18 January 2008

When You're Right, You're Right . . .

(via Instapundit)

. . . Victor Davis Hanson takes aim at a few generations of California politicians, and lets them have it with both barrels.

At some point we Californians should ask ourselves, how we inherited a state with near perfect weather, the world's richest agriculture, plentiful timber, minerals, and oil, two great ports at Los Angeles and Oakland, a natural tourist industry from Carmel to Yosemite, industries such as Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and aerospace—and serially managed to turn all of that into the nation's largest penal system, periodic near bankruptcy, and sky-high taxes.

Both houses of our legislature are a mess. Things would be even worse if our state didn't have the habit of balancing the very liberal state legislatures with moderate Republican governors. When we had a liberal Governor combined with liberal legislators, well, that lead to some pretty serious buyer's remorse.

My solutions:
  • End the ban on offshore oil drilling
  • Legalize gambling statewide
  • Legalize marijuana statewide (and not just for medicinal use)
  • Might as well legalize prostitution while you're at it
  • Contract with Mexico to house Mexican nationals who commit crimes in California to do their time in California managed, but Mexican staffed jails in Mexico (could incarcerate them for pennies on the dollar, given labor costs down there)
  • Hefty school vouchers statewide for education and end direct state funding of public schools, make the current schools compete for those student vouchers
  • Blow up the redtape nightmare that make up our environmental, workplace, and tort rules and regulations, streamline that mess and you'd have trouble keeping companies out, rather than trouble keeping companies in
  • Become the national leader in good, clean, Gaia-preserving nuclear power, build 10 midsized coastal, desalinating plants within 10 years, between making money on oil drilling, and not having to use that oil to power our economy, we'd be able to take advantage of the price of energy, rather than getting taken advantage of, and add to that water independence as well as energy independence, this would be an expensive investment that would pay immediate and enormous dividends
  • End California only formulations of gasoline, cars engines are far cleaner than when those rules were drafted, the solution is getting people out of older cars, not driving up our gas price 20 to 30 cents above the national average (supply and demand at work, we can't tap into the same supply as everyone else, so oil companies have an easier time manipulating our supply, the California energy market is distorted because we require different fuel from the rest of the nation)

  • As Mr. Hanson points out, California has a scary amount of riches, yet our statewide governments are almost always pleading poverty. This poverty is not a result of our economy, it's a result of mismanagement of statewide funds. Government should be lean, mean, and only do what it's supposed to do. Every agency seems to feel the need to be an "agent for change" in this state. We have a bunch of dogooders trying to solve every problem with money that's not theirs to begin with. Tax the people and corporations of California less, give them only the services that are necessary for civil society to function, and stay out of their way as they build a rip-roaring and glorious future. It should be pretty simple, but instead we get a mess of crazed, politically correct, nanny-statist nonsense out of Sacramento.

    But I still say that Gov. Schwarzenegger has done an amazing job considering the legislature he has to deal with. We won't get so lucky after his term is up, I'm afraid.

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