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From: An Anonymous Reader [Email him]
Forgive me if you had already circled this one in red ink. The bold editors of the Economist magazine's recent special report on the source of California's woes have identified the cause and it is.......direct democracy!
Though the entire suite of articles from the print edition is online (here). The dog that didn't bark comes from their intro:
"Proper democracy is far more than a perpetual ballot process. It must include deliberation, mature institutions and checks and balances such as those in the American constitution. Ironically, California imported direct democracy almost a century ago as a 'safety valve' in case government should become corrupt. The process began to malfunction only relatively recently. With Proposition 13, it stopped being a valve and instead became almost the entire engine."
[The perils of extreme democracy | California offers a warning to voters all over the world, April 20th 2011]
I believe this is called hanging by your own rope.
As far as I can see, immigration is not mentioned once in the entire set of articles—except indirectly, the bounty of its diversity yet another reason to be mystified at California's collapse. The fact that Prop 13 occurred—ominously—13 years after the 1965 Immigration Act seems to be not even worthy of notice.
Thanks for all that you do.
Anonymous Reader is an old-stock American whose distinguished family goes back in American history to pioneer, Indian-fighting days and before. (Our description, not his.) However, like many other letter-writers, he has chosen anonymity, because of the real danger to his career from his name appearing in our Letters To The Editor page.
James Fulford writes: The Economist seems to feel that since California taxpayers can limit the amount of taxes they pay, that makes "democracy" the problem. But the real budget problem in California is mass immigration. It would never occur to The Economist that immigration can be halted or limited to reduce the drain on the California treasury.
Life on Planet Economist, By Martin Hutchinson, September 1, 2004
The Economist Magazine on Immigration by Peter Brimelow March 11, 2000 ("...trademark smug condescension….steady rain of immigration enthusiast clichés").