Posts Tagged ‘Regulation’

LinkSwarm for November 21, 2014

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Here in Austin, we’re enjoying a temporary respite from Winter in November, but I don’t expect it to last long.

Links!

All the lies of ObamCare:

The growing impression that politicians don’t play straight with their constituents is completely toxic, particularly to Democrats, who actually want to use government to improve people’s lives. It’s one thing to downplay unpalatable choices made in the law; it’s another to never disclose the consequences of legislation until it’s too late for anyone to react. Combine that with the moustache-twirling of a Jonathan Gruber, saying that the idiots should be happy for what they got, and you have basically every conservative stereotype about liberal elites confirmed.

Also: ObamaCare is designed for people buying insurance through it to get a nasty sticker shock in year two. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

  • House Republicans file suit over Obama’s unilateral actions on ObamaCare.
  • The administration is lying about ObamaCare signup numbers. Again.
  • “Why Texas Could Remain a Republican Stronghold for Another Generation.”
  • “The president’s promises have been proven to be worthless…How many illegal immigrants want to come out of the shadows and identify themselves to law enforcement based upon this promise?”
  • Jay Carney admits that with his illegal alien amnesty, Obama is doing something he previously called unconstitutional.
  • Mickey Kaus thinks the courts could very well act quickly to squash Obama’s illegal amnesty, much as they did with Harry Truman steel mill seizures.
  • Aaron Worthing thinks illegals will pass on Obama’s amnesty as a bad deal.
  • “These illegal aliens are willing to do the work that Americans will no longer do — namely, vote Democrat.”
  • How desperate are the Democrats? They’re saying Republican opposition to Obama’s illegal alien amnesty will lead to ethnic cleansing. (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • Top Obama bundler arrested on child rape charges.
  • Lefty lawyer Alan Derschowitz on Harvard’s kangaroo court sexual assault rules: “Harvard’s policy was written by people who think sexual assault is so heinous a crime that even innocence is not a defense.”
  • How come Bill Cosby gets convicted in the media for rape allegations by Bill Clinton gets a pass? “There is more sympathy for a white southerner like Clinton than a black comic like Cosby.”
  • A giant leap backward for woman-kind.
  • Price of ground beef hits record highs.
  • Oh lovely: Microsoft is deploying Daleks.
  • Texas vs. California Update for September 17, 2014

    Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

    Time for another Texas vs. California roundup:

  • The Texas economy continues to hum along:

    During the second quarter, Texas employers added 148,200 net nonfarm jobs—an average of 49,400 per month. This amounts to an 18 percent share of all jobs created nationwide over this period in a state with only 8 percent of the country’s population and about 10 percent of total economic output. Over the last year, the addition of 382,200 net jobs in Texas was more new jobs than any other state. These employment gains increased the annual job growth rate to 3.4 percent, which is higher than those of the national average and other highly populated states.

  • The city of Los Angeles is at an impasse over police raises: the police union (naturally) wants raises, while the city says they can’t afford them. So what happens next? The issue goes before the Employee Relations Board, which just happens to be packed with union-approved appointees. In one-party Democratic cities and states, it’s always government together with unions against taxpayers. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • “The ugly reality is that so long as the boards of CalPERS and CalSTRS are controlled by public employee union loyalists, pension reforms enacted by state lawmakers and signed by governors will never live up to their billing.”
  • Jerry Brown lies about pension spiking.
  • Why San Antonio’s public-private partnerships are better at dealing with drought than Los Angeles.
  • A FAQ on Costa Mesa’s pension situation. Including answers to such questions as “How could the $228 million in unfunded pension liabilities affect the city budget?”
  • Watsonville, California passes a sales tax hike solely to pay for additional union pension payments.
  • A judge rules that bankrupt San Bernardino can cut firefighter pension benefits in order to exit bankruptcy.
  • A union-sponsored bill tries to increase liabilities for companies that hire contractors.
  • California is evidently cooking up a whole new batch of unconstitutional gun laws.
  • A look at phony baloney jobs numbers for California’s high speed rail boondoggle.
  • Firefly Space Systems is relocating from California to Burnet County, Texas. “King said Firefly was attracted to Texas partly because of its business and regulatory climate.” It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out California offers a lousy climate for business. Or to put it another way: My days of underestimating California’s ability to improve its business climate are certainly coming to a middle…
  • Drone-maker Ashima is relocating to Reno, Nevada from California.
  • If you hadn’t heard, Tesla is building its battery factory in Nevada, not California.
  • An actual good law out of California: A law that prevents companies from suing customers for negative reviews.
  • North Carolina offered twice as much incentive money to Toyota but still lost out to Texas for relocating their HQ.
  • Your dedicated BART employee in action:

  • Texas Election News Update for August 14, 2014

    Thursday, August 14th, 2014

    With all Obama’s manifest incompetence at the national and international level, it’s easy to neglect Texas election news, so here’s a small update to tide you over.

  • Even liberal MSM fossil Paul Burka says that the governor’s race is over and Wendy Davis has already lost. (Shhhhh! Don’t tell her national liberal donors! Let them keep tossing dollars down the hole…
  • Abbott wants to reform Texas occupational licensing schemes, noting that an EMT only requires 33 days of training, but cosmetologists and barbers require 350 days of training.
  • Lt. Governor candidates Dan Patrick and Leticia Van de Putte will be having debate in September.
  • Brandon Creighton wins special election for state senate.
  • In the Texas House District 136 race (my district), Democratic challenger John Bucy claims to have raised more money than Republican incumbent Tony Dale. But that’s only true by counting Bucy’ spersonal political expenditures as contributions, contrary to state law, counting his volunteer campaign manager’s non-existent $22,018.70 “salary” as a contribution, and counting a bunch of other in-kind contributions.
  • Texas vs. California Update for June 20, 2014

    Friday, June 20th, 2014

    Believe it or not, there seem to be a few actual glimmers of sanity in California in the latest roundup:

  • Texas: Not just leading the nation in jobs, but doing it more equitably as well.
  • “The income gap between rich and poor tends to be wider in blue states than in red states.” More: “Texas has a lower Gini coefficient (.477) and a lower poverty rate (20.5%) than California (Gini coefficient .482, poverty rate 25.8%).” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Perhaps the biggest crack in the “Blue State” model this month was a state superior court judge ruling that California’s teacher protection laws were illegal, because they violated the equal protection clause for students. How the Vergara vs. California decision plays out on appeal is anyone’s guess, but just recognizing that union contracts that keep crummy teachers employed harms students is a huge step forward.
  • New California payroll and pensions numbers are now available. “The data shows that public compensation in California is growing more out of control, threatening the solvency of the state and local governments.” Let’s take a look at a few locales, shall we?
  • Will wonders never cease: CalWatchdog calls the just-passed California budget “fairly prudent.”
  • The legislature also passed a law almost doubling the amount of money school districts pay into CalSTARS.
  • But don’t let that fool you: California’s legislature is still crazy.
  • Especially since California Democrats just elected a new Senate leader guaranteed to pull them to the left.
  • But Republicans are poised to torpedo California Democrat’s Senate supermajority.
  • Desert Hot Springs is contemplating dissolving it’s police force to avoid bankruptcy. (By my count, 21 Desert Hot Springs police officers make more than $100,000 a year in total compensation. Including five officers who make more than the Police Chief…)
  • San Bernardino has evidently reached agreement with CalPERS in it’s ongoing bankruptcy case, but no details have been reported.
  • They also closed a gap in a yearly budget thanks to some union concessions. But one union is balking, and its members are threatening to join the SEIU instead.
  • The California town of Guadalupe considers bankruptcy. One problem is that the town has been illegally transfering money from dedicated funds (like water bills) to general funds. “If voters do not pass three new taxes in November, Guadalupe is expected to disband its police and fire departments, enter bankruptcy or disincorporate, meaning it would cease to exist as a city.”
  • Ventura County residents collection enough signatures to force a ballot measure on pension reform. Response? A lawsuit to keep it off the ballot.
  • Los Angeles 2020 Commission goes over what changes the city needs to avoid a future where “40% of the population lives in ‘what only can be called misery,’ ‘strangled by traffic’ and hamstrung by a ‘failing’ school system.” Response? “Meh.”
  • Sickout among San Francisco municipal bus drivers. Good thing poor people don’t depend on buses for transportation…
  • Huge growth in Texas apartment complexes.
  • California’s prison system illegally sterilizes female inmates against their will.
  • The Obama Administration Department of Education is driving the California-based Corinthian for-profit college chain out of business.
  • A Californian discusses why relocation to Texas might be attractive, and hears the pitch for Frisco, Texas.
  • “‘Building a business is tough. But I hear building a business in California is next to impossible,’ Perry says.”
  • California regulators can’t be arsed to come out and check flaming tap water.
  • California bill to add warning labels to soft drinks fails.
  • California-based nutritional supplement maker Natrol files for bankruptcy, mainly due to class action suits. I note this because I’ve found their 3mg Melatonin to be really effective as a sleep aid.
  • Texas vs. California Update for May 14, 2014

    Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

    Time for another Texas vs. California roundup:

  • Chief Executive ranks the states for business friendliness. Once again, Texas is ranked the best state for doing business in. And once again, California is ranked the worst.

    “Texas is the best state for business and I don’t see anything to slow TX down. The education and quality of eligible employees is excellent right now. Business is booming and growing quicker and more rapidly in 2014 than any other year. It’s an exciting time in Texas.”

    “California goes out of its way to be anti-business and particularly where one might put manufacturing and/or distribution operations.”

    “California continues to lead in disincentives for growth businesses to stay.”

    “California’s attitude toward business makes you question why anyone would build a business there.”

    “California could hardly do more to discourage business if that was the goal. The regulatory, tax and political environment are crushing.”

  • California Governor Jerry Brown unveils a budget that takes baby steps toward actual pension and budget reform. Naturally Brown’s fellow Democrats in the state legislature are fighting him every step of the way.
  • Texas vs. California? Try Houston vs. California:

  • California state rep thinks the minimum wage in the state should be $26 an hour. I agree, especially if they call it the “Let’s Drive All Remaining Business to Texas Act”…
  • When he was a San Diego City Councilman, California Democrat Congressman Scott Peters not only underfunded the city’s pension plan while hiking benefits, he indemnified the pension board for doing so.
  • More on Peters, via an attack ad:

  • “A new analysis of California’s independent public retirement systems suggests they are more woefully underfunded than they appear, and that Los Angeles County is among the worst of all.”
  • Bankrupt Stockton’s last remaining big creditor refuses to take 1¢ on the dollar for debts the city owes. (Remember: State pension fund CalPERS didn’t take any haircut at all.)
  • In bankrupt San Bernardino, talks between the city and CalPERS are making the federal judge overseeing the case impatient.
  • Chuck DeVore on why Texans trust their state government more than most:

    Then factors that appear to explain from 13 percent to 30 percent of the differences in trust among the states: rate of union membership,with more trust in states with lower union membership; state’s level of soft tyranny, a measure of the power of state government over its people; percentage of state and local taxes as a share of income, with lower taxes leading to more trust; the right to keep and bear arms, with citizens trusting a government that trusts them to defend themselves; a business-friendly lawsuit climate; the days the legislature is in session, with less trust as the legislature approaches full-time; and the average commute time, with less time spent in traffic leading to more trust.

    Lastly, a combination of from two to four of the previous factors correlates to 34 to 41 percent of the trust in each state with a mix of four: taxes, gun rights, lawsuit reform and commute time, showing the highest link to trust. Comparatively speaking, Texas lawmakers have done well in these four areas of public policy.

    When building trust in state government, enacting liberty-minded legislation is a good place to start.

  • But it isn’t all sunshine in Texas Local debt continues to rise, though Eanes School District voters finally decide that they’ve had enough and defeat a bond proposal.
  • Rick Perry Comes Out For Marijuana Decriminalization

    Friday, January 24th, 2014

    Rick Perry has come out for marijuana decriminalization and for states rights on legalization (though he still opposes legalization himself).

    This makes Perry objectively more pro-legalization that former frequent choom-abuser Barack Obama.

    This will be a great surprise to people who know Perry only from the liberal caricature of him in their head, or who haven’t been following the intellectual debate among conservatives, which has leaned toward the “legalize it, regulate it and tax it” position for almost a quarter century now.

    Perry has been a staunch supporter of the Tenth Amendment and States Rights. To reiterate what I’ve said before, I oppose the War on Drugs for reasons of general principles (it’s not the purpose of government to save people from themselves), the specific application of constitutional federalism (the Commerce Clause should not apply to the regulation of drugs manufactured and sold within the confines of a single state), and for reasons of budgetary philosophy (making drugs illegal has expanded the size and power of the federal government while increasing the budget deficit; legalizing, regulating and taxing drugs would reduce both the deficit and the harm to individuals and society). My position is not uncommon among conservatives, Republicans, or members of the Tea Party.

    So liberals: Stop acting shocked when conservatives come out for decriminalization and legalization. The only reason it is a shock is that you refuse to listen.

    Hot Stuff

    Friday, January 10th, 2014

    A couple of days ago I mentioned that hot sauce maker Sriracha had been temprarily shut down due to more stringent California regulations.

    Now the followup: In good news for pho restaurants everywhere, Huy Fong Foods announced that Sriracha shipments will resume by the end of the month.

    Moreover, Texas Republican state representative Jason Villalba has invited them to come on over to Texas.

    Villalba, who has been in office for a little under a year, happens to be a Sriracha fan, but he’s looking to move the company for more than personal reasons. He notes in his letter that in Texas there are no personal or corporate state income taxes and a plentiful non-union labor pool. He also mentions that Forbes Magazine named Texas the best climate in the country to grow a business.

    “The great state of Texas would welcome you and your employees with open arms if you would consider moving…” reads the letter. “…Texas could provide you with exactly what you need to continue to grow, build and maximize the opportunities of Huy Fong Foods.”

    Houston Democratic state rep Gene Wu has also invited them over as well.

    No word on whether they’re considering moving or not, but plenty of California businesses have already relocated from California’s failing blue state model to Texas’ booming economy, so it’s certainly possible…

    (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

    Today’s Most infuriating Quote

    Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

    Via Dwight comes a link to this Jonathan Chait piece in New York magazine. Which contained this gem of prevarication:

    Bloomberg’s health crusade is so unusual because it embraces a political mode usually associated with the right. Conservatives favor regulation of vice and personal behavior, especially related to sex, because they believe that the state has a legitimate role in shaping the culture. Traditional social values, they believe, undergird stable families and a well-functioning community. Liberals traditionally want to remove the government from regulating personal behavior and to deploy it only in the economic realm.

    That quote might have had some nodding relationship to reality in, oh, 1980 or so. But it’s certainly not conservatives who have been pushing to:

  • Ban civilian firearms ownership
  • Increase tobacco taxes
  • Ban incandescent light bulbs
  • Force Catholics to pay for abortions
  • Ban “high flow” toilets
  • Ban “hate speech”
  • Ban plastic bags
  • Ban transfats
  • Ban crosses and managers on public land
  • Ban liquor stores in black neighborhoods
  • Ban talk radio
  • Ban government use of the word “Christmas”
  • Ban SUVs, or any other vehicle that get insufficiently “virtuous” gas mileage
  • Ban genetically modified foods
  • Ban foie gras
  • And don’t forget that the “War on Drugs” was an extremely bipartisan affair, with Hubert Humphrey, Joe Biden and Tip O’Neil all among its enthusiastic backers.
  • Etc.
  • This poster makes many of the same points:

    The idea that modern (as opposed to classical) liberals “want to remove the government from regulating personal behavior” is a naked, vainglorious, self-flattering lie on Chait’s part, and only someone living in the coastal Liberal Reality Bubble could possibly type it with a straight face.

    Should Someone With Downs Syndrome be Allowed To Fight MMA?

    Monday, August 19th, 2013

    Florida stopped a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight between two consenting adults because they have disabilities. Garrett Holeve is a 23-year-old with Down’s Syndrome, while 28-year-old David Steffin has cerebral palsy.

    Here’s a profile of Holeve:

    Should Flordia allow an adult with Downs Syndrome to fight in an MMA event?

    It appears on the surface that this is a hard case, given that MMA blows could reduce Holeve’s already diminished mental capacity. But it’s really not:

    1. Is Holeve a free adult citizen of the United States? If so, he’s free to make up his own mind.

    2. If Holeve is not a free adult, but is a ward of his parents, it is up to them to give their consent. As the above video makes clear, his father has determined that the benefits Garrett Holeve gets from MMA training and fighting (increased concentration and drive, greater physical well-being, etc.) outweigh the risk of injury.
    3. Only if Garrett Holeve were a ward of the state of Florida should that state get to decide what he should do with his life. That is clearly not the case here.

    If I had a Downs Syndrome son, I probably wouldn’t enroll him in an MMA program. But Garrett Holeve isn’t my son, and it’s not my call to make. Nor is it that of the state. The job of the state is not to protect people from themselves.

    Let him fight.

    Texas vs. California Update for February 21, 2013

    Thursday, February 21st, 2013

    Another Texas vs. California update! And I don’t even have a line item on how the Houston Rockets picked the Sacramento Kings’ pockets’ in yesterday’s trade.

  • All of TPPF’s Texas vs. California updates in one handy place.
  • California is raising taxes and decreasing services.
  • Mainly because pension funding is crowding out everything else.
  • Good news for California: They got $5 billion more in revenues than they expected in January. The bad news? It was only “an accounting anomaly.”
  • California voters approved a few modest pension reforms last fall. Naturally, unions are sponsoring legislation to have them overturned.
  • Logic: “No amount of legal argument can sidestep the grim numbers facing San Bernardino. The City Council and employee unions alike should recognize a basic fiscal fact: The city will never climb out of bankruptcy without reining in personnel costs.” Unions: You and your oppressive math and logic can die in a fire.
  • Who says California’s high taxes and excessive regulation are driving businesses away? According to The Sacramento Business Journal, 54% of Californians.
  • One reason businesses flock to Texas from California is lawsuit reform. Texas has it, California doesn’t. “For decades, its leaders have consistently pursued policies that promote excessive litigation, making it among the most litigious states. These policies create obstacles for the new and small businesses that drive California’s economy and have allowed abusive lawsuits to delay or halt projects.”
  • The Economist sniffs that Texas’ spending restraint meant the state spent less than the could have. That’s not a bug, that’s a feature.
  • Liberal compares Rick Perry to Stalin because Texas won’t spend as much as liberals think they should. I’m sure we all can agree that was the very worst thing about old Joe Stalin: Fiscal restraint.