I just finished Steven Malanga’s, Shakedown: The Continuing Conspiracy Against the American Taxpayer, a book which should be must-reading for any serious student of public policy. In it, he gets at how various government programs have weakened our economy and compromised American culture.
If California’s governor-elect were serious about fixing the state’s multitudinous problems, he’d insist all incoming members of his Administration read the second chapter, “California’s Road to Serfdom.” They don’t need to buy the book; they can find it online as “The Beholden State.” Herein Malanga gets at the problem engendered by the folks who helped bankroll Jerry Brown’s campaign — as well as paid for the the Democrat’s Get-Out-the-Vote effort:
Consider the California Teachers Association. Much of the CTA’s clout derives from the fact that, like all government unions, it can help elect the very politicians who negotiate and approve its members’ salaries and benefits.
And it’s not just the CTA. In contract negotiations, various and sundry unions those advocating on behalf of public employees negotiate with those who depend on public employee unions’ largesse to fund their campaigns. In such situations, government officials tend to lose sight of who pays public employee salaries.
No wonder California officials recently acknowledged “that the state faces $20 billion deficits every year from now to 2016.” To get a handle on the state’s budget woes, our political leaders from the governor on down are going to have to take on these unions. Maybe Brown will, as some have suggested, have his “Nixon-in-China” moment and be able to confront those so instrumental in returning him to the governor’s office.
To get an idea of the problems, we face here in the (once-)Golden State, read the articles referenced above as well as these pieces:
Jennifer Rubin, California, There it Went
George Gilder, California’s Destructive Green Jobs Lobby
Allysia Finley, California: The Lindsay Lohan of States