The Totalitarian Ethics of California’s Public Sector Unions

The latest scam to keep pension reform off of the ballot

In my last column, I documented how California’s pro-union Attorney General Kamala Harris provided an unfair and dishonest title and summary to a pair of pension reform initiatives submitted to her office, thus effectively killing the measures. Last week the unions tried—and almost succeeded—with an even nastier stunt designed to undermine democracy.

In San Diego, unions are fearful of a new pension reform measure referred to by supporters as Comprehensive Pension Reform, or CPR, that has qualified for the June 2012 ballot. Instead of simply gearing up to fight this political battle, the unions petitioned one of those ridiculous commissions that most Californians have never even heard of, the Public Employment Relations Board, which is unfriendly turf for taxpayers. The union said placing the initiative on the ballot amounted to an unfair labor practice, and PERB called for an injunction to stop the election until it could complete its sham proceedings.

In essence, the unions and this unelected board insist that the people of San Diego have no right to vote on pension reform. This is just the latest reminder of the totalitarian ethics of a public-sector union movement that doesn’t care about anything other than protecting its benefits.

“Never in the history of this state ... has there ever been a requirement to meet and confer over a citizens’ initiative placed on the ballot by voter signatures,” wrote city attorney Jan Goldsmith in a toughly worded letter to PERB. Pension reform advocate Carl DeMaio, a councilman and mayoral candidate, criticized PERB's assault on Californians' constitutional rights. Fortunately, a judge agreed with the city, but expect the unions to head back to court if their campaign against CPR fails.

The unions that dominate Sacramento are not about to let any serious reform take place given that real reform—especially in light of frightening new unfunded pension liability numbers—means that the days of millionaires’ pensions (one would need millions in the bank to receive the amounts commonly received by recent California government retirees) eventually have to end. Unions don't mind undermining the public's right to vote. They don't care if our taxes go through the roof and businesses flee the state. They don't care if services are slashed. They want their money.

Even Gov. Jerry Brown’s modest pension reform proposals are going nowhere in a Democratic-controlled Legislature that continues to promote expanded benefits for public employees, including a recently introduced Public Employees Bill of Rights. That leaves few other choices than a continuing gallop toward the brink.

While other liberal states such as Rhode Island are addressing their pension problems, and some Midwestern states such as Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana are fighting battles over union power, California does basically nothing. I appreciate the governor’s pension proposals, but he continues to view hefty tax increases as the only real solution to the state’s budget problems. The deficit has shrunk a bit, and Standard & Poor’s pushed up the state’s credit rating a tad, but the fundamentals have not improved here very much.

Where does that leave us?

Economist Allan Meltzer once quipped that “Capitalism without failure is like religion without sin. It doesn’t work.” Americans have been witnessing this axiom on a broad scale, as government efforts to prop up industries, bail out the financial sector, and protect select private businesses from failure have only caused a prolonged financial crisis. Without failure, there is no day of reckoning and no effort by the failed party to make the fundamental changes needed to avert future crisis.

The problem in the public sector is that government never is allowed to fail. There never is a day of reckoning no matter how poorly a government agency may provide its so-called services. Often, the worst agencies are rewarded for their failure by being granted additional public dollars. California governments have continually ramped up pension promises, but governments can’t go out of business, so they just keep piling up the debt.

When there’s no money left, officials play games with the numbers or—as Gov. Brown continues to do—make it their main objective to raise taxes.

Since reform can't take place because of union control, some have proposed wider use of the bankruptcy option so municipalities can reorganize their debt. The main critics of the bankruptcy option are the unions. They know that bankruptcy would enable governments to abrogate these unaffordable contracts. The public-employee unions championed a bill, signed into law by Brown in October that makes municipal bankruptcy more cumbersome by forcing localities to get approval for such actions by additional committees.

Some even see the bankruptcy option as something that should be allowed for states. In January 2011 GOP pols Jeb Bush and Newt Gingrich ignited this debate with a Los Angeles Times op-ed titled, “Better Off Bankrupt” that argued that an organized bankruptcy process might help states overcome staggering budget deficits. But other conservatives, concerned about the impact of bankruptcy on bond markets, have been campaigning against this idea. They note that the highly publicized Vallejo bankruptcy ultimately did little to reform that city’s super-sized pensions for public employees.

I’m not advocating for bankruptcy per se, but what happens when all other reform options are taken off the table? What happens when the politics of a state won't allow the reforms necessary to save that state? In other words, what happens when failure is not an option? If the likes of Harris and PERB and the unions continue to get their way, we very well may get to see the answer here in California.

Steven Greenhut is vice president of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. He is based in Sacramento.

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  • ||

    Regular people have no power in California and can't win these battles. Even though it's been my home for 48 years, I'll be leaving soon.

  • ||

    Welcome to the party! I left 7 years ago and have not looked back!

  • Tajik Man With Large Mussels ||

    California was once a land of the milks and money. Now it is the land of the saggy breasts and the foreclosurings.

  • Pink Panthers||

    You, sir, are a pig!

  • Panty Dropper 5000||

    California's best days are still ahead of her. She's a young innocent virgin compared to Western Europe.

  • Ron Jeremy's Sensitive Side||

    The thing about California is that channels the mind in incredible ways.

  • Buck Naked||

    "All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters."

    - F.D.R. 1937

    Somehow this gets left out of the discussion by Progressives in modern America.

  • Number 2||

    Yes, it does get left out.

    I have read that the real impetus for public sector unions came from Mayor Robert Wagner in New York City in the late 1950's/early 1960's, as a way of undercutting the power of the NYC Borough Presidents, who historically had the power to hire and fire city employees and therefore controlled their loyalty. Unions would need to negotiate directly with the Mayor, and would therefore be beholden to him.

    Once public sector unions were established in the Big Apple, the momentum carried across the country.

    From this crass political calculation came the mess we are facing today.

  • ||

    When there’s no money left, officials play games with the numbers or—as Gov. Brown continues to do—make it their main objective to raise taxes.

    This is how we got Prop 13.

    We need another Prop 13. We need Prop 13 times ten.

    We should be slashing taxes like mad.

    That's the only reasonable response to government refusing to cut the budget sufficiently and insisting on raising taxes.

    If the government won't cut the budget, then the people of California need to cut off the government's allowance. If they won't do the right thing on the budget unless they have no other choice, then we need to give them no other choice.

    Slash taxes through the ballot right freakin' now.

  • Jeffersonian||

    And there needs to be a rock-solid prohibition of those same governmental units issues alternative currencies (IOUs, for example) or debt to finance programs or operational expenditures.

  • ||

    It will never happen. And the tax burden will only get worse as they weaken Prop. 13. Starting next year, people in newer communities will no longer be allowed to deduct Mello Roos taxes (5K a year for me), and there are plans to exempt businesses from the benefits of Prop. 13, and assess and tax their property every year. Even if you could get a tax reduction proposition on the ballot, and could convince enough of the idiot voters to approve it, some crooked judge would overturn it. Face it, California is a sinking ship. Flee while you can and watch from a safe distance as she collapses!

  • ||

    DOOM!

    We've been in worse situations before.

    It was probably worse in California in 1978 when Prop 13 passed, especially when you consider the inflation rate was at around 7% compared to around 3% now. Can you imagine how much worse taxes would have been in '79, '80, '81 when the inflation rate was in double digits?

    Anyway, we're not as bad off as we were back then from an economic environment standpoint--and that may make the prospect of real reform less likely. ...but then being better off than we were then from an economic standpoint isn't a bad thing.

    We'll see how high taxes go. Remember, Prop 13 was in no small part a reaction against rising taxes. If they get steep increases in taxes, thenwe may see a reaction.

    Either way, something's gotta give. They can't tax their way out of this budget. No way. They've spent too much for that.

  • Some Guy||

    Can you explain to me why you believe Prop 13 is different than rent control?

  • ||

    Can you explain to me why you believe Prop 13 is different than rent control?

    Can you explain why requiring a two-thirds majority to raise taxes is the same thing as rent control?

    In addition to decreasing property taxes, the initiative also contained language requiring a two-thirds majority in both legislative houses for future increases of any state tax rates or amounts of revenue collected, including income tax rates.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prop_13

    Can you explain to me why the voters limiting the power of government to tax them is the same thing as the government limiting how much a private individual can charge for rent?

  • Some Guy||

    Can you explain why requiring a two-thirds majority to raise taxes is the same thing as rent control?

    Because that's not what Prop 13 does. It just shifts all the burden of the (well over 2%) tax increases onto new house owners. Just like rent control, it greatly distorts the market by giving a disincentive to ever move, creating a dysfunctional market.

    Would you think it would be a great idea to cap AGI increases at 2%, as long as you never changed jobs, but continually raising the income tax rate on everyone who did? That's just the government collecting less taxes, right?

  • ||

    Prop 13 was just one of many initiatives to limit the government's ability to tax Californians. If I'm not mistaken, dozens of others were defeated on the ballot during the same election.

    Would it have been better if voters had slashed taxes across the board in an even way?

    Absolutely.

    Regardless, when the government is incapable of getting the budget under control, and the only solution they can come up with is to raise taxes--even in the face of economic stagnation? Then the solution is to cut off their ability to raise more revenue.

    You're letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. As mortifying as the prospect of uneven taxation is on California home owners, I assure you, doing nothing to cut California's taxing and spending is far, far worse.

    Ignore the ballot solution because what we could get passed wouldn't be perfect?

    That's absurd.

  • ||

    Am I supposed to imagine that if it hadn't been for Prop 13, that California would have spent less money?

    That if not for Prop 13, our taxes would be lower?

    All of that's absurd.

    Are we supposed to pretend that the problem of uneven taxation is really a bigger problem than the government's overspending and the prospect of even higher taxes?

    You seem to be lacking a sense of proportion, here, among other things.

  • Some Guy||

    That if not for Prop 13, our taxes would be lower?

    Yes. Or it would, it would at least be the same. Therefore best case all it did was to create an imbalance on who has to pay for that spending, while at the same time distorting the markets.

    Are we supposed to pretend that the problem of uneven taxation is really a bigger problem than the government's overspending and the prospect of even higher taxes?

    So what you do is pretend that uneven taxation fixes overspending and higher taxes? All of the insanity in California in the past few decades happened WITH Prop 13 in place.

    You guaranteed that no matter how much is spent, current house owners will not have to pay a penny more for it, and think that didn't incentivize more spending?

  • ||

    Yes. Or it would, it would at least be the same. Therefore best case all it did was to create an imbalance on who has to pay for that spending, while at the same time distorting the markets.

    That's absurd.

    As I already mentioned, in the first three years after Prop 13 approved in 1978, the CPI was extremely high.

    In 1979, it was 11.3%. In 1980, it was 13.5%, In 1981, it was 10.3%. If Prop 13 capped property taxes at 2% annually, and restricted reassessments to a change in ownership, then how could that NOT have resulted in less taxes now than homeowners would have paid otherwise?

    Oh, not to mention, the two-thirds majority required by both houses in the legislature to approve a tax increase? If that didn't result in lower taxes than there would have been otherwise, then why has everyone who wanted to raise taxes in California constantly complained about that provision since?

  • ||

    So what you do is pretend that uneven taxation fixes overspending and higher taxes?

    I must not understand you properly. Because the implications of what I hear you saying are so absurd, it defies everything I know about government.

    You seem to be suggesting that if it weren't for the budget deficit, that the state of California would spend less money. Has that ever been the case? Has there ever been a situation in the history of the world when a government was so flush with cash--that it decided to slash spending?!

    You seem to be suggesting that California's problem is a lack of revenue. That tax increases are the answer?

  • ||

    I'm suggesting that if out of control spending is the biggest political problem we have, then cutting that spending job 1. If the legislature is absolutely incapable of slashing the budget sufficiently? Then, yes, slashing the state's ability to collect revenue is way more important than taxation is neutral.

    If we don't see tens of thousands of newly unemployed government workers marching in Sacramento? Then our budget problems aren't really being addressed. If the government can't control spending? It wouldn't be able to control spending if they had more money either.

    The solution to politicians spending our money like drunken sailors is NOT to give them more money to spend!

    The ONLY check against government spending right now in California is...?

    How much they can collect in taxes. So the only way to make this government cut its spending is by slashing taxes.

  • Some Guy||

    You seem to be suggesting that if it weren't for the budget deficit, that the state of California would spend less money.

    You seem to be suggesting that California's problem is a lack of revenue. That tax increases are the answer?

    You would have to be illiterate, insane, or dishonest to claim that. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and go with the third option.

  • ||

    You would have to be illiterate, insane, or dishonest to claim that. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and go with the third option.

    So how are you proposing that California slash its budget?

    In case you haven't noticed, the legislature has that on the agenda for next NEVER.

  • ||

    You seem to be suggesting that California's problem is a lack of revenue. That tax increases are the answer?

    That's an interesting way to look at it, maybe you can get your head around it that way...

    If we increased the general level of taxation by 20%, do you imagine that's better for the economy--so long as the new level of taxation is tax neutral?

    Are you arguing that being tax neutral is so important, that it's more important than the general level of taxation?

  • Some Guy||

    The ONLY check against government spending right now in California is...?

    How much they can collect in taxes.

    You remind me of a drug warrior claiming the effectiveness of drug laws while ignoring the steady increase in drug availability and dismissing the collateral damage.

    Prop 13 has not constrained taxes, has not constrained revenue, and has not constrained spending.

  • ||

    Prop 13 has not constrained taxes, has not constrained revenue, and has not constrained spending.

    I disagree.

    They're lower now than they would have been otherwise. That's why so many big spenders wanted to get rid of Prop 13.

    They weren't opposed to Prop 13 becasue it isn't tax neutral--they're opposed becasue it constrains their ability to raise taxes.

  • ||

    Holy shit.

    The legislature has already shown that they'd rather release convicts they can't afford to imprison--rather than lay off more government employees.

    If that doesn't mean they won't cut the budget unless they have no other choice, I don't know what it means at all.

    Responsible Californians need to give them no other choice but to slash the budget--sooner. And the way to do that is by cutting taxes thought the ballot, if possible, ASAP.

  • Some Guy||

    So how are you proposing that California slash its budget?

    Are you asking for what I would cut, or how I would do it? By about 50%, and I don't see any politically feasible way.

    If we increased the general level of taxation by 20%, do you imagine that's better for the economy--so long as the new level of taxation is tax neutral?

    Of course not. You, on the other hand, seem to be opposed to a revenue-neutral balancing of taxes. I bet you love the mortgage interest deduction, don't you?

    Are you arguing that being tax neutral is so important, that it's more important than the general level of taxation?

    They are about the same.

    They're lower now than they would have been otherwise.

    You sound like Obama talking about the various bailouts and stimuli.

  • Some Guy||

    That's why so many big spenders wanted to get rid of Prop 13.
    They weren't opposed to Prop 13 becasue it isn't tax neutral--they're opposed becasue it constrains their ability to raise taxes.

    No, it just means there's one specific tax they can't raise one one specific protected group. It has just meant they have raised taxes just as much, but on a smaller group.

    The legislature has already shown that they'd rather release convicts they can't afford to imprison--rather than lay off more government employees.
    If that doesn't mean they won't cut the budget unless they have no other choice, I don't know what it means at all.

    Are you really under the delusion that I disagree with that?

  • Some Guy||

    Responsible Californians need to give them no other choice but to slash the budget--sooner. And the way to do that is by cutting taxes thought the ballot, if possible, ASAP.

    The only way to cut the budget is to cut the budget. You are not proposing that they do so, you are proposing that they shuffle around the tax burden, without lessening it.

  • Some Guy||

    In 1979, it was 11.3%. In 1980, it was 13.5%, In 1981, it was 10.3%. If Prop 13 capped property taxes at 2% annually, and restricted reassessments to a change in ownership, then how could that NOT have resulted in less taxes now than homeowners would have paid otherwise?

    I agree that there was a minor speed bump in taxation when it was first enacted. I am talking about now, not 30 years ago.

    And the plain fact is that taxes have gone up far more than 2% per year since then, without any 2/3 vote. They just call these taxes "higher assessments."

  • Jeffersonian||

    Cue Mange.

  • ||

    This is just the latest reminder of the totalitarian ethics of a public-sector union movement that doesn’t care about anything other than protecting its benefits.

    That doesn't make any sense. They're, like, public servants, dude.

  • ||

    In the 19th century the Marxists said that Russia was the last place they expected the Revolution to occur. Now here we are looking at the People's Democratic Republic of Kaliafornia. I wonder is this might not become ground zero for the 'get government the fuck out of my life movement.'

  • Almanian||

    Nooooooooobody expects the Spanish Inquisistion!

  • Top Men||

    We protect and serve our citizenry. We really are heroes.

  • ChrisO||

    If the California debt gets high enough, maybe we can just write off the loss and give it back to Mexico. Of course, they might consider that a hostile act.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Entirely redundant. They're getting it back through infiltration now.

  • Old Mexican||

    Even Gov. Jerry Brown’s modest pension reform proposals are going nowhere in a Democratic-controlled Legislature that continues to promote expanded benefits for public employees, including a recently introduced Public Employees' Bill of Rights.


    That is one of many WTF moments that make me oh so glad I left that place 2 years ago.

  • cw||

    All positive rights, I'm sure.

  • Almanian||

    Oh, yeah, right - let the proles VOTE on public employee pensions and pay and benefits and stuff. Sure.

    Next thing you know, we'll give the vote to WOMYN.

    Also, racist (somehow, I'm sure of it).

  • Old Mexican||

    If the likes of Harris and PERB and the unions continue to get their way, we very well may get to see the answer [to this conundrum] here in California.


    Better them than us, I've always said.

  • NotSure||

    It really is bizarre how unions which are supposed to be generally shrinking in size, are at the same time growing in power.

    If California does become like a Greece, where others needs to pump large amounts of cash in, it probably would still not break the iron grip the unions have on the state.

  • Sevo||

    NotSure|2.24.12 @ 7:21PM|#
    "It really is bizarre how unions which are supposed to be generally shrinking in size, are at the same time growing in power."

    Private-sector unions are dying. Public sector unions are increasing with the increased government employment.
    The latter are the ones in question here.

  • Robert||

    We have a PERB in NY -- I even represented someone before it -- but I've never heard of it doing anything approaching this.

  • Lone Wolf McQuade ||

    I love how we're all supposed to be outraged at union slobs while America's 1% have got us all bent over a chair.

  • Sevo||

    Lone Wolf McQuade |2.24.12 @ 10:21PM|#
    "I love how we're all supposed to be outraged at union slobs while America's 1% have got us all bent over a chair."

    Great bumper-sticker!
    Got that off a poster at an 'occupy' site? Or are you stupid enough to make it up and hope someone buys it?

  • Lone Wolf McQuade||

    Ron Paul *hearts* Mitt Romney, multimillionaire Massachuettes Governor and progenitor of Obamacare. Your false messiah is morally bankrupt. Sorry about that. It could be worse. At least they didn't make you drink the special punch in the dixie cups.

  • Sevo||

    Take your meds.

  • Cannot one.....||

    ...be disgusted with both?

  • Cannot one.....||

    ....and the (FSPEUF) Fat Slob Public Employee Union Folks ARE part of the %1.

  • Lone Wolf McQuade||

    Enough with the Ayn Rand Sadomasochism that has swept over the once proud and peculiar small tribe of libertarian peoples. Now they are droids working for Mitt Romney. They want to help the richest 1% put us over a chair. gang rape, sir, is morally wrong. Moral relativism be damned!

  • Sevo||

    "They want to help the richest 1% put us over a chair."

    Let me guess: You're a public employee who's beginning to realize your gravy train is going to get de-railed.

  • Lone Wolf McQuade||

    You libs ain't happy unless your railing some innocent somebody. Might as well rail the working man over a chair so long as Romney and the 1%ers approve of your sick deeds. Ron Paul is nothing but an airport bathroom liaison of the Mitt Romney campaign. You guys keep trying to change the subject while you send our jobs away, hike our gas prices and turn our wives into meth snorting whores.

  • LarryA||

    We were talking about government employees, not "working men."

    In California union members are the 1%.

  • Apogee||

    and turn our wives into meth snorting whores.

    I think we're getting to the core of the problem.

  • Gosh now,||

    Mitt ain't in office. Obama is and he is fucking the world with the US Military and plundering the local citizenry to pay for it, or haven't you noticed?

  • Lone Wolf McQuade||

    You libs ain't happy unless your railing some innocent somebody. Might as well rail the working man over a chair so long as Romney and the 1%ers approve of your sick deeds. Ron Paul is nothing but an airport bathroom liaison of the Mitt Romney campaign. You guys keep trying to change the subject while you send our jobs away, hike our gas prices and turn our wives into meth snorting whores.

  • Lone Wolf McQuade||

    Might as well rail the working man over a chair so long as Romney and the 1%ers approve of your sick deeds. Ron Paul is nothing but an airport bathroom liaison of the Mitt Romney campaign. You guys keep trying to change the subject while you send our jobs away, hike our gas prices and turn our wives into meth snorting whores.

  • Sevo||

    OK, spoof. Got it.

  • LilDebbie||

    listen, rectal, we get that your life is so devoid of anything that you are forced to rely upon crude trolling for your only human interaction, but i hear that pigeons make excellent friends. perhaps you should talk to some.

  • Arf! Arf! Arf!||

  • Arf! Arf! Arf!||

    What about single folks? Do they get smack-shooting sluts provided by the welfare state?

  • Public Unions are Murder||

    Witness the Kop Unions jumping to protect Killer Kops "just doing their jobs."

  • ||

    They want YOUR money.

  • ||

    Mr. Greenhut,
    I must say that your two paragraphs beginning with “Capitalism without failure is like religion without sin. It doesn’t work.” were among the most well-written I've seen.

    As a believer in Freedom, my point is not that unions are paid too much or too little. As the article points out, however, a free market demands that all prices (including wages) result from a competition between supply and demand. Why can't unions (or at least local chapters) compete with each other ?

    If there is some reason why public union jobs cannot compete, then they are a "natural" monopoly like an interstate gas pipeline. In this case, they need to be regulated (like FERC does for pipelines) by someone who is not shopping for votes.

    Either through competition or regulation, you would expect to see less diff between public sector wages and benefits and those of the private sector.

  • ||

    While I agree penchant reform is crucial, we can't ignore the bigger problem unions pose: the public not being able to fire sh*tty public employees!! Here in Madison, for example, they took a dirty cop and instead of firing him the unions had him moved to monitor high school students! Same with teachers. When a teacher should be fired, they just get moved to another school. How can public employees ever be held accountable for something with the unions the way? And don't they get that more people would defend them having penchants if maybe they were actually doing their jobs?

  • Legendary Teabagger Vance||

    Good thing that cops can still get a defined benefit plan with 80% at 55.

    I was worried for a moment this might go after those with the largest pensions.

    Maybe they can now just make everyone a cop?

  • ||

    I left CA 9 years ago due to incredible property taxes and goofy politicians.

    I now live in NM across the street from a retired CA OC cop. He lives in a $1.4 million house and has a $108k pension. So, he takes his CA tax payer funded pension to NM where he pays Very low property and income taxes.

    See how that works CA voters?

  • Bill Dan||

    Totalitarian??

    It is impossible to take this article seriously when it starts with such nonsense.

    In a totalitarian state there would have been no hearings, there would have no been dispute.

    There would have been firings squads.

    The overuse of these absurd analogies by the left and right server only to make their advocacy easy to dismiss. It may well to the fanatics - which is in the end quite ironic.

  • ||

    In a totalitarian society, the state would have kept things the party didn't like off the ballot, too.

    Seems spot on, to me.

    Just because one thing isn't like something else in every way, doesn't mean the ways they're similar can't be used for purposes of comparison.

    No, the public employee unions in California don't have death camps like a totalitarian state would, but if they don't want to be compared to totalitarians in the few ways they're similar? Then there's an easy way to avoid that...

    They should stop acting like totalitarians.

  • ||

    While I can appreciate the outrage at a clear attempt by the public sector unions to subvert the California ballot initiative process, I have a hard time getting excited about it.

    Lets not forget that, even if pension reform makes it to the ballot, and even if it passes, those same unions will immediately use our taxpayer dollars to sue to block it's implementation.

    Whether you were for or against Prop 8 (I was indifferent), it was the will of the people. Unimportant, it would seem, in this day and age.

  • ||

    The people at Reason Magazine might want to look up totalitarian when it refers to political ideology. Implicit in the word "totalitarian" is the fact that it is total control over the nation-state.

    It's not totalitarian. You can leave CA anytime you want. You chose to live in a certain state, you have to obey it's laws. You don't like it? You are free to leave.

    (And this is coming from a registered Republican.)

  • ||

    Since reason online believes that democracy calls for allowing a ballet vote be allowed on government pensions should a ballet vote be allowed on rich people's money: to pay more taxes

  • ||

    buddy's mom earned $19415 the previous week. she is working on the laptop and bought a $364000 house. All she did was get blessed and work up the instructions leaked on this website makecash16.c0m

  • Cogburn||

    I'm leaving California in June. I'd like to watch this implosion from afar.

  • cardboard displays||

    Once public sector unions were established in the Big Apple, the momentum carried across the country.

  • myfriend123||

    Nice article.

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