Posts Tagged ‘Regulation’

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.
  • The Joys of Watching Matt Yglesias Miss The Point

    Monday, February 4th, 2013

    It’s always fun to watch liberals stub their toes against reality. This time around it’s JournoLista Matthew Yglesias who is shocked, shocked to discover that trying to start a small business (in his case renting out a spare house) is wrapped up in bureaucratic red tape. When this was pointed out to him on Twitter, he protested that he had often complained about local government red tape. Fine and dandy, but why is he such an enthusiast for big government at the federal level?

    His dichotomy of thought seems to suggest there are several blind-spots in his understanding of economics (a rather significant drawback for a journalist who regularly write about economics). Watching him fail to draw the obvious conclusions on the baleful effect of big government on small business is almost priceless in its cluelessness. Let’s discuss a few of the many, many ideas that never seemed to have occurred to him, shall we?

  • In ways big and small, every single day is like what Yglesias described for small business dealing with big government.
  • Trudging between bureaucrats, Yglesias should have thought to himself: “ObamaCare will be 1000 times worse for small business than this.” Because it will be. But of course he can’t do that, given what a cheerleader he is for ObamaCare and how he belittled business owner concerns. But it’s always different when it happens to you.
  • The idea that red tape scales (at a minimum) with the size of government does not seem to have occurred to him.
  • And excessive red tape begets excessive local red tape complying with federal mandates.
  • It’s like he never heard of Jerry Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy.
  • He complains that the process he had to go through could have been made more efficient. What does he think all those Democratic patronage machine jobs are for?
  • If he’s been writing about economics for years, but is just now discovering the problems of how big government slows down business, you wonder: Does he never get out of DC? He could have picked up the phone and talked to real business owners who work outside the Liberal Reality Bubble and discovered all this many many years ago.
  • Bureaucratic inefficiencies are much like cockroaches: for every instance you see, there are thousands you don’t. And just like cockroaches, they swarm and multiply off in the dark while you’re not looking.
  • I’m going to bet that Yglesias has never read James Q. Wilson’s Bureaucracy.
  • And yet there’s a certain perverse pleasure in watching Yglesias wrestle with the problems of big government and not draw the obvious conclusion. It’s like watching a man hold the 6th piece of a 6-piece jigsaw puzzle, look back and forth between the piece and hole and declare “I just don’t understand!” It’s like watching a blind man suddenly given sight and see the elephant he had been feeling for the first time in his life, then resolutely put on opaque glasses and mutter “No, that can’t be it.” Or like Butt-Head trying to figure out what happened to his TV:

    He can’t figure it out because he won’t let himself figure it out. Too much of his own self-love is tied up in the notion that he’s good because he’s a liberal, and liberals are good because big government is good in and of itself. For every maddening piece of red tape, somewhere out there was a Matthew Yglesias who thought that having government run and regulate something was just a swell idea.

    You do it to yourself, you do. And that’s what really hurts…

    A Dollop of Gun News

    Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

    Lots of news in the world of guns and the Second Amendment today, so here’s a quick lunchtime roundup:

  • So Obama has issued his executive orders on guns. The good news is that the Executive Orders themselves are not nearly as bad as many feared, at least on the surface. But remember that if you give Obama a constitutional inch, he’ll take an unconstitutional mile. His requested legislation, with restoration of the cosmetic Clinton-era “assault weapons” ban and other such mischief, are a different kettle of fish, but I’m cautiously optimistic that none of them will pass muster in the Republican House.
  • Hell even Harry Reid says that the “Assault Weapons” ban is doomed.
  • The title pretty much says it all: Joe Manchin: Lying Sack of Shit on Guns.
  • All Obama’s proposed legislation is just the latest in a long line of passing
    gun laws that in no way would have prevented the crimes they were passed in reaction to
    . (Hat tip: Say Uncle.)

  • “The D.C. gun control laws irrationally prevent only law abiding citizens from owning handguns.”
  • Cracked, of all places, offers up a dose of perspective. “Gun violence has, generally speaking, been working out pretty spiffy for us.” The writer’s suggestions are as useless as the “Assault Weapon” ban, but are at least less harmful.
  • An average of 22 children a year are killed on school buses or in bus loading zones. Where’s the outcry for bus safety?
  • Mark Steyn notes that for MSM elites, laws are for the little people.
  • Ruger’s automatic letter generator for your congresscritters.
  • Jeff Soyer at Alphecca could use your help.
  • Travis County Gun Show Ban Shot Down, Stuffed, and Mounted on the Wall

    Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

    Today law-abiding gun owners declared total victory over the gun-grabbing plans of the Travis County Commissioner’s Court:

    Travis County Commissioners unanimously voted Tuesday to reverse course on a proposal that would have banned gun shows from county facilities.

    Commissioners also agreed to honor an existing contract for nine more gun shows at the Exposition Center.

    “I take very seriously the idea of abiding by the law. State law prevents this court from doing much of anything on this issue,” Commissioner Sarah Eckhardt said.

    I think it’s great that Travis County Commissioners are actually concerned about obeying the law. Maybe the could spread that attitude to certain other officeholders.

    Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and the NRA-ILA a large share of credit for derailing this very bad idea, as do Dwight and all the other gun owners who stood up and made their voices heard,

    Hopefully the gun-grabbers on the Austin City Council will take the hint.