Friday, September 01, 2006
No sooner do I learn about the precarious state of freedom for the medical sector of California's economy, than I find that its Democrat-dominated legislature is ready to implement a couple more foolish ideas. In all three cases, the legislature that has either passed or is ready to pass legislation that will hold back an already-burdened economy. (Wasn't that why Schwarzenegger was elected in the first place?) And you have a governor who, if he fully understood what these bills meant, would veto them, since he immigrated from Austria in part to escape socialism.
First of all, the bad news. As I have noted before, the Governator buys into the environmentalist agenda. This is why it is all but certain that his state will soon be saddled with the following onerous new laws.
California catapulted to the forefront of U.S. efforts to fight global warming [based on the controversial assumption that it is man-induced --ed] on Wednesday with an accord that will give the state the toughest laws in the nation on cutting greenhouse gas emissions and possibly spur a reluctant Washington to take similar action.The good news, such as it is, is that Schwarzenegger may yet veto the socialized medicine and anti-Wal-Mart legislation that will also soon find its way to his desk. However, in both of these cases, he has officially taken no position (!) on the legislation.
"The success of our system will be an example for other states and nations to follow as the fight against climate change continues," [Gov. Arnold] Schwarzenegger said in a statement after weeks of tense negotiations.
California's Global Warming Solutions Act aims to cut emissions to 1990 levels, or around 25 percent, by 2020 with an enforceable cap and mandatory reporting for top polluters like energy companies.
Some further bad news, at least for the anti-Wal-Mart bill, is that it is being "sold" in the same pseudo-capitalist packaging as the environmentalist legislation that Schwartzenegger plans to sign. Although the Governator seems convinced that (1) global warming is man-induced and (2) it is the government's job to stop it, it is not insignificant that he found a "market-based" version acceptable.
Worried about the impact on business, Schwarzenegger pushed for a market-based system that will eventually give companies tools to meet emissions targets, like carbon credit trading.Yeah, and back in the days of the slave trade, people bought and sold other people in "markets". Just because the government creates a "market" by permitting the wholesale violation of rights (liberty in the case of slavery or property in this case) does not mean that it is promoting capitalism.
"We created a clear path to allow California to enter into that market-based system and we're very proud we were able to reach that agreement with the governor," said bill author and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, a Los Angeles Democrat.
It is bad enough that Schwartzenegger falls for environmentalism. It is worse that he thinks this particular implementation of the Green agenda is somehow a pro-capitalist idea.
The Wal-Mart legislation is being pushed in a similar way -- by making it sound good to a pro-business, but economically-ignorant body politic and, perhaps, its muscle-bound leader.
The state has an interest, [the bills' author, Sen. Richard Alarcon,] said, because "Wal-Mart is the most egregious offender when it comes to having employees use public assistance - in fact, training them to apply.If this sounds familiar, it is because I have pointed out before that the problem is not that Wal-Mart slurps at the public trough, but the fact we have such a trough in the first place.
In the great Wal-Mart debate, I have so far seen no one point out that the costs (in taxation) of Wal-Mart in terms of its employees' reliance on Medicare are not Wal-Mart's fault. Its workers, after all, are free to seek other employers and other medical plans. It is the government, by guaranteeing medical coverage to certain income groups, that is in fact, adding to the "cost" of Wal-Mart to the public. Worse still, it does this not just to customers of Wal-Mart, who would (and should) be the only ones affected were Wal-Mart to offer comparable medical coverage to workers currently accepting Medicaid, but to every non-customer taxed to support Medicaid.If you were to observe a child touch a hot skillet and withdraw his hand in pain, you might think that he's learned his lesson. But what if he had somehow failed to understand that it was the heat of the skillet that burned him? Only then would it not be surprising to see him reach right back for that very skillet.
The situation in California is very much like watching a child who just winced in pain do again exactly what hurt him the first time. When the consequences of government interference in the economy became obvious, Californians recalled Gray Davis and replaced him with a Republican. They did not, however, reject his policies and ideas.
The problem is, the lousy economy was not the fault of just Gray Davis, but of the ideas that animated him and the policies he carried out as a result. All California seems to have done is reject the pain (i.e., the consequences of socialism), but not its cause (i.e., the notion that the government should run the economy). So they have kicked out Gray Davis and are seeking to continue his policies under Arnold Schwartzenegger, who apparently doesn't understand what is wrong with socialism, either.
News flash for California: Republicans aren't leprechauns. They can't lead you to a pot of gold at the end of the socialist rainbow any more than Gray Davis could. Time to try capitalism, for a change. Perhaps you could start by looking the term up in a dictionary or reading about it a little. Once again, contrary to the Libertarian notion that one can simply vote freedom in at the ballot box, we see that it is whether a public actually understands what freedom entails that determines whether it is freedom that they will get.
California is showing us in no uncertain terms that the Libertarians are wrong. The people of California are losing their freedom not solely because of politics, but because of the widely-held philosophical ideas that affect politics.
Today: Fixed some bad wording.