Thursday, November 12, 2009

Volokh Conspiracy on TX v. California

More on Texas v. California here. (The comments are especially fun to read.)

Californians used to dismiss Texans as back-water denizens with too much color on their necks. How quickly things change. Here's Bill Watkins echoing Meg Whitman:

Bill Watkins, executive director of the Economic Forecast Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara, has calculated that once you adjust for population growth and inflation, the state government spent 26 percent more in 2007-08 than in 1997–98. Back then, “California had teachers. Prisoners were in jail. Health care was provided for those with the least resources.” Today, Watkins asks, “Are the roads 26 percent better? Are schools 26 percent better? What is 26 percent better?”

I subscribe to the print edition, so here's another interesting tidbit from William Voegeli:

California government workers retiring at age 55 received larger pensions than their counterparts in any other state (leaving aside the many states where retirement as early as 55 isn't even possible)...The latest report shows 5,115 lucky members in this six-figure club [of government retirees receiving at least $100,000 annual pensions]. The state's annual bill for polishing their gold watches is $610 million.

California's public sector unions have obviously done quite well for themselves. As one person commented, "The dues paid to Club California buy benefits that, increasingly, are enjoyed by the staff instead of the members." The worst part? No one seems to care. Even my highly educated friends, who should know better, don't care.

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