…so goes the nation. Which is a scary notion these days. The Wall Street Journal has a pair of editorials from the past week discussing California’s budget crisis.
From the Feb. 17 editorial:
California now has the worst credit rating in the nation — worse even than Louisiana’s. It also has the nation’s fourth highest unemployment rate of 9.3% (after Michigan, Rhode Island and South Carolina) and the second highest home foreclosure rate (after Nevada).
The Feb. 21 editorial by Matthew Kaminski draws the parallels to France and its national malaise:
The French have long experienced the unintended consequences of a large public sector. Ask them about it. As the number of people who get money from government grows, so does the power of constituencies dedicated to keep this honey dripping. Even when voters recognize the model carries drawbacks, such as subpar growth, high taxes, an uncompetitive business climate and above-average unemployment, their elected leaders find it near impossible to tweak the system. This has been the story of France for decades, and lately of California.
The most frightening part is that the policies which drove California to this point are eerily similar to the ones the Democratic Congress now wants to foist on the entire country–higher corporate taxes, excessive environmental regulation, and greater power for public employee unions. You can add protectionist trade policies to that as well. While the country struggles to dig itself out and remain competitive in the global economy, Congress stands ready to pile on some extra dirt.
Cartoon by Michael Ramirez