MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

California's War on 'Economic Crimes' Sounds Like Something From Soviet Russia: New at Reason

A state senator wants to crack down on "economic crimes" in the state's underground economy.

Feoktistov Dmitry/ZUMA Press/NewscomFeoktistov Dmitry/ZUMA Press/NewscomFor those of us who grew up during the Cold War, the TV series "The Americans" is a blast. The main characters are Soviet "illegals"—a married couple who pose as travel agents, but engage in espionage and murder on behalf of the Russians in their spare time. I'm not sure it's realistic, but the back stories (Afghan war, Nicaraguan Contras) certainly are. The series, which I started watching recently, brings back memories from that era.

Another recent matter has brought back old thoughts of Yuri Andropov and Leonid Brezhnev, as well. Oddly enough, it came in a statement sent by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra's office touting legislation to crack down on "California's growing underground economy." What really grabbed my attention was its quotation from Senate Bill 1272's author, Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton. She praised a pilot program for cracking down on "economic crimes."

That's an arcane term one doesn't hear much in the United States, given our longstanding love of enterprise. It echoes terms from the Communist world. In those totalitarian societies, virtually every form of private economic activity was forbidden. Soviet, Bulgarian or Cuban citizens were not allowed to own property, start businesses, or buy and sell things in the black market, which is just another term for the "underground economy," writes Steven Greenhut.

Read the whole thing.

Photo Credit: Feoktistov Dmitry/ZUMA Press/Newscom

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.

  • airforce||

    Bad link.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Maybe you should spank it.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    And then, the oral sex!

  • Just Say'n||

    Butt stuff, to?

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    ^^^Yet another one of those universally applicable comments that are at home in any thread.

  • Cy||

    California is full of people who think they can do communism right this time and it's ran by a bunch of psychopaths who'd love to try.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    What really grabbed my attention was its quotation from Senate Bill 1272's author, Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton. She praised a pilot program for cracking down on "economic crimes."

    Next, she'll be introducing legislation to crack down on hooliganism.

  • ||

    Web page not found. Lovely. Professional even.

    Anyway.

    California.

    Communism by other means.

  • I can't even||

    I read Kurt Schlichter's "People's Republic" last year. I thought it was an entertaining goof. Now I'm starting to think he was clairvoyant.

    www.amazon.com/dp/1539018954/r.....35627&sr=2

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Looks like a good read; thanks!

  • I can't even||

    I liked it.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Read People's Republic over the week end and started Indian Country. Ok, so it's not an economic manifesto, but after reading it and looking at the Yahoo headlines this morning, I can say he definitely portrays the cultural side pretty accurately.

  • Microaggressor||

    The funny thing is a lot of illegals are utterly dependent on the underground economy to make ends meet. California doesn't sound much like a sanctuary anymore. I look forward to the cognitive dissonance.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Cognitive dissonance would imply that cognitive processes are involved in some way.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    So just a regular good dissonance like a man, then.

  • Untermensch den 2||

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    the TV series "The Americans" is a blast.

    Crimeny, what is it with you people and that TV show?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    $park¥ hasn't enjoyed a tv program since Bonanza went off the air.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    It's like you've never heard of Manimal and Automan.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I thought you rated those as "pfah!" and "just okay," respectively.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Well they weren't Moonlighting or Remington Steele, but I wasn't really expecting anything else to reach such rarified air.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    80s nostalgia, bro. Just wait till Gillespie discovers Stranger Things.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    What Winona Ryder's Mom Character Can Teach Us About Free Range Parenting

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Ooh, shit, she's maybe not the best example for that.

  • Just Say'n||

    Just wait until Gillespie realizes there are newer bands than the Ramones. He's going to be devastated

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I think during the Webathon he listed Fugazi as a favorite too.

  • Just Say'n||

    I refuse to believe that

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    With good reason. I just made it up.

    Though he DID actually say when asked for his favorite album that he considers Dylan's work as a whole to be one consistent album that is his life.

  • Just Say'n||

    Yeah, that sounds like something that would make most people roll their eyes, so I believe that Gillespie said that

  • Marty Feldman's Eyes||

    What do you mean, "you people"

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    We really shouldn't be surprised that legislation coming out of California sounds like something from the old Soviet Union. We should be surprised when it doesn't.

  • ||

    4 hours later and still not fixed.

    Libertarian moment?

  • ||

    I'm commenting on Hit & Run in order to buy sex.

    Anybody got a problem with that? I'm asking you, FOSTA/SESTA!

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online