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Where’s the Data, Dr. Fauci?

“President Donald Trump may want to reopen the U.S. economy by Easter — but the novel coronavirus wreaking havoc across the globe may have other plans.

“Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, pointed out Wednesday that the virus is determining ‘the timeline’ for the pandemic.

“‘You’ve gotta be realistic,’ Fauci told CNN’s Chris Cuomo…. ‘You’ve got to understand that you don’t make the timeline, the virus makes the timeline….

“‘You can’t make an arbitrary decision until you see what you’re dealing with. You need the data.’” [Emphasis added.] — HuffPost, 3-26-20

Note:  On March 29, President Trump announced that he was extending the federal social distancing guidelines until April 30th.

Okay, Dr. Fauci, where’s the data?  I mean the data you used in the beginning to justify the unprecedented government decision to shutdown the economy?  Surely, you wouldn’t have accepted the notoriously unreliable Communist Chinese data?  Even the often quoted data from the UN’s World Health Organization can’t be trusted, because WHO has an agenda to reinforce the UN’s global power grab.

Indeed, where’s the data that the coronavirus is more deadly or more communicable than other infectious diseases that the world copes with every year without shutting down?  The American people deserve to know, particularly since the Internationalist Insiders dominating our government regularly use crises as pretexts for government to seize more unconstitutional power (see “Internationalist Treachery,” below).

Dr. Ron Paul

According to Dr. Ron Paul, a former U.S. Representative, Fauci “testified to Congress that the death rate for the coronavirus is ten times that of the seasonal flu, a claim without any scientific basis.”

We hear statistics about number of cases and deaths, but how to those compare with say, the flu, or tuberculosis?  Most Americans can’t readily make the comparison, and many cases of such diseases go unreported.   (The CDC estimated that during the 2018-2019 flu season, the flu killed 34,200 of about 35.5 million people infected.)

Scaring Us
In a March 16th open letter, Dr. Paul further charged: “The chief fearmonger of the Trump Administration is without a doubt Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. Fauci is all over the media, serving up outright falsehoods to stir up even more panic.”

And the impact of that panic is everywhere.  Congress just passed a $2.2 trillion rescue package, which The Hill (3-25-20) claimed was “the single largest stimulus package in the nation’s history.”  And that may be only a beginning.

The ostensible justification for the enormous addition to the national debt was to stimulate an economy that is in recession, not because of the coronavirus directly, but because of governments’ (federal, state, & local) response, using the hyped scare as justification for the unprecedented assumption of power.  Only a lesser portion of the rescue package was devoted to defense against the virus itself.

On March 29th, Dr. Fauci ramped up his warning dramatically. According to The Hill:

Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Fauci said that, based on what he’s seeing, the U.S. could experience between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths from Covid-19.

“We’re going to have millions of cases,” Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said, noting that projections are subject to change, given that the disease’s outbreak is “such a moving target.”

Unfortunately, his projections seemed to have been based on computer models, which even Dr. Fauci admitted were no better than the assumptions fed into them.

Internationalist Treachery
In evaluating the crisis claims, we have a right to demand proof, because for decades Internationalists have been employing evolving threats and scares to gain power — leading to global power, accountable only to them.

With the start of the Cold War, the threat was nuclear annihilation.  But that shifted with the break-up of the former Soviet Union.   As replacements, the Internationalists embraced new threats — drugs, terrorism, and environmental catastrophe — as pretexts for increasing the authority of International bodies.

In its November 24, 1997 issue, The New American magazine warned that Internationalists had adopted another alarmist threat — pestilence — to accomplish their aims. The report was entitled “Scaring Us Toward Global Government.”  Remember that the following assessments were written two decades before the world heard of a “coronavirus pandemic:”

In recent years, yet another alarmist refrain has been heard: “World government or pestilence!” This latest crisis requiring global management is the threat presented by supposedly new infectious diseases. Where once we were menaced by megatons, the danger now supposedly comes from microbes — and familiar voices are insisting anew that only world government can save humanity from destruction.

As a tool for manipulating public opinion, the threat of pestilence actually has an advantage over the earlier scare scenarios: Nuclear annihilation of humanity, while a horrifying prospect, is simply too abstract to have a visceral impact. The same is true of environmental collapse. But everybody has been sick and can individualize the horror of succumbing to an incurable disease. Thus, the pestilence scenario may have far more potential as a tool for selling the public on globalist “solutions.”

In November 1993, President Clinton set up, by Executive Order, the National Science and Technology Council, which included a Committee on International Science, Engineering, and Technology Policy (CISETP).

The New American article cited a CISETP report as an example of “the willingness of public policy elites to play off media-generated fears of infectious disease.” According to the report:  “[Th]e past few years have been marked by a recognition of renewed vulnerability to infectious diseases. Bestselling books and Hollywood thrillers have triggered public fascination with ‘new,’ deadly, and unpredictable microorganisms.”  The New American continued:

The report noted that protecting the health of the “global village” demands “a worldwide response,” and “recently, public discussion has been further focused on the global issue of emerging diseases by … popular movies such as ‘Outbreak,’ starring Dustin Hoffman.”…

In the miniseries Pandora’s Clock, an airliner bound for JFK Airport in New York has the misfortune to be carrying a passenger infected with a doomsday virus. The plane is not allowed to land, lest the virus be loosed, and the government plans to shoot the plane down instead — another effective pitch for the idea that crises must be dealt with through extreme measures.

CISETP’s eagerness to cite Outbreak and similar entertainment products typifies a distressing willingness on the part of some public health officials to focus on lurid scenarios at some expense to sound science. The average American is largely at the mercy of domestic and international public health bureaucracies for information about infectious disease. This trust has been abused by public health authorities in recent decades.

For a more recent example of this strategy at work, check out our  11-24-19 post “Crisis-Hyping — What’s At Stake!”

But perhaps, this time, the Internationalists do have a real crisis to drive their power grabs.  Perhaps. However, we also know that with sufficient focus, the Establishment media can make any problem, such as “gun violence,” appear to be a new pandemic.  And there are several reports circulating claiming that the coronavirus statistics are exaggerated.

Data Alone Fallacy
Dr. Fauci’s claim that the virus data alone should drive government policy is a dangerous position.   In particular, his claim supports the Internationalist Establishment’s agenda for totalitarian power.  As several have pointed out, when the threat passes, government doesn’t give us our freedoms back.   It insists that an ongoing threat warrants that government retain the new authority. As an example, consider the “temporary” surveillance authorities granted to government following 9/11 by the Patriot Act, now the U.S.A. Freedom Act.

The coronavirus, even if it deserves major attention, is by no means the only problem the public faces.  Human mortality has not been conquered.  In the meantime, the public deserves the opportunity to try and accomplish life’s goals, protected by government, not burdened by government-imposed “emergency” restrictions.

But most significantly, the arguments in favor of the government measures ignore the much more dangerous threat of a high-level Internationalist Conspiracy that lusts to expand government authority in perpetuity and is greedy for useful pretexts.

So if these Conspiracy Insiders have their way, this scare is not a onetime event.  Indeed, Dr. Fauci has warned:  “We really need to be prepared for another cycle” to hit later this year.  And what about next year?

Multiple Gains
Establishment Internationalists are reaping multiple gains from their “crisis.”   Alexander Hamilton pointed to a principal one:

Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct. Even the ardent love of liberty will, after a time, give way to its dictates…. [T]he continual effort and alarm attendant on a state of continual danger, will compel nations the most attached to liberty to resort for repose and security to institutions which have a tendency to destroy their civil and political rights. To be more safe, they at length become willing to run the risk of being less free. — The Federalist No. 8

Hamilton’s warning is even more valid today, when there is a major organized Conspiracy for total power at work determined to undo the American revolution.  But in addition to preparing the public to give up its rights and accept government domination, the Conspiracy gains in other ways.

A primary Conspiracy gain is the enormous addition to our national debt from massive government spending — more than 2 trillion dollars the government does not have.  The consequences (inflation) and potential consequences (destruction of the dollar and its replacement with an International currency) are huge topics in themselves.  Bloomberg just reported (4-1-20):

The Federal Reserve is trying to call time on a fire sale of Treasuries by foreign governments and central banks.

Foreign official holders of Treasuries dumped more than $100 billion in the three weeks to March 25, on course for the biggest monthly drop on record, according to weekly Fed custody data that captures much of the pandemic-fueled turmoil.

Another gain by power seekers is the destruction of small businesses, a pillar of a free market economy and of the middle class — a bulwark of freedom.   Many other small businesses are to be put in hoc to the federal government.  In an interview with Yahoo! Finance (published 3-31-20) Ivanka Trump, President Trump’s daughter and senior advisor, made the following observation:

“Small businesses employ close to 50% of the American workforce, and obviously are the most vulnerable from a cash flow situation,” she said.

The $2 trillion fiscal stimulus sets aside over $350 billion in loans for small businesses. “We want to just bridge people until the world reopens,” she said.

And last, and very alarming, the Leftwing Politico reports that the Trump administration has asked Congress to draft legislation that would allow it to suspend parts of the Constitution:

The Justice Department has quietly asked Congress for the ability to ask chief judges to detain people indefinitely without trial during emergencies — part of a push for new powers that comes as the novel coronavirus spreads throughout the United States.

Documents reviewed by POLITICO detail the department’s requests to lawmakers on a host of topics, including the statute of limitations, asylum and the way court hearings are conducted  — “DOJ seeks new emergency powers amid coronavirus pandemic,” 3-21-20

Immigration Betrayal!

To solve the immigration problem, we must first understand why it exists. And that requires digging deeper than just blaming desperate foreigners for crossing our borders illegally in search of a better life. Indeed, the real reason why both illegal and legal immigration are out of control is because it serves an influential cabal targeting our freedom. And only Congress, under pressure from an informed electorate, can stop the betrayal.

The Intended Damage

Massive immigration that does not assimilate subverts our culture — the culture that supports freedom. This is not racism or xenophobia. It was the attitude of America’s founders.

In his report on immigration to the First Congress, James Madison urged that America “welcome every person of good fame [who] really means to incorporate himself into our society, but repel all who will not be a real addition to the wealth and strength of the United States.”

Alexander Hamilton argued that our goal should be “to render the people of this country as homogeneous as possible” as that “must tend as much as any other circumstance to the permanency of their union and prosperity.”

Immigrants who do not assimilate create conflict in society (useful to would-be totalitarians), or in Hamilton’s words: “In the composition of society, the harmony of ingredients is all-important, and whatever tends to a discordant intermixture must have an injurious tendency.”

With today’s massive government welfare extended to illegal immigrants, the economic strain undermines the middle class, another bulwark of freedom. The welfare magnet should not be underestimated. In the early part of the previous century, the absence of a welfare state made assimilation a necessity. Indeed, many immigrants returned to their native lands when they couldn’t make it here in the work force.

Then, of course, the criminal element, terrorists, and drugs coming across our porous southern border help to destabilize society. In particular, smuggled heroin fuels the opioid epidemic, which serves the goals of those seeking authoritarian government and a submissive population.

Organized Subversion

The Insiders of an organized Conspiracy have supported specific programs that have led to America’s immigration crisis. For example, politicians carrying out the Insiders’ agenda have encouraged illegal immigration by extending government welfare to illegals and promoting amnesty. They have also undermined border enforcement by refusing to adequately fund the border patrol or even repair fences.

These Insiders have supported socialism and conflict around the world, also encouraging illegal immigration. And wars and pogroms by totalitarian regimes, whose birth can be credited to the Insiders, create pressure on America (and European nations) to accept refugees.   In addition to the sheer numbers of immigrants, several Establishment-promoted programs (see below) serve to discourage assimilation.

The “Open Borders” Movement

For decades, Robert L. Bartley, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), used his position as editorial page editor of the Wall Street Journal to influence conservative readers, arguing that the nation-state was finished and that America should have open borders.

Insiders have promoted hemispheric integration via NAFTA and the Free Trade Area of the Americas. In May 2005, just a few years after the 9-11 attacks, the CFR’s “Independent Task Force on the Future of North America” issued its report, “Building a North American Community.” The report proposed a North American Security Perimeter as a substitute for enforcing national borders.

The radical immigrants’ rights organizations also subvert border enforcement, in particular by challenging deportations in court. But these organizations didn’t just spring up by themselves, they had Establishment funding, most notably from the Ford Foundation.

The Ford Foundation

It is inexcusable today for any competent reporter to allow “advocacy groups” to posture as genuine grassroots defenders of Latino interests. By the mid-1990s resistance groups compiled several studies exposing the fraud.   In 1994, for example, the American Immigration Control Foundation published Importing Revolution: Open Borders and the Radical Agenda by William R. Hawkins, providing much of the background and history of MALDEF (the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund).

By examining the flow of funds, one quickly discovers that the Ford Foundation virtually created the radical Chicano movement, which seeks open borders, uncontrolled immigration from Mexico, and the de facto reconquest by Mexico of the Southwest portion of the United States (termed Atzlan by the radicals). (Note: Ford Foundation subversion was uncovered by the Reece Committee, going way back to the 1950s, but that story has long been forgotten.)

In 1995, syndicated columnist Georgie Ann Geyer wrote Americans No More: The Death of Citizenship.   Her book should have been a wake-up call, as it included admissions against interest by someone with both radical liberal and Establishment credentials.   Georgie Ann Geyer was (and still is) a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an open disciple of the late Marxist and radical organizer Saul Alinsky. Let’s see what Geyer had to say.

Geyer’s book described how radicals were following the strategy of infiltration advocated by Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci to render impotent every tenet of our culture. Geyer claims that, in pursuit of this strategy, Marxists have infected “American universities, unions, churches, bureaucracies, and corporations…. Three whole generations, often its best students and thinkers and even labor leaders, were formed with a Marxist component to their thoughts and actions, often without even knowing it.”

Americans No More didn’t just focus on the visible activists.   Geyer documented how Insider tax-exempt foundations had helped to create ethnic grievance groups. She even provided personal testimony. In the early 1980s, Geyer met with “two representatives of one of the major and supposedly representative ‘Hispanic’ groups, the National Council of La Raza.” When Geyer asked, “How many members do you have?,” one of the representatives admitted, “Well, we don’t have members.”

An incredulous Geyer demanded to know how an organization without members could fund and support its activities. The representatives replied, almost in unison, “The Ford Foundation!” As Geyer tells the story: “The two smiled as though they did not have a care in the world, and, indeed, financially, they did not. To promote and push through their programs and policies, they needed no elections, no campaign strategies, and none of that bothersome business of fund-raising or member-seeking. At the same time, of course, they basically suffered accountability neither to disparate sources of funding nor to the fickle interests of individuals.” With such support, La Raza could boast 150 organizations in 36 states!

Legal aid organizations, immigrants’ rights groups, and radical churches have widely distributed “The Bill of Rights for the Undocumented Worker.” Article VII demands: “Every immigrant worker shall be guaranteed the same rights enjoyed by U.S. citizens, especially the right of access to free and adequate social and health services, child-care and other similar social benefits.” And Article VIII states: “Every immigrant worker shall have the right to quality public education in his or her native language….”

Note: When Trilateralist Jimmy Carter became president in 1977, he chose “immigrants’ rights” activist Leonel J. Castillo to head the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Castillo adopted the euphemism “undocumented workers” as the official INS term for illegal immigrants.

Establishment Foundations and the federal government have also aggressively promoted “multiculturalism” as the new American ethic.  Students in schools everywhere are being hammered with the idea that all cultures, even the most primitive, are equally enriching for our nation and must be given equal treatment.

National Suicide

Three decades ago (1988), The New American magazine tried to sound the alarm:

“Invasion. That’s what we are witnessing: an ongoing invasion that has been escalating for over a decade. Each day, at hundreds of points along our southern border, thousands of people from countries all over the world are entering the United States illegally…. [Even with meager resources], for six years running the Border Patrol has apprehended well over one million illegal aliens per year…. A visible effect of our uncontrolled immigration is what is increasingly referred to as the ‘Third World colonization’ of the United States. Large sections of major U.S. cities now resemble Mexico City, San Salvador, Bombay, and Calcutta — with tens of thousands of people living in cardboard and tin shanties, or sleeping in the streets.”

By 1996, the Sacramento Bee reported: “Nearly one in four students in California’s public schools — more than 1.25 million kids — understands little or no English.”

Changing our Immigration Law

Legislation promoted by liberal politicians implementing the Insiders’ agenda inspired much of the invasion. Senators Robert F. and Edward Kennedy supported the Immigration Reform Act of 1965. The new priorities in our immigration law would emphasize “our obligation” to the rest of the world.

But the subversion didn’t stop there. When President Carter couldn’t get Congress to provide amnesty for illegal immigrants, he created a commission headed by Reverend Theodore Hesburgh (CFR and fellow Trilateralist) to study the problem and make recommendations. The recommendations were incorporated into the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA).

IRCA was sold to the public as a “solution” to our immigration problem, but it had the opposite effect. Granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens simply emboldened millions more to violate our borders in hopes of similar amnesties. And those who became citizens took advantage of the liberalization of the law re chain migration.

Steps to a Solution

The initial step must be to create recognition among a wider audience of why immigration is out of control and why Washington currently will frustrate any real solution. That requires exposing conspiratorial influence, objectives, and actions, along with highlighting the refusal of politicians and the controlled media to expose the domestic subversion. An expensive Southern wall provides no defense against the subversion from within.

At the same time, that understanding must be turned into effective action. What is needed is informed and organized public pressure on Congress — pressure to stop the betrayal and protect our heritage. In the face of conspiratorial inroads and influence today, these steps require the right organization and leadership — may we dare say, a much larger Freedom First Society?

Renegotiate NAFTA? No Way! — Get US out!

“Making good on a campaign promise, the Trump administration formally told Congress Thursday that it intends to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico….

“Last month, White House aides spread word that Trump was ready to pull out of NAFTA. Within hours, the president reversed course and said that he’d seek a better deal first.”
— “Trump administration announces plans to renegotiate NAFTA,” AP, 5-18-17

NAFTA has unquestionably exacerbated U.S. manufacturing and capital flight, with a corresponding decline in quality jobs and middle class opportunity.

However, “trade pacts” such as NAFTA involve much more than lowering tariff barriers to regional trade. They set up governing institutions, contrary to our Constitution. And improving prosperity through increased trade is never the objective.

Indeed, the discussion of NAFTA as a mere trade agreement acts as a smokescreen, obscuring the fact that NAFTA is an Internationalist-designed trap targeting our national independence and freedom.

The national press omits any mention of the real reason that Internationalists worked so hard to have the U.S. accept NAFTA. Although NAFTA was sold as a conservative “free trade” agreement, its real purpose was to erode the sovereignty of independent nations with an ultimate goal of capturing them under a totalitarian world government ruled by elites.   Recall that the precursor stages to the European Union (e.g., the Common Market) were misleading sold as just an economic arrangement.

Progressive Regionalization

Rather than trying to deceive the public into submitting to a world authority in one step, the Internationalists have promoted a “regionalism” strategy, modeled on the successful tactic use to ensnare nations in the European Union. The Fall 1991 issue of the CFR’s [Council on Foreign Relations] Foreign Affairs confirmed that the Internationalists saw NAFTA as following in the EU’s footsteps:

The creation of trinational dispute-resolution mechanisms and rule-making bodies on border and environmental issues may also be embryonic forms of more comprehensive structures. After all, international organizations and agreements like GATT and NAFTA by definition minimize assertions of sovereignty in favor of a joint rule-making authority.

Both David Rockefeller (former CFR chairman) and CFR heavyweight Henry Kissinger lobbied in the nation’s press for NAFTA, candidly claiming that NAFTA was a steppingstone to something larger. In a 1993 column that appeared in the July 18 Los Angeles Times, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger declared:

It [NAFTA] will represent the most creative step toward a new world order taken by any group of countries since the end of the Cold War, and the first step toward an even larger vision of a free-trade zone for the entire Western Hemisphere…. [NAFTA] is not a conventional trade agreement, but the architecture of a new international system.

A few months later, David Rockefeller championed the agreement in the Wall Street Journal: “Everything is in place — after 500 years — to build a true ‘new world’ in the Western Hemisphere,” Rockefeller enthused, adding “I don’t think that ‘criminal’ would be too strong a word to describe … rejecting NAFTA.”

Submitting to WTO “Authority”

The World Trade Organization is another element of the elitist architecture for ruling the world. A recent news report illustrates how U.S. decision-making has been delegated to a body over which Americans have no control:

Mexico can impose annual trade sanctions worth $163.23 million against the United States after winning a dispute over trade in tuna fish, a World Trade Organization arbitrator ruled on Tuesday….

However, the ruling could be overturned later this year if a subsequent WTO decision finds the United States has stopped discriminating against tuna caught by its southern neighbor. —   “WTO lets Mexico slap trade sanctions on U.S. in tuna dispute,” Reuters, 4-25-17

The “Just Promoting Trade” Deception Continues

The Peterson Institute, a “think tank” named after Peter G. Peterson, Chairman Emeritus of the Internationalists’ Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has long been a driver of “progressive regionalization” under the cover of promoting trade. Indeed, the opening AP report cites comments from Gary Hufbauer, member of the CFR and former VP of the CFR, 1997-98, lending credence to the pretext that NAFTA is just an orderly way to promote regional trade:

Gary Hufbauer, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute, said the United States could seek modest “technocratic” changes, including provisions to update NAFTA to reflect technologies that have emerged since the original agreement was negotiated.

In 1994, Hufbauer had co-authored a study for the Institute, entitled “Western Hemisphere Economic Integration.”

For further explanation of the deceptive Internationalist strategy of “progressive regionalism,” of which NAFTA is a part, please see Chapter 6, “Free Trade Pacts” in our booklet Media-Controlled Delusion. Chapter 6 concludes:

[T]he so-called national debate over trade totally ignores the real purpose of post-World War II regional trade pacts — to create unaccountable regional authorities at the expense of the sovereignty of the nation-state. Our national survival requires that this agenda be exposed, understood, and defeated.

Renegotiating NAFTA is not the road to prosperity. Instead, validating NAFTA through renegotiation strengthens the Internationalist power grab targeting our survival as a free nation.

Learning Lessons from California

This past week California Governor Jerry Brown announced that his state is facing a “ballooning” budget deficit of more than $16 billion. In an interview on CBS News, Brown said, “We’re not some tired country of Europe. We’re a buoyant, dynamic society that will both discipline itself on a daily basis but it will on the long-term plant the seeds of future growth.”

What is inscrutably lost on the governor is that the policies that have brought California to the edge of a fiscal cliff are mostly the same ones of those “tired countries of Europe,” which have manifest the same degree of financial discipline that California has practiced.

Many trends, fads, and even governmental policies have originated in the Golden State that has even given rise to a widely accepted aphorism, “As California goes, so goes the nation.” It’s the verity of that truism that makes the state’s financial problems a portent of things to come for the rest of the nation if we fail to learn from their experience.

Joel Kotkin, one of the nation’s premier demographers, has identified the most significant contributing factors to California’s problems. He points out that four million more people have left California in the last two decades than have moved there from other states. This is in sharp contrast with the 1980s when 100,000 more Americans were settling in California each year than were leaving. Most of those leaving are young families.

They’re leaving because they can’t afford to live there. Everything from food, energy and taxes to real estate and housing, are beyond the financial reach of young families. Kotkin points to restrictions and massive regulations on development and housing that have artificially limited housing supply. As he explains, California’s so-called “smart growth” plans literally force middle-class families into less expensive, high-density housing, or out of state.

From his analysis, housing is merely one front of what he refers to as the “progressive war on the middle class.” The high cost of energy has had a dramatic impact on everyone, but especially on the middle class. Policies restricting traditional sources of energy, and state financed advantages granted to green energy producers have resulted in skyrocketing energy costs. The price per kilowatt hour of electricity is nearly twice what it is in Idaho, and more than 50% above the national average, according to Electricchoice.com.

Yet state policy makers are doubling down on green energy and on the restriction to traditional producers, which are expected to make the rates rise even more. For California has enthusiastically embraced cap-and-trade, with AB32, “…which will raise the cost of energy and drive out manufacturing jobs without making even a dent in global carbon emissions. Then there are the renewable portfolio standards, which mandate that a third of the state’s energy come from renewable sources like wind and the sun by 2020,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

Most of these costs are borne by the middle class since those below the poverty level get state assistance and the wealthy can afford it. But the high energy costs drive manufacturing and other blue-collar energy users either out of business or out of the state.

And not only are energy costs much higher, but with two decades worth of policy and tax-advantaged investment in green energy, the promised windfall of jobs has not occurred. Only 2% of the job force in California is in green energy, roughly the same as Texas, which maintains a vastly different green energy policy. Rather, in part due to the higher operating costs in California created by onerous regulation, companies, and their jobs, have been exiting the state. California currently has the third highest unemployment rate in the nation at 10.9%.

The Golden State has significant gas and oil resources, yet policy and regulation preclude utilizing them. An estimated 25 billion barrels of oil are sitting untapped in the vast Monterey and Bakersfield shale deposits. Over the past decade, Texas has created 200,000 oil and gas jobs, while California has hardly added any. The Wall Street Journal pointed out recently, that, “The state’s remaining energy producers have been slowing down as the regulatory environment becomes ever more hostile even as producers elsewhere, including in rustbelt states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, ramp up. The oil and gas jobs the Golden State political class shuns pay around $100,000 a year on average.”

“You see the great tragedy of California is that we have all this oil and gas, we won’t use it,” Mr. Kotkin says. “We have the richest farm land in the world, and we’re trying to strangle it.” The latter point references how water restrictions aimed at protecting the delta smelt fish are endangering Central Valley farmers. Kotkin asserts that is the kind of “anti-human” public policy that is driving agriculture out and is impacting so many of the state’s economic sectors.

Kotkin explains the demographic changes are occurring because of state policy. “Californians are voting much more based on social issues and less on fiscal ones…” Consequently, it’s a much less favorable climate for employers than ever before. “As progressive policies drive out moderate and conservative members of the middle class, California’s politics become even more left-wing. It’s a classic case of natural selection, and increasingly the only ones fit to survive in California are the very rich and those who rely on government spending. In a nutshell, ‘the state is run for the very rich, the very poor, and the public employees,’” Kotkin explained recently to the Wall Street Journal.

Middle-class families are fleeing California in droves. As a result, California is turning into a two-and-a-half-class society. On top are the “entrenched incumbents” who inherited their wealth or came to California early and made their money, and the self-made technology millionaires. Then there’s a shrunken middle class of public employees and, miles below, a permanent welfare class. As it stands today, about 40% of Californians don’t pay any income tax and a quarter are on Medicaid. It’s “a very scary political dynamic,” Kotkin laments.

Meanwhile, taxes are decimating the private sector economy. According to the Tax Foundation, California has the 48th-worst business tax climate. “The wealthy pay a top rate of 10.3%, the third-highest in the country, while middle-class workers—those who earn more than $48,000—pay a top rate of 9.3%, which is higher than what millionaires pay in 47 states. And state leaders want to raise tax rates even more,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

The reason taxes have been increasing to now unsustainable levels, is that Sacramento has been unable to curtail spending. State spending has more than doubled in the past ten years. Costs for state pensions have increased by over 150% in the same time period, as demands from state employee unions have required a greater percentage of the budget. Unable to muster the discipline to reduce spending to match economic realities, the only tool the state seems to know how to use is tax increases.

The lessons from California are many, and this analysis only scratches the surface. The question is, will we as a nation learn them before or after we’re in the same malaise?


AP award winning columnist Richard Larsen is a regular contributor to the Idaho State Journal. He is also President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, Idaho, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board. He can be reached at rlarsenen@cableone.net.