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The American Dream and the California Reality No Longer Seem to Coincide

November 2, 2009

Texas has usurped the leadership position that, decades ago, belonged to California. Today California is in decline, likely irreversibly so. William Voegeli draws the sad but instructive comparison in the Los Angeles Times:

In America’s federal system, some states, such as California, offer residents a “package deal” that bundles numerous and ambitious public benefits with the high taxes needed to pay for them. Other states, such as Texas, offer packages combining modest benefits and low taxes. These alternatives, of course, define the basic argument between liberals and conservatives over what it means to get the size and scope of government right. …

California and Texas are not perfect representatives of the alternative deals, but they come close. Overall, the Census Bureau’s latest data show that state and local government expenditures for all purposes in 2005-06 were 46.8% higher in California than in Texas: $10,070 per person compared with $6,858. …


But those higher taxes in California must be going somewhere. Why aren’t they benefiting those many thousands of citizens who are leaving the state for greener pastures?

In what respects, then, does California “excel”? California’s state and local government employees were the best compensated in America, according to the Census Bureau data for 2006. And the latest posting on the website of the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility shows 9,223 former civil servants and educators receiving pensions worth more than $100,000 a year from California’s public retirement funds. The “dues” paid by taxpayers in order to belong to Club California purchase benefits that, increasingly, are enjoyed by the staff instead of the members.

Not surprising. What does strike me as surprising is that European countries with essentially the same – or worse – cradle to grave government system are doing as well as they are. What is their secret. My bet is that most of them are decreasing government services and deregulating markets but at the moment I can’t prove it.


Sometimes I wonder why does it always come back to race

progressive politics is badly disadvantaged by a situation in which the overwhelming majorities of political leaders and prominent media figures are white men. There are plenty of white men with progressive views, but in general the majority of white men are not progressive and the majority of progressives are not white men. Drawing from the relatively small pool of white male progressives means drawing from a shallow talent pool.

I agree with Professor Jacobson. It’s not the messengers – It’s the message.

Newt Gingrich getting torn apart for his endorsements in the NY-23 race


Honesty in Motion has some nice eye candy going on.

Since I wrote about search engine queries last night I’ll link to the dustbury post on the same subject 🙂

Now that the GOP candidate has dropped out of the NY -23 race people are trying to figure out which way the voters are going to go. Bill Quick thinks Obama’s win in the district is irrelevant.

Another Black Conservative points out that the rise of Hoffman in NY-23 has unhinged the left. He believes that their current attempts to marginalize conservatives in the wake of this race is part of Plan B for subjugation of the American will. I think it’s Plan A they just suck at implementation.

Cynthia Yockey agrees with Rush that Sarah Palin is ready to be President. I would like to but I think that she needs to broaden her policy scope, and deal with family / image issues first. Capable but not ready is my assessment. (disclaimer – I didn’t see the Rush interview so I don’t know how close our views match).

This title made me laugh – New York Time’s Frank Rich Caught Doing Drugs!

Suddenly Guantanamo is looking good

Remember all the whining about how terrible the Guantanamo prison was, and how we needed to close it because it was damaging America’s image? Most of the criticism of the facility was just typical anti-American propaganda, facilitated by useful idiots within our own country. Now it turns out that even the prisoners prefer to stay, rather than be transferred to a a U.S. prison. No wonder.

When the prisoners want to stay in your gulag of torture and death you probably aren’t doing something right.

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