California’s Road To Hell

Those Golden Bears aren’t doing so well these days:

Not only are the businesses in the Golden State facing the federal fiscal cliff tax hikes next year, but they also get a swift retroactive-tax-hike-kick-to-the-shorts for anything earned this year as well.  When you know a certain number of people are going to leave your state after yet another tax hike, it is good to make it retroactive since people can’t leave retroactively…

There was a great article in the San Francisco Chronicle the other day describing how much the state genuinely despises private sector job creators. Unless, of course, those job creators start “supporting” some of the “business friendly” legislators in congress…

The game of tyranny was described in explicit detail by Ayn Rand over 50 years ago in her novel Atlas Shrugged: In a free society, people can start businesses and succeed without ever knowing their local legislator.  The only barrier to success would be their own ability to create something people want better than a competitor.  Power-hungry rulers recognize that the free system doesn’t allow them to gain power.  The same people who created products that make people’s lives easier, produce jobs, and a create a social ladder for society must be made to look evil so that politicians can lever themselves into the system. The rulers use the tragic human character flaws of jealousy and greed to malign the successful.  The accomplishments of the entrepreneurs are discredited (“you didn’t build that”) and their intentions are painted as exploitive rather than constructive.

Once the democratic (or revolutionary) mandate is achieved with popular consent, the legislators use two powerful tools to gain power: business-crushing regulations and heavy tax structures.  The taxes allow the legislators to look “charitable” by funding a redistribution of wealth and creating an entitled class of reliable voters.  The taxes can also be used to subsidize favored groups like unions and large banks that will then support those in power.  The heavy regulations are used as a gun to the head of business.  Legislators create laws that make it difficult/impossible to do business.  If companies want to survive the taxes and regulations imposed by the government, they must “support” the legislators to gain subsidies and loop-holes.  Anyone not willing to play the game are publicly denounced by the politicians as evil exploiters (Wal-Mart, med tech companies, surgeons, etc) and special taxes/regulations are applied to their livelihoods until they submit.  Once everyone is under the thumb or supported by the government, the rulers have ultimate power.

Am I exaggerating?  In addition to the link above, Joel Kotkin describes how business owners feel about political expression in the following article, “For A Preview Of Obama’s America In 2016, Look At The Crack-Up Of California”. The article describes the consequences of “free speech” for California business. The exact same thing is happening on a national scale in DC.  The system is rigged in favor of the tyrant.  Who is a better bet to give money to:  The politician extolling the virtues of liberty and fighting for your right to pursue it, or the politician saying that he is going to crush you when he gains power so you better pony up to the table? We saw what happened to each side when Obamacare passed.  The med tech companies fought for freedom and now have a special tax just for them.  The pharma companies paid tribute to the master and got branded pharmaceuticals on the formularies of the expanded coverage.  Welcome to the ‘Nanner Republic of America…

The scenario has played over and over and over again throughout history.  Democracy is the most insidious mechanism for tyrants, because it needs/uses the sanction of the very frogs being boiled to work.  Forced or fooled, at least 50% of the frogs have to vote for their own demise. If you feel a little sick to your stomach these days, it is because we can see the “cooks” applying butter and salt to the frogs in California and Europe.  A system we thought only existed in banana republics and “those other countries” is suddenly revealing its true colors much closer to home than we had suspected.

It is getting harder and harder to hide the dire consequences of political tyranny… Especially now that Europe and California are laying it out for us in explicit detail.  California, like the US, was once governed by Ronald Reagan.  That fact makes his foreboding quote all the more powerful:


One thought on “California’s Road To Hell

  1. When I was young, California was as Golden as a place could be. They had it all. They were an economic engine like the world has never seen. Capitalism can do that. And everyone benefitted.

    But politicians have nearly killed this Golden Goose. There are still some golden eggs around to redistribute. But not for long. The socialist utopian delusions will end in disaster. And everyone will suffer.

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