Liberalism needs another bailout
So California needs a bail out. The state government is out of money. The Golden State, blessed with incredible beauty, perfect weather, fabulous soils, plenty of coast line and even much of the world's high tech and entertainment revenue, has managed to run out of money and is now asking Henry Paulson to tack on seven billion for their government.
Grey Davis, Arnold Schwarzenegger and the California Assembly has managed to do what Fidel Castro has done - run a paradise into the poorhouse. There are many problems with the state, not the least of which that many businesses have fled the state and taken their jobs and tax revenues elsewhere. For a number of years in a row, California has the country's "worst business climate."
California managed to edge out other notably liberal "blue states" for the title, with New York, New Jersey, Michigan and Massachusetts rounding out the bottom five. The only good news here is that sometimes businesses do flee Cali for New York and New Jersey, helping economies in those states.
Thomas Lifson adds:
Last May, I wrote about the City of Vallejo, California, which is now in bankruptcy, and suggested that California, too, may have to go that way to escape the ridiculously lavish retitement obligations it has incurred to state employees.
California is locked into extremely generous labor contracts which not only offer high salaries and benefits to groups such as prison guards (many of whom earn six figures with overtime -- not bad for a job which does not require college) and bureaucrats, but which promise generous retirement benefits, including gold plated health care for life. Years ago, a study concluded that state employees were paid about 30% more than their private sector counterparts for jobs of comparable skill level and responsibility. And California state employees are not widely renowned for their competence or hard work. To say the least.
These personnel costs are the major reason California cannot pay its bills. Private sector employees of steel coompanies, airlines, and auto manufacturers (among others) have lost some of their gold plated retirement benefits. Why should state employees be any different?