California, the tax and spend zombieSubmitted by emalvini on Thu, 07/12/2012 - 12:08
California, the tax and spend zombie
Published: 10:28 AM 07/12/2012
By John Gerardi
I’m living in California for the summer, and it’s sad to see how much the state is suffering. We’re broke, state income taxes are high, businesses are leaving in droves, the Republicans are completely overwhelmed in the state legislature … things are not good.
My home region of the San Joaquin Valley is taking hits on all sides, with an artificial years-long water shortage taking away farming jobs because liberal regulators care more about one-inch-long fish than they do about human beings. It’s gotten to the point where my parents are almost urging me not to work here (though I’d gladly take a job anywhere).
One of the interesting things about California politics is the progressive-era state referendum system, where a piece of legislation can be put directly before the people in a purely democratic vote. Some conservatives appreciate the system because it allows us to pass laws that could never make it through the perennially liberal-dominated legislature. Proposition 8, our law banning gay marriage, was passed through referendum back in 2008.
Nevertheless, the referendum system is a double-edged sword, subject to all the dangers of pure democracy. The fact is that people can be stupid, and can vote in their own foolish self-interest when it would be destructive to do so.