In California, the craziness never stops
If I could have one wish, it would be that, for the next decade, for every new law Congress or a state Legislature passes, that same body must repeal two laws. The best system, always, is to have only a few laws, but those laws must be strictly enforced. A terrible system is to have so many laws and regulations that only government bureaucrats know them, for then each citizen is at perpetual risk of the principle Stalin's security chief, Lavrentiy Beria articulated: "Show me the man and I'll show you the crime." California exemplifies the Beria school of legislation.
Every year, California enacts new laws, and every year, those new laws have an increasingly leftist tilt. This year is no exception, and the new laws couldn't happen at a worse time.
California is one of a handful of states that enacted extreme lockdowns. Ironically enough, just as King Canute could not stop the tides (and was wise enough to know it), California's spectacularly foolish leadership thought it could halt a virus. It could not. All it did was delay the inevitable. The result is that, while the rest of the country is recovering from the Wuhan virus, California is getting battered and is now one of the world's hotspots.
The lockdowns are wiping out restaurants, gyms, hair salons, and small retailers. Meanwhile, the big stores into which California consumers are being funneled (and, not so coincidentally, that make big political donations) are doing just fine. The state is becoming medieval, for the middle class is getting wiped out. There are the rich, the poor, and the government.
Many of the new laws going into effect on January 1, 2021 will pick up where the lockdowns left off, further destroying the economy and, along the way, increasing racial and sex divisions. The San Francisco Chronicle has a list of the more consequential laws, although the sheer volume of statutes in California means that everyone is almost certainly an unwitting scofflaw every day:
Because nobody knows better how to run your business than the government, the state is going beyond the requirement that publicly held companies with California headquarters have a woman on the board of directors. Henceforth, the board must also have one person from an "underrepresented community":
That person can self-identify as Black, African American, Hispanic, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Native Hawaiian or Alaska Native, or gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
This is less of a problem than it appears because large employers in California are filled with college graduates. College graduates are the avatars of identity politics.
Even as California busily destroys its economy, especially when it comes to small businesses, the minimum wage is rising relentlessly. Starting on January 1, employers with 26 or more employees must pay at least $14 per hour while smaller businesses must pay at least $13 per hour. It was back in 1987, when the New York Times still retained some vestigial sanity, that it published an editorial opinion entitled "The Right Minimum Wage: $0.00."
California's taking racial stands. California was never a slave state. Additionally, less than 6% of its population consists of black people, none of whom has been enslaved or has ancestors who were slaves in California. Nevertheless, under A.B. 3121, California must look into paying reparations for slavery.
Racial obsessions are penetrating the justice system. The California Racial Justice Act says that, if a suspect can show racial bias, that may entitle the suspect to a new trial or different sentence. Remember that just the other day, a snow-white Virginia judge announced that pictures of other white judges on the walls of his courtroom constituted racism.
For more impingements on the criminal justice system, A.B. 1196 bans chokeholds and carotid holds. Done right, these holds are less violent than tasers, batons, or guns. Police will be more vulnerable to violent or resistant criminals and more likely to resort to extreme measures to protect themselves and others.
If you're young, you no longer need to worry much about the concept of "don't do the crime if you can't do the time." Senate Bill 823, which goes into effect in July, closes California's juvenile prisons. (When I was in junior high, our vice principal routinely warned us to stay out of "juvie." Most of us did.) Local facilities will allegedly take on the load.
For decades, California has been a national leader. Trends that begin in California end up in the rest of America. That's an unnerving thought when one considers that California has essentially hit the self-destruct button. We're just watching the countdown to detonation.