California

California Killing Its Gig Economy

Steven Greenhut, The American Spectator

The brainchild of the state’s politically muscular unions, Assembly Bill 5 (bans companies from relying on independent contractors to serve as their main workers) will turn the gig economy on its head by destroying the employment model that’s fundamental to these entrepreneurial businesses. If California voters don’t reverse AB 5, then the state might really learn what life is like without such a boisterous gig economy. AB 5 sends a clear message to entrepreneurs with other innovative ideas that circumvent the state’s innovation-crushing array of labor regulations: “Don’t bother. Your ideas and businesses aren’t wanted here.”

Welcome to ‘Hotel California’

Patricia Mahon, The American Spectator

From a gallon of gas to a gallon of water, the cost of living is scandalous. We find ourselves in a grossly overpriced one-star hotel from which residents are checking out and leaving en masse — to Arizona, Nevada, and Texas to escape high taxes, unsafe neighborhoods, failing schools, a wall of debt, a pension crisis, and a political ruling class that has neither the guts nor the will to effect change. Ballot after ballot, proposition after proposition, the names and the dollar amounts change, but the policies stay the same. The greatest tragedy, of course, is that it doesn’t have to be this way here — or anywhere else in America.

Is California Becoming Premodern?

Victor Davis Hanson, National Review

California is nearing the logical limits of progressive adventurism in policy and politics. Residents carefully plan long highway trips as if they were ancient explorers charting dangerous routes. Tourists warily enter downtown Los Angeles or San Francisco as if visiting a politically unstable nation. Insatiable state tax collectors and agencies are viewed by the public as if they were corrupt officials of Third World countries seeking bribes. Californians flip their switches unsure of whether the lights will go on. Many are careful about what they say, terrified of progressive thought police who seem more worried about critics than criminals.

California Mandates Free Abortion at Public Colleges

Alexandra DeSanctis, National Review

Democratic governor Gavin Newsom has signed legislation making California the first state in the country to require public colleges and universities to provide medical-abortion pills to students at campus health centers. This year has featured a number of controversial changes to state abortion policies across the country, as several states attempted to limit abortion earlier in pregnancy and a handful of others officially legalized abortion through all nine months of pregnancy. California state senator Connie Leyva, sponsor of S.B. 24, hopes her bill ushers in a new frontier in the national fight over abortion policy.

The ‘Simple’ Homeless Solution

Steven Greenhut, The American Spectator

"Give them homes" is asinine. Yes, there’s a desperate need for nonprofits to build homeless shelters and sanitary temporary encampments, but just “giving” the homeless homes isn’t going to eliminate all the social-service, policing, and other costs. When perhaps half of the homeless won’t take free services, owing largely to their addictions and mental illnesses, this wouldn’t solve the problem by any stretch. I’m not offering my own simple solutions, but I will offer this guarantee: No matter how much money they throw at the problem, California governments will be struggling with this crisis well past my lifetime.

Public Servants Or The Public’s Masters?

Steven Greenhut, The American Spectator

Government officials and public-sector unions already have hatched a plan for the 2020 ballot that would dramatically raise property tax on commercial property owners by undermining Proposition 13’s tax protections. California is on track for an endless sea of tax increases and service cutbacks, mainly because the public-employee unions control the government and have assured that their pay and benefit packages must always rise. No one is suggesting that the state deny a fair wage to its employees, but a simple scan of the state controller’s database and Transparent California shows that there’s nothing fair about a system that turns every government worker into the equivalent of a lottery winner.

Why Are There So Many Homeless in Los Angeles?

Roger L. Simon, PJ Media

Why has this happened in a place that is so rich it is the fifth biggest economy in the world by itself, ahead of the United Kingdom and just behind Germany? Can't they just throw money at the homeless and make them go away? Not so easy. It's been tried, at least to some extent. Shelters, some of them well built, have been constructed all over the city but the homeless don't want to stay in them. The reason is these shelters are drug-free zones and the homeless of LA (and San Francisco and Seattle) are anything but drug-free. Most are addicts. They prefer to live in tents where they can smoke what they want, shoot what they want, pop what they want. So homeless encampments keep growing and sprout up everywhere.

America’s First Third-World State

Victor Davis Hanson, National Review

Perhaps if former governor Jerry Brown knew that he would one day retire to Delano and drive the 99 daily, rather than to Grass Valley, with several state pensions in his bank account, or if Dianne Feinstein dwelled in an East Palo Alto or Redwood City residence rather than in Pacific Heights, or if all the Pelosi grandchildren had to attend state public schools, then the architects of 21st-century California might have had to live with the consequences of their own dreams and been less eager to inflict their nightmares on the other 40 million Californians. But then again, such a radical divergence between a few insider elites and a massive underclass, with little in between, is perhaps what best defines “Third World.”

Calif.'s free health care for illegal immigrants an unsustainable financial burden

Tammy Bruce, Washington Times

The vulnerable around the world hear about free health care and the safety of sanctuary cities when both of those terms are lies. Yet they leave their homes after being encouraged by the news they hear and imagine an American utopia. Instead, they get California. The supposed free health care involves getting a Medi-Cal card. When getting an appointment with a doctor is impossible, they will go to an emergency room and will be among the other Medi-Cal recipients waiting in a sea of individuals who are ill and suffering. In Los Angeles, many will find themselves sleeping on the street on the now famous downtown piles of trash infested with rats and alongside others infected with lice-borne typhus.

California Is The Future The Liberal Elite Wants For You

Kurt Schlichter, Townhall

California will continue to circle the drain, and barring revolution – a real one, with all the attendant bad stuff for the ruling class – there’s no coming out of it. They’re dining on zebras in the Caracas zoo and yet the socialist revolution marches on. California is no different; it’s just a decade behind the Venezuelan vanguard.  It’s doomed. And what’s important to understand is that the liberal elite wants the same thing for the rest of America. To our ruling class, California is not a cautionary example. It’s the goal for our whole country. Are you going to let that happen?

Why I'm Never Going Back To California

Calfornia's Democrat-controlled government spends its time crafting laws to jail people for using the wrong pronoun while the obscene condition of downtown Los Angeles has become an international disgrace. Mountains of rotting, oozing, stinking trash line skid row alleys while football-sized rats pop their heads out of the debris like they are in a game of Whac-A-Mole.

The Ballot Box Jihad

We urge our conservative Democrat friends in Michigan, Virginia, Florida, Texas, California, Pennsylvania and other states where primary elections are imminent, to take this warning of the danger of nominating and electing anti-constitutional liberty Muslim candidates seriously and to only vote for candidates who believe in and will fight for the foundational principles of our Constitutional Republic.

California Has Become America’s Cannibal State

Victor Davis Hanson, National Review

What is the ideology behind such destructive state policies? Venezuela, which is driving out its middle class, is apparently California’s model. California is waging an outright war on the upper middle class, which lacks the numbers of the poor and the clout of the rich. Those who administer California’s plagued department of motor vehicles and high-speed-rail authority may often be inept and dysfunctional, but the state’s tax collectors are the most obsessive bureaucrats in the nation. What is Sacramento’s message to those who combine to pay half the state’s income taxes and have not yet left California? “Be gone or we will eat you!”

Government ‘Oversight’ Is a Very Bad Joke

Steven Greenhut, The American Spectator

Government shields genuinely beneficial public records, analyzes the picayune offenses of a few state employees, and reveals “shocking” audits about the incompetence of agencies that have always been incompetent. Meanwhile, it neglects the obvious abuses in front of our eyes, such as the hundreds of billions of dollars in unfunded pension debt borne by taxpayers — to assure that virtually all California state employees live like millionaires in their golden years. If government agencies ran 100 percent (or even 75 percent) of our society, you can imagine what our lives would be like. But don’t be shocked. I’m sure there would be plenty of audits and other government oversight.

A Bad Idea For Ohio And A Terrible Idea For America

No Republican has ever been elected President without Ohio, and Ohio has furnished eight Presidents with Ohio roots – all Republicans. So why the Buckeye State’s Republican-controlled legislature and Governor would want to dilute their state’s Electoral College votes via the Democrat proposal to bypass the Electoral College is a complete mystery to us.

Far Left Anti-Electoral College Plan Building Momentum

Democrats have long opposed the Electoral College because with overwhelming margins of victory in high-population states like California they could dominate future presidential elections based on the popular vote, so they have concocted a plan to try to bypass the constitutional amendment process.

California’s Rendezvous with Reality

Victor Davis Hanson, National Review

Spiraling entitlements, unwieldy pension costs, money wasted on high-speed rail, inadequate water storage and delivery, and lax immigration policies were formerly tolerable only because about 150,000 Californians paid huge but federally deductible state income taxes. No more. Californians may have once derided the state’s 1 percent as selfish rich people. Now, they are praying that these heavily burdened taxpayers stay put and are willing to pay far more than what they had paid before. A California reckoning is on the horizon, and it may not be pretty.

Democrat Judge Tosses Citizenship Question Off 2020 Census

The elephant in the room – and the motivation for liberals fighting so hard against including the citizenship question on the census – is that it will re-open the debate over whether electoral seats should be apportioned according to the population of citizens rather than the total population.

New Deals, Marshall Plans, and Other ‘Emergencies’

Steven Greenhut, The American Spectator

If conservatives want a wall, they should go through the proper legislative channels to get one approved just as liberals ought to go through the proper channels — i.e., navigating their way through our system of checks and balances — to fund their priorities. But in the meantime the rest of us should be leery whenever politicians of any stripe bloviate about national emergencies, Marshall Plans, New Deals and other government-led crusades. Such things never end well, at least not for the public.

Wealth, Poverty, and Flight: The Same Old State of California

Victor Davis Hanson, National Review

California is explained not only by sociology but also by psychology. There is a new mentality in which the virtue-signaling elite enjoy the cheap labor of the poor and do not much care about the poor’s inability to access reasonably priced gasoline and electrical power, safe neighborhoods, and quality schools and infrastructure. From their secure keeps, they square that circle by offering generous entitlements, open borders, and progressive empathy — and lots of self-righteous bumper-sticker rhetoric. At least for now.