Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Texas vs. California

None of this happens by accident. California's interlocking directorate of government employee unions, issue activists, careerists and campaign contributors has become increasingly aggressive and adept at using rhetoric extolling public benefits for all to deliver targeted advantages to itself. As a result, the political reality of the high-benefit/high-tax model is that its public goods are, increasingly, neither public nor good. Instead, the beneficiaries are the providers of the public services, and certain favored or connected constituencies, rather than the general population.
This is the kind of insight that conservatives contribute, or should contribute, if they were doing their jobs, and not conspiracy-mongering about death panels and "this guy". This is the vital corrective to liberal naivete about the perfectability of government, humans and institutions. It positively dumbfounds me that California can still retain its "stranglehold" on high-tech employment, yet have so many terrible problems, including a really bad public-school system. I would think that would be the kiss of death for attracting and retaining smart employees. Maybe they all send their kids to private schools?

Here's my question, though. If the right can believe that the not-for-profit powers in California can develop such a dysfunctional, self-dealing arrangement, why is it such a stretch to believe it can occur in the financial services industry?

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