August 13, 2011


Getting the economy going again is important; the Democrats aren’t going to do it. The “stimulus” with its “shovel ready” jobs didn’t do it – indeed, the President was amused to tell us that the shovels weren’t as ready as he had thought. A near trillion dollar oops. The problem was that funneling the money to cronies didn’t do anything to rebuild the national infrastructure, which continues to deteriorate. A new stimulus won’t help that. The infrastructure can be rebuilt by state and local governments, and will have to, but to do that will require state and local government reforms: all levels of government are broke, and will stay that way until the economy improves. Getting the feds out of that act will stimulate the states to compete for jobs and capital – as Texas is already doing, extracting a lot of jobs and capital from Silicon Valley to Austin and other high tech regions in Texas. Competition among the states will reduce regulatory strangulation, but only if the feds stop throttling the economy.

There is a way to get started on this. Now.

I like this bit: “Double the exemption numbers for small businesses: that is, whatever regulations you are exempt from by dint of having 10 or fewer employees, you will now be exempt if you have 20 or fewer; similarly for larger numbers. The regulations will still apply, but the exemption numbers are doubled.”

Repealing Sarbanes-Oxley is good, too. And so’s — well, hell, just read the whole thing. The GOP candidate who adopts it will get some traction.

UPDATE: Reader K.J. Tullis writes:

Saw your link to the Pournelle article this morning, in which he discusses the outflow of companies and jobs from California to Texas. As someone who lives next door to Texas, might I suggest that the its good citizens will come to regret this strategy. The mess in California just didn’t happen, nor was it passively allowed to happen. It is the end result of a path actively endorsed by the majority of its inhabitants, many of whom are whining the loudest about the inevitable results, and in fact, are leaving for better climes.

When I was a kid, growing up in Southern California in the early 60’s, it was a very forward looking place. In school we learned about Fr. Serra and his fellow Franciscans showing up, building the missions, and bringing both Christianity and agriculture to the local peoples. This was viewed as a good thing. We were taken on field trips to the LA harbor and marveled at the manmade breakwater and the huge ships moving about. We learned about other great feats of engineering – the Colorado River Aqueduct, the freeways, and the airports. We learned about Signal Hill and how important oil production was to the state. It was a rich, prosperous, and ambitious place. Unfortunately, its wealth provided the slack resources sufficient to allow the citizens to embrace ideas that undermined this very wealth and its ultimate sources. Nowadays, Serra promoted genocide, the engineering feats have destroyed the environment, and the oil resources are a blight. The ideas and beliefs that have decimated California, are in fact, shared by huge swathes of the populace. In spite of their suffering in the world they helped create, when many of these business owners and workers move to other places they bring their dumb ideas with them. Trust me, they may be economic refugees, but they will be the first to start kvetching about the refineries down the road.

Perhaps they’ll learn.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Michael Chamberlain writes:

Experience shows us they won’t.

I moved to Nevada 23 years ago, not from California, and we’ve seen a massive influx of former Golden State residents during that time. Californians are infamous for exporting their problems with them.

Far too many California refugees make no connection between the conditions that caused them to leave and the policies that created those conditions. They complain about the high cost of living in their former state then demand the same level of regulatory controls, government “services” and tax burden in their new home.

Nevada has gone from a relative bastion of libertarianism to a state with an increasingly stifling regulatory morass, a glacial bureaucracy and an ever-intrusive nanny state.

I’m sure you can find similar sentiments expressed by other residents in Nevada as well as Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Colorado and other states the millions of Californians ex-pats have chosen to take up residence during the last couple decades.

Obviously, then, one must adopt cultural traits that they find irritating enough that they’ll move on.

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