City Journal Winter 2014

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Winter 2014
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Troy Senik
First, Do Less Harm « Back to Story

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The idea, as brought out in the title of this piece, is to do less harm. The less time they have for their skullduggery, the better. That will force them to concentrate on the more important things in state government.

That's certainly no panacea. A poisoned tree will always bear poisoned fruit, but we'll get less of it.
Not a silver bullet....there is no silver bullet.

Improvement? Yes. The Part time Legislature will get legislators out of the cesspool under the dome in Sacramento, and keep them home in their own hometown with a regular job, associating daily with regular people who pay the taxes for the majority of the time. No 'soft landing' job for defeated or termed out legislators in return for their loyalty to the Sacramento special interests. A required balanced 2-year budget on time or lawmakers' pay is cut off.

Not a complete and perfect answer to all the ills of our public employee union dominated state where roads, bridges and waterways are no longer built, where school quality has dropped from first to worst, where taxes are high and jobs are few, and public employees live far beter than the workers who pay their extravagant salaries and pensions.
The problem is not the politicians, they are only symptomatic of the real problem - the electorate. The electorate is simply made up of dullards who lack the capacity to be contributing members of any society. The golden age was possessed by an educated and productive electorate that has since been chased from the state by a pathetic public education system, inordinate taxation, and regulations that would make Mainland China's government blush for their chutzpa. As long as "the people" as stupid enough to elect the likes of a Brown, Newsome or Villaraigosa - there will be no curing the ills of the state.
sounds like a brilliant idea. i think it should be done nationally as well.
Good points;;;but something must be done. Try living here. I was born here during a time of responsibility and excellence. To experience the rape of my beautiful state by the carpetbaggers from east and south is overwhelming!
I wonder what people who think like teoc2 (many of whom are largely dependent upon a government largely funded by a minority of highly-productive taxpayers) will do when rational-thinking people like Mr. Davis leave California -- and take their talents (and assets) with them?

My guess is that teoc2 doesn't have a well-thought-out answer to this question that probably hasn't even occured to him/her...


much of the failure of California's state government is predicated on the passage of term-limit legislation that in its own way created a part-time legislature.

a part-time legislature dependent on and beholden to lobbyists of all stripes for brain storming, writing and determining what legislation should be considered in the first place.

legislating a part-time legislature will be like a doctor prescribing a high sodium diet to a patient with hyper tension.

no surprise as Grover Norquist, the Laffer Curve, the Tea Bag Party and Rush Limbaugh all got their starts in California—the latter two specifically in Sacramento.

California is in the midst of decline, and like an alcoholic or drug addict, California needs to hit bottom before it can recover - in the unlikely event it can recover. Shorter legislative terms sounds gimmicky and like term limits could pass more power to veteran full time lobbyists and other seeking money or benefits from taxpayers.

What needs to be done in California is a culture change, and that is not going to happen - the corrupt interests who are now in charge are way too powerful and way too experienced in doing what they are doing. I've argued elsewhere that Democrats are content with and encourage conditions under which businesses and population - primarily Republican - leave the state. This is done primarily by discouraging prosperity and encouraging dependence on government. Enacting high taxes and burdensome regulations are meant as a means by which to drive away those who disagree with Democrats. This combined with encouragement of single parent families, leads to government dependency which further aids the Democratic cause since those dependent on government vote Democratic practically 100% of the time.

As to whether part time government is good or bad, the answer is it probably can't hurt. It would certainly make government less attractive but it would also lead to more power for the full time lobbyists and others seeking something from government. But, given the situation in California, where the state is on its way to Detroitification, why not?