Thursday, May 11, 2017

Unicorn Farts Are Expensive

I wonder how much further California will go before even lefties will ask what the heck we're doing.  There is a cornucopia of Crazy California stories today.  Margaret Thatcher told us decades ago that the problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money, and nowhere is that more true in the US than in California:
California Governor Jerry Brown on Thursday revised his proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year, raising total spending by 2.2 percent and increasing funding for schools and transportation, even as he warned that the state's economy likely cannot sustain the growth of recent years...

Still, Brown said the budget was considerably more constrained than in any year since 2012, when California struggled through years of deficits. California faces a $3.3 billion revenue shortfall, down from a $5.8 billion shortfall in January.
It's not bad enough that we're overtaxed, we're overregulated, too--and we're going to lead the world to a brighter tomorrow even if it bankrupts us:
When Stanford University energy economist Danny Cullenward looks at California’s policies on climate change, he sees a potential time bomb.

The state wants to slash greenhouse gas emissions so deeply in the coming years that oil refineries and other industries could face skyrocketing costs to comply with regulations, driving up gasoline prices until the system loses political support. If that happens, an effort touted as an international model for fighting global warming could collapse...

Although it’s not yet clear how the rebates would function, the proposal is an acknowledgement that costs for gasoline and electricity are likely to rise, and lawmakers want to help insulate voters from the effects. The state’s transition toward low-emission technology could prove expensive over time, requiring the purchase of millions of electric vehicles and shuttering natural gas operations in favor of new solar plants.
How, exactly, do we "insulate voters from the effects" of higher gas and electricity prices?  So much of California lawmaking seems to operate along the same lines as the business plan of the Underpants Gnomes.

So California is, yet again, in an economic hurt box.  How to raise money?  The Colorado way--the most cowardly way possible, and on the backs of the people least likely to be able to afford it:
Pressed to come up with the money to stave off its public employee pension time bomb, the state of California is jacking up the cost of traffic tickets...

This is a variation of what we call the “blue civil war”—the way the tightening fiscal vise around state and local governments end up pitting Democratic constituencies against one another. In this case, poor and minority Californians, who tend to need to drive further to work, are paying the brunt of the increased traffic fines—which are going to cover the retirement hole for unionized public employees.
California's one-party government is a debacle.

Update, 5/14/17:  Clearly we have solved every other imaginable problem in California, if this is what the legislature is working on:
Acting on purported consumer protection concerns, the legislature recently expanded its autograph law (which formerly only applied to sports memorabilia) to include any signed item worth over $5—including books.  Under that law, sellers must produce a certificate of authenticity and maintain detailed records of every sale for seven years.  Sellers must, among other things:
  1. Note the purchase price and date of sale,
  2. specify whether the item is part of a limited edition,
  3. note the size of the edition, anticipate any future editions,
  4. disclose whether the seller is bonded,
  5. divulge any previous owner’s name and address,
  6. if the book was signed in the presence of the seller, specify the date and location of the signing, and identify a witness to the autograph.
Failure to disclose any of the required details, or to keep the certificate for the full seven years, results in outrageous penalties. Even an inadvertent omission can subject a seller to actual damages, plus a civil penalty of up to 10 times the damages, plus court costs, plus reasonable attorney’s fees, plus expert witness fees, plus interest. Professional plaintiff’s lawyers must be chomping at the bit. If Bill sold just 100 signed copies of a $30 book, but six years later, couldn’t locate the records noting the size of the edition, he’d be liable for (at minimum) $30,000. Bill sells tens of thousands of signed books each year.
Do you wonder why it's so expensive to do business in California?  This is why it's so expensive to do business in California.

1 comment:

Ellen K said...

Like I said, Texas has no income taxes, plenty of room and many jobs at the public school and college level for someone with your credentials. It may be time to move.