Ed Driscoll

'How To Cripple Your State In Five Easy Steps'

As with Orwell’s 1984, Amity Shlaes’ The Forgotten Man, and Paddy Chayefsky’s Network, Kevin D. Williamson, the author of The End Is Near and It’s Going to Be Awesome, pens an article that’s yet another dual-purpose how-to guide for the punitive, suicidal left and warning for the rest of us:

5. Don’t just be crazy — be California crazy. California is running out of things in the present to tax, and its future does not look terribly bright, so it has resorted to taxing the past. A combination of judicial shenanigans and legislative incompetence resulted in California’s reneging on tax incentives that had been offered to some businesses — and then demanding the retroactive payment of taxes for which businesses had never been legally liable. Small-business owners, some of whom had sold their businesses years ago, suddenly got demands for taxes running well into the six figures. And, California being California, it had the gall to charge those businesses interest on taxes they had never owed. Jim Fowler, a software entrepreneur, was hit with a bill for more than $600,000. “I think that’s the part that’s really going to ruin trust in the state of California,” he said. “You can’t do this to entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs will stop coming here.”

There was a time — and it really wasn’t that long ago — when if you were a financial firm, you had to have an office in Lower Manhattan, when film studios had to have offices in Los Angeles, and high-tech firms really needed to be in Silicon Valley. If Travis Brown’s big data set shows us anything it is that those days are done. You can build very fine automobiles in the United States, but if you aren’t already in Detroit, you’d be a fool to set up shop there. For the feckless governors of high-tax, big-government states with Governor Perry and Governor Scott breathing down their necks, the only question is which Rick they’re going to get rolled by.

Heh.™ Read the whole thing.

Click here for my earlier interview with with Kevin on his recent book.

Related: “People will stop participating in society when they feel that society has nothing to offer them.”