May 1, 2010
California Considers a Boycott of ArizonaBy Jed Skillman
Dude, what's with California?
Leftists in Los Angeles and San Francisco are so hopping mad at Arizona that they are working themselves up into a boycott of that whole state. Democratic officials in California are seeking a way to cancel public contracts with companies based in Arizona. This is in retaliation for the latter's new law calling for the enforcement of federal immigration laws. These threats are concrete evidence that the Left has reached a condition of self-parody. There ought to be somebody in a position of authority who will think this through first.
The City of Los Angeles is on the verge of bankruptcy. They are not just broke; they're in hock up to their chins. L.A. faces a nearly one-billion-dollar budget short fall. Scores of businesses have left the city due to high taxes and regulation. A significant part of the workforce has drifted into the "gray economy," untaxed and working off the books. San Francisco's condition is only marginally better. The City by the Bay is just half a billion dollars in the red. It is hard to believe that taxpayers in municipalities in this kind of deep water would permit elected officials to waste time figuring how they can cancel contracts with Arizona businesses.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is why I believe that the days of the Left are numbered. The Laws of Nature and of Nature's God will not allow a belief system this dangerously silly to survive.
Let's refer to our studies from Municipal Contracts 101.
Customarily, when a government body seeks bids for a public contract, assuming officials are doing their jobs and bribery or insider connections are not a factor, it awards the contract to the lowest bidder. Assuming this is the case -- and if it is not the case, then California taxpayers have more problems than they realize -- it therefore follows that the canceled contracts will have to be reissued to higher bidders...at additional cost to taxpayers. Take that, Arizona!
This is what passes for thinking among California's elected leaders. They are going to take economic revenge on Arizona, and citizens of the Golden State will tally as collateral damage.
Officials haven't been clear about exactly what Arizona goods they will be boycotting -- hopefully incidentals of little importance. But you never know. I seem to recall reading that due to California's environmental laws, the state purchases much of its electricity from Arizona, from facilities like the Palo Verde nuke plant near Phoenix.
Is California's anger with Arizona so great that they are prepared to boycott Arizona electricity? Are increased brownouts and more frequent rolling blackouts, euphemistically referred to by the state as "load shedding," a worthy price to pay in order to keep the flow of illegals (and the flow of illegal voters) coming? How much inconvenience will Californians tolerate in support of this crusade? It's nice to have lights at night. Those giant-screen TVs drink up a lot of juice. And summer is right around the corner, and not everyone has airy beachfront property. It gets pretty hot in most of California. Will residents be willing to give up their air conditioners? And what about Silicon Valley? What kind of impact will power shortages have on tech industries? Before biting the hand that feeds, shouldn't someone think about that?
And, then there is California's perpetual water problem. With miles of Pacific coastline, California has a lot of salt water -- remember the movie Chinatown? "Bad for glass..." -- but it has very little fresh water. The state's major source of water is the Colorado River -- which flows through, wouldn't you know it, Arizona. No matter how outraged California officials are, there is only so much bottled water that can be trucked in. While bottled water has become recognized as ecologically taboo, still, in the interest of punishing Arizona, will Californians be willing to fill their swimming pools with Perrier? That still leaves the problem of how to water their lawns and wash their cars. Again, did anyone consider this? There are no easy answers.
Here is what's going on: Many Leftists had a great time in college. An all-warts picture of the United States was drilled into their heads. After graduation, many of them moved directly into government jobs. Added to their disdain for America, many have little or no experience running things more complicated than ad-hoc student committees. Although some find their way into the sunlight of Conservative-Libertarian-Capitalist Enlightenment, many are doomed to an existence trapped inside the box of political-activist thinking. Mentally they remain thoughtless teenagers, arguing with their parents one minute and asking for the keys to the car the next. A handy example is Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown, the former Governor Moonbeam himself. He's seriously considering getting aboard the boycott bandwagon -- and he wants to run for California governor again. In thirty years, he's learned nothing.
Once upon a time, these people could march on an administration building, block the doors in protest, and shut an entire campus down. Now they are peppered throughout various levels of government.
California officials need to accept the fact that they have a duty to their citizens. They need to put childish things aside. Leave the protesting to the college kids.
But if they simply can't help themselves, then here's an idea: Any California official who wants to protest Arizona in a nice, harmless way that will leave taxpayers unmolested might consider making a guest appearance at a campus demonstration somewhere. There's sure to be lots of cameras and, unlike at the Tea Parties, the news coverage is guaranteed to be glowingly positive.
Out there in the land of "less is more," my suggestion would be to give a speech denouncing Arizona -- and America, too, just for good measure. More talk is always a good thing. At the conclusion, rip down the American flag, take out a pair of scissors, and remove the 48th star. Then spray it with lighter fluid and burn it. Unless you accidentally set something else on fire, the flame will be small, so it will not add to air pollution. The message will be "it is better to light one candle than to enforce the law." Touching, huh?
Guaranteed, you'll make the news, and you can feel good about yourself in the bargain.
Jed Skillman photographed hundreds of political television commercials, first for one party and then for the other, over a twenty-year span. He blogs at plumwoodroad.blogspot.com.