Skip to comments.(Vanity) What we can Learn from Europe, or, When Arnold met deTocqueville
Posted on 05/23/2010 6:15:40 AM PDT by grey_whiskers
There has been a considerable amount of attention paid recently to the plight of California. Despite its reputation as utterly the coolest place to live on the planet, and its seemingly innumerable stregths -- fabulous weather, access to the ocean AND mountains in easy driving distance, Silicon Valley, a large diverse population -- California is on the brink of disaster. You may recall that people thought the state was in dire financial straits under Gray Davis, and held a recall, replacing him with the Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger. But the people of California have discovered that even a cybernetic killing machine could not stop the liberals in Sacramento from plowing the state into the ground.
Just how bad is the financial carnage in California? Whatever you have heard, it's worse. During the last budget session, the state was facing a $42 billion shortfall. No, that's not the total state budget for two years. That's the debt. Let's put this in perspective: the biennial deficit in California is almost as large as the combined state budget of both Oregon and Washington *combined*. And there is no end in sight. There are many arguments going around, and around, and around, about who is to blame for this: is it the State Employees' Union, with the horror stories of people retiring at age 50 on 90% of their pay? The fire chiefs who make $250,000 a year with overtime their last year, to inflate their baseline salary when it comes to retire? The flight of business to lower-tax, lower-regulation states? Competition for jobs from the Third World? The influx of illegal aliens? All can be said to have played a part, but in the end -- it doesn't really matter: solving the problem is more important than assigning blame.
Since the elites who
infest inhabit the Boston-Manhattan-DC corridor seem to think that the United States should be "more like Europe", I suggest we take them at their word for once, and look to Europe for a solution. (Obviously, California's problems result from their trying European nanny-state socialism. Have I gone nuts saying they should become more like Europe? No, hang on. It'll become clearer in a moment.)
What is going on in Europe? Their problems seem to be similar to that of California: a large influx of migrant workers who are not assimilating into the larger culture, and in fact are becoming permanently bitter, disenfranchised wards of the state (bitterly clinging to their government checks and espresso); an aging population, used to "cradle-to-grave" care and security; sinecure government jobs with little real responsibility or competition; and a carefree attitude towards national defence. So what is Europe doing to take the problem in hand? The answer is, we see (led by Germany and France, working together for once) the beginnings of an austerity program. But not just ANY austerity program: the weakest members of the European Union (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Spain) are being told to clean up their act OR ELSE. Greek bonds, for example, are paying somewhere around 6% more than German bonds -- and no surprise, since Standard and Poor's has cut their rating on Greek bonds to junk bond status. So France and Germany are ponying up, in order to preserve the Euro.
So, am I suggesting that California look to the rest of the Union (the United States) to make good its debt? Absolutely not. In fact, I think the best solution would be to take the path NOT chosen by Europe.
Let's kick California out of the Union, as Greece has been threatened to be kicked out of the EUC.
What? That's Unconstitutional? I don't know: the Civil War was fought to say that States could not unilaterally secede from the Union. It didn't mention anything about being expelled.(*)
And there is a certain delicious irony: as deTocquville said the US experiment would last until the public figured out they could vote themselves largesse out of the public treasury; as our propellor-beanie President says we should be more cosmopolitan, and learn to speak "Austrian" (von Mises fans, take note); as Angela Merkel puts the screws onto Greece; and as we have an Austrian expatriate as the Governor of California -- we could make the announcement in terms EVERYONE could understand:
"California -- You're Terminated !"
(*) There is one OTHER choice, of course. Can we persuade California to join the EU, and make their socialism official? And just think: no more automatic 42-electoral-vote advantage for the Dems in Presidential elections; and we get rid of Boxer, Waxman, and Pelosi in one fell swoop.
Fresh birdcage liner!
typo ‘deTocquville’ in title noted, request sent to mod to correct it...
I agree with your last sentence. Liberals like to assign blame and conservatives like to solve problems. To solve the problem, you must first understand it. Simply solving a $42 B deficit over two years doesn't solve the real problem. Two years later it will be the same debate all over again. The on-going, chronic problems must be addressed. Throwing CA out of the union does not solve that problem -- however, letting them go through bankruptcy (or become insolvent) would be a big step.
On a "writing style" note: you do a good job of writing and you explain things fairly well. Even dumb old me can understand your explanations of complex problems. It seems, however, that your target market is the right, and your partisan writing style appeals to the right. You have a lot of tools and gifts at your disposal. If you targeted the middle, you could do conservatism a big favor. Unfortunately, however, to appeal to the middle you would have to tone down your partisanship. I do appreciate your posts!
I had two reasons to write this piece, one serious and one not-so-serious.
The not-so-serious is that (as Alinsky said) ridicule is an effective weapon. And the left has gotten away with snide comments and raised eyebrows for decades, as though merely slandering the right is sufficient. It's time we returned fire.
The serious one is that I don't want California to be like someone who takes out a home equity loan to "consolidate their debts" but who doesn't cancel their credit cards : and so just runs them up again, AND loses their house for so doing.
They can go hang themselves as far as I'm concerned: but I don't want them sinking the US Treasury while they're at it; the gunwales are already awash without it.
As far as writing for the middle: I'm more likely to gain their approval by writing in a sarcastic vein than by writing learned policy papers. We've had enough of rule by the Ivy League self-annointed anyway. Recall that Wilson was President of Princeton University back when that meant something.
As I mentioned earlier, I do appreciate your posts!
Pretty good. Help yourself to some grog for spelling “gunwales” correctly!
Thanks gw. :’)
"could not stop" or "didn't try very hard?"
As a person who voted for Arnie, I predicted he would do some things we liked, and a lot of things we didn’t like.
How was I to know he would be able to make even this prediction look like pie in the sky?
Well others knew, and they were right.
I learned my lesson. In the future I may not be voting for the winner, but I will be voting for someone who could govern soundly if they were elected.
This tactic of allowing Republicans to implement Democrat agenda generation after generation is not working folks. That being said, something has to change.
IMO, the best change is to send a clear message to the Republican party leadership, that unless they clean up their act and return to Conservative principles, their party is belly up.
This causes two things. It causes the party to shape up or ship out. It causes other entities to step in and provide the type of leadership we have been craving.
The Republican party is in danger of being completely replaced by the Tea Party. When Michael Steele plays the race bait game, compliments Democrats, and does other things that are supportive of the Leftist agenda, he is signing the Republican Party’s death warrant.
It’s time for change folks. One way or another it’s going to happen.
1. Obama is going to complete the task of turning this into a Fascist third-world hell hole...
2. The Republican party is gong to pull it’s head out of it’s ass and get back on track...
3. The Tea Party or another entity will completely replace the Republican party, and do what the Republican party should have decades ago.
The ball’s in your court Mr. Steele.
I’m tired of people like Bush, MeCain, Schwarzenegger, Steele, and others destroying our brand.
And Bill Kristol, give someone else with a mouth a shot at the talking head shows will ya. If the public wanted luke warm buckets of horse sweat, it would be served up at McDonalds.
Carie_Oakie, this one’s for you. I tried to ping you, but I must have the spelling wrong.
Thank you DDDFD. I tried every variation I could think of, and still no luck.
I’m almost positive I tried this one too. Oh well...
Post 10 Carry_Okie.
Thank you D1; I just wish I knew what happened to calcowgirl.
People are dumping dogs in Ca like never before, the shelters are overwhelmed, and no one is adopting them.
NO cheers, unfortunately.
Me too. I just don’t remember, if I ever did. I have tried to FReepMail her to no avail.
What’s your take on this time around? Do you have some thoughts to offer up on the gubernatorial and U.S. Senate seats, or others?
I’m at a loss on some of these. The governor’s position has be grasping at straws.
Perhaps it’s best if we take a dive on this one.
Well, I'm a little different than others. In the Senate race I obviously favor DeVore, but frankly, I fear Fiorina more than Campbell. I know Tom personally and think him a man of reasonable intelligence and (for a politician) above average integrity. Frankly, I think it is that very integrity which is why he is so bad at raising money; he won't make promises he doesn't intend to keep.
Unfortunately, Tom is easily fooled because of a naive credulity for those of his academic "peerage." That said, I disagree with his positions, but he will debate honestly and is capable of being persuaded. I don't think him arrogant.
I do think he's gotten a bad rap re Israel. After all, if he was pro-Muslim, why was he against the war in Kosovo? From what I can tell, the truth is that he wants to be compassionate and believed the crap the Palestinians fed him.
Fiorina OTOH is a craven climber WAY out of her league, as we saw at the companies she wrecked. She is instead a pretender to leadership, effectively a high-priced stooge. She is VERY dangerous because her ambition blinds her to all else.
Consider her (supposedly) pro-2A position. This is the type of pol who knows very well a UN small arms trade treaty is in the works that (in her mind) makes the 2A moot. Hence, she can use support of it as cover. From what I can tell, it is a common gambit this year among this year's crop of closet power-freaks.
As to the governor's race... Dear G-d in heaven, please help us.
What rational conservative would want to preside over the collapse of this once great State. Hence, the three chasing the position now are all three disastrous choices. Although one might wish Jerry Brown preside over such a melt-down, he is the one person in the race truly capable of making things far worse than they are likely to be. That leaves the mandate to fight him.
Poizner or Whitman? I detest them both. Poizner is a vacillating sleaze, while Whitman is just plain vicious. I probably will not place a vote for the nomination of either, but will probably hold my nose in the general. This is by far the worst election choice I have ever seen.
These thoughts probably reflect yours unless I miss my guess. Fair enough?
Let me link you in to these comments, and I’ll respond on point to your post in a few minutes.
It was Brown who instigated unionization of public employees.
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