If one state happens upon a solution that works, other states can feel free to copy that plan--keeping in mind, of course, that one size might not fit all, that what works in one state with one type of people might not work in another state with another type of people.
In theory, no state would copy a failing program. But President Obama is embarking on a national program that looks much like California's failing program:
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was all smiles in 2006 when he signed into law the toughest anti-global-warming regulations of any state. Mr. Schwarzenegger and his green supporters boasted that the regulations would steer California into a prosperous era of green jobs, renewable energy, and technological leadership. Instead, since 2007 -- in anticipation of the new mandates -- California has led the nation in job losses.
The regulations created a cap-and-trade system, similar to proposed federal global-warming measures, by limiting the CO2 that utilities, trucking companies and other businesses can emit, and imposed steep new taxes on companies that exceed the caps. Since energy is an input in everything that's produced, this will raise the cost of production inside California's borders.
Now, as the Golden State prepares to implement this regulatory scheme, employers are howling. It's become clear to nearly everyone that the plan's backers have underestimated its negative impact and exaggerated the benefits. "We've been sold a false bill of goods," is how Republican Assemblyman Roger Niello, who has been the GOP's point man on environmental issues in the legislature, put it to me.
The environmental plan was built on the notion that imposing some $23 billion of new taxes and fees on households (through higher electricity bills) and employers will cost the economy nothing, while also reducing greenhouse gases.
The President also appears intent on copying Massachusetts' failing health care program as well.
And what do we call doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?
Update: So who should I believe? The Wall Street Journal (link above), or Lori from the Green Picks blog?
The economic stimulus plan approved by the House allocates over $100 billion for green projects. While there is sure to be political back and forth in the coming days, one thing is certain, no matter what the ultimate outcome: We're going to be hearing a lot more about "green collar" jobs...
And, it turns out that what's good for the environment is going to be good for America's workforce. A reportfrom the University of Amherst Massachusetts says that a $100 billion investment in green programs would create about two million jobs over two years. About 750,000 green jobs already exist, according to a 2008 U.S. Conference of Mayors' report.