The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
“Green” Energy Bias Killing California

California’s dysfunctional alliance between suburban greens urban machines has killed what could and should have been a boom, writes Joel Kotkin at The Daily Beast. As part of a large piece about the political danger to the Democrats that comes from fighting the transformational “brown jobs” boom, Kotkin points out that Californians are turning their backs on a bonanza.

Nowhere is the element of choice inherent in energy policy more evident than in California, home to five of the nation’s twelve largest oil fields and energy reserves equal to those of Nigeria, the world’s tenth-largest producer. As high-paying energy jobs swell payrolls in the Great Plains, the Intermountain West and parts of the Gulf, the Golden State has double-digit unemployment, a collapsed inland economy and a series of bankrupt municipalities. Amidst a great national energy boom, California’s energy production has remained stunted even as the state’s draconian “renewable” energy mandates are slated to drive up its already high electricity rates. The state’s high cost of energy has impacted industry:  despite its vast human and natural resources, the Golden State, with 12 percent of the nation’s population received barely 2 percent of the country’s manufacturing expansions last year.

Such inattention to California’s resources may be popular in wealthy precincts of Silicon Valley, San Francisco and west Los Angeles, but the state’s green approach has helped place traditionally manufacturing-oriented communities such as Oakland, east Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Stockton in deep distress. Despite central California’s vast deposits of oil and gas, unemployment rates in some oil-rich areas there are over 15 and sometimes even 20 percent.

As economic forecaster Bill Watkins recently told an audience in hard-hit Santa Maria: “If you were in Texas, you’d be rich.”

Destroying the economic hopes of low income people in order to stoke the self esteem of entitled Boomers is not Via Meadia’s idea of progressive politics, but that just goes to show how backwards we are by the exalted moral standards of the California elites.

The destruction of California isn’t a victimless crime. Millions of low income California residents are trapped in decaying cities where, thanks in large part to narcissistic green unicorn chasers, the manufacturing base has withered away. And anything that blights California, blights us all. America and the world need California back on line; the Golden State has too much to offer for anyone to remain indifferent to its fate.

In the long run, California is too richly endowed and its people too dynamic for the self-defeating policies of the green elites to prevail. Either the governing class of California tires of unicorn hunts, or at some point the people of California will get tired of their governing class. And in any case, the current suicidal policy mix means that sooner rather than later, California will run out of the money needed to maintain the illusions of its governing elites and the whole elaborate system of sham and deception will blow away. (See Detroit, modern history of. Ditto Greece.)

One way or another, things will change; what can’t go on forever, won’t.

Published on July 14, 2012 5:00 pm
  • ben

    Re: “Either the governing class of California tires of unicorn hunts, or at some point the people of California will get tired of their governing class.”: Alas, there’s a third possibility. The productive citizens of California, despairing of the first to options, just pick up and leave for greener, errr.. browner, pastures. Witness the recent news of XCOR, a fantastic New Space company, moving its HQ and R&D facilities from Mojave, CA to Midland, TX.

  • JKB

    I’m sorry but what blights California doesn’t blight us all. Sure we could use a functional California but in its present state, all we need to do is restrict Washington from trying to bail it out for votes. Instead, we let it collapse, we steer their beloved illegal immigrants to attack the coastal communities then we move adults in to buy up the natural resources at fire sale prices. If a few Hollywood liberals get shot up by the rioting illegals, so what, there are ten more getting off the bus every day. And Silicon Valley can relocate anywhere more than a dozen of the innovators choose to move to.

    California is the entertainment capitol of the world, don’t try to stop the show, just pop some popcorn and get a good seat.

  • Kris

    But the bankers! :-)

  • John Barker

    What an incredible opportunity for a real populist. An anti-elitist campaign could probably take the right candidate from California to DC in less than a decade.Give us a revolution not merely a revolt.

  • An

    The Night is Darkest Just Before Dawn:

    1) Last time I checked 8 California counties had unemployment over 20%. The unemployed are not distributed evenly across society so it’s not like 2 out of 10 random people are not working. Whole industries have been ravaged. In the Central Valley there are 500,000 acres of fields and orchard laid barren to protect a 4″ fish. Unemployment in some towns are 40% with 2nd/3rd/4th generation Mexican farm workers hurt the most. Only about 1/4 of California’s farm workers are illegal immigrants. In the 2010 election, central valley Latinos voted Republican at a higher rate than those on the coast. These central valley counties are mostly minority majorities.

    2) From this I am seeing a pragmatic coalition forming. California might not turn red, but those who haven’t left are turning sensible. In the 2010 election, while blacks voted 89% for Democrats in races for National office; only 77% voted Democrat in the Governor’s Race, and on average Democrats garnered just 80% of the Black vote in the California Senate races. This is huge. Ceteris paribus, if Democrats just won 75% of the black vote instead of the traditional 90%, the current Democratic coalition could not win the Presidency.

    3) We might be seeing the beginnings of a new Republican coalition forming. Immigration is not a big concern for Latinos. In almost every survey I have seen, economic opportunity is number one followed by education. A platform emphasizing small business formation, low taxes (CA has voted down majority tax increases on state ballot), economic opportunity, and transparency can be a winner.

  • TycheSD

    Do you live in California? If not, why does everything about California bother you so much? If the state is so f*ed up, don’t go there.

    If the state chooses clean green above all else, and people are impoverished, there are non clean green places they can move to – Texas, Louisiana, Alabama come to mind. That’s what’s so great about our federalist system.

  • An

    @TycheSD

    1) Energy is fungible and is globally priced. If CA produced more energy, that would lower US imports helping our balance of trade, while reducing the overall costs for all Americans.

    2) CA is more important to America than Greece is to Europe. Whatever happens to the state reverberates throughout the country. It’s approximately 1/8 of the entire US population. On a political note, 54 congressman hale from California. The idiots running the state into the ground are the same idiots elected to Congress. Have you ever heard of a nice, little old lady named Nancy Pelosi?

  • Kuze

    Worst Side-Effect of Capitalism: A product of its own success, when people become so insulated from the brutalities of the world, risk sensitivity spikes, emotion overrides reason and growth stagnates.

  • thibaud

    Joel Kotkin, self-described Truman Democrat, is correct. This is indeed an own goal by the California Democrats.

    As Kotkin says, we need a party that is not reflexively opposed to taxes and regulation – that rules out today’s zealot-dominated GOP – but also dedicated to helping ordinary blue-collar Americans and their employers in manufacturing, agriculture, energy.

    A pox on both your houses.

  • Corlyss

    It’s not just Green energy delusions that beggar the west coast in general. It’s the whole Green kit. They’re killing prosperty faster than entrepreneurs can replace the businesses with something the cutesy-poo envirothugs will approve of.

    Next up: California agriculture.

  • Corlyss

    @TycheSD

    What’s so infuriating about California? Where to start . . .

    1. They are frequently held out as where the US as a whole is headed and will be in 10 years. Until they get something between their collective ears beside governing delusions, I don’t want anything from California.

    2. Their citizens, having created a dysfunctional state, a dystopia in their haste to create Paradise on Earth, flee to other western states, like Colorado, and Utah, and bring with them the f’d up ideas. They proceded to remake their new homes into the image of their failed experiments. If we could set up an isolation perimeter and decontaminate them, or better yet, restrict them to California so they stay and clean up the mess they’ve made, it would be a lot better for the rest of the country.

    Wrath with California has nothing to do with visiting there. It has to do with their position as trend setter and their ability to seed their destructiveness in nearby states.

  • Corlyss

    “One way or another, things will change; what can’t go on forever, won’t.”

    As long as we have a Democratic congress and a Democratic president, it will go on with Federal bailouts. It doesn’t even need a Democratic president or Democratic majority; it just needs a large Democratic minority.

  • silia

    http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/tv/la-ca-puttnams-law-20120603,0,672709.story

    Perspective: The tyranny of Puttnam’s Law in American culture
    Producer-turned-mogul David Puttnam’s brief foray into upending the status quo shows that in Hollywood and elsewhere it doesn’t pay to fail boldly, much to the detriment of the creative spirit.

  • Jim.

    It’s nice to know that California has options, once it chooses to stop ignoring them.

    Our task is to accelerate the arrival of that day.

  • MW

    You’re way too hard on renewable energy. Yes, it is a factor in the horrible economy in California, but only a minor part. There are also other reasons why electricity costs are high, such as a lack of coal-fired generation and the dense urbanized population. In addition, the power usage of a typical homeowner in California is well below national average due to the mild climate and strong energy conservation policies and building codes. Even though rates are high, the average monthly power bill is reasonable. It is the total dollar cost, not the rate, that matters.

    Furthermore, there are lots of other reasons why California’s economy is so poor. Where do I begin? High taxes, anti-growth policies, heavily unionized workforce (both public and private), poor public education system, . . . These many other factors have a lot greater impact on the Golden State’s economy than green energy policies.

    You have a valid theme about excessive favoritism toward renewable energy to the detriment of brown energy. However, you are trying to conflate a relatively small factor into the downfall of the state’s economy in order to prop up your anti-green energy theme. That’s going too far.

  • Robert D

    The green hogwash is destructive for CA, but nowhere near as destructive as the demographic implosion created by unbridled illegal immigration.

    The only thing that can save CA from the ill effects of illegal immigration is legal immigration from Asia.

    WRM, let’s keep our eye on the ball here and not pretend that “green” policies are what have brought CA to No. 50 in the nation in reading levels, math scores, and income inequality. Illegal immigration has done that, not the Sierra Club.

  • bob sykes

    The people of California, not the elites, created this mess by voting for the Green lunatics over and over again. They are getting their just deserts.

    I know several PhD level ex-Californians living in Ohio, and they are delusional about what happened in California and what caused it.

    The rest of us can only hope that California’s economy goes into full depression so that it can serve as a warning to the rest of us. Californians will not learn from their mistakes, but we can.

    We can help that along by refusing to let the federal government bail them out.

  • econrob

    Record cold temperatures this June and July.

    In the southern hemisphere.

  • Mike

    Watching California reminds me of watching Detroit drive itself off a cliff thirty years ago.

    Everyone could see the disaster coming, but nothing could dissuade the entrenched unions, the greedy auto company management or the corrupt and opportunistic politicians from their failing course.

    Now it’s a social and economic disaster area, and the culprits all whistle past the graveyard and pretend they had nothing to do with it.

  • Warren Bonesteel

    So…we need to invade California and do some ‘nation-building’. Mebbe install a puppet democracy of some sort, while ‘we’re at it, too.

  • Rich K

    Yet after saying all that Walter the Prols in Cali, election after election, send the exact same loons back to the asylum in Sacramento to do the exact same thing.Going on 40 years now with no let up in sight. I mean really, can you take any electorate seriously that sends a failed nut job like Jerry Brown back to the mansion? They are doomed of their own accord Im afraid.

  • Dutch 1960

    What you describe as bugs are actually features for many who live here in CA. Riding the fast lane to oblivion in comfort, and on the Green train, addresses both the “humanity is toxic” mental neurosis that they live under, and also the sense that they are the “aware” ones anointed with an understanding of the world around them that is special and better than that of the rest of us.

    Unfortunately, when reality gets the upper hand in the cognitively dissonant world they live in, their first reaction is to move someplace else and impose the same policy prescriptions there.

  • Jeffersonian

    California is the dead homeless bag lady discovered frozen to a park bench in January with her Macy’s sacks bearing $90,000 in cash.

  • gringojay

    California Air Resource Board (CARB)sets up a private Delaware corporation Western Climate Initiative Inc. to manage the cap and trade auction imposing energy taxes & in contravention of California Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act writes in an exemption preventing that Delaware corporation from public scrutiny hid as a rider in the 100+ pages inserted into “gut and amend” bill SB 1018 the day before signed June 27th into law with state budget.

  • Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    California can go to Hell, I went to Texas.

  • Brinker

    Yes, what blights California certainly does blight us all but the thing that blights California is Californians.

    We can rather easily trace the progression of this blight via the steady leftward drift of the political climate of low population western & Rocky Mountain states over the past couple of decades as Californians have fled the “paradise” they’ve wrought only to inflict their particular form of damnation on those places to which they flee.

  • Eric R.

    No, Professor Mead, the California electorate will not tire of these policies, because those voters that would tire of them are being driven out by high taxes, strangling regulation, and a leftist culture (i.e. – mandatory teaching of gay history in schools) that makes them feel unwelcome. The GOP is down to 30% of the electorate and shrinking; the same Mr. Kotkin has noticed the one-party, Soviet nature of California politics where is recently asked if “perestroika” is coming to the state (it is not).

    Those remaning are either radical greens, a left-wing artistic community (often overlapping groups) that are often already well off and insulated from the effects of their idiotic policies, and the poor (mostly Hispanic, some black) who have had it beaten into their heads that the GOP is a party of cross-burning racist thugs who will murder and deport them. So effectively, economics is no longer the primary reason that people in California vote leftist; they are driven by religious fanaticism (and leftism/environmentalism IS a religion) and racially/ethnically induced fear and hysteria. Even if California goes bankrupt, the Democrats and their media sycophants will find a way to blame it on Republicans, and most Californians will believe them.

  • gringojay

    Calif. cap-and-trade law in 10 yrs. = max. state drop of 25% CO2….
    Ca. = 8% of total US CO2….
    US. = 17% of global CO2….
    Cap/trade in 10 yrs. = max. drops 1/3 of 1% global CO2….
    Cap/trade in 10 yrs. = drops CO2 from 410 to 409.93 p.p.m….
    Reduced radiative forcing in 10 yrs. = 0.001 Watts/sq.mt….
    Warming prevented = less than one-thousandth (0.001) degree Farenheit….
    Calif. cost over 10 yrs. = US$ 410+ Billion!

  • Liz B.

    The problem with California’s decision-making is that it impact the rest of us: not just the risk of a bail-out (whether “officially” or through other forms of sending federal money to the state), but all the government money already going to the state for Medicaid, food stamps, and other welfare programs, due to their willing destruction (or lack of interest in building up) of their economy. And the “green” approach isn’t just costing the state in electricity costs, but in turning down a means of growing their economy and helping people out of joblessness.

  • Whitehall

    Here in Silicon Valley, nothing fills me with righteous indignation than seeing McMansions with photovoltaic solar panels on their roofs, knowing that they are just passing the REAL costs along to the “little people” who live in apartments and other rentals.

    We Californians believed our own hype about the New Age and thought the old rules no longer applied. Delusions attract con men.

  • Amos

    #10: Amen, brother. These people are infected with an ideological plague. They think all the bad effects come from the outside world, when really they’re just carrying it around with them. Place to place they go, like an army of smug Typhoid Marys.

  • Trent Telenko

    WRM,

    You missed the most important point of Mr. Kotkin’s piece.

    Joe Kotkin has spotted the fact that the Wall Street Banksters at Goldman Sachs and the “Green fund raisers” supporting Pres. Obama are the same people, with the significant addition of Google lead Silicon Valley Democrats (referred to in the article as “Venture Porksters”).

    Obama’s destruction of Domestic coal energy production and slowing of Fracking in the name of renewable energy is the next “Big Con” for the Banksters now that they have secured the financial & healthcare sectors.

    Super-PACs money in this election is now about the American Domestic Energy sector fighting for survival against the Leftist “Bankster Plus Silicon Valley Alliance.”

    This is yet another chapter in the Red State versus Blue state “Cold Civil War” that columnists over on PJMedia has been speaking of for some months.

  • thibaud

    #14 WM – “However, [Mead is] trying to conflate a relatively small factor into the downfall of the state’s economy in order to prop up your anti-green energy theme. That’s going too far.”

    Bingo. It’s mystifying to read this blog after being introduced to Mr. Mead through his through, careful, fact-based print essays and TV appearances in quality media outlets.

    This blog seems to be streamed directly from Mead’s id. Instead of carefully sifting through evidence, he does drive-by shootings. Rather than recognize complexity and nuance, he crushes them. He (or his research interns) repeatedly mangle the data and omit obvious and hugely significant facts.

    The blog is a huge disappointment in part because we really do need to reform huge institutions in this country, and do so requires many more intelligent analyses like the one we get from the quality media-Mead.

    Instead, we get yet another tendentious snark-filled blog. Via Meadia is raising the noise-to-signal ratio. A real pity.

  • dan tracy

    And the Bay Area–ground zero of progressive leadership–is home to an ever growing disparity between the elites and the working class. Here one finds segregated neighborhoods and schools,while the elites live in luxury.

  • John

    There is nothing quite so satisfying as watching socialists torture themselves to death.

  • Jim.

    @MW:

    This isn’t just a matter of energy costs. This is a matter of the massive economic benefit California could derive from becoming a major fossil fuel energy producer.

    Embracing this option is worth billions — possibly enough to put California back in the black again.

  • JMH

    There’s a reason California has always been considered a trend setter or bellweather for the nation. It’s a perfect microcosm of the US as a whole. It has (or at least had) an incredibly diversified economy. Energy production, heavy manufacturing, light manufacturing, aerospace, defense contractors, high tech, media, finance, multiple different types of aggriculture, forestry, mining, import/export, fishing…

    It also has a diversified populace and geography, with very different ways of life in the Central Valley vs the LA Basin vs San Diego vs the coastal Redwood forests. And it has a border with Mexico and all the questions and problems of Mexican immigrations.

    It’s a great laboratory for the rest of the nation. People complain about Californians moving to other states and bringing their voting habits, but half of those people moved to California from somewhere else first, and the rest of the country has no shortage of people who will vote for stupid policies. Mike’s comment about Detroit is accurate. Basically, every state has the potential to be as self-destructive as California has been.

    The real question is why has California gone this way? Remember, this was the state that elected Ronald Reagan governor.

    I don’t think I have the whole answer, but I do know part of it. Part of the answer is that the Republican party fell apart and simply became uncompetitive. People have to have someone to vote for besides the Democrat machine candidates, but the California GOP can’t produce a compelling slate of candidates.

    And also keep in mind that the rest of the country is responsible for the 9th Circuit Court which has done an immense amount of damage to California over the years. So you can add leftist judicial activism to the list of woes where California is merely a preview of what the rest of the nation has to figure out how to deal with.

  • Dutch 1960

    Another problem is that the failure of the progressive state to support itself over time results in a “doubling down” by the prog entities to protect their precious worldview. Case in point is the bullet train. In what version of reality does the bullet train make any sense whatsoever?

    As California state and US government leadership stakes it’s legacy on perpetuation of the Green worldview, the levers of governmental power become ever more oppressive in the service of the doubling down process. Many of us are aware of this, and are afraid of the logical end game of such an insane agenda wielded by such powerful entities. Old poisons in new bottles. Mankind has seen these things many times before.

  • JM Hanes

    “And anything that blights California, blights us all.”

    Green capture is the fractal manifestation of a larger scale structural problem which must be overcome. Does Detroit blight us all? Or Rhode Island, with unemployment at 11%? Or Puerto Rico at 14.2%?

    California matters because it’s such a behemoth of a state. Imagine it gerrymandered into Western California along the coast (with 30 Electoral College votes) and Eastern California (with 25). It matters because progressive Democratic control functionally disenfranchises 16,000,000 Republicans — a population which would make Eastern California the fourth largest state in the nation.

    It is more alarming than comforting, when heads nod in acceptance of your seemingly ubiquitous closing assertion. If California now blights us all, it’s because something which can’t go on forever can still go on long enough, and things can always change for the worse.

  • Harun

    CARD is an amoeba always searching blindly for more food to expand…the problem is the food is entire industries.

  • http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/81753 Lee Dodson

    What no one says about the California Green situation is that the Cal-Elites view the environmental movement as an entitlement for the rich, and it trickles down to the lower classes. They are avid, and they are mean.

    Try to build a simple house in this state, and you will find that fully 33% of your costs go to satisfying local codes, environmental requirements, state law, and school funding. This is all hidden in engineering requirements and neighborhood council demands, and its going to get worse.

    In 2014, EVERY new construction will be required to be pre-wired, pre-plumbed, and pre-designed structurally to support “sustainable” solar and wind power for future hook-up, adding a full 20% to an already high budget.

    Is it any wonder that California State Contractor’s License renewals are at an all time low of 5%?

    The entitlement mentality of the Greens has already frozen out low and middle income people from the housing market.

    California is a very scary place for small business because no one wants to afford the costs. They are smothering their own market and expecting that their superior sensitivity will be the reason for their bailout.

    I live here in the Golden State, and I see first hand the effects of the high cost constuction every day. Onerous Building and Safety requirements cost me and my people jobs….three small jobs in the last month…because clients can’t afford the ordered add-ons, engineering.

    But, we are gonna get a high speed train between two places that couldn’t fill a football stadium on Super Bowl Sunday. Hey, a silver lining.

  • DougS

    I recently took my oldest Daughter and her husband for a tour of Santa Monica where she had gone from grade school at Franklin, to Lincoln Jr High and then Santa Monica High. From a sleepy middle and lower class city, it has become home to the 1%. The days of Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden may be over but if anything represents the current California, this is it. I told my daughter that I can see that the so-called Santa Monica socialism really works. It works for the upper 1% but doesn’t work very well for the lower 99% as they don’t seem to be around any more. I may have over simplified it a little, but the elites just don’t get that just because they can afford the economic costs of the “City Green and Beautiful” doesn’t mean that every one can afford it or if they could would want that outcome. Sad.

  • http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/81753 Lee Dodson

    Forgot to mention that the Green technology, from those of us in the trenches, is at least twenty years away from being feasible. It can only be produced by private enterprise.

    Honeywell bought a terrifically astute technology a couple of years ago that advanced the cause of windpowered electricity, but try to get it permitted by the backward looking authority, and you will be met with official resistance.

    We, as a country, have failed to recognize superior thinking in every environmental area because we are stuck in a mindset that resists the rare advance of technology when it happens.

    Private enterprise has brought about sensible advancement in drilling, recovery, execution, but because the gov wants the twenty year advance now, the five year advancement is ignored or unrecognized.

    The perfect is now the enemy of the good.

    Whew, it felt good to say that.

  • Koblog

    Ha. Idiot greens and other cohorts are calling for the removal of the power plant in Redondo Beach (southern California)that’s been there for 80 years so they can replace it with a salt water pond.

    Their argument? “Studies have shown the power plant isn’t needed.”

    Imagine. They actually believe that California needs less power, as we import it from the Northwest, Texas, Arizona and Nevada, and as we go through “flex alerts,” brownouts and, after even small rainstorms, outright power failures.

    These elites are incredibly stupid. We should be building MORE power plants in California, not fewer.

    Inexpensive, abundant electricity is the greatest invention civilization has created.

  • crypticguise

    Eventually, maybe the voters in California will realize that the Socialist-Marxist Democrat Party is “destroying their present and future chasing Green Unicorns.

    Then again, maybe not. After all our abysmal education system has managed to dumb down even the brightest people as California slides down, down, down into the economic abyss.

  • cowgirl

    There is an upside. With the approval of the $68 billion bullet train to nowhere and Governor Moonbeam counting on the people of the Stupid State to vote to raise taxes in November in order for Moonbeam to balance the budget, the Stupid State is closer and closer to running out of other people’s money. This is a good thing. When one keeps doing the same thing over and over with little or no success the only way out is complete breakdown and then starting over.

    I am a native Californian I cannot wait for the complete breakdown. It will be a blessing.

  • Koblog

    And my favorite is hypocrite billionaire Al Gore’s massive mansion on the California sea cliffs, no doubt lit by candles made from unicorn fat.

  • TycheSD

    @Corlyss – You talk as though the nation is doomed to follow California into bankruptcy. If what California is doing is so devastating to economic growth, shouldn’t the rest of the country take a lesson?

    There are many things that California has going for it – certainly the mild climate is a big one. In fact, if the people in the state could wean themselves off the automobile, we would save a lot more energy.

    But I would say it’s the government itself – through the initiative process, and the short-sightedness of the Legislature in their budgeting process – that is hurting California the most.

  • Tom Holsinger

    It won’t happen until the Greenies turn against Silicon Valley and drive its “I know tech but nothing else so I support Big Green” idiot zillionaires out of the state. Those guys are among the chief funders of this political lunacy.

  • thomass

    It is a tangent but still related.. IMO you should throw in a paragraph about water and the central valley… Same usual suspects causing similar destruction… I drive through it a lot… what a mess. Same deal as with energy, we should be ‘rich’ in regards to growing potential but we’re letting it be destroyed.

  • http://www.miserabledonuts.blogspot.com LTC (ret) John

    “its people too dynamic”

    Really? After 40 years of [vulgar comment removed] poor schooling, a sustained influx of poor, low skilled folks from their southern border and continued flight of the up and comers to less burdonsome locales?

  • Voluble

    I think we need to sell California to Mexico while we can still get something for it.

  • Steve G

    Opening the oil and gas fields would NOT help one little bit to lower the unemployment rates.

    There would just be a huge rush of illegals from Mexico come in to take those jobs.
    Probably only a tiny handful of existing California residents would get the jobs.
    And already a good percentage of them are illegals.

    And why would they want the jobs anyway?
    They can make a good living sitting on their behinds drawing Welfare.

    Several other problems need to be solved before opening the oil and gas fields can solve any.

  • DH

    “Destroying the economic hopes of low income people in order to stoke the self esteem of entitled Boomers is not Via Meadia’s idea of progressive politics…”

    Actually, this is the true essence of “progressive” politics, and has been at least since the Russian Revolution. The pattern repeated over and over is that college educated elites rise up in the name of the “oppressed” working class and end up making the latter’s lives much worse.

  • TheOldMan

    @28
    I’m one with PV panels on the roof, except I don’t have a McMansion. There is no way that I would have done it without the taxpayer and ratepayer shafts and I genuflect to them every month when I get my PGE bill. With the ever increasing insanity of requiring PGE to hit some bone-headed goal of 20% (something like that) electricity generated by unicorn farts, rates have continued to rise in the six years that I have had my panels whereas my bills have remained the same. I applaud the stupidity of the ignorant Greenie-Weenie class.

  • richard40

    Our biggest priority now is to make sure we never bail out CA, and then let them stew in their own idiot leftist juices until they finally either learn some sense, or they all die.

    To thibaud. I actually like todays low tax, low regulation, pro freedom Tea Party repubs. But I will admit the pro manufacturing pro blue collar Truman type dems you describe are vastly better than the Obama/Pelosi/Reid idiots that presently dominate the dem party, who are completely hopeless. Perhaps after the dems take the thumping they deserve in 2012, your kind of dems can throw out Obama/Pelosi/Reid and take over the dem party once again, just like the Tea Party took over the repubs. It is a good mark of how badly the dem party has now gone astray that white working class voters, once the core of the party and the country in Trumans day, are now voting against the dems by 2/1 margins.

  • thibaud

    Well, richard, those same Truman Dems are horrified by Paul Ryan’s proposal. The latest focus group results tell the story: when informed that Romney would slash medicare and also cut taxes on the wealthy, the Truman Dems in the room were incredulous. They couldn’t believe anyone would seriously do that.

    So it looks like the TP isn’t the answer after all.

    I’d humbly submit that there’s a balanced model that is friendly toward manufacturing, that values work over capital gains and speculation, that creates a society in which, as Hans Magnus Enzensberger put it, “nobody is a nobody” and everyone has a stake.

    The Germans and other frugal northern nations can remind us, if we’re willing to pay attention and listen to them, of what the yankee ethos of mutual provision and living within our means looks like.

  • thibaud

    Canadians’ average net worth now exceeds Americans’ average net worth. Canadian growth is higher, Canadian unemployment is lower, Canadian deficits are lower.

    Some potential lessons for us are drawn by this author – interestingly, Canada is much tougher on both illegal immigrants and TBTF banksters than we are. They have fiscal prudence AND a robust safety net, the centerpiece of which is universal health insurance.

    Much to ponder.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-15/hardheaded-socialism-makes-canada-richer-than-u-s-.html

  • allblues

    My cup of schadenfreude runneth over.

  • Kris

    thibaud@56: The Canadian Liberal Party was, as you say, tough on the banks. It also slashed spending and cut the corporate tax rate. Let’s package these policies together. This package would be completely unacceptable to the Democrats. It would meet with the enthusiastic approval of the dreaded Tea Partiers.