Bringing California’s Economy to the Rest of the United States

In today’s Wall Street Street Journal, Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana identifies cap-and-trade as a form of imperialism, as faltering powers in California, New York and Massachusetts attempt to “prop up their decaying economies” by exploiting other states and their citizens.

While not using the term “imperialism,” NAM President John Engler has talked about the same political phenomenon in his recent speeches, drawing attention to California’s economic collapse. Having imposed a high-tax, heavy-regulation, anti-energy regime within the state — driving out manufacturers and other employers — some of California’s members of Congress are promoting the same policies at the federal level. The results will inevitably be the same, stagnation and exodus, only this time businesses will flee farther than Nevada or Arizona.

Mark Steyn, the columnist, sees a slightly different dynamic at play, that of the Europeanization of America. But again, California is the example. From Imprimus:

To a penniless immigrant called Arnold Schwarzenegger, California was a land of plenty. Now Arnold is an immigrant of plenty in a penniless land: That’s not an improvement. One of his predecessors as governor of California, Ronald Reagan, famously said, “We are a nation that has a government, not the other way around.” In California, it’s now the other way around: California is increasingly a government that has a state. And it is still in the early stages of the process. California has thirtysomething million people. The Province of Quebec has seven million people. Yet California and Quebec have roughly the same number of government workers. “There is a great deal of ruin in a nation,” said Adam Smith, and America still has a long way to go. But it’s better to jump off the train as you’re leaving the station and it’s still picking up speed than when it’s roaring down the track and you realize you’ve got a one-way ticket on the Oblivion Express.

Or maybe pull the emergency brake?

Two relevant headlines:

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