 19, California voters went to the polls to decide whether to pass a package of six tax-and-gimmick ballot propositions. Its supporters—Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Democratic legislative leaders, the California Teachers Association, and the overwhelming majority of the state’s major newspapers—billed it as the last best hope to plug Sacramento’s $24 billion budget deficit. “Either pass it,” warned the Los Angeles Times editorial board, “or risk fiscal disaster.”

Those who believe that either money or the media determine political outcomes should pay close heed to what happened next: Although opponents were outspent by more than 7 to 1, they trounced the state’s political class, rejecting five of the six measures by an average of 30 percentage points. The only proposition to pass was an anger-driven new law that limits elected officials’ salaries.

Faced with such thorough repudiation, California’s best and brightest then did a telling thing. They lashed right back.

The Los Angeles Times headlined its morning-after news analysis, “California Voters Exercise Their Power—and That’s the Problem.” Sacramento columnist George Skelton argued that “voters helped get themselves into this fix” by “passing feel-good ‘ballot box budgeting’ initiatives” and sanctioning “heavy borrowing” for “infrastructure projects.” Business columnist Michael Hiltzik averred that “far more blame for the deficit belongs to California voters” because “year in, year out, they enact spending mandates at the polls, often without endowing a revenue source.” Missing from any of these critiques was the fact that the Times’ own editorial board endorsed more than 90 percent of the very same ballot-box bond measures during the last decade. No matter: A perpetrator had been located.

“Good morning, California voters,” The Sacramento Bee’s post-election editorial began. “Do you feel better, now that you’ve gotten that out of your system?” The Bee, which (like the Times) had endorsed four of the five losing measures, came under immediate attack for its heavy-handed, citizen-blaming sarcasm. (A sample: “So, now that you’ve put those irksome politicians in their place, maybe it’s time to think about this: Since you’re in charge, exactly what do you intend to do about that pesky $25 billion hole in the budget?”) Rush Limbaugh gleefully read passages on his show, San Diego Union-Tribune editorial writer Chris Reed called it “staggeringly juvenile, arrogant and revealing,” and commenters on the Bee’s website were full of reactions like, “What an obnoxious editorial. Nevertheless, it illustrates that the Bee is completely in favor of bigger government and higher taxes.”

Then another funny thing happened: The Bee scrubbed the editorial off its website, replacing it with a much more conciliatory piece, addressed this time to legislators. The original editorial had been posted in “error,” the paper explained, and the new piece was the one that appeared in the print edition. “That [first] article was a draft prepared for internal discussion among members of The Bee’s editorial board,” a brief note said. “Such discussions are a routine part of our work, and frequently lead to editorials that are considerably different from writers’ first drafts.”

This instant airbrushing, normally fodder for such journalism-tracking websites as Jim Romenesko’s Media News, went virtually ignored by all but a few mostly right-leaning websites. So did another colossal gaffe, by the aforementioned Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik, who thundered that the very notion California had a “spending problem” was an “infectious myth.”

Hiltzik claimed that the state government’s budget growth had kept pace “almost to the penny” with growth in population and inflation during the last decade. There were three problems with this analysis: Hiltzik miscalculated population growth (claiming 30 percent instead of 14 percent), he chose a federal inflation rate of 50 percent during that period instead of the California Consumer Price Index figure of 35 percent, and, most important, he excluded from state spending more than $100 billion in bond measures. This whopper was roasted and dissected on local talk radio, but it was unmentioned by more august repositories of public policy and journalism debate, such as the Times-tracking LA Observed.

Rarely has the chasm between elite political discourse and grubby popular opinion been displayed in such sharp relief. The implications of this citizen revolt—and the hostile reactions to it—stretch far beyond Nevada’s western border. California is the Ghost of Federal Government Future.

During the last two decades, the Golden State has been transformed from what was once known as the nation’s most anti-labor outpost to a state essentially run by public-sector unions. Nearly three in five publicsector workers are unionized, compared to less than two in five public employees in other states. The Democratic Party, which is fully in hock to unions, has controlled the legislature and most statewide posts, with the notable exception of the governor’s mansion, for more than a decade. That means more government workers, higher salaries, and drastically higher pension costs. 

According to Adam Summers—a policy analyst at the Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes this magazine—the state’s annual pension fund contribution vaulted from $321 million in 2000–01 to $7.3 billion last year. According to public databases, more than 5,000 people are drawing pensions in excess of $100,000 from the state of California each year.

So pervasive is the union influence that big labor doesn’t even try to defend its deleterious effects on California’s finances. Just before the special election, a member of the Los Angeles Times editorial board asked Service Employees International Union chief Andy Stern to respond to charges that unions are the 21st-century equivalent of the railroads that were once all-powerful in California. Stern verbally shrugged: “I think democracy is an ugly thing at times.”

That ugliness has made the California budget, like those in most of the other 49 states, less efficient and more bloated. Government spending, unlike spending in the private economy, is a zero-sum game—especially on the state level, since governors can’t print money. Every dollar spent gilding a pension is a dollar not spent funding an orphanage. Naturally, the same elite outlets that were busy blaming voters after the election spent even more time detailing the horrors of the “annihilating cuts,” as the Los Angeles Times called them in a news article, that were coming down the pike. (In early June, the paper invited readers to be shocked that a high school with 3,200 students would have to make do with just three guidance counselors.) Bloated pension costs and the increasingly inefficient provision of state services received a fraction of the coverage.

The federal government is now run by a president and Congress more responsive to union concerns than any in at least two decades. The same bloat currently bogging down statehouses and city halls is being duplicated in boomtown Washington, D.C. President Barack Obama even brought Andy Stern in to help warn Schwarzenegger that federal stimulus money would not be disbursed to California unless the governor rescinded some proposed state job cuts. Though that threat was later withdrawn, Schwarzenegger at press time was pushing for a measly work force reduction of 2 percent.

But there’s another interpretation of California’s rebellion, one with far sunnier implications for those of us who prefer our governments constrained. Faced with a political class that ignored bureaucratic inefficiency, that demanded higher taxes, that filled the newspapers with scare stories about people who will literally die as a result of budget cuts, the citizens of one of the bluest states in the nation collectively said we just don’t believe you anymore. If even California’s famous fruits and nuts can call the statists’ bluff, there may be hope for the rest of the country.

Matt Welch (matt.welch@reason.com) is editor in chief of reason.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    "I myself am growing from the torso of an inbred simpleton."

  • ||

    The Los Angeles Times headlined its morning-after news analysis, "California Voters Exercise Their Power-and That's the Problem." Sacramento columnist George Skelton argued that "voters helped get themselves into this fix" by "passing feel-good 'ballot box budgeting' initiatives" and sanctioning "heavy borrowing" for "infrastructure projects." Business columnist Michael Hiltzik averred that "far more blame for the deficit belongs to California voters" because "year in, year out, they enact spending mandates at the polls, often without endowing a revenue source." Missing from any of these critiques was the fact that the Times' own editorial board endorsed more than 90 percent of the very same ballot-box bond measures during the last decade. No matter: A perpetrator had been located.



    And now we have IOUs.

    The LA Times denial of responsibility for its own, on the record, actions is fucking mind boggling.

    Don't y'all get tired of being Cassandras?

  • LarryA||

    Missing from any of these critiques was the fact that the Times' own editorial board endorsed more than 90 percent of the very same ballot-box bond measures during the last decade.

    Yeah, put all those editorials online and Google can nail your hypocrisy. Gotta love the internet.

  • T||

    Don't y'all get tired of being Cassandras?

    C'mon, J sub D, it's one of the few pleasures we get as libertarians. Saying "I told you so" to the dumbfucks when the inevitable catastrophe occurs is about all we've got going for us right now. It's not like we're going to get a lot of good policies anytime soon.

  • Mike M.||

    First the once-great city of Detroit, then California, and soon the entire country if we don't come to our senses, and fast.

    Saul Alinsky's new leftism combined with old-style Tammany Hall democratic party corruption is the political version of the Star Trek Doomsday Machine, devouring and destroying everything in its path.

  • Cal Lipigian||

    I just don't see that the LA Times is being hypocritical. They call for more spending, they call for more taxes. I don't support either, but at least they are consistent.

    The hypocrisy comes from the CA voter who votes for more spending but then rejects the measures to raise money for the spending.

  • ||

    Very Good article.

  • Paul||

    The hypocrisy comes from the CA voter who votes for more spending but then rejects the measures to raise money for the spending.

    Sometimes democracy is ugly.

  • Steve Smith||

    It's always problematic to draw trends from off-year elections that most of the voters didn't even know were taking place (the election Welch speaks about had by far the lowest turnout in state history), but I think it's also useful to point out that voters have become somewhat immune to arguments that some measure is necessary to "balance the budget," as each of the Spring initiatives were framed. The federal government has had a unbalanced budget, give or take a few years when the Democrats were in charge, for pretty much the last 75 years, and a de facto unbalanced budget has been the norm in California for as long as I remember, and the state hasn't become a dystopian nightmare yet. The attitude of the Voter has always been "spend what you need; just don't raise my taxes or bother me with the details," and the Republic yet survives.

  • Matt Welch||

    Steve Smith is always worth listening to.

  • 24AheadDotCom||

    Perhaps Gillespie Welch would be kind enough to describe how the policies that Reason promotes have helped get CA into the current mess. Reason has constantly promoted MassiveImmigration without coupling that with a demand for ending social welfare. While Reason has very little influence (if it has any at all), MassiveImmigration has done tremendous harm to CA, and not just through increased spending. It's also given a tremendous amount of power to far-left politicians, and those far-left politicians have then used that power to push for more spending.

    If Reason had made their proposals all-or-nothing, that would be one thing. But, they have never done that: they've never said that they'll only support OpenBorders once the WelfareState is demolished. They've supported OpenBorders and MassiveImmigration despite knowing what would happen in the real world where, for instance, many CA legislators act more like agents of the MexicanGovernment than U.S. elected officials.

    Here's more on California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, including things that - of course - Reason won't tell you. Click each link to read more.

    P.S. In case anyone replies to this, their responses will almost assuredly be ad homs, thereby conceding my points and showing the childish, anti-intellectual nature of libertarians.

  • Fat lady at the Mars terminal||

    Get ready for a surprise!!

  • Invisible Finger||

    The attitude of the Voter has always been "spend what you need; just don't raise my taxes or bother me with the details," and the Republic yet survives.

    The attitude of the voter seems to have changed. Unemployment and debt will do that.

  • ||

    [insert childish, self-refuting ad hominem]

  • Warty||

    Shut the fuck up, Lonewacko.

    Fuck!!! HE REMEMBERED THE DISCLAIMER!!!! Abort ad hom attack!

  • ||

    When my Barry Manilow album got a scratch and just played the same phrase over and over and over again, I threw it out.

  • Jimmy||

    We need Lex Luther to rid us of this failed state.

  • T||

    When my Barry Manilow album got a scratch and just played the same phrase over and over and over again, I threw it out.

    You admit to owning Barry Manilow albums? In public? Ewww. Freak.

  • Xeones||

    LoneWacko is never worth listening to.

  • ||

    T, 30 years ago, Barry Manilow=spanish fly.

  • ||

    And now we have IOUs.

    Actually, since August 1971 (or March 1933 if you're an American subject), IOUs is all we've had.

    California's state IOUs are promises to (eventually) pay the bearer Federal Reserve Notes,
    which are IOUs for . . . . Federal Reserve Notes,
    which are IOUs for . . . . Federal Reserve Notes,
    which are IOUs for . . . . Federal Reserve Notes,
    which are IOUs for . . . . . . . . . . . .

  • T||

    T, 30 years ago, Barry Manilow=spanish fly.

    I can't imagine anybody wanting to get it on listening to "Copacabana" or "I Write the Songs". Truly, the 70s must have been a horrific decade. I'm glad I was young and not exposed to the full horror.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    I used to work for Barry Manilow's production company... Not sure what that says about me.

  • ||

    Sean W. Malone, that you cherish being productive above everything else?

  • kilroy||

    especially on the state level, since governors can't print money



    but IOUs are different...

  • Mike Laursen||

    ...in the real world where, for instance, many CA legislators act more like agents of the MexicanGovernment than U.S. elected officials.

    Lonedufus, Mexico has way less public debt as a percentage of GDP than California or the United States. Meanwhile, California legislators are acting exactly like other elected officials all over the United States and spending beyond their means.

  • Paul||

    a de facto unbalanced budget has been the norm in California for as long as I remember, and the state hasn't become a dystopian nightmare yet.

    So then there's no problem.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Brotherben, thanks for the generosity... Fortunately, I never worked *directly* with the Manilow production, but instead ran a bunch of cruise-ship entertainment.

    Oh... and umm... Shut the fuck up, LoneWacko

  • ||

    Arnold must have some massive brass balls. He still thinks he can rightly call himself a Republican.


    I think it's getting about time for a joint Libertarian/Conservative revolution. Let's start out voting. If that don't work due to the corrupt system, we'll end up shooting. It worked in Athens, Tennessee (wikipedia the Battle of Athens Tenn).

  • Ben||

    Democracy doesn't work. This is not news. Though I would say it qualifies as entertainment, especially in this case.

    Doesn't the constitution say something about this? Oh, look, article 4, section 4:

    The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government



    And how is it, again, that the guaranteed republican government can be overruled in California by democratic voting? Oh, right. Because people are stupid.

    Which, BTW, is why straight-up democracy never works. And why our federal government, as it weasels its way further and further away from the form it was actually authorized to have, is also becoming more and more dysfunctional.

    (Sits back to watch the country melt down. Further, that is.)

  • ||

    "Mike M. | July 7, 2009, 12:32pm | #

    .....

    Saul Alinsky's new leftism combined with old-style Tammany Hall democratic party corruption is the political version of the Star Trek Doomsday Machine, devouring and destroying everything in its path."


    Surely you must include pictures if you bring up the Doomsday Machine

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0KW3MUeiH0

  • ||

    This year, Colorado is borrowing money from next years budget to finish out this year. More or less the same thing, but less IOUish sounding. I guess you can do that sort of thing when you're still talking in the millions of dollars, but when you plow into the billions, you can't just play shell games anymore.

    We'll just have to grow our way out of this.

  • ||

    One thing to note is that these same people who complain about all the ballot initiatives that CA voters passed, were all part of the insanity saying that these bond measures "would not raise our taxes." It continually amazed me (1) how they could say that spending billions of dollars would not raise taxes with a straight face, and (2) that people believed them. Its a shame that I believe in free speech or a I would want those people to pay for those clearly bullsh*t statements on the ballots.

  • ||

    I think it's getting about time for a joint Libertarian/Conservative revolution.

    ...which will last about five seconds until the Libertarians bring up legalization of drugs and prostitution, or ending the state marriage monopoly. Then, the Libertarians will be kicked to the curb.

  • Hugh Akston||

    The masses are revolting.

  • ||

    Its a shame that I believe in free speech or a I would want those people to pay for those clearly bullsh*t statements on the ballots.

    Oh, they'll pay, allright. Just watch.

    Unfortunately, so will the rest of us. But, that's government for ya.

  • monkey on juice||

    "The masses are revolting."



    Perhaps they just need a bath?

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Once upon a time, by which I mean, last November, I wrote a fun little blog entitled:

    "Sean vs. CA Election: CA Declared Winner" (which I would link to but I think it's only on Facebook)

    ...Which was about me voting against the expensive, big-government stupid, and losing on every single issue. My favorite was a pair of bills which combined would have saved the state 4-5 Billion dollars... One of them lowered sentencing requirements for non-violent drug "offenders" and the other was some kind of bond for giving the fuzz more money.

    I voted yes to the first and no to the second, naturally reasoning that people who are non-violent and using drugs that only affect themselves don't deserve to be in jail and if we're arresting/jailing fewer people then the fuzz don't need any more $$.

    Made sense to me... But, unsurprisingly, CA voters chose the opposite. Then they're confused about going broke... Lord knows how long this level of stupid has gone on here, but it seems like the same problem we have nationally... Some politician promises some goodie, and people support it, cause - hey, it's free, right? Why not!? - and then debt crushes us all.

    If there was one thing I wish our crappy public schooling would teach right, it's basic math.

  • ||

    The 24-guy might have a point about immigration and the nanny-state. Milton Friedman said we can't have open immigration with welfare entitlements. The result will be massive immigration and depleted budgets. I haven't seen the numbers on this; does anyone know if illegal immigrants in California cost more money than they produce?

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Woahhhh... Darwin...

    Ohhhh buddy. Don't feed the troll. Especially not that one. Obviously immigration with a welfare state is shitty if people are coming here just to be leeches, but A. most of them aren't, and B. no immigration is much worse than immigration even with welfare... and C. Reason has regularly advocated the elimination of the welfare state.

    LoneWacko/24aheadDotCom is just a retard. If you don't believe me, visit his site... you'll learn all you need to know.

  • ||

    Don't worry. Obama will bail out California as part of stimulus 2. There may well be other states that need it as well.

    The governator will wax poetic.

  • ||

    Steve Smith: "and the state hasn't become a dystopian nightmare yet." and "and the Republic yet survives."

    Well yes. But going back 75 years just won't help to put the next 10 years into perspective. We are nowhere close to the end of the malfeasance that has been perpetrated on America. This is not unlike the "stress tests" that used ridiculously low unemployment multipliers to capitalize the banks. Cmon! 7.9% Try to double that and recompute those darling little "stress tests" and see if Timmy has the huevos to lie his way out of that mess.

    California unemployment is heading to 20%. Middle managers in China make $2000 annually - not monthly. And once the well - this last transfer of wealth - is empty in CA where does the money come from. How does this square with the unions paying out those grotesque pensions to job holders with little purpose.

    I left CA 8 years ago. My mother is resigning from the NICU in one of CA's prominent health care facilities to take a lower paying - lower stress job in another state. If Dennis Quaid thought the health care system had problems before then LOOK OUT. The NICU's can't find enough qualified people yesterday. And when the best ones leave what do you have left?

    So yes. The republic will survive alright. But will it be in a coma or in a wheelchair Steve!?

  • ||

    Good article, but...

    voters have consistently wanted lots of services, AND low taxes. Course it ain't going to happen, and the rubber is starting to hit the road. But it will take a lot more than this to make me believe that people in CA are going to start exercising some common sense. Maybe if they vote out everyone who union owned I will start to believe it.

  • Eric H||

    darwin | July 7, 2009, 5:36pm | #

    The 24-guy might have a point about immigration and the nanny-state. Milton Friedman said we can't have open immigration with welfare entitlements. The result will be massive immigration and depleted budgets.

    You spelled "MassiveImmigration" wrong.

  • Eric H||

    Damn tags.

  • ||

    I lived in California for two years, San Diego specifically. When I lived there in 2004 & 2005, there was some pretty big scandals down at City Hall (not to mention my Congressman - a Mr. Cunningham - began his journey to the can). One involved pension-fund bankruptcy book-cooking, another being mayor(s) charged in bribery scandals related to a stripper club named Cheetah's if I remember correctly. One of the mayors lasted a grand total of thirty hours or so in office before having to resign! I loved California politics.

    What the political elite really don't want people to figure out is when the government shrinks, the sun doesn't burn out despite their dire warnings. San Diego didn't grind to a halt during these scandals, it was almost as if the mayor and his pension committee gaggle didn't matter whether they were functioning or not. Sarah Palin could've resigned the governorship of Alaska and not told anyone, and probably would've had a couple weeks before anyone noticed.

    The government doesn't matter nearly as much as its succubus elite thinks it does. But less government means less succubus, and thats what has got all their panties twisted up about.

  • Mike Laursen||

    I haven't seen the numbers on this; does anyone know if illegal immigrants in California cost more money than they produce?

    Not sure, but the numbers show that services for immigrants are not responsible for the majority of California's deficit.

  • ||

    "If Reason had made their proposals all-or-nothing, that would be one thing. But, they have never done that: they've never said that they'll only support OpenBorders once the WelfareState is demolished."

    Not necessary, although I certainly would PREFER the demolition of the WelfareState. All that is necessary is to pass Federal and State constitutional amendments that allow the government to deny benefits to non-citizens (or people who haven't been accepted into the naturalization program), and to deny birthright citizenship to children of non-citizens who were born here. People who want to come here and be entirely responsible for themselves and their dependents should be welcomed for their courage and any contribution they can make to the economy. It's bad enough that citizens sponge off the government and their fellow citizens. We shouldn't tolerate foreigners coming here to do that, too. This would be a far cry from demolition of the WelfareState, but it would be a good start in the right direction.

  • Mike Laursen||

    ...to deny birthright citizenship to children of non-citizens who were born here

    Why so necessary to throw that little clause in? What fault is it of the child what his or her parents' legal status is? One of the long-standing traditions of this somewhat bizarre meme that has caught on over the last few centuries that the earth should be carved up into geographical organizations called "nation-states" is that being born within the territory of one typically makes you a citizen of same. Fair play and all that, what?

  • Jim Davidson||

    Aren't these California IOUs bills of credit? And doesn't the national constitution article one section ten prohibit to the states the power to emit bills of credit? Kind of tiresome.

  • ||

    At one time I worked in the civil service sector of our economy. When I rose high enough to where I was in the budget and spending process I was proud the first year that I had saved the tax payer "X" dollars. Then I got a call from our finance section that I had to spend every penny in the budget or I would be penialized the next year by having my budget cut. I knew there would be equipment expenses coming up, so bowed to the system and bought stuff we did not need in order to keep budget money for the known future.
    The system is set up so even if a beaurocrat tries to save some tax monies it is impossible.

  • Mike Laursen||

    ...I had to spend every penny in the budget or I would be penialized the next year by having my budget cut

    Lots of managers in private industry make sure to spend their allocated budget, too. Same basic, self-interested human urges behind that. But the similarity between private and government sectors ends there; there are all kinds of natural checks against a private business letting its budget get out of hand.

  • We need to get violent||

    Burning down the Times and the Bee would be a great start.

    Fuck all this talk of democracy versus republic. Gerrymandering snuck in and slit the throat of both of them long ago. The CA legislature needs to be physically removed from the statehouse and sent packing. Except Karen Bass who needs to be stuffed in a dark hole somewhere and left to fucking rot. You want to see terrorism, Bass, you filthy, fat cunt? Happy to oblige.

    In recognition of his past services to awesome action moviedom, Arnold can go home to Hollywood if he agrees to just leave quietly.

  • Marian Kechlibar||

    Mike Laursen,

    I believe that the main principle of a nation state is that "everyone within the borders must behave according to the given set of rules". With exceptions for diplomats etc.

    Birthright and citizenship is another thing. The concept you describe is called "jus soli". Most nation states on Earth apply a mixture of "just soli" and "jus sanguinis". In my home country, the Czech Republic, a child of two foreigners would not get Czech citizenship on birth.

    European states, however, are generally more ethno-centric than the USA or Canada.

  • ||

    California the Golden state, American future, is fast becoming the poster child for an bankrupt third world State!

    An unholy alliance of Socialist Democrat politicians, Unions, and Illegal Aliens supporters are feasting at the trough of tax payers paid benefits while taxing & regulating business and the tax paying public into poverty.

    The pandering of Left Wing Democrat Politicians to their constituency of Unions, Illegal Aliens and open border supporters, are driving business and citizens to other states & countries, while leaving the parasites & welfare leeches in an increasing bankrupt, crime ridden, dysfunctional state!

    For years California has ignored economics 101 and imported poverty, Criminals and uneducated Peons from Mexico, which increased Medical, Welfare, Crime, Prison, etc. & adding a estimated 10 to 16 billion per year to Calif. State expense to support the invading horde of Illegal Aliens while exporting business and educated tax payers.

    Like all Socialist & Marxist States the results have been a astronomical increase in social welfare, schooling, prison cost etc. and a lowing of Living standards, Education standards, Tax receipts & finally Bankruptcy.

    Failure to abide by our Constitution against invasion & enforce our Immigration laws and constraints on wages and benefits for public employees will result in turning the Golden State into MexiCalif and the end of the Calif. Dream and the beginning of the Calif. Nightmare!

    The policies of Obama and Wash. DC Democrats are intent on following Calif. policies and are resulting in the same creeping socialist process across American.

    Amnesty & Citizenship as a reward for their invasion of the USA, will result in the rest of the USA turned into a Spanish speaking third world cesspool, modeled on Mexico and follow California into a polluted, over populated, Spanish speaking third world Nation of Crime, Corruption, Poverty, Cruelly & Misery!

    This will result in a population depending on Welfare and the Democrat party, thus assuring the lock on power for the Socialist Democrat party of the United States of Mexico!

  • ||

    Born (1957) and raised CA -

    Looking at some of these comments is like looking at the Palin resignation party, people dont know what they're talking about.

    Saying we wanted loads of services and low taxes is ludicrous, CA taxes are among the highest in the nation. Regulation is just as bad and has driven out so many businesses that they've lost the manufacturing tax base that used to drive the state.

    The schools, which were once the best in the nation, now rank 48th, though the teachers are some of the best paid in the nation and can retire in the early 50s set for life (their pensions, cost-of-living adjustments and full medical is btw untouchable, thanks to the voters egged on by the Times). But why retire if you're not forced to perform and your pension is based on your last years salary?

    One place where you CAN fault republicans is the Mexican invasion - they were inabled by both parties because repubs wanted cheap labor and dems knew a large percentage would become dependant on the state (and the dem state purse-holders). When the middle class saw their quiet, clean neighborhoods turning into third-world crime ghettos, they finally woke up and got immigration reform passed in the 80s. But Reagan and the dems said that along with reform the borders would be secure......25 years later they are still coming over in waves.

    My state is still great but nothing like it used to be. And the dems are telling us that the answer to our current mess is Gavin Newsom to make the Golden State one huge San Francisco.

  • Sam||

    You forgot to mention the 5 million illegal aliens who cost California $10 billion a year! Throw in 5 million more poor immigrants who depend on government services, that adds to the recipe for disaster

  • ||

    Part of the covenant between the Federal Government and each state is a commitment to defend the state from invaders.

    I have not quite figured out why, if California is being dragged down by the billions due to an invasion of foreign nationals whose disregard for the law and the US Constitution is evidenced by their very presence, the government and the legal residents of the State of California do not just sue the Federal government to compel securing the borders and enforcement of immigration laws. I guess the same would apply to any of the border states being overrun by illegal aliens.

    Anyone?

  • ||

    That was a great article!

    Doug Santo
    Pasadena, CA

  • ||

    "The federal government has had a unbalanced budget, give or take a few years when the Democrats were in charge" -- Steve Smith

    Actually, we had divided government at that time, and the Republicans were in charge of the budget as the majority party in both houses, and the Democrat was POTUS.

    But hey, don't let the facts get in the way of a good slight of hand argument.

  • ||

    California Voters Exercise Their Power-and That's the Problem

    Proving that the modern left are nothing but the enemies of freedom.

    By the way, elimating Medicare/Medicaid fraud and stopping health care, welfare & education to illegals would basically eliminate CA's budget problems.

    But those area elphants in the room.

  • M. Simon||

    The federal government has had a unbalanced budget, give or take a few years when the Democrats were in charge,

    Uh. You might want to read the Constitution. Spending originates in Congress. It was a Republican Congress that reduced spending.

  • ||

    And here is just what California needs:

    The State Department confirmed today that as many as 1,350 Iraqi Palestinians - once the well-treated guests of Saddam Hussein and now at outs with much of Iraqi society - will be resettled in the US, mostly in southern California, starting this fall.

    It will be the largest-ever resettlement of Palestinian refugees into the US - and welcome news to the Palestinians who fled to Iraq after 1948 but who have had a tough time since Mr. Hussein was deposed in 2003. Targeted by Iraqi Shiites, the mostly-Sunni Palestinians have spent recent years in one of the region's roughest refugee camps, Al Waleed, near Iraq's border with Syria.

    "Really for the first time, the United States is recognizing a Palestinian refugee population that could be admitted to the US as part of a resettlement program," says Bill Frelick, refugee policy director at Human Rights Watch in Washington.

    Given the US's past reluctance to resettle Palestinians - it accepted just seven Palestinians in 2007 and nine in 2008 - the effort could ruffle some diplomatic feathers.



    Lovely.

  • Mike DeSoto||

    If even California's famous fruits and nuts can call the statists' bluff, there may be hope for the rest of the country.



    No. There is no bringing this corpse back to life.

  • Mike DeSoto||

    I have not quite figured out why, if California is being dragged down by the billions due to an invasion of foreign nationals whose disregard for the law and the US Constitution is evidenced by their very presence, the government and the legal residents of the State of California do not just sue the Federal government to compel securing the borders and enforcement of immigration laws. I guess the same would apply to any of the border states being overrun by illegal aliens.

    Anyone?


    The Democrats like having them here for obvious reasons - they support statism. The Republicans like having them here because the Chamber of Commerce likes having them here, and the highest aspiration of the GOP is to be the political arm of the CoC.

    Neither political party (and it's a bit of a joke to pretend that there are two) gives a flying fuck about what is best for America or Americans. In general, what is best for America and Americans is worst for the "two" parties.

  • ||

    There's a reason that the citizens blundered into the initiatives game: the CA legislature refused to address our most pressing issues. They sat on their hands wrt illegal immigration's impact on schools, hospitals and social welfare costs. They sat on their hands wrt worker's compensation. They are still sitting on their hands when it comes to the disaster generously called 'public education' in this state.

    The public may be inconsistent knuckleheads in demanding programs while refusing to support new taxes, but THIS IS NOT THE PUBLIC'S JOB. That's why we have a legislature. To negotiate the tough choices on our behalf, to explain the implications to the public--and to make the final call.

    The CA legislature has become a bill factory, busying themselves with every chickenshit aspect of our business and private lives while ignoring the elephants dancing all around them.

  • ||

    Clearly, California voters don't like higher taxes. Have they decided they don't like highter spending yet?

  • ||

    Please tell me where I can sign the petition to Recall Them All!

  • botw||

    What a difference it would make if only people who paid taxes on a net basis were permitted to vote.

  • ||

    May I?

    Yo, fuck the political class - and any notion of a political class.

  • Ayn R. Key||

    While I opposed the voter sponsored spending initiatives, I also recognize that they form a small portion of the budget. And that the L. A. Times, which blames the voter, endorsed them. You can't entirely blame the initiatives for the very small portion of the budget that is very largely out of balance. It is the politicians who made it very largely out of balance.

  • JSR||

    "Spending originates in Congress. It was a Republican Congress that reduced spending."

    When did a Republican Congress reduce spending? There was a brief period in the late '90s when a Republican Congress slightly restrained the increase in spending, allowing a gusher of fake internet money to briefly disguise that fact, but that's about it.

  • Richard Rider, Chairman, San D||

    Yes, California voters supported more spending and $100B+ in bonds. But sadly, the average voter doesn't see the connection between these commitments and higher taxes.

    When it comes to state bonds, the deception is by design.

    A LOCAL bond usually includes a specific tax increase to go with it -- so the voter knows what the measure is going to cost. Furthermore most such bonds require a 2/3 vote majority to pass (55% for most school bonds).

    On the state level, no tax is included with the bond -- it seems to be almost free. In addition, the bond can be passed with a simple majority vote. Unsophisticated voters are left to assume that the payments somehow will be magically paid out of the general fund.

  • ||

    Lipigan:

    No, the voters aren't being naive or hypocritical at all.

    One, they were never allowed to vote on the "retire at age 55 with full benefits and salary" plans voted in by the Legislature in thrall to Unions. That drain is so huge on some cities, they've gone or are tetering on the edge of insolvency.

    Two, they were barred from any input on funding the massive influx of illegals: they have voted repeatedly (and against the warnings of the LA Times for Prop 109) to cut off benefits for illegals, but the Legislature won't listen; neither will the federal courts.

    So the California taxpayer supports trauma rooms, doctors, welfare above the national guidelines, translators in courts and shools--all for non-citizens and their children. Noncitizens in California "remit" billions from their wages each year to Mexico--its one of Mexico's largest sources of income. But some people will tell you illegals don't matter.

    That's like saying quartering someone else's kids in your home to bathe, clothe, feed, provide for medical care "don't matter." We all know better. The legislature refused to listen. And now its probably too engrained to change.

    Three, the ballot measures: nearly all of the spending measures were endorsed by the Times. Never did the Times reccomend any cuts to pay for them.

    The only solutions proposed by media and our so-called elites are more spending and higher taxes.

    The LA Times in particular, has betrayed the people of California. Businesses and jobs have fled; the budget is broken; unions are in control. The Times still brays for more taxes to pay for less and less. They are absolutely clueless at the Times.

  • Richard Rider, Chairman, San D||

    Voters deserve only a small part of the blame.

    Voters didn't decide to ban private jails in California, resulting in our per-prisoner incarceration costs being over 50% higher than the rest of the nation.

    Voters didn't decide to give away huge pensions and opulent health care benefits to our "public servants."

    Voters didn't decide to pay over $100K annually to 20-something prison guards with high school educations.

    Voters didn't decide to let most highway patrol personnel to retire on bogus disability claims.

    Voters didn't vote for most of the state commissions that impede commerce while paying the "commissioners" patronage salaries of $120K or more for at most six weeks work.

    Voters didn't decide to give away community college educations at fire sale prices. (The average nationwide community college tuition is 4.5 times higher than California's.)

    I could go on (and often do). Enough for now.

  • Mike DeSoto||

    Rothbard gets to the root of the problem in this essay. We are ruled by an "elite" which controls both political parties.

    He points to Prop 187 as a notable instance in which both so-called sides cast their mask off and united against the American people in defence of larger goverment.


    ---------------------------------

    California's Proposition 187 provides a fascinating case study of the vital rift between the intellectual, business, and media elites, and the general public. There is the massive funding and propaganda the elites are willing to expend to thwart the desires of the people; the mobilizing of support by "oppressed" minorities; and finally, when all else fails, the willingness to wheel in the instruments of anti-democratic coercion to block, permanently if possible, the manifest will of the great majority of the American people. In short, "democracy" in action!

    In recent years, a flood of immigrants, largely illegal, has been inundating California, some from Asia but mainly from Mexico and other Latin American countries. These immigrants have dominated and transformed much of the culture, proving unassimilable and swamping tax-supported facilities such as medical care, the welfare rolls, and the public schools. In consequence, former immigration official Harold Ezell helped frame a ballot initiative, Prop. 187, which simply called for the abolition of all taxpayer funding for illegal immigrants in California.

    Prop. 187 provided a clear-cut choice, an up-or-down referendum on the total abolition of a welfare program for an entire class of people who also happen to be lawbreakers. If we are right in our assessment of the electorate, such an initiative should gain the support of not only every conservative and libertarian, but of every sane American. Surely, illegals shouldn't be able to leach off the taxpayer.

    Support for Prop. 187 spread like wildfire, it got signatures galore, and it quickly spurted to a 2:1 lead in the polls, although its organized supporters were only a network of small, grass-roots groups that no one had ever heard of. But every single one of the prominent, massively funded elite groups not only opposed Prop. 187, but also smeared it unmercifully.

    The smearbund included big media, big business, big unions, organized teachers, organized medicine, organized hospitals, social workers (the latter four groups of course benefitting from taxpayer funds channeled to them via the welfare-medical-public school support system), intellectuals, writers, academics, leftists, neo-conservatives, etc. They denounced Prop. 187 grass-roots proponents as nativists, fascists, racists, xenophobes, Nazis, you name it, and even accused them of advocating poverty, starvation, and typhoid fever.

    Joining in this richly-funded campaign of hysteria and smear was the entire official libertarian (or Left-libertarian) movement, including virtually every "free-market" and "libertarian" think tank except the Mises Institute. The Libertarian Party of California weighed in too, taking the remarkable step of fiercely opposing a popular measure that would eliminate taxpayer funding of illegals, and implausibly promising that if enough illegals came here, they would eventually rise up and slash the welfare state.

    ------------------------

    Guess which side the faux libertarians at Reason are on?

  • ||

    T, 30 years ago, Barry Manilow=spanish fly.

    I can't imagine anybody wanting to get it on listening to "Copacabana" or "I Write the Songs". Truly, the 70s must have been a horrific decade. I'm glad I was young and not exposed to the full horror.

    Back in the late seventies Barry was known as the "homo's Bob Dylan."

  • ||

    The LA times had an interactive a week or two ago with options to balance the budget. In five minutes I was able to balance the budget and run a 700 million surplus and that is with the choices given.

    The reality is that if 20% of the state workforce is reduced and the rest get a 20% pay cut (and give them a jobs section of the paper if they are not happy) the budget is balanced. Tell the feds to piss of with the unfunded mandates and the budget is in to a deep surplus.
    Get rid of all of the anti-business regulations the state has crammed on business over the years and the state will boom and have a far better diversified tax base will a lower overall rate for all.

    Scale back the outrageous union shake down pensions by recalculating them to the average of the base salary only of the last 15 years of service and limit increase only to inflation and you get to pay off the debt in a decade. Limit spending increase only for inflation and population and in a decade the state can eliminate the income tax and end general obligation debt. At that point if the communist are still running the federal government California may well be better off financially leaving the US.

  • Tim Lara||

    This is a huge problem for California, I wonder if it's fixable, or at least fixable before it becomes even more of a problem. I think the legalization of marijuana may be able to help offset some of this 23 billion dollar deficit but itll still take time. www.yovia.com/blogs/timlara

  • Mike Laursen||

    Birthright and citizenship is another thing. The concept you describe is called "jus soli". Most nation states on Earth apply a mixture of "just soli" and "jus sanguinis". In my home country, the Czech Republic, a child of two foreigners would not get Czech citizenship on birth.

    I understand all that. My points were (a) beneath all the Latin phrases and our perception of it as normal, the idea of carving up the globe into things called "nation-states" with borders dotted in on the map is kinda weird and is ultimately just a game; (b) let's not get so caught up in that game that we screw over children -- it's a distinct help in life for a kid to start out with "jus soli" citizenship -- i.e. to have a nation-state they can call home.

  • Freedom Fan||

    Excellent article, Matt. I especially like the line "California is the Ghost of Federal Government Future."

    The union thugs and their MSM cheerleaders are throttling the life out of California.

    Under King Obama, America is the next victim of ACORN, SEIU and the UAW.

  • ||

    The newspapers mentioned did have a valid point, although not because voters rejected tax increases. CA residents and voters have tolerated Democratic politiicans who have represented the unions and the whackiest special interests to the great detriment of the state and its residents. CA is no longer viewed as the Golden State, but the home of the strange & insane. If you hear something too strange to be true these days 9 time out of 10 its come from CA. Most states would have done a reality check some time ago and done a corrective purge, but not in CA. Its a solid blue state except for the ocassional RINO Governor. The only problem with CA is that we now have a Federal Government following in its footsteps, and as the whackos have fled the scene of their devastation and taking up in places like Colorado the infection has spread. There's nothing more enticing than a free lunch!

  • Chad Penn||

    This article contains almost zero facts and instead summarizes opinions from right wing pundits and hurls mud at the media, unions and elected officials. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but I only credit ones that can be backed up by facts and evidence. Conservatives like this want something for nothing for themselves, they benefit from the same infrastructure as the rest of us, they just don't want to pay for it, but they want nothing for those who actually do the menial labor they abhor. Why shouldn't someone who slaves away for the state for 30 years retire with a nice pension? To me hard work and loyalty are more deserving of a reward than having the privilege of being born into wealth - it's as though certain segments of our society believe they have a devine right to wealth, and the rest are somehow less fortunate by God's will. Rubbish, all of it.

  • Mke DeSoto||

    Why shouldn't someone who slaves away for the state for 30 years retire with a nice pension?

    Like a quarter million dollars per year pension? Not bad for "slaving". Where can I become a slave?

  • Mike DeSoto||

    the idea of carving up the globe into things called "nation-states" with borders dotted in on the map is kinda weird and is ultimately just a game

    It's not a "game" and it's not "weird". Humans have been doing it for their extire existence on Earth.


    let's not get so caught up in that game that we screw over children -- it's a distinct help in life for a kid to start out with "jus soli" citizenship -- i.e. to have a nation-state they can call home.


    You just got through saying that the idea of nation-states was "kinda weird" and a "game". You can't turn around in the next sentence and sing its praises.

    Everyone on the world already has a nation state which thay can call home. With the possible excepton of Americans, whose "home" has been declared an open house for anyone who wants to come to it.

  • Mike DeSoto||

    the numbers show that services for immigrants are not responsible for the majority of California's deficit.



    There are no hard numbers to show that one way or the other, as the government prefers that such numbers not exist. But (a) immigrants vote Democratic, (b) CA is s Democratic party fiefdom, and (c) the Democratc party is responsible for the majority of CA's deficit. Therefore ......

    The same holds through in other parts of the country. Find a state with lots of wonderful immigrants in it and you'll have found a state with a colossal government and even more colossal budget defict.

  • ||

    This is an outstanding column, and this indeed is The Ghost of Obama's Future. If you've always wished for a set of circumstances and political outcomes that would--once and for all--prove the utter failure called Liberalism, we have it. We have it in California, in Michigan, in Massachusetts, and several more. What's common among them all? They're all Democrat-controlled. So the thesis is a good one: This is Obama's future, staring him in the face. He and Bumbling Biden have been trotting out the word 'inherited' at every turn, and with every utterance (and the passage of time) the word dilutes a little more.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Humans have been doing it for their extire existence on Earth.

    We've formed territorial power groups for our entire existence, but the specific nation-state concept of territoriality only dates back about two centuries. It's a relatively new idea, not necessarily well-suited for the modern world of globalized trade, the Internet, and jet travel.

    It is totally weird and a game: Let's draw an imaginary line here. Everyone on this side of the line is a citizen of Foozistan. Everyone on the other side is a citizen of Barzistan.

    Practical fact is, though, that starting out as an American citizen gives a kid advantages in life. Why do we want to deny that advantage to some kid who is born here?

  • Mike Laursen||

    There are no hard numbers to show that one way or the other...

    That may be. The number I was referring to were ones that have been quoted to me by anti-immigration commenters here when pressed to come up with some facts to back their assertions. Even their own numbers show illegal immigration to be only a minor cause of California's budge problems.

  • Mike Laursen||

    they benefit from the same infrastructure as the rest of us, they just don't want to pay for it

    Do conservatives want the high-speed rail project?

  • ||

    Then I say, the earth belongs to each of these generations during its course, fully and in its own right. The second generation receives it clear of the debts and incumbrances of the first, the third of the second, and so on. For if the first could charge it with a debt, then the earth would belong to the dead and not to the living generation. Then, no generation can contract debts greater than may be paid during the course of its own existence.

    --Thomas Jefferson


    I wonder, how many future generations are these blood suckers will to steal from?

  • ||

    "Why shouldn't someone who slaves away for the state for 30 years retire with a nice pension? To me hard work and loyalty are more deserving of a reward than having the privilege of being born into wealth..."


    My gosh, how clueless can you be? Many teachers retire now with benefits that equal having $2 million in the bank. How about retiring in your early 50s and still getting $85k a year, including cost of living adjustments plus full medical, for prison guards who have a high school education?

    Studies show the average public employee in CA makes 43% more than the equivilant worker in the private sector. It used to be a trade-off to become a public servant, giving up chances for wealth in exchange for stability. Now it's a golden retirement parachute enabled by millions of union dollars spent on political ads and graft.

    My neighbor got a job recently teaching in Placer County. The first three meetings she went to were about political action, non-school social events and how to use your sick hours for days off before you used your paid leave or vacation days.

  • Loving the subtle humor||

    "California's famous fruits and nuts" - wait, I see what you did there. You're talking about how everyone is gay in California. Wow, that's really funny.

  • ||

    The Sacramento Bee is a pathetic liberal fascist rag of the lowest caliber, laughably juvenile and moronic, which reflects the mental state of the California Legislature, truly an enemy of the public in its slavish adherence to demonstrably false marxist doctrine. As a european-american male, the state government does absolutely nothing for me, and I am thrilled at the prospect of it going out of existence. I am willing to go to great lengths to help the government on its way to oblivion, as it is an evil cabal of marxist, elitist con artists.

  • Mike DeSoto||

    Practical fact is, though, that starting out as an American citizen gives a kid advantages in life. Why do we want to deny that advantage to some kid who is born here?



    Because they are not Americans, and handing out American citizenship to everyone devalues something which you admit is presently of value.

    If you're going to blow off the mere detail that they are not legally here, the next logical step is say "who cares what side of some aritifical border somebody is born on?".

    (You've hinted at that position already.)

    And the answer is I care, because I care about the cause of limited government and bleeding heart libertarians such as you are undermining it.

    What illegal immigration has done to California so far it will do for all of America shortly, unless people get their heads out of their asses.

  • Mike DeSoto||

    We've formed territorial power groups for our entire existence, but the specific nation-state concept of territoriality only dates back about two centuries.

    Not so. The idea of a "nation" is based on the idea of groups of people with something in common - language, race, religion, etc - living together in one political unit. It's an ancient idea even if the form of the political unit may change from time to time. The English and French of the 14th century understood the concept perfectly.


    And it's an idea endorsed by the classical liberals of the 19th and 20th centuries, people the modern "libertarian" movement seem anxious to repudiate.

    "Free institutions are next to impossible in a country made up of different nationalities. Among a people without fellow-feeling, especially if they read and speak different languages, the united public opinion, necessary to the working of representative government, cannot exist." JS Mill

    He goes on to explain in some detail exactly WHY multinational states must lead to big government, but you can track it down for yourself.

  • We need to get violent||

    All these solutions you all present... Yeah, some of them make sense and might even work. But you are just yammering to the choir. Have any of you done ANYTHING? I've worked for Libertarian candidates for the last three elections.

    But the politicians in power will not allow any change. Period. Not in California. The state legislature is absolute, corrupt sociological evil.

    It is time for things to start *B*U*R*N*I*N*G*.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Because they are not Americans...

    You are begging the question.

    ... handing out American citizenship to everyone devalues something which you admit is presently of value.

    Devalues it in what sense? The literal cost of giving a kid citizenship is negligible: a few pieces of paper documenting their birth, that you would want to draw up even if you weren't acknowledging citizenship.

    Waters it down in some way? No more than copying a piece of software waters down the original copy.

    Who knows whether the kid will turn out to be an asset to society or a burden. It's the same gamble we take on kids born to U.S. citizens. A lot of them grow up to be worthless sods.

  • Mike Laursen||

    The idea of a "nation" is ...

    I'm talking specifically about nation-states, not nations.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Mill was wrong about that one. A couple centuries of successful assimilation of immigrants from all over the globe has clearly shown that the melting pot works great.

  • Mike DeSoto||

    A couple centuries of successful assimilation of immigrants from all over the globe has clearly shown that the melting pot works great.




    Sure, as seen in California for example or even the US. At least if your idea of "working great" involves ever growing government and a bankrupt country. It's a waste of time to try to talk to an ideologue. Facts bounce off them like bullets off Superman. They know their theory is right and if the facts don't agree with it, then the facts are wrong!


    Waters it down in some way? No more than copying a piece of software waters down the original copy.


    Right, giving away a free copy of MS Office to everyone on Earth would sure not lower its value, no sireee!

    When did "libertarians" become as economically illiterate as communists?

  • Mike DeSoto||

    Mill was wrong

    Are there any actual libertarian thinkers you do agree with?

  • Mike DeSoto||

    I'm talking specifically about nation-states, not nations.

    You don't know what you're talking about. A "state" in a "nation-state" is whatever political setup any given nation has created for itself. Nations are not separable from nation-states unless you prefer that people live in multi-national empires, something I'm beginning to suspect you do favor.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Are there any actual libertarian thinkers you do agree with?

    Begging the question AND appealing to authority. Wow, two classic fallacious arguments in one comment thread.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Yes, a "state" is a "nation-state". You were talking about a "nation", not a "state".

    As for what I prefer, I think a new type of political organization more in tune with the modern world needs to evolve: networked, friendly to free movement of trade and people, racially and culturally diverse, territorial legal jurisdiction over human matters pared back to matters that are actually territory-related, shrinking of huge states back towards smaller territories or even something more like city-states.

    The nation-state and its tendency towards isolation, nationalism, and empire building ain't the be-all-and-end-all of the evolution of human government.

  • ||

    During Schwarzenegger's 1st 4 years he added 43,000 new state employees. Since we got along quite well without them during Gumby Davis' regime, we can get along without them now.
    Then there is the outrageous fact that the median salary for state employees is over $66,000 per year, while the median private sector salary for similar work is $36,000 per year. Therefore, a modest first step in balancing the budget would be to fire all 43,000 of these most recent state hires, and then shave state salaries down to private sector levels. And that's just for starters.

  • ||

    it not over ! recall arnold calif cannt take 18 more mo. of arnold calif well be broke

  • jhn||

    But voters really are idiots. Even Rush knows this. The editorials are right in that regard.

  • jhn||

    By the way, I'll take any number of illegal immigrants over you dipshit anti-immigration internet commenters any day.

    At least they're doing something productive with their lives.

  • Mike DeSoto||

    At least they're doing something productive with their lives.

    Just like you pro-illegal immigrant commenters? You people argue like moonbats.

  • Mike DeSoto||

    The nation-state and its tendency towards isolation, nationalism, and empire building ain't the be-all-and-end-all of the evolution of human government.

    Great, let's switch instead towards your prefered solution of a sngle worldwide state. Strangely, thats exactly what the commnists were after. You're a neo-com, Laursen.

    Begging the question AND appealing to authority..

    So I take is the answer, is "No", there are no actual libertarian thinkers you agree with. I lot of what you're spewing here would fit right in with Marx and Marcuse.

    That's Reason for you - the home of neo-communism on the net.

  • Mike DeSoto||

    territorial legal jurisdiction over human matters pared back to matters that are actually territory-related

    A rational person might think that the matter of which people live in a territory is a territory-related matter. A rational person might also understand that people are not, contrary to neo-communism, fungible and interchangable units, and that the "free movement of people" is not compatible with any other sort of freedom.


    shrinking of huge states back towards smaller territories or even something more like city-states.

    That's a good goal to aim for, but what makes you a neo-com is that your means do not take you to that end, but to the exact opposite end - a single worldwide super-state which exercises ultimate control over all those city-states.

    Some people like you do not understand that the outcome of their dreams must be world-wide tyranny. Others do understand it, and consider that to be a feature and not a bug.

  • ||

    Mike Laursen

    Here is an article about illegal immigration costs. The author figures about $2.3 Billion for educating illegal immigrant children , of which 300,000. However she uses a figure of about 2,600 per pupil per year whereas the state estimates 11,600 per pupil per year, getting us to $3.48 billion, about 13.9% of the state budget deficit.

    Now, lets add in a very conservative estimate of 500,000 children of illegal immigrant women in the school system. (2.7 million estimate of total illegal immigrants, times 40% women, times per women fertility of 3, divided by 6 -- the fraction of life we spend in the K-12 education system on average. Round down) , that adds 5.8 Billion to education costs directly attributable to illegal immigration, for a total of 9.28 Billion in education costs alone directly attributable to illegal immigraiton. That is over 37% of the states 25 Billion dollar budget deficit, simply in education costs for illegals.

    Think this is fantasy, here's a little vignette from the article
    ---
    And others say the nation's humanitarian traditions and long-term interests compel extending a helping hand to people such as Delia Godinez.

    Godinez, a 43-year-old undocumented Mexican immigrant, left an abusive family and lives in transitional housing. Four of her five children are citizens and receive a total of about $650 each month from the state's CalWorks program. She also receives about $500 in federal food stamps and other vouchers.
    ---

  • ||

    Oops, forgot the link to the illegal immigraiton costs article

    http://www.latimes.com/news/la-me-illegal10-2009jul10,0,4951833.story?track=ntothtml

  • ||

    The nation-state and its tendency towards isolation, nationalism, and empire building ain't the be-all-and-end-all of the evolution of human government.

    Empire building is a specifically non-national, indeed cosmopolitan, phenomenon. But in the words of Meatloaf, two out of three ain't bad.

  • Roger Cotton||

    Perhaps, if the Democrats, unions, and assorted Leftists stopped misrepresenting ballot measures to Californians, the citizens would not vote for things that they really don't want to fund.

  • ||

    the idea of carving up the globe into things called "nation-states" with borders dotted in on the map is kinda weird and is ultimately just a game;
    Then move to Mexico. After all, it's just there because of a dotted line on a map drawn by dead white men.

  • abercrombie milano||

    My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I'm sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won't get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there's more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I'm not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It's just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight...the Bible's books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on...the Bible's books were written by people with very different mindsets...in order to really get the Books of the Bible, you have to cultivate such a mindset, it's literally a labyrinth, that's no joke

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