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Costing Out California Socialism

Wednesday June 14th, 2017   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 3:23pm PDT   •  

Joel Kotkin, a Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University, charts “California’s Descent to Socialism,” a new statist strain that “more resembles feudalism than social democracy” and being advanced by,among others, hedge-fund-billionaire-turned-green-patriarch Tom Steyer.” He wants to double down on environmental and land-use regulation but as Kotkin observes, the state’s already severe land-use controls have made California, “among the most unaffordable in the nation, driving homeownership rates to the lowest levels since the 1940s.” Regulatory zealotry has also driven many tax-burdened middle-class families to leave the state.

Under the new socialism, Kotkin writes, “expect more controls over the agribusiness sector, notably the cattle industry, California’s original boom industry.” Limits on building in the periphery of cities “also threaten future growth in construction employment, once the new regulations are fully in place.” None of this does anything for the climate, but it does provide a stage for governor Brown, Tom Steyer and the Sacramento bureaucracy to “preen as saviors of the planet.”

To these and other regulatory burdens, Kotkin cites “growing calls for a single-payer health care system,” which as we recently noted is really government monopoly health care, a multiple-payer system with taxpayers footing the bill. Trouble is, the state Senate passed the health measure “without identifying a funding source to pay the estimated $400 billion annual cost.”

By Kotkin’s calculations, California’s middle-income earners, would have to fork over an estimated $50 billion to $100 billion a year in new taxes to pay for it. Further, “It’s hard to see how the state makes ends meet in the longer run without confiscating the billions now held by the ruling tech oligarchs.” So all you high-tech entrepreneurs now on the rise, don’t say you weren’t warned. Sooner or later, California’s “new kind of socialism,” is coming after you.

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June 2017