The idea that regulations can actually interfere with the economy in a bad way is dismissed by many lefties. This group includes bloggers like the Calbuzz boys, George Skelton-style print journos, and many Dem lawmakers. But isn’t it, er, unusual that whenever a left-wing interest group is hassled by regulations, a mysterious consensus suddenly forms that these particular regulations actually interfere with the economy in a bad way?
It’s yet another example of how hysterically hypocritical and stupid that California politics would seem to observers if we were disinterested outsiders as opposed to people whose futures are put at risk by the hypocrites.
Here is what we are supposed to believe, as the Calbuzzers put it in October 2009 in trashing Meg Whitman for worrying about the effects of AB 32:
It’s a classic false choice — that we have to choose between a strong economy and environmental protections …
As I wrote back then, I yearn for an honest green to say, yeah, it’s going to hurt our economy, but we have to do things like AB 32 to save the planet. Instead, they absurdly pretend that there is no economic downside to forcing California to pay much more for energy than rival states and nations.
But what I also wish for is more honest Dems who acknowledge that their enviro purity disappears when it is politically expedient.
What brings this gripe up? A weekend Sac Bee story:
In a move to create jobs and help preserve California’s leadership in renewable energy, the state and the federal government have expanded a partnership to bring more solar, wind and other clean energy sources on line.
During a news conference at an Elk Grove solar farm Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar signed a new agreement to streamline the permitting and planning process for hundreds of miles of transmission lines connecting to new energy sources.
There, of course, will be push-back from lefties denying hypocrisy about this because we’re talking about All-Important Always-Noble Green Energy!
Well, how do they finesse away the favors they did for Ed Roski, AEG and other developers who want to build massive stadium projects that are just the sort of things that enviros normally freak out about because of potential impacts on air, water, traffic and more? They don’t finesse away their actions because they can’t.
The humiliating truth is that rolling over when it comes to stadiums and enviro rules is a precise reflection of the values guiding the California Democratic Party. Here’s the equation:
“Social justice” causes > broad public interest
Trial lawyer causes > broad public interest
The green/green $ industrial complex > broad public interest
Union causes > broad public interest
But there is a hierarchy among the big four.
“Social justice” is obliterated on transit/energy/economic issues by green causes — so we see costly, inflexible fixed rail instead of cheap, flexible buses and a blithe push for much higher energy costs that are equivalent to a hugely regressive tax on the poor.
“Social justice” is obliterated on regulatory issues by trial lawyers — the infamous Trevor Law Group case is the best example, in which the Legislature wouldn’t change laws that let Trevor file shakedown lawsuits against small businesses run by minorities with few resources, often owned by people with limited English skills.
“Social justice” is obliterated on education issues by teachers unions, so we see enforcement of policies allowing teachers to flee struggling urban schools for placid suburban campuses and tolerance of mass mediocrity partly driven by tenure-abetted teacher incompetence..
But when it comes to doing favors for stadium developers, unions trump green interests and trial lawyers combined. Hell, they undercut the fundamental narrative of the modern Democratic Party — that it stands up for the little guy and for the environment and is an enemy of the shadowy rich people who manipulate our government.
But are the unions ever denied anything? Well, yes, the Legislature voted against their push to allow epileptic kids to die in school rather than receive emergency medical care from school employees who aren’t union nurses.
Who was the leading critic of this move? John Burton, chairman of the California Democratic Party. He knows what his party stands for best of all.
Which brings me back to the point I made above: This hypocrisy and insanity would all be darkly, sickly hilarious if we were outsiders looking on. Instead, Californians are held hostage by a political establishment brazenly manipulated by factions who don’t at all have the Golden State’s broader good in mind. Great, just great.