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[P]
Debate on the 'Blue State' Model

By anaesthetica in Politics
Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 07:08:52 AM EST
Tags: blue state, red state, socialism, capitalism, one fish two fish red fish blue fish, trolling (all tags)

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wrote that the states serve as the laboratories of democracy. Rather than assessing economic performance only at a national level, as a centralized economy might, the United States has multiple layers of economic sovereignty, allowing for divergent economic models and thus divergent results in boomtimes and busts.

Unlike the federal government, which, along with the quasi-governmental Federal Reserve, can simply create new money, state governments have much stricter fiscal constraints. The credit crunch has severely affected the budgets of every state in the union. But some states have fared better than others.

Comparisons between states following different economic models may provide insight into the viability of the economic means and ends advocated by the various (electable) factions along the U.S. political spectrum.

Over the last month, especially within the context of California's inability to self-govern, commenters have debated the viability of the so-called Blue State Model--the welfare state in microcosm.


California v Texas, by The Economist:

These days California's unemployment rate is running at 11.5%, two points ahead of the national average. In such Californian cities as Fresno, Merced and El Centro, jobless rates are higher than in Detroit. Its roads and schools are crumbling. Every year, over 100,000 more Americans leave the state than enter it.
...
By contrast, Texas ... has coped well with the recession, with an unemployment rate two points below the national average and one of the lowest rates of housing repossession. ...Texas also clearly offers a different model, based on small government. It has no state capital-gains or income tax, and a business-friendly and immigrant-tolerant attitude. It is home to more Fortune 500 companies than any other state--64 compared with California's 51 and New York's 56. And ... old conservative stereotypes are being questioned: two leading contenders to be Houston's next mayor are a black man and a white lesbian. Texas also gets on better with Mexico than California does.

The Blue-State Meltdown and the Collapse of the Chicago Model, by Joel Kotkin:

For example, while state and local budget crises have extended to some red states, the most severe fiscal and economic basket cases largely are concentrated in places such as New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Oregon, and, perhaps most vividly of all, California. The last three have among the highest unemployment rates in the country; all the aforementioned are deeply in debt and have been forced to impose employee cutbacks and higher taxes almost certain to blunt a strong recovery.

Blue-State Blues, by Ross Douthat:

[S]uddenly Texas looks like a model citizen. The Lone Star kept growing well after the country had dipped into recession. Its unemployment rate and foreclosure rate are both well below the national average. It's one of only six states that didn't run budget deficits in 2009.

Meanwhile, California, long a paradise for regulators and public-sector unions, has become a fiscal disaster area. And it isn't the only dark blue basket case. Eight states had unemployment over 11 percent in June; seven went for Barack Obama last November. Fourteen states are facing 2010 budget gaps that exceed 20 percent of their G.D.P.; only two went for John McCain. (Strikingly, they're McCain's own Arizona and Sarah Palin's Alaska.) Of the nine states that have raised taxes this year, closing deficits at the expense of growth, almost all are liberal bastions.

Douthat's 'Blue-State Blues', by David Leonhardt:

Blue America happens to have more manufacturing, which has been hammed in the current recession. And much of Red America receives a lot of support from the federal government, through agricultural subsidies, among other things; government payments aren't generally as cyclical as the private-sector economy.

California's struggles don't implicate the "blue state" model, by Abraham:

[T]he economies of the red states don't exactly represent a way forward - heavily tilted towards agriculture which basically exists entirely due to federal subsidies, they comprise about 94 million people in a country of over 300 million. Using outdated 2004 figures (no time to do the current math), 79% of the states that receive more than they give the federal government in taxes voted for Bush in 2000. 69% of those that give more than they receive voted for Gore.
...
[T]he chief cause of California's problems represents one of the conservative anti-tax movement's holiest of holies, Proposition 13. Prop 13 severely restricted property tax receipts for California, to the extent that the income tax in California provides nearly half of state revenue. As a result, the California budget gets hit hard in even the mildest economic downturn, let alone in one of the worst economic catastrophes to hit the country in generations.

A demur to my former Atlantic colleague Ross Douthat, by James Fallows:

[I]f you write about California's fiscal problems and don't even mention the role of "Proposition 13" or similar revenue limits and distortions, you're not trying very hard to make an honest argument.

[T]o argue that state unemployment rates during a deep global recession differ mainly because of state tax rates – and not because of different industrial structures, different banking practices, specific corporate decisions, lots of other factors – is, again, not trying very hard. An obvious bit of proof is that the Economist, which ran a very similar California-v-Texas exercise a month ago, ended up much more equivocal about the new Texas supremacy.

Texas in not the only red state, by Paul Krugman:

Why not look at South Carolina, where taxes are almost as low as they are in Texas, but where the unemployment rate is 12.1%? Or Tennessee, which has some of the lowest taxes in the nation, and 11% unemployment?

Krugman produces a scatter chart demonstrating that there is no clear correlation between a state's tax rate and its unemployment level.

Should We Envy Texas?, by Ezra Klein:

The top performers – that is to say, the 10 states (11, as the District is included) exhibiting the most GDP growth between 2007 and 2008 – are Washington, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, D.C., West Virginia, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Colorado. Five states that went for Obama, six that went for McCain.

Texas, you may notice, doesn't even appear on that list. It's in the second quintile of growers. Along with New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Utah, and Oregon. Six states that went for Obama. Four that went for McCain.

Douthat, Texas, and California, by Steve Benen:

Texas is anything but a "model citizen." It is easily the worst state in the nation for the uninsured, and stands to benefit greatly from the White House's "blue-state agenda." For that matter, its poverty rate is second only to Mississippi nationwide. If Texas is a "model citizen" for taxes and fiscal balance, it's also a disaster for those families who are struggling with less.

California is generally a reliable "blue" state, at least electorally, but to characterize it as "liberalism's favorite laboratory" strikes me as more than a little disingenuous. A variety of factors led to the state's condition as a "fiscal disaster area," but near the top of the list are the measures, pushed by the right and approved by voters, that severely restricted California's ability to raise more revenue.

More on Red States and Blue States, by David Leonhardt:

Why haven't Democrats had more success in creating model economic policies on the state level?

…[A]t a time when Democrats are in power in Washington, it's striking that they cannot draw on successes at the state level and try to put them in action on the federal level.

Obama States and Unemployment: Confusing Cause and Effect, by Nate Silver:

Douthat is confusing cause and effect. Those states may very well have voted for Barack Obama because they had higher unemployment. …Indeed, although the Obama states have higher unemployment now, they also did so by a statistically significant margin in November, when Obama was elected.

States with mixed legislatures – where the higher and lower chambers are split between the parties, or where one or both chambers is subject to a tie or coalation [sic] government – have higher unemployment rates than either Democratic or Republican states, perhaps suggesting that the real enemy in tackling the unemployment crisis is not partisanship but gridlock.

The obvious question to follow from this debate is, 'Why isn't there a debate on the Red States?' That there is a debate on the Blue States at all during a twice-in-a-lifetime economic collapse is only interesting given the lack of debate about Red States. The Democrats, progressives, liberals, leftists and so on don't seem to be taking this opportunity to lambast the Red State model. They only seem to point out its flaws in reaction to criticism of the Blue States. Or are they just spending all their time heralding the end of capitalism at the national (perhaps international) level?

Of course the best answer may simply be that there is little use in talking about a Blue State or Red State model in the first place.

Economy undermines red-blue view, by David Hill:

While these means are interesting, even they distort the utility of a red-blue theorem. Without getting into esoteric statistics like standard deviations and so forth, it's useful to examine the range of unemployment experiences within the color groups. There are five low-ball red states, mostly in the Mountain West, that have unemployment rates below 6 percent. But there are seven red states with unemployment rates above 10 percent. Comparable discrepancies are evident within the blue states. Four have unemployment rates below 8 percent, while five have rates exceeding 10 percent.

In short, we cannot assume how the economy will treat voters simply because they reside in a red state. There are many more factors in the equation than a simple dichotomous red-blue explanation can handle.

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Poll
Blue State Model
o There is no such thing as a 'Blue State' economic model. 20%
o California is governed by a Republican. 40%
o It's Bush's fault / a neocon plot. 20%
o There are no such things as Red States and Blue States. 26%
o State governments don't matter, can't be analyzed in isolation from Federal policy. 33%
o Capitalism is finished. 33%
o Blue State failure should not be a surprise to anyone. 46%

Votes: 15
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o states serve as the laboratories of democracy
o California v Texas
o black man
o white lesbian
o The Blue-State Meltdown and the Collapse of the Chicago Model
o Blue-State Blues
o Douthat's 'Blue-State Blues'
o California 's struggles don't implicate the "blue state" model
o Propositio n 13
o A demur to my former Atlantic colleague Ross Douthat
o Texas in not the only red state
o Should We Envy Texas?
o Douthat, Texas, and California
o More on Red States and Blue States
o Obama States and Unemployment: Confusing Cause and Effect
o Economy undermines red-blue view
o Also by anaesthetica


Display: Sort:
Debate on the 'Blue State' Model | 42 comments (35 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
here's my point (none / 1) (#2)
by loteck on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 06:06:24 PM EST

i'd rather live in an economically failed liberal dystopian PARADISE than in Hickville, TX.. no matter how "fiscally responsible" and "immigrant friendly" (lol) the rednecks are.
--
"You're in tune to the musical sound of loteck hi-fi, the musical sound that moves right round. Keep on moving ya'll." -Mylakovich
"WHAT AN ETERNAL MOBIUS STRIP OF FELLATIATIC BANALITY THIS IS." -Harry B Otch

That point misses the point (none / 0) (#7)
by anaesthetica on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 09:29:46 PM EST

You're making a cultural argument about disliking hicks instead of assessing the economic argument that it may not be sustainable to live in a certain kind of welfare state, unless you can indefinitely deficit spend.

—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
you can indefinitely deficit spend (none / 0) (#12)
by loteck on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 01:49:58 AM EST

see: United States of America.
--
"You're in tune to the musical sound of loteck hi-fi, the musical sound that moves right round. Keep on moving ya'll." -Mylakovich
"WHAT AN ETERNAL MOBIUS STRIP OF FELLATIATIC BANALITY THIS IS." -Harry B Otch

[ Parent ]
Actually You Can't (none / 1) (#15)
by limpdawg on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 11:02:13 AM EST

Current events are proving you wrong. Imagine what will happen to the dollar when China stops subsidizing our deficit.

[ Parent ]
wont happen (none / 1) (#16)
by loteck on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 12:34:31 PM EST

there are reasons they are so heavily invested in the dollar, and it actually has nothing to do with THE AMAZING RATE OF RETURN it provides them.

you people just dont get it. did you wake up and go to work/consume today? did a couple of billion people in either country do so as well? there you have the system. there you have your indefinite deficit spending, there you have your over inflated yen and there you have your chinese over investment in the dollar. without a war that wipes out a significant number of both parties, nothing will change for generations.
--
"You're in tune to the musical sound of loteck hi-fi, the musical sound that moves right round. Keep on moving ya'll." -Mylakovich
"WHAT AN ETERNAL MOBIUS STRIP OF FELLATIATIC BANALITY THIS IS." -Harry B Otch

[ Parent ]

Unless The Scale Tips (3.00 / 2) (#19)
by limpdawg on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 05:22:38 PM EST

And the Chinese government decides that it's more advantageous to them to trade on different terms.

By your logic the Roman Empire ought to be still ruling the Mediterranean. It was an integral part of a system but eventually the scales tipped against them and the Germanic tribes found it better to invade than to work for the Romans.

[ Parent ]

BE AFRAID EVERYONE (none / 0) (#20)
by loteck on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 05:28:32 PM EST

IF THE CHINESE DECIDE TO DO SOMETHING THAT THEY WONT EVER DECIDE TO DO, THINGS COULD GO BADLY.
--
"You're in tune to the musical sound of loteck hi-fi, the musical sound that moves right round. Keep on moving ya'll." -Mylakovich
"WHAT AN ETERNAL MOBIUS STRIP OF FELLATIATIC BANALITY THIS IS." -Harry B Otch

[ Parent ]
Never Say Never (3.00 / 2) (#21)
by limpdawg on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 05:35:10 PM EST

If you weren't so deliberately ignorant of history you might realize that all relations between powers are merely temporary.

[ Parent ]
live in fear (none / 0) (#24)
by loteck on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 06:29:57 PM EST

you're a better citizen that way.
--
"You're in tune to the musical sound of loteck hi-fi, the musical sound that moves right round. Keep on moving ya'll." -Mylakovich
"WHAT AN ETERNAL MOBIUS STRIP OF FELLATIATIC BANALITY THIS IS." -Harry B Otch

[ Parent ]
It has nothing to do with the rate of return (3.00 / 3) (#33)
by sholden on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 09:12:27 AM EST

It's the consequence of them pseudo-pegging their currency to the US dollar.

There's a rather large trade imbalance (they sell the US more than the US sells them), without intervention that would cause the yuan to rise against the dollar.

Since the Chinese don't want that, they print money and buy dollars with it. Those dollars are then put in treasuries (and other US investments via sovereign wealth funds and so on).

The Chinese are not investing for the great rate of return, which should be obvious since US interest rates have been too low for a decade. They are investing to manipulate their currency so that Americans can afford to buy the shit they make.

Now notice that the biggest growth sector of the Chinese economy is domestic. And the Chinese government is working at making that happen. At some point they don't need the US (in fact right now they don't but these things work slowly) and they can write off the bad loans they made to the US and get out, instead of sending good money after bad. At that point the US collapses economically and China booms ala the US post WW2 (The US stopped making tanks/etc to send to Europe to be destroyed and made useful stuff for Americans instead, China will stop making stuff to send to America in return for IOUs and make stuff for China instead).

--
The world's dullest web page


[ Parent ]
Texas isn't all Hickville (3.00 / 2) (#28)
by QuantumFoam on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 07:33:52 PM EST

And California isn't all liberal failfest. From my travels, at least, they're quite similar.

Southern California probably has just as many Christians, Mexicans, and hicks per capita as Texas. The same is true for inland areas. The only place that seemed really different from Texas was the coastal area north of LA, but I was much too poor to live in that little slice of socialist paradise.

And Texas isn't all bad. The weather sucks and the pot (while readily available) isn't legal, but the cost of living is reasonable and if the state was to take an income tax from its citizen it would be fiscally responsible enough to have the funds on hand to refund them when the time comes.

- Barack Obama: Because it will work this time. Honest!
[ Parent ]

the SF bay area might as well be another country (none / 0) (#38)
by Morally Inflexible on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 10:01:49 AM EST

just drive for two hours (without traffic) to Sacramento, and you see another world.  

[ Parent ]
stupid article on stupid false dichotomy (2.25 / 4) (#3)
by lostincali on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 06:22:13 PM EST

not that the article is inherently stupid, but its subject makes it so.

"The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."

Looks stupid (none / 1) (#4)
by Vampire Zombie Abu Musab al Zarqawi on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 06:28:42 PM EST

It's not the economic model that drives the economy, it's the production of stuff and the circulation of green sheets of paper. If the main industry is speculation in fictitious wealth in a bubble economy, then that industry is going to suffer when the bubble bursts. Likewise with all industries that depend on the bubble (e.g. the yacht and monocle polish production companies).

So taxes and services have no significant effect? (none / 0) (#8)
by anaesthetica on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 09:33:36 PM EST

Places with high taxes on business don't drive away businesses to other regions?

Places with comprehensive social services don't attract more residents?

The specific industry is certainly one thing, and you seem to be making an argument similar to Leonhardt, that states with manufacturing got hit hard, and that they tend to be Blue States.  But, the solvency of the state is another thing, and the amount of services that need to be paid for relative to the taxes they can take in (or debt they can float) is not necessarily correlated to the local industry.

—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
I didn't know red states have higher taxes. (none / 1) (#13)
by Vampire Zombie Abu Musab al Zarqawi on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 05:53:21 AM EST



[ Parent ]
California's Ballot Box Budgeting (3.00 / 3) (#5)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 08:01:14 PM EST

A big problem California has is the citizen initiative process. It seems like a much better idea than it really is.

One can pass laws or even amend the state constitution by popular vote.

The problem is that initiatives gets passed basically on how well their campaigns do with fundraising, because raising lots of money allows one to show lots of ads on TV.

The citizenry is also quick to approve bond measures, which always seem like a good idea, as they allow us to build important infrastructure, but they tie our hands for many years in the future, and in the long run cost a lot more than it would have cost just to pay for that infrastructure out of current revenue.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


$140k in debt with nothing to show for it (3.00 / 2) (#6)
by modus on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 08:05:27 PM EST

and you oppose the financing of public works projects?

Classic.


[ Parent ]

You seem to be arguing against democracy... (none / 0) (#9)
by anaesthetica on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 09:35:24 PM EST

Why is direct democracy bad?

—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
I think a representative republic is better than.. (none / 0) (#10)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 09:53:49 PM EST

... a direct democracy. One of the problems is that there isn't much of a limit on who can donate to initiative campaigns or how much they can donate.

That allows out-of-state residents to influence the vote, as well as businesses.

The initiative process would probably be a lot more rational if only live, human California residents could donate.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Your real complaint seems to be external influence (none / 0) (#11)
by anaesthetica on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 11:28:46 PM EST

not direct democracy per se.

—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
Because democracy relies on an educated voter. (3.00 / 2) (#18)
by xC0000005 on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 04:40:29 PM EST

And a voter who actually cares. 13% of americans believe professional wrestling is real. Those people are allowed to vote. The problem with representation is that so often the people we elect do NOT represent their constituents. If they did, my area representatives would vote wingnut liberal on a whole host of financial issues and batshit crazy conservative on a bunch of social issues, because that's how this particular district pans out (much to the chagrine of..well, everyone).

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
[ Parent ]
bring back literacy tests! (none / 1) (#39)
by Morally Inflexible on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 10:08:16 AM EST

I mean, a good, fairly administered literacy test. Imagine a world where the campaign money spent on cheesy ads gets spent teaching voters how to read.

Of course, that money would probably be spent teaching voters how to cheat on that one test instead. But it sounds like a nice idea.

[ Parent ]

You just want to disenfranchise all those... (none / 0) (#40)
by anaesthetica on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 11:58:19 AM EST

illiterate NPR listeners. Maybe they can't read, but they can get their political news by listening to informative talk radio—a far more balanced medium than those yellow journalism rags they sell on newspaper stands these days. Think of the poor NPR listeners!

—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
just an idea (none / 0) (#41)
by Morally Inflexible on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 12:48:34 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Because people are idiots (none / 1) (#34)
by sholden on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 12:37:08 PM EST

And the ones that aren't idiots are selfish pricks who will put their grand children in overwhelming amounts of debt if it allows them to have something right now.

--
The world's dullest web page


[ Parent ]
Interesting take on agriculture - (3.00 / 3) (#22)
by xC0000005 on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 06:14:06 PM EST

"agriculture which basically exists entirely due to federal subsidies"

Ummm - Agriculture exists because people need to eat. I think we need to wean farmers off the subsidy just like we need to ween people off the welfare teat. Both are great short term benefits but lead to long term expectations.

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't

Probably is more specific to the agricultural (3.00 / 3) (#23)
by anaesthetica on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 06:18:33 PM EST

...industry as it exists today.  Not the 'small independent farmer,' but the actual large well-financed farming corporations.  Agricultural subsidies are just another form of 'corporate welfare' that favors big companies that can afford lobbyists over small & medium companies that can't.

If we didn't have agricultural tariffs or agricultural subsidies, it's possible that a great deal of our domestic agricultural industry would shrink in size or go out of business, replaced by cheaper agricultural imports from developing countries.

—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
sh-1t (none / 1) (#29)
by GrubbyBeardedHermit on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 07:49:30 AM EST


GBH

George Will's take: (none / 1) (#31)
by horny smurf on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 07:23:04 PM EST

If, since 1990, state spending increases had been held to the inflation rate plus population growth, the state would have a $15 billion surplus instead of a $42 billion budget deficit, which is larger than the budgets of all but 10 states. Since 1990, the number of state employees has increased by more than a third. In Schwarzenegger's less than six years as governor, per capita government spending, adjusted for inflation, has increased nearly 20 percent.

good article, weird venue for it $ (none / 0) (#32)
by anaesthetica on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 08:39:24 PM EST


—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
No, this is proof (2.50 / 2) (#35)
by intransigent on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 05:35:31 AM EST

that all states need balanced budgets mandated constitutionally, no other tax but property tax, and line items listing where each chunk of the property tax is being spent at the state level.

Municipalities and counties should be allowed to use sales taxes for b.s. projects and bonds should be limited to a maximum of sales tax net.

All the industry-economy, ballot initiatives, unemployment stats nonsense is irrelevant.

Let the federal government deficit spend and prop up the food industry. Do you really want to rely entirely on South America or Africa for our food supply? No, you want to give handouts to local farmers in return for the near unlikelihood of famine.

And now for a tangent... we really only need property tax. Sales and income taxes are truly un-American.

Income tax is reminiscent of the old fiefdoms of the Old World and sales tax (well ok, a VAT) is a core cause of the American Revolution. I think the rich founders of the USA realized that they didn't want to tax themselves so they stuck to "tariffs" and went right back to the crap they convinced the proles to fight against.

Realizing that pay-as-you-go taxing was never going to make the federal government the power base they wanted, along came income taxing with which Americans generally went along. Income tax is responsible for creating the fiefdoms of power and patronage held in Senators and Representatives today.

Think how stupid we are: lets say you give the federal government $10,000 in taxes and doctor up an income tax "return" to get back $5,000 of your own money.(note the doublespeak for a legal document justifying that your lifestyle is ideally suited to the federal government's standard.) You now feel like your getting a pretty good deal, like a liquidation sale at Circuit City, and that the government is really working for you and being fair with your money.

No, your an idiot who handed over $5,000 to the Royal family in Washington, but hey, this absolves you of any responsibility to your fellow man. Now, Washington is on the hook to take care of our schools, our health, our economy, our mores. People complain about corporate America "running the show", who in the hell do you think gave them all the power and responsibility to begin with?

Now there is talk of bringing in VATs again. Were that to happen, responsible adults should join the morons at these "tea parties". Or in the case of Texas, secede once more.

Texas vs. California is an odd comparison (none / 0) (#36)
by Delirium on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:41:36 PM EST

One major source of California's budget problem, spending on a quality public university system, is almost completely absent in Texas, because Texas's university system is funded in large part by a gigantic oil trust fund. Now this isn't entirely luck—Texas did at least have the foresight to put aside much of their oil money during boom times—but it's not entirely conservative fiscal prudence either.

There are a lot of other fundamental differences besides politics, but that's a decent place to start...

california also has plenty of oil $$$ (none / 0) (#37)
by horny smurf on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 05:54:36 PM EST



[ Parent ]
California is blue (2.00 / 2) (#42)
by tthomas48 on Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 06:19:16 PM EST

Sure, I'll bite that California is blue. But their policies are half red/half blue. If you consider a policy that makes it nearly impossible to raise taxes a blue state, then I guess it's a blue state.

No one would hold up Texas as good for anything except business which is why no one is advancing a "Red State" model.

If you look at the Red States on a scorecard for education, health, infant mortality, life expectancy, etc. Things aren't so hot. That's why no one's advancing the model. Texas is pathetic. They can't even raise taxes to build roads, which is something the citizens of this great state love a LOT. They also have some of the most restrictive social and gun control laws on the books.

Debate on the 'Blue State' Model | 42 comments (35 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
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