Monday, November 12, 2012

The decline and fall of California

Writing for the Weekly Standard, Charlotte Allen discusses the decline and fall of the one time Golden State, California:
Voters in other states​—​notably Indiana and Wisconsin​—​have won important recent victories against public-sector unions, which have been increasingly resented by a recession-hit middle class that sees itself as forced to subsidize via taxes a bloated government workforce that typically enjoys higher pay, lifetime job security, and guaranteed pensions that are nonexistent in the private sector. Indiana became the twenty-third state to limit unions' power to collect dues from non-union workers, and Wisconsin voters rejected a labor-led effort to recall Republican governor Scott Walker as punishment for signing a bill limiting public employees’ collective-bargaining rights. In California, by contrast, unions rule, and they have played a major role in promoting the state's toxic combination of crippling taxes and endemic overspending. The political DNA of California now features a double-helix intertwining of a dwindling middle class and a dwindling Republican party, effectively turning California into a one-party state in which Democratic politicians fueled by union dollars and unconstrained by the need for compromise vote their wish lists (and those of the unions that subsidize their campaigns) into law.
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