The Practical Philosopher's Blog

Using the practical application of timeless wisdom to address modern issues

California, Laboratory of Socialist Collectivism

The philosophical test of an idea is if it works in practice. So many ideas and worldviews (political and otherwise) being advanced today are of the type that are based on good intentions, but use really bad solutions to solve them. This situation has occurred in the past and gave rise to the wise adage: ‘The road to hell is paved with good intentions.’

 

The Leftist/Collectivist world view is rife with this basic flaw in almost all of its reasoning. If human nature is one of fundamental individualism based on rational self interest and your worldview is one of sacrificial collectivism, your ideas of changing the world will always fail. Period. It’s only a matter of how long it will take for the reality of rational self interest to spring back to it natural state/true north after being bent away by ‘well intentioned’ Socialism. On the flip side, a society that recognizes and incentivizes rational self interest will thrive. This is the reason socially, politically, and economically the US has been so successful as a country.

 

So, if this is an objectively true assessment, where ever Leftist/Collectivism is predominately implemented, you should see a partial to total breakdown of society. Currently, the political party primarily holding the Leftist worldview is the Democrat party. The Democrat party is the dominant party in California. This being the case, we should see, if they implement enough Socialism, a breakdown in that part of our society.

 

Today California is amongst those states reeling the hardest during this economic downturn. This state is a laboratory of Leftist politics and policies. Businesses are the engine of economic growth and jobs. They are also rational operators. So when California-based Intel decided to expand it operations, you would expect them to do that in their home state, right? Not so:

The world’s leading maker of microprocessors plans to create 7,000 jobs in new and expanded plants that will churn out computer chips 30% more powerful than the current generation of chips.

But California-based Intel won’t make them in California.

Instead, the company is expanding in Oregon, Arizona and New Mexico. Anywhere but California, which is now so unfriendly to business, even its home-grown firms don’t want to expand there.

But California has a large focus on high taxes so Government can redistribute income from those that have too much and reward those that are poor. Shouldn’t people understand the ‘good intentions’ of this approach/worldview and do their part to ensure that everyone has an equal outcome, regardless of their talents or efforts? Maybe Intel is only one selfish, unenlighted business in California. Surely the other businesses are doing their part? Instead, we find:

As Intel shows, businesses are struggling to stay and grow in California. In the first 10 months of last year, the state lost 25,000 high-quality manufacturing jobs — and has lost 25% of its industrial work force since 2001, according to the California Manufacturers & Technology Association.

Ok, but this must be singularly confined to the business sector in that state. The bright, talented and educated people of California should see the emotional rightness of Socialism and be happy with high taxes, restrictions, and government regulation designed to reach the collectivist ideal of equal outcomes? Once again, the reality of human nature rudely rejects the Leftist ideology:  

Well-trained, well-educated Californians are leaving in droves — and are being replaced by poor immigrants from Latin America and Asia. Since 2005, there’s been a net outflow of middle-class Californians — and 260,000 people left for other states in 2007.

This happens time and time again. Every time a bad idea is forced on people, they individually and collectively render their wisdom and assessment of the idea by moving or shifting away from its negative effects.

 

Even while this happens, California’s governor takes even worse actions in relation to the failing business climate there (pun intended):

This week, a business group criticized the Western Climate Initiative, an environmental pact among seven Western governors and four Canadian provincial premiers that seeks to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 15% by 2020.

Not only is the current ‘Global Warming’ debate not based on any sound science, the premature, radical, and costly solutions that are being proposed offer no tangible benefit to the citizenry. But this should be not surprise as environmentalism and eco-alarmism is also being used today as another way to force failed Leftist ideas and ideaologies onto American society. I predict, with the strongest confidence, that the above blunder will cost California even more of prosperity.

 

As this Investor’s Business Daily article notes, wrecking California’s state economy and prosperity didn’t happen over night: 

This didn’t just happen; it’s been going on for years. As the state’s leading historian, Kevin Starr, told author Joel Kotkin, “California is in no way a role model for anyone from outside the state.”

Sad, but true. At one time, California meant business. Today, its political leaders are almost entirely lacking in understanding how a free economy works. For the once-Golden State, it’s a real pity.

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Filed under: American Values, Economy, Philosophy, Politics, , , , , , , , , ,

2 Responses

  1. Al says:

    Excellent post. If you haven’t already done so, check out THE END OF PROSPERITY by Laffer/Moore/Tanous. There’s an excellent chapter in there on just the situation you describe above—how California is an excellent petri dish of how the Left has run wild and completely destroyed one of the most bountiful states in our country. It’s what’s coming for us here in NY and what surely will be our National Fate if we don’t act to preserve our existence.

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I like your blog and will add it to my blogroll.

    Al

  2. Liberals care about their good intentions, or their goals. They are oddly uninterested in consequences.

    Conservatives care about consequences. They do studies, write papers, fund think-tanks all in the interest of finding out what the consequences of a policy might be.

    Liberals end up with sound-bites or bumper stickers extolling their goals. Conservatives find out how complicated policies and their consequences are, and have a hard time explaining the complications before everyone drifts off.

    I used to live in California. I was glad to leave.

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