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PostPosted: Mon 03 Aug , 2009 3:51 am 
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New news from California.

The budget is mostly balanced, and it was done by actual budget cuts. Not the type of cuts trumped by Democrats and Republicans, smaller increases. These are cuts that a libertarian would call cuts, the numbers on this budget are smaller than the numbers on the prior budget.

This is done thanks to the proposition passed by the majority of California voters, proposition 13. A large majority of voters passed it to restrict that minority of Californians called politicians. Yet it protects the rights of that minority because it still is possible for them to raise taxes - California is in the top five of most taxed states. It's just harder for that minority called politicians to raise taxes. Time and again that minority called politicians have put attempts to weaken proposition 13 in front of the voters of California, and time and again the voters have rejected it. Proposition 13 wasn't passed by one group of politicians against another group, it was passed by the people themselves against the politicians.

Since state employees can't be laid off and can't have their salaries decreased, they are getting furloughed 3 days per month now. Usually government jobs are considered recession proof. Instead government employees are sharing the load with those they live off of. It's a radical change.

But there were a few tricks to balance the budget. Independent contractors pay their income taxes at the end of the fiscal year, now they pay more upfront. And the last paycheck of the California fiscal year was moved from the end of July to the beginning of August, one day different but still in the next budget. So while this isn't a truly balanced budget by a combination of pay cuts for government employees and cuts to government programs this came very close.

For a final ironic touch, state employees have voted to grant their union permission to strike. But not to actually strike. For some reason, the horde of tax auditors and other public servants fear that if they do leave their "jobs," no non-parasite would even notice. Or that they would notice and decide they like it.

So this is what other states have in store for them, and then ultimately the federal government itself.

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PostPosted: Mon 03 Aug , 2009 5:59 am 
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Cenedril_Gildinaur wrote:
For some reason, the horde of tax auditors and other public servants fear that if they do leave their "jobs," no non-parasite would even notice. Or that they would notice and decide they like it.


Are these offensive words yours, or are you quoting them? As a public employee, now with a city government and formerly with a state government, I don't like your drift.

I noticed that you didn't mention that the State of California balanced the budget by sucking the city governments dry. Where we are going to find the funds to pay our pensions and pothole repairs, let alone employee wages, I don't know. I'm not looking forward to the next round of layoffs, in a few months. Either I'm out of a job, or I will have to do the work of three people instead of two (without getting paid any overtime for the extra hours I'm already working, of course.)

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PostPosted: Mon 03 Aug , 2009 10:56 am 
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Laureanna is correct and right in calling that statement offensive. Calling hard working people who serve the people of California "parasites" is an insult. State employees have given their professional lives to the people of the State. They perform valuable and needed functions which make a tremendous contribution to the quality of life for the people of California. Calling them ridiculous names such as parasites is sad.

Then I look at this

Quote:
Since state employees can't be laid off and can't have their salaries decreased, they are getting furloughed 3 days per month now.


Three days per month is a lot of time off and I would guess it is without pay. That is 15% of your monthly work time. If that extends to 12 months it equals 36 days of work that are being denied to these workers. I would guess that not only must these employees accept this involuntary time off but the key provision takes away the income from these days as well. If a person normally works 240 days per year and now must remove 36 from that number, is that not a significant decrease in ones salary? That looks to me like the same as a 15% reduction.

The key thing wrong with proposition 13 is that on a single day in a single election, 50% plus one of voters who decided to case ballots on that particular measure were needed to permanently deny 66.6% of the California legislature their right to perform their jobs on behalf of all the people of California. The 50% plus one gave themselves the power to overrule 66%. That is to take the so called concept of minority rights and standing it upon its head perverting the concept beyond all rational intent.

That is changing the rules to go against the will of the people and their duly elected representatives. It is taking the concept of majority rule and trashing it. Proposition 13 creates a situation where 34% is greater than 66%. Perhaps that makes sense in the upside down world of Austrian economics and its followers.

This is very understandable if you are a member of the anti-government crowd who realizes that your one day temporary majority will not hold for long and you are looking for a way to empower your fringe beliefs and override the duly elected representatives of the people. But for the rest of the people of California, it is a disaster.

Adding personal attacks and insults upon the employees of the State of California serves no constructive purpose.

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PostPosted: Mon 03 Aug , 2009 2:52 pm 
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According to Forbes, California is not even in the top ten of the highest taxed states. Here's the list.

1. Vermont
2. Hawaii
3. Connecticut
4. Minnesota
5. New Jersey
6. New York
7. Massachusetts
8. Washington
9. Wyoming
10. Pennsylvania


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PostPosted: Mon 03 Aug , 2009 3:38 pm 
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sauronsfinger wrote:
The key thing wrong with proposition 13 is that on a single day in a single election, 50% plus one of voters who decided to case ballots on that particular measure were needed to permanently deny 66.6% of the California legislature their right to perform their jobs on behalf of all the people of California. The 50% plus one gave themselves the power to overrule 66%. That is to take the so called concept of minority rights and standing it upon its head perverting the concept beyond all rational intent.


Millions of Californians decided it takes 53 assemblypersons instead of 41 assembly persons, and 27 state senators instead of 21 states senators.

I don't know how you do math (you once stated that you add two plus two and get eight) but 66% of the legislature is far less people than 50% of the people. Millions of Californians support this. Hundreds of elected politicians oppose this. Millions is far more than hundreds. It was passed by the voters, not by the elected pols.

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It is a myth that coercion is necessary in order to force people to get along together, but it is a persistent myth because it feeds a desire many people have. That desire is to be able to justify hurting people who have done nothing other than offend them in some way.

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PostPosted: Mon 03 Aug , 2009 3:54 pm 
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laureanna wrote:
I noticed that you didn't mention that the State of California balanced the budget by sucking the city governments dry. Where we are going to find the funds to pay our pensions and pothole repairs, let alone employee wages, I don't know. I'm not looking forward to the next round of layoffs, in a few months. Either I'm out of a job, or I will have to do the work of three people instead of two (without getting paid any overtime for the extra hours I'm already working, of course.)


Ah yes, I did forget that particular budget balancing gimmick. I should have mentioned it when I mentioned the shifting of the tax collection and the shifting of the last paycheck of the budget.

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It is a myth that coercion is necessary in order to force people to get along together, but it is a persistent myth because it feeds a desire many people have. That desire is to be able to justify hurting people who have done nothing other than offend them in some way.

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PostPosted: Mon 03 Aug , 2009 4:13 pm 
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from CG

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I don't know how you do math (you once stated that you add two plus two and get eight) but 66% of the legislature is far less people than 50% of the people. Millions of Californians support this. Hundreds of elected politicians oppose this. Millions is far more than hundreds. It was passed by the voters, not by the elected pols.


Oh CG. My past reference to the two plus two was a characterization of how you and the Austrians do math. You seem to forget that part of the statement which gives context to it.

You also seem to have a basic lack of understanding of how the democratic process works. You see, we do not have a direct democracy as it gets a little troublesome fitting all those millions of folks into one buildings and having the meetings and taking the needed votes. Besides, some folks like to get the floor and drone on at length taking far more then the allotted nano-second which would have to be accorded so that each and every citizen gets their turn. So because we are not a tiny island or provincial backwater hamlet where that sort of thing might work for some things, we instead have a system of representative democracy. The citizens vote for representatives who in turn handle the business of the legislature. The idea is that the legislature represents the people. The principle of one man-one vote and equal representation under the law and all those sorts of things apply. If you need links to further explain all this I would be happy to provide them for you.

When a group of people use a simple majority vote on one day to deny to the rest of the people and their duly elected representatives their rights under the representative democratic process for the foreseeable future, that is a tragedy. But again, if you see yourself as part of a pretty much permanent minority who wants to handcuff and handicap government so that things do not get done, such minority power grabs are rather desirable for that anti-government crowd. I can see how those types would embrace such things and cling to them like grim death.

Quote:
Millions of Californians support this. Hundreds of elected politicians oppose this. Millions is far more than hundreds. It was passed by the voters, not by the elected pols.


So from these little sentences we can only logically conclude that
1) millions of Californians did not oppose this Proposition 13 power grab.
2) only hundreds did oppose it, and
3) they were all elected politicians, and
4) on any given issue the number of people who feel opposite the majority vote of the legislature will always be greater than the number in the legislature who voted for it thus calling into question all legislative votes, and
5) elected politicians have no right to represent the majority of Californians because Proposition 13 does not allow them to until they can muster a super majority of 67% but that is okay and does not at all violate the principle of majority rule

Congratulations. You have turned the entire process of representative democracy into an exercise that would make Lewis Carroll proud.

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PostPosted: Mon 03 Aug , 2009 11:58 pm 
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Watching you twist to find a way to override the express will of the voters is an interesting spectacle.

The majority of California voters approved Prop 13. There's no way for you to get around that except by denigrating democracy, which you did. A majority, more than half, opposes more taxes. So even if half the legislature favors more taxes, they aren't opposed by a "larger minority" of voters, they are opposed by the majority of California voters. Because it was a majority that voted in Prop 13, and every few years when a new initiative is put on the ballot to weaken Prop 13 it is a majority that refuses to allow Prop 13 to be weakened.

The one thing this thread has shown is that you seem to believe that the voters are good and democracy is a fine system when they vote for more government but that the voters are bad and democracy is a lousy system when they vote for less government.

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It is a myth that coercion is necessary in order to force people to get along together, but it is a persistent myth because it feeds a desire many people have. That desire is to be able to justify hurting people who have done nothing other than offend them in some way.

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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug , 2009 12:26 am 
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The fact is a simple one beyond denial from even an extremist libertarian who hates government with a passion bordering on fanatacism and irrationality.

Proposition 13 enables one group of people who win a single vote with a 50% plus majority to deny the majority of people in California proper representation in the State legislature from that day forward. It makes the American principle of majority rule a sham. It makes representative democracy a farce. It takes 34% and enshrines their power over the 66%.

You see CG, I have respect for democracy and representative government. That probably puts me in a different camp from you. I happen to think that it is fundamentally unfair and cheating when you can win one ballot proposal WITH THE RULE OF 50% PLUS and then change the rules for the future to a super majority of 67% to pass any tax measures in the State legislature. That simply is unfair and cheating. It is rigging the game. It is changing the rules for all time because you managed to win the vote on one day thirty years ago.

I have no problem with any voter group winning the day at the polls and triumphing on an issue even when I do not agree with that issue. I have huge problems with that same group changing the rules to benefit them from that day forward and rigging the game in their favor even though the duly elected representatives of 66% of the public may say otherwise. I have huge problems with those people spitting in the face of the American principle of majority rule and the sanctity of the workings of our democratic republic. Those who would do that... those who would promote that ... those who would advocate for that are traitors to the very principles of America and its representative democracy.

I fully and completely understand CG why you like it. You are a proud member of a very loud minority. You despise government in almost every form we have in this country. To handcuff government is your idea of nirvana. I guess that is the libertarian dream.

Sadly, it is not the American Dream.

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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug , 2009 4:59 am 
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Prop thirteen was passed a long time ago by a much smaller population with a much higher land ownership ratio. It would be interesting to see if it would pass today.

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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug , 2009 1:21 pm 
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You raise an interesting issue Laureanna. We have already seen a shifting from the 2/3 super majority concept. On November 7, 2000, voters in the state approved Proposition 39. This initiative state constitutional amendment and statute lowered the threshold for electoral passage of local school bond acts from Proposition 13's required 2/3rds super-majority, to a super-majority of 55 percent. Proposition 39 passed with 5,402,822 votes in favor, or 53.3 percent of the total votes cast. So your questions about its viability in todays environment are valid.

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There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs. - John Rogers


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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug , 2009 8:05 pm 
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sauronsfinger wrote:
The fact is a simple one beyond denial from even an extremist libertarian who hates government with a passion bordering on fanatacism and irrationality.


That Proposition 13 was passed by a majority of the voters of the state of California. And in subsequent elections the voters of California have rejected attempts to weaken or eliminate Proposition 13, turning out in greater numbers to do so.

sauronsfinger wrote:
You see CG, I have respect for democracy and representative government.


And yet you want to overturn the clearly expressed will of the majority of the voters of the state of California. Because your respect for democracy and representative government ends the exact moment anyone wants to put any restrictions on the power of those who are elected. For their entire term you want them completely unaccounable and unrestrained, the only possible way to restrain them is to vote for someone else next election, after the damage is done.

sauronsfinger wrote:
I have huge problems with those people spitting in the face of the American principle of majority rule and the sanctity of the workings of our democratic republic.


You want to overturn the clearly expressed will of the majority of the voters. That is spitting in the face of majority rule in ways far beyond your paltry attempts to accuse me of your sins.

Term limited dictatorship is not any sort of respect for democracy and representative government. I understand why you like it, to have absolute power in the hands of a very small aristoctracy is your dream come true.

Fortunately it is not the American Dream.

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It is a myth that coercion is necessary in order to force people to get along together, but it is a persistent myth because it feeds a desire many people have. That desire is to be able to justify hurting people who have done nothing other than offend them in some way.

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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug , 2009 8:30 pm 
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I happen to think that it is fundamentally unfair and cheating when you can win one ballot proposal WITH THE RULE OF 50% PLUS and then change the rules for the future to a super majority of 67% to pass any tax measures in the State legislature. That simply is unfair and cheating. It is rigging the game. It is changing the rules for all time because you managed to win the vote on one day thirty years ago.

I have no problem with any voter group winning the day at the polls and triumphing on an issue even when I do not agree with that issue. I have huge problems with that same group changing the rules to benefit them from that day forward and rigging the game in their favor even though the duly elected representatives of 66% of the public may say otherwise. I have huge problems with those people spitting in the face of the American principle of majority rule and the sanctity of the workings of our democratic republic. Those who would do that... those who would promote that ... those who would advocate for that are traitors to the very principles of America and its representative democracy.

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There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs. - John Rogers


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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug , 2009 8:58 pm 
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It is absurd to think that it is unfair that any rule passed should not have any impact in the future, because that leads to the demand that the rule enacted only have effect in that exact instant and no further. That is, however, the argument you are making. You are arguing that since Proposition 13 passed thirty years ago it should not have any effect. And you are arguing that since the people voted many times to keep Propostion 13, many times in that 30 years, many times in the past 10 years, many times in the past 5 years, but aren't voting on it right this instant, that it should have any effect.

sauronsfinger wrote:
I have huge problems with those people spitting in the face of the American principle of majority rule and the sanctity of the workings of our democratic republic. Those who would do that... those who would promote that ... those who would advocate for that are traitors to the very principles of America and its representative democracy.


And yet you want to overturn the clearly expressed will of the majority of the voters of the state of California.

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It is a myth that coercion is necessary in order to force people to get along together, but it is a persistent myth because it feeds a desire many people have. That desire is to be able to justify hurting people who have done nothing other than offend them in some way.

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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug , 2009 9:05 pm 
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Now we've got an odd spectacle going on here in California.

The recall of Republican Assemblyman Anthony Adams.

When he was campaigning he signed on to the "no new taxes" pledge. He is one of the three Assembly Republican votes than enabled the taxes to go up last February. All three Senators and two of the Assemblypeople were in their final term so could do what they wished without worrying about the wrath of the voters, but not Adams, a first term Assemblyman.

He violated his pledge, and is being recalled by the voters of his district. It is looking like he will lose, and lose badly. Even though the second time tax hikes came up in June he voted against them, he is not being forgiven.

The effect of this recall has been to "scare straight" the rest of the legislative Republicans. They see what is happening to Adams and they refuse to vote to raise taxes.

So this leaves some people in an interesting bind in California. His gang colors are Republican Red, not Democrat Blue. Yet he is being recalled because he voted with the Democrats. Those who would naturally oppose him have reason to support him. Those who would naturally support him have cause to recall him.

Sauronsfinger, what is your take? Do you think the recall is bad because Adams is in trouble for crossing party lines to vote with the Democrats and because the recall is forcing the rest of the Republicans to vote anti-tax (two big reasons), or do you think the recall is good because Adams is in the hated other gang (one gigantic reason)?

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It is a myth that coercion is necessary in order to force people to get along together, but it is a persistent myth because it feeds a desire many people have. That desire is to be able to justify hurting people who have done nothing other than offend them in some way.

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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug , 2009 9:29 pm 
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from CG

Quote:
It is absurd to think that it is unfair that any rule passed should not have any impact in the future, because that leads to the demand that the rule enacted only have effect in that exact instant and no further.


NO. My point is that Prop 13 changed the rules to a fundamental betray of basic American principles. No simple majority on one vote on one day should be able to impose a super majority of 67% over the business carried out by the duly elected representatives of the people. That is a pretty fundamental position.

Should 50% plus one on a single vote be able to disenfranchise the rights of 95% of the people for all time in the future? Sounds not very likely right? Well you agree that 50% plus one can disenfranchise the rights of 66% to have their duly elected representatives work on their behalf. Where is the tipping point? Would taking away the representation of 75% of the people be okay?


Quote:
That is, however, the argument you are making. You are arguing that since Proposition 13 passed thirty years ago it should not have any effect.


NO again. My point is that something which does what Prop 13 did is a betrayal of American principles and a betrayal of the principles of both representative democracy and majority rule. Again, I have no problem with any group winning any election on any day. You win some and you lose some. I do have a problem when a vote is held under the traditional rules of 50% wins and those folks then pervert the system by installing a super majority which denies 66% of the people the future work of their duly elected representatives. That is what Prop 13 did and is still doing. If the duly elected representatives of 66% of California citizens want to raise taxes, they cannot because on one day thirty years ago, a simple majority election was won which handcuffs 66% of the peoples duly elected representatives for all time from that day forward. That is insane.

Quote:
And yet you want to overturn the clearly expressed will of the majority of the voters of the state of California


There are many times I and I hope you would want to overturn the expressed will of the majority of voters of the state of California. One would be if they took away the rights of 66% of the people to have their duly elected representatives in the legislature carry out their duties. That is why I cannot support Prop 13.

I cannot answer your question on the recall since this is the first time I have heard about it. I need much more information to give an informed opinion.

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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug , 2009 10:28 pm 
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Over two hundred years ago the First Amendment to the United States Constitution passed. To repeal it would take 2/3 of the congress and 3/4 of the states.

It prevents 50% + 1 of the elected representatives and senators from passing laws that violate freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly. By your logic the first amendment takes away the rights of duly elected representatives in the legislature from carrying out their duties.

The people of the state of California have said "You can represent me within these limits." You hate the last three words of that sentence. You want to override the will of the voters of California, as expressed many times over the last thirty years. Why do you ignore all the other votes that support Prop 13 that have taken place since the initial passage and pretend that only one vote was ever taken 30 years ago? Why do you ignore all the times the voters have rejected changing or weakening of Prop 13?

Why do you hate democracy?

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It is a myth that coercion is necessary in order to force people to get along together, but it is a persistent myth because it feeds a desire many people have. That desire is to be able to justify hurting people who have done nothing other than offend them in some way.

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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug , 2009 10:38 pm 
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Before you go comparing the Bill of Rights in the US Constitution to the effect of Proposition 13 perhaps you should examine the history of the ratification process that installed the Bill of Rights into the Constitution. You will discover that all Constitutional Amendments must first be passed by a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress and then ratified by three-quarters of the States.

You are comparing that to the vote on a state proposition which had as its threshold of success a simple majority meaning 50% plus a single vote. That threshold pales as puny compared to the much stricter process that every Amendment to the US Constitution has had to go through.

this gets back right to your last post

Quote:
Over two hundred years ago the First Amendment to the United States Constitution passed. To repeal it would take 2/3 of the congress and 3/4 of the states.


That bar is set so high because that was the same bar that had to be conquered to get those Amendments passed in the first place. No such high standard was at work in the California passage of Proposition 13.

You are comparing apples to cinderblocks.

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PostPosted: Wed 05 Aug , 2009 2:46 am 
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laureanna wrote:
Cenedril_Gildinaur wrote:
For some reason, the horde of tax auditors and other public servants fear that if they do leave their "jobs," no non-parasite would even notice. Or that they would notice and decide they like it.


Are these offensive words yours, or are you quoting them? As a public employee, now with a city government and formerly with a state government, I don't like your drift.

I noticed that you didn't mention that the State of California balanced the budget by sucking the city governments dry. Where we are going to find the funds to pay our pensions and pothole repairs, let alone employee wages, I don't know. I'm not looking forward to the next round of layoffs, in a few months. Either I'm out of a job, or I will have to do the work of three people instead of two (without getting paid any overtime for the extra hours I'm already working, of course.)

Ah yes, the great conundrum of scientists and engineers. Do we enter the private sector and become industrial whores, or go into the public sector and be beggars and/or parasites? :roll: I'd rather stay public, myself. Big Pharma pays people like me a lot of money, but I'm a basic researcher to the core and I'd rather learn new things and chase interesting questions than crystallize the latest hair-loss drug bound to its target.

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PostPosted: Wed 23 Sep , 2009 10:45 pm 
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Report finds that State Regulation costs California $493 billion and 3.8 million jobs

Quote:
CONCLUSIONS

This study measures and reports the cost of regulation to small business in the State of California. It employs an original and unique approach using a general equilibrium framework to identify and measure the cost of regulation as measured by the loss of economic output to the State’s gross product, after controlling for variables known to influence output. It also measures second order costs resulting from regulatory activity by studying the total impact – direct, indirect, and induced. The study finds that the total cost of regulation to the State of California is $492.994 billion which is almost five times the State’s general fund budget, and almost a third of the State’s gross
product. The total cost of regulation results in an employment loss of 3.8 million jobs which is a tenth of the State’s population. Since small business constitute 99.2% of all employer businesses in California, and all of non-employer business, the regulatory cost is borne almost completely by small business. The general equilibrium framework yields the following results:

• The direct cost of the regulatory environment in California is $176.966 billion in lost gross state output each year. The direct cost does not account for second order costs.

• The total loss of gross state output for California each year due to direct, indirect, and induced impact of the regulatory cost is $492.994 billion.

• In terms of employment this total output loss is equivalent to the loss of 3.8 million jobs for the state each year. A loss of 3.8 million jobs represents 10% of the total population of California. In terms of labor income, the total loss to the state from the regulatory cost is $210.471 billion. Finally the indirect business taxes that would have been generated due to the output lost arising from the regulatory cost is $16.024 billion.

• The total regulatory cost of $492.994 billion is four to four and a half times the total budget for the state of California, and almost five to six times the general fund alone. Further, given the total gross state output of $1.6 trillion for California in 2007, the lost output from regulatory costs is almost a third of the gross state output.

• The indirect business taxes lost could have helped fund many of the state’s departmental budgets. As an example, the indirect business taxes lost are 60 times the budget of the Office of Emergency Services, and would have paid for almost half the budget of the Department of Education.

• The total cost of regulation was $134,122.48 per small business in California in 2007, labor income not created or lost was $57,260.15 per small business, indirect business taxes not generated or lost were $4,359.55 per small business, and finally roughly one job lost per small business.

• The total regulatory cost of $492.994 billion translates into a total cost per household of $38,446.76 per household, or $13,052.05 per resident. The total cost per household comes close to the median household income for California.

This study provides the most comprehensive and complete analysis of the total regulatory burden in California. The study and findings have implications for policymakers and those in charge of the regulatory environment. The results also suggest that future research should attempt to understand how to minimize the intended and unintended costs of regulation. Since small businesses are the lifeblood of California’s economy constituting 99.2% of all employer businesses, efforts to make the regulatory environment more attractive will make California a more attractive state for doing business. This in turn will improve the state’s output, employment, labor income, indirect business taxes, economic climate, quality of life, living standards, and growth
prospects.


Maybe by becoming a little more business friendly and putting into place a few less onerous regulations California could fix its budget problems without having to go to the taxpayers in the form of higher taxes?

_________________
It is a myth that coercion is necessary in order to force people to get along together, but it is a persistent myth because it feeds a desire many people have. That desire is to be able to justify hurting people who have done nothing other than offend them in some way.

Last edited by Cenedril_Gildinaur on Tue Feb 30, 2026 13:61 am; edited 426 times in total


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