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Why Is California Hosed? Blame 'The Bloomberg Syndrome'

For another example of a once Golden State now in twilight, Aaron Clarey explores "How Liberal Art Majors Destroyed Stockton," at his Captain Capitalism blog:

I pointed this out a while ago, but it needs repeating.

You cannot expect a group of adults whose only experiences are in the non-profit/government/education industries to lead with any measure of competence in that they are politicians first and foremost and have not the ability nor care to adhere to mathematical and financial reality.  They are mentally spoiled little children who just happened to be in adult bodies that purposely and consciously chose weak degrees requiring no rigor, effort or thought, and consequently chose easy "careers."  It should be no shock that Stockton, or any city or organization, led by such weak and talentless people went bankrupt.

Is it the quality of the people who managed its services that led to Stockton's fiscal collapse, or is it that they very likely succumbed to what Victor Davis Hanson has dubbed "The Bloomberg Syndrome:"

It is a human trait to focus on cheap and lofty rhetoric rather than costly, earthy reality. It is a bureaucratic characteristic to rail against the trifling misdemeanor rather than address the often-dangerous felony. And it is political habit to mask one’s own failures by lecturing others on their supposed shortcomings. Ambitious elected officials often manage to do all three.

The result in these hard times is that our elected sheriffs, mayors, and governors are loudly weighing in on national and global challenges that are quite often out of their own jurisdiction, while ignoring or failing to solve the very problems that they were elected to address.

Quite simply, the next time your elected local or state official holds a press conference about global warming, the Middle East, or the national political climate, expect to experience poor county law enforcement, bad municipal services, or regional insolvency.


But while Stockton's mayor is busy turning her back on ethical oil, her city makes the list of America's most dangerous cities in multiple years.

Stockton's rococo global warming concerns, and San Francisco's garbage nannies are both reminders that the simpler, smaller, and more focused the government, the less qualified the people running it need to be. Or as Milton Friedman once said, "It’s nice to elect the right people, but that’s not the way you solve things. The way you solve things is by making it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right things:"

Unfortunately for all of us though, California politicians and civil servants take the notion of "politically profitable" far too literally.