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A tad late, but as certain as always, the correct Voting guide for these 2018 Midterm Election in the state of California. Correct for any patriotic American who values liberty, honor, their fellows, the rule of law and not of men, and the security and prosperity of their sovereign state and their country, the USA.

We lead busy lives, and a good citizen does not want fall for the shenanigans of politicians in their endless attempt to lead and in turn be led by the masses. The tricky wording of propositions and the lack of exposure to the pertinent circumstances of local elections require the responsible citizen to do many hours of research in order to vote correctly, and according to his beliefs and ideology.

To such wonderful folks, this might come in handy.

 

California 2019 Nov 6

 

Senate

Dianne Feinstein

Kevin de Leron

Hardly matters, pick your Trotskyist or Bolshevik at your leisure.

As a Jew, I can say it would be nice to see a non Jew attempt to be as anti-Israel as Feinstein manages to be, rather than seeing a fellow Jew do it so why not? let’s go for “Change!” Democrats like that don’t they?

 

Governor

Left: John Cox is seen in an image posted to his Facebook page on Jan. 12, 2018. Right: California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 27, 2016. (Credit: Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty Images)

Gavin Newsom

 

Jon Cox

 

Again, hardly matters. Gavin Newsom is the worse. John Cox seems to be confused between his leftism and his Catholicism. He also is conflicted between his real views and the fact that he wants to be governor of a state that will not accept them.  He has a slight libertarian bend to is views which alone, probably warrant voting for him over Newsom, but this comes with a lot of flip-flop baggage and liberal baggage. He has opportunistically distanced himself from Trump and several conservative positions only to reverse himself, and quite recently.

While a libertarian perspective would be great for easing the choke-hold of Democratic policy on the state’s economy, it is very dangerous to the state’s existential and long term security vis-a-vis any international security and demographic threats. His only “conservative” values seem to be those that align with Catholic values. He has secured Newt Gingrich’s endorsement and that should be enough for any self-respecting GOPer or conservative to back him over the Democrat… but I tend to think that it’s better to have a commi in red (red as in commi, not as in GOP), than camouflaged in white. If the people want leftism, let them have it. Likewise if they want the opposite. But the fake conservative is the worse, since he spoils our few chances at the helm and let the people know that not much changes with either right or the left, “they’re all the same”… and the pendulum tends to swing back even harder.

 

Lt. Governor

Oh man…

 

Attorney General

Xavier Becerra

Steven Bailey

Steven Bailey

 

Judge Steven Bailey is a no-brainer here. While he may not have a pristine appropriate ideology, comparing him to his opponent, it would be laughable if not so sad, that his opponent most likely will win.

Judge Bailey was a Superior Court Judge in El Dorado Country for more than 8 years. He gained invaluable experience there in all aspects of the law, both criminal and civil, and in the kind of issues facing California from a legal perspective.  He also witnessed firsthand, the shortcomings of previous and current attorney generals’ administration. Before that he was an expert criminal attorney for 19 years.  This is a man with a balanced and full view of the law from all sides. He is committed first and foremost to public safety, the aggressive prosecution of violent crime. He believes in private property rights (fast disappearing in California), and in restoring the AG to its constitutional role. He believes correctly the current AG has politicized the office, and has used it to pick and chose both laws to enforce and not to enforce, and citizen sectors on whom to enforce or not enforce them on. Likewise, the AG has used the office to “create law” rather then enforce it, and play political “rebellion” against the federal government in defiance of the Supremacy clause and tradition.

On all of these issues Mr. Bailey is correct, while his opponent is a political hack appointed by the extreme socialist Governor Brown. Becerra had to reactivate his dormant law licence after decades without use (he has been a politician his whole career, since being a young staffer to a state Senator until today). Not only is his ideology dangerous to California, the Constitution, and the rule of law, but his practical legal experience is laughable. Since taking office, he has ignored the issues facing California that his office is meant to address, while merely politicizing the office and grandstanding on a national stage. Meanwhile crime, which had after so much effort finally been curtailed, is fast on the rise under his watch.

 

Secretary of State

Alex Padilla

Mark Meuser

Image result for mark meuser

Easy choice. Mark Meuser is a nice decent guy who has displayed a great work ethic his entire life, and perhaps not surprisingly, he has been successful in a great many things. A hard worker and an entrepreneur from a young age, he has done everything from picking cherries to owning his own restaurants to studying law while working and then running a successful law firm (he successfully defended a Berkeley College Republican President from antifa psychos) He is an avid outdoors-man and after almost losing his life in a cycling accident near Lake Tahoe, he finished an Ironman with a very respectable time.  One of Mark’s emphasis as Secretary of State would be to cleanup the voter corruption that plagues the state. Illegals, cat ballots, dead people cast ballots, people vote several times… all things that Democrats love (all things being equal you would think both parties would be equally helped/hurt by such practices, but they aren’t, which says something about someone) and would make no effort to stop.

Of course the one type of ballots the Democrats always love to under-count, are military ballots and California leads the pack in doing so of course. Open, efficient, transparent government is what Mark P Meuser wants to bring to the SOS office. Bringing an end to voter fraud is a good place to start.

His opponent on the other hand, is a typical Democratic party machine lifelong appointee. Always joining Democratic, Latino, and Youngest groups of various combinations, he gets shuffled around state posts as the Democratic machine dictates, does as he is told, as he climbs its ladders (to one day do the dictating). At best, he is an avid socialist bent on the demographic and economic destruction of California, and at worse, he is just a corrupt guy who says what he has to say to win the next appointment.

Of course, he will beat Mark in the election, since the winner is decided by… Californians apparently.

 

Treasurer

Fiona Ma

Greg Conlon

Image result for fiona ma vs greg conlon

 

Controller

Betty Yee

Konstantinos Roditis

 

Image result for konstantinos roditis

 

Konstantinos not only has a cool name, and is Greek like Zorba, but is a man who apparently is not afraid to be passionate about his ideology and principles. And they are right on.

He is noteworthy by taking no money at all from super PACs, lobbyists special interest, and the like. He intends to enforce the law, and stop all unlawful wasteful projects, regardless of which party is backing them. He is an immigrant who understands what makes America special and that it’s losing it, he values the liberty it protects and the rule of law which is supposed to govern. Has a nice mix of private and public sector experience and as a businessman, has witnessed firsthand the cost of corruption and an oppressive bureaucratic government. He forcefully wants to stop the current controller’s attempt to apply sales tax to services. Seems like a good guy, unafraid to state his opinions, and hopefully has the strength of his convictions.

Betty Yee is a nice lady who, after finishing her master’s degree in PA (communist administration) found herself working for working for the Legislature as a staffer (entering the machine). From there she was appointed by Governor Davis as Chief Deputy Director for Budget. From there she was shuffled to Deputy to Board Equalization member Carole Midgen, and filled her seat when the latter was was elected to the state senate and left a vacancy. And thus, the staffer was nor running the Board of Equalization, and from there of course, she needed to jump to the State Controller’s office, which she did in 2015, and now seeks her re-election.

Of course, as any good Democrat she holds positions in organizations with names such as Vice President of California Women Lead.

And so those who have done little in the real world continue to reign and rule, and dictate to those who either have done much or wish to do much, what, when and how they may or may not do. Those who least have lived, tell the rest of us how to live.

 

Commissioner of Insurance

Steve Poizner

Ricardo Lara

Image result for ricardo lara

The “intrepid” Ricardo Lara

 

All I should really write is “Read Above” as in any of the previous State officer faceoffs. Steve Poizner is an extremely successful Silicon Valley Entrepreneur (has sold not one but two large startups to Qualcom), a gifted electrical  Engineer (studied in his native Texas) with a Masters degree from Stanford in Business Administration (earned with Honors) and a black-belt in Shotokan karate.

His opponent is another career political hack of the state Democratic party whose claim to fame is being the son of an illegal alien, openly gay of course, and member of such prestigious brotherhoods of honor such as the Knights Templar and the California Latino Legislative Caucus…. oh no, typo, just the California Latino Legislative Caucus.

This one is so absurd that Steve (who by no means is an ideological brother of mine, but gee he is someone you can imagine in charge of something), might just win. Even in California.

 

Related image

Steve Poizner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supreme Court

 

 

State Ballot Measures

California Proposition 1, the Housing Programs and Veterans’ Loans Bond

No

This is just another massive government spending program. Calls for selling $4 billion in bonds (further deteriorating California’s already weak credit status) to be repaid back with interest. California is in massive debt, with a massive state bureaucracy choking it’s economy, the last thing it needs is more debt, and more government spending, with its correlated corruption and misuse of funds. The ballot claims $1 billion for Veteran Housing in order to fool the electorate into approving this proposition and then adds $3 billion in housing for other sectors more palatable to the left (from Indian reservations to developers building projects near transit stations (commis do love their public transit)).  The law, as usual is filled with pork and cheap tricks, not worth even mentioning.

For example, the $1 billion for veteran housing are only in loans… Veterans can already get loans to purchase homes, just like everyone else, if they can afford the monthly payments; they are called mortgages and offered by many private institutions such as some called “banks”. Taxpayer’s don’t have to go into debt  in order to inefficiently have the state workers get into the mortgage business. This is without mentioning the many other Federal, state and Private benefits that are available to Vets of course. They hardly need California to offer them a mortgage. If you cannot afford the monthly payments of these loans, based on your current salary and other factors, then you won’t get them. There is nothing charitable about this program when it concerns the Vets.

Of course when it comes to the myriad other programs on the proposition that make up the other $3 billion, then you stop seeing the word “loan” and start seeing the word “grants” and “forgivable loans”. Vets will have to pay back with interest (in which case, a bank will do just fine, no need for the state to go into further debt) but the other more preferred sectors and preferred developers who are friends with state assemblymen will all get their greasy hands on all sorts of grants and forgivable loans at taxpayer expense.

 

California Proposition 2, the Use Millionaire’s Tax Revenue for Homelessness Prevention Housing Bonds Measure

No

Another typical government trick. Voters passed proposition 63 in 2014 for Mental Health programs to reduce Homelessness. It was paid by adding an additional 1% sales tax on  home worth over $1 million. Specifically voters were told that this money would treat the symptoms for serially ill homeless and not to give out free housing to anyone who wants it at taxpayer expense. Rather than those funds going to their intended use, since 2016 the legislator has tried to spend the money for other purposes including free housing rather then treatment. This has rightly stopped by legal proceedings and so now the legislature is trying to get its way by passing this proposition (whose proceeds they can again misuse in the future).

Not only does the proposition allow for the typical massive funds to go to “administrative costs” interest and other such waste. This includes 5% of the up front $2 billion dollar cost (100 million) and $140 million a year. There is additional costs of developer subsidies (competing for the valuable California housing and raising housing prices even further) and up to 50% operating costs for those developers. This would surely be a fortune.

Counties are already authorized to use Prop 63 funds and “pay as you go” to generate the housing they require for their mentally ill residents, without bonds and without interest. Local counties know their residents’ needs better than large state bureaucracies and can chose between treatment and housing. There can also be competition between counties on better use of these resources with innovation and trial and error, all wiped out by a monolithic massive Sacramento run program. So this proposition is as much improper as it is unnecessary given the current state of the legislation and Prop 63, even for those who want the same goals achieved (unless its a goal of enriching the bureaucracy further).

As usual, sounds nice, fools the electorate, and is unwise policy.

Voters, wisely or not, directed how prop 63 funds should be spent and what those bonds were for; and that’s how it should stay.

Of course, this measure is quite likely to pass, and most voters will not have known that they were overriding their previous vote. It’s just more of save the whales, save the snails, and save the flowers.

 

California Proposition 3, the California Water Infrastructure and Watershed Conservation Bond Initiative

No

Yes I am afraid this one is another “No”. Sounds nice doesn’t it? Clean water, watersheds, agriculture, canals, parks, etc.  Yea water projects always sound nice and so the politicians love using them to get more money from you.

It should sound familiar. Californians passed a very similar sounding measure (which was not nearly as bad as this one) in June. Californians have passed 3 water bills (all expensive bond measures) in just 4 years! And from a slightly higher perspective, Californians, since 1996, have been asked to pass and passed eight statewide bond measures to address water issues. The total is 29 billion dollars and counting!

This latest measure asks for another 8.9 billion, which with interest the state calculates will be 17.3 billion dollars! About 433 million a year for 40 years. Want more taxes anyone? So for this massive cost what is it Californians are buying? And what have they bought with the previous 29 billion dollars?

Well not much is the answer to both questions of course. If you want to buy stuff, don’t give money to politicians.

The truth is that only new projects such as new dams or desalination plants can get California more water (of course, allowing the market to innovate and sell water, charging what it really ought to cost would be the real solution, but that would never cross anyone’s mind in the people’s republic).  Not a single new dam has been built with the 29 billion and in fact the state can’t even maintain the ones already in existence (one of the excuses cited by the politicians to pass this new measure, unashamedly).

On the other hand, I find myself, perhaps shockingly to some you, agreeing with environmentalist opponents to the measure such as the Sierra Club in not wanting the state to build more dams and mess with what little is left of the pristine freshwater river systems of the state. So basically, if you want dams to get more water, the state will almost certainly not build anymore with this measure but just squander the money in special interest projects, administrative costs, and welfare spending.  However, it still could potentially use it to build such projects which would also be bad.

The answer as I have discussed elsewhere of course, is that the earth’s surface is 75% ocean, and we try to live fighting for the 2% of water that is freshwater. The world is full of water. More than we know what to do with. It’s just not free. It requires energy to desalinate, and it should be available for those who want to pay for it. The state should not subsidize unprofitable agriculture by not charging the true cost of water, nor encourage millions of citizens to live in a desert who are not willing or able to pay for what water costs. There is plenty of water to desalinate, by the free market of course, and the precious freshwater should be left alone, if we want to preserve the little that is left of our wild rivers.

And as a side point, ocean flora and fauna are far more hurt by the elimination of the brackish environments of rivers emptying into the ocean as they have for millennia (providing everything from minerals for plankton blooms to feed complex food chains and nursing habitat for fish to unique brackish ecosystems for endemic species and critical migration stops for birds), than by the minimal effects taking water for desalination from the open ocean would have.

But all that aside, if we refuse to believe in the free market (as we do) and want the state to provide water and water infrastructure, certainly at the very least the way to go is pay to play. Or pay for use. The agricultural interests who are backing this bill are supposed to pay for the maintenance and upkeep of the canals, dams and infrastructure. Use water, pay for water. Now I understand their dilemma… they DO pay for water at the rates the state requires, but the state is incapable of doing its job and so the infrastructure decays. The only way to get their infrastructure repaired is by fooling the electorate to pay for it with measures such as these.

But this is nothing but throwing money at the problem if there ever was such a clear case.

So the cost is tremendous, similar measures keep being passed for no gain whatsoever as the state’s water problems only worsen.

The politicians actually deal with it by rationing and restricting the use of water… and so gardens and farmland alike wither across the state, sometimes in the name of a tiny smelt fish (who is then absurdly slaughtered in drying canals), instead of just letting water be what it is… expensive, not illegal. But what of this measures’ particulars?

They are way worse than previous such measures. Right off the bat, nearly half the measure, $4 billion goes to “disadvantaged communities”. What that has to do with water, where they are and who they are the special interest lawyers only know. What they will actually get no one knows.  $750 million goes to one entity (Friant Water Authority) to support projects that benefit a few large agricultural companies with new canals. Again, canals which should be paid for, one way or another, by the beneficiaries of their use. The money going to repair the Oroville Dam falls under the same category. The dam benefits contractors such as the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California who has benefited and sold its water and should pay for its maintenance, but instead, being another government wasteful entity that would need to pay yet another bigger wasteful entity to manage or repair the dam appropriately, this is impossible.

And it would remain just as impossible, even if the measure passes.  Notice what the bond measure, Proposition 68, passed in June called for:

● $162 million for urban streams

● $30 million for Salton Sea and New River restoration

● $175 million for coastal and ocean resources

● $250 million for clean drinking water and drought preparation

● $80 million for groundwater sustainability

● $550 million for flood protection

● $290 million for other drought measures, including water recycling

$4.1 billion in total.

Sounds just as nice doesn’t it? And it was smaller, and more targeted. Where are the results? This measure is not only more than double in size, but reeking of corruption, initiated and pushed through by special interests. Incredibly it was so bad that a great many organizations, albeit very leftist, opposed the measure. This includes the LA times and the Sierra Club. The LA times and other papers saw the clear benefit to a few large private businesses which they didn’t like, and the Sierra Club doesn’t like damming rivers (as I don’t frankly).

I understand that the California Salinas and San Joaquin valleys (and other areas) have a massive potential agricultural productivity (and in fact realized this potential in years passed) for the rightful owners of those farmlands and the state as a whole. It is in fact imperative that these areas bloom again, but not through these duplicitous half measures. The problem is the state and more state is not the answer. Let a real market price be set for the water those producers need, and let them pay it… I know they’d be glad to, they don’t want favors, they want to work; they just don’t want the water they need to be illegal. And agriculture which cannot pay the true cost of water, will not exist, since it’s “profitability” was always an illusion, enjoyed by the individual producer but paid for by the rest of us.

All taxpayers in search of a solution need to do is get the government out of the way, and not go deeper into debt funding it.

 

California Proposition 4, the Children’s Hospital Bonds Initiative

No

Another bond. Another 1.5 billion dollars and about the same amount in further interest. The measure is sponsored by the very same people that get the money. Eight private hospitals that make up the California Children’s Hospital Association, has sponsored two previous measures and received he money. While the purpose of this measure is for a much nobler cause than most measures, there are two simple issues at stake. Firstly, these are private hospitals and should not be funded by taxpayers, although it’s great for people to donate to such children’s hospitals and children’s organizations.

Secondly, even if you believe they in fact should be funded by the state, then… by all means, there is the state as well as its massive ever expansive budget. That’s what taxes are fore, which California does not lack to put it nicely, and if all agree this $1.5 billion is for such a noble purpose that should be taxpayer funded, then by all means…. There is no need to pay $3 billion dollars for $1.5 billion in funding (due to the bond interest) on top of the massive state budget to fund these eight private hospitals. The fact is that the Association was not able to convince the legislature to do this, and so it’s relying on the willingness of the voters to approve everything that sounds nice.

If you believe your legislator should have funded this from the state budget, let them know that, better yet, replace the load of Democrats in Sacramento. And if you don’t believe they should have, donate to the children’s hospitals, but either way No on Prop 4 and more debt.

 

California Proposition 5, the Property Tax Transfer Initiative

 

Yes

That’s right, our first “Yes”! Exciting.

Proposition 5 has a long history. The famous Proposition 13 in 1978 allowed residents to keep their property taxes low in homes they own as long as they do not sell. This is well known in California, and as prices have skyrocketed, it keeps many people from moving. If you sell your home, and purchase another one, even of a similar price, your property tax may now be 10 or 20 times greater than what you were paying on your home purchased in the 80’s for example. Specifically this keeps many senior citizens in California trapped in their currently owned home that they may heave owned for quite a long time. Living on fixed income and retired, they cannot afford newly assessed property taxes at current prices.

As a consequence, there is a great inefficiency in the real estate business. Seniors and others do not sell their homes even when they wish to move away, for example closer to their children or to a retirement community, and do not free up those same homes for others to buy and rent. Voters tried to correct this situation already in 1986 and in 1988 with Propositions 60 and 90 respectively.

These allowed residents over the age of 55, to transfer their low property tax assessment to a new home. However, both had too many limitations that hampers the use of this benefit. For example, to qualify the home had to be of a similar value and in the same county. Proposition 5 on the 2018 ballot finally removes these cumbersome restrictions and allows senior citizens (as well as the severely disabled) to transfer their tax-assessed home value from their current homes to their new homes regardless of the homes’ market value or location in the state.

The left loves all sorts of programs to aid all sorts of “disadvantaged” sectors as long as it entails first stealing the money from hard-working people and then dolling it out as handouts. They do not like this type of program where less funds are stolen to begin with. Proposition 5 is no handout… senior citizens are being helped only by allowing them to keep more of their own money. These people built up the state and the nation, while raising the next generation; the last thing they need is to be taxed at massive rates disproportional to their current and perhaps former income levels just because the government continues policies of massive inflation and increasing housing costs.

All Californians should be taxed less but this proposition at least benefits the state’s elders.  One can see clearly how this proposition should be supported by noticing it’s main opponent, California Teachers Association. Where there is evil, you will find Soros money and Teachers Association parasites.

They of course could care as little for the elderly as they do for the students their members are supposed to teach; their goal as always is to keep the state budget as massive as possible to fund their state benefits, pensions and salaries. They worry this proposition might reduce the amount of taxes they can get the greasy palms on. Of course, the left has little use for the elderly in general, preferring to always focus on groups that have no reason to not be working instead. And the opposition fuels attempts at class warfare, painting a picture where richer and older Californians get tax breaks while younger millennial snowflakes who want to buy homes do not.

Taxes are high in California because the same leftist residents keep voting for them (this ballot being no exception, Californians will likely vote nearly 100% opposite to this voter guide). I am happy to support any measure that lowers taxes for everyone. But certainly would not oppose lowering it for seniors just because leftist young people are both socialists and the jealous kind (they do tend to go together).

Young people have not seen lower property taxes. If they buy a home now, with or without this proposition, they will face property taxes based on current values of their homes. And these values are correlated to their current income levels and salaries. Punishing the elderly seller to pay a high rate somewhere else does not help the young buyer. On the contrary, this policy which keeps older sellers from selling their homes keeps hundreds of thousand of homes out of the market, which in fact DOES hurt young families and young buyers.

And finally, younger (or youngish) buyers who currently feel comfortable with the current tax assessment level in their new homes, will potentially also benefit from this proposition as they get older and retire as home values may continue to skyrocket and likewise lock THEM into not being able to sell those homes for fear of the property taxes on their new property, where they may wish to otherwise move to. The original proposition with this benefit for the elderly in mind was passed in in 1986, and certainly is old enough to have already helped younger voters who helped pass it then.

This is an easy yes. Help out some older folks keep more of their own money, free up the real estate market for everyone, and take away just a little from the voracious bureaucracy in Sacramento.

 

California Proposition 6, the Voter Approval for Future Gas and Vehicle Taxes and 2017 Tax Repeal Initiative

Yes

Proposition 6 stops another massive tax hike for the government. It will easily be defeated because the oppositions uses another great trick, like many of these propositions do (and that is why as fun as they, they are a terrible idea, and the reason why the founders chose representative government). This is an irresistible trick for Californians.

Traffic.

Californians live in an intolerable state of vehicular congestion. The reason is simple, though rarely heard. The state runs the road and transportation system. Just like you wouldn’t wait 3 hours for a meal in a restaurant  you also wouldn’t be stuck in traffic for hours to get to your work if the service was provided by a private company with competitors. This kind of garbage exists only when there is no competition, government run, or private monopoly authorized by the government (like the old telephone company).

That being said, since in a socialist state, the government runs transportation, then let them run it! That is what they are there for and what the massive taxes are already for. It it is utterly shameless for them to say (as they are saying) that it’s crazy not to support improving our roads. It’s not about improving our roads, the state will never do that well, with or without this proposition, it’s about opposing new taxes.

This proposition would stop the massive fuel tax increase, which is a regressive tax which hits the poor much harder than the rich.  Californians already pay about a dollar a gallon in fuel taxes, much more than in most other states. Even when the budget has a surplus (as it this this year) in the budget, funds are not used for projects the politicians claim are critical, but for their own pet pork barrel initiatives and bureaucratic waste.

Seventy two percent of the motor vehicle related taxes collected by the state are used for purposes other than streets, roads and the transportation system they are earmarked for. This is just another game for more taxes. That is $5.6 billion annually (much more than this tax hike provides) the state already has for roads which it uses elsewhere.

The proposition also does something else, it stops the state bureaucracy from passing further fuel tax increases without voter, legislative  and Governor approval. And this is why the left is fighting so hard to defeat this bill. Taxes such as the fuel tax are a favorite way for the politicians to take ever more money and this proposition (which will be easily defeated), would help stop their shell game.

California Proposition 7, the Permanent Daylight Saving Time Measure

No

This one is kind of funny.

Firstly, not a very big issue either way. Secondly, I’m all for getting rid of the clock-changing, mandated by law. It is silly, and diminishes the official value of the true “Time”. How true can it be if you can just change it on a whim. Furthermore, there is value in consistency across time zones, different states and countries. The standard helps transportation and logistics be simpler as well as communication, legal issues and business in general.

However, this proposition does not stop the clock changing. It puts that power into the hands of the legislature and allows them to make a permanent Daylight Savings time (if the Federal government would allow it). Rather than the normal solution of leaving the natural time as it is (or as best that we can approximate it), the goal here is to make permanent the clock change instead of undoing it.

Daylight savings time has always been a silly hoax, and this proposition means to enshrine it, or at least to give the legislature the power to do so.  The legislature has much more important things to do, like cancelling most of the laws and taxes it has passed, rather than ponder the philosophical pros and cons of a darker morning or brighter evening. Neither time nor the length of daylight is in the hands of the government, and as much as they wished they could legislate it, they cannot. Let the people worry about when they wake up and go to sleep. Cut some taxes and spending instead.

By allowing the state legislature this power, we can just expect further inefficiencies such as not being in the same time-zone as our neighbors, and often being on a 4 hour difference (rather than 3 hour) to the east coast, hurting business that deal with parties on the east coast. The government has little role here, and to the extent it does, uniformity, simplicity and “natural” should be the name of game. Leave the time alone.

(Isn’t clock changing not leaving the time alone? Sure, so I’d support a measure that gets rid of Daylight savings altogether, preferably along with all states, rather than gives the power to the legislature to make it permanent at their whim).

But on this one, I’ll admit reasonable people can differ here, vote your heart’s desire.

 

California Proposition 8, the Limits on Dialysis Clinics’ Revenue and Required Refunds Initiative

No

Easy no! This is just a union initiative for government price controls of a specific industry, dialysis clinics. Price controls are for the USSR, not the USA. How is this even on the ballot?!

Dialysis is a very serious business, and it is life and death situation. What worse place could there be for the government to not only meddle in, but put in price controls (in the name of making the service more affordable), and therefore driving that same healthcare service to lower quality, and less available in the state (if available at all).

The way to make dialysis more affordable is the same as that of any other service, open competition and the free market (which we don’t have). Arbitrary price caps, simply ration the healthcare. If you set prices below what the service costs, you either drive the industry out of business or force them to cut quality and availability to the point it can barely survive.

Of course, the proposition was published and sponsored by the United Healthcare Workers West (UHW) union, a group that attempts to rivals teachers unions at how bad it is. They are trying to do by law what they could not achieve by negotiation, for their benefit.

Dialysis patients already are finding it difficult to get as many appointments as they need to survive (usually three times a week for several hours each session). If it was such a profitable business as the proponents claim under current regulations, these clinics could be booming, and popping up everywhere. The reality is different and further cutting down their costs by law, will make less clinics available, not more. Those patients will then either die or be driven out of the state, perhaps that is the left’s goal here.

Our healthcare system needs more freedom, more competition and more free market in general, not additional government price controls, dictated by unions.

 

California Proposition 10, the Local Rent Control Initiative

No

Another price control, this time on housing instead of dialysis (read above). Specifically, this initiative removes restrictions on local governments to impose whatever housing price controls that they want. Take a look at how most states forbid this practice completely, while those with the worse housing problems allow it (with some restrictions).

States Prohibiting Rent Control

This initiative would remove those restrictions and things would only get worse. If you want more affordable housing you need more housing, which the market is happy to provide if it is allowed to. If you believe on the other hand, that no more state land should be used for more housing (and also no building permits issued to likewise build skywards, nor underground, nor in the ocean etc), then there will be no more housing and the prices will continue to increase (as they should, as something is more rare it goes up in price). And therefore there will be an economic check on the population of the state. A state cannot necessarily house as many people as wish to live in it without limit and with the “right” of cheap housing.

Either way, the answer is not communist rent controls that at the whim of local governments and their kabals. This is theft of private property. If we believe as a state that certain people should be housed for free, or very cheaply, then the taxpayers in general can pay for their rent. It is abhorrent to simply demand arbitrarily that one citizen, who happens to own a certain piece of private property (which could represent his dream investment for a better future, or his life savings, etc) , give it away for free or little to appease our “good nature” to help the poor. Price controls do not work, and are alien to the values of the United States of America, but still… the electorate loves voting for them.

 

California Proposition 11, the Ambulance Employees Paid On-Call Breaks, Training, and Mental Health Services Initiative

Yes

The California Teachers Association is opposed; need I say more.

This measure should not be needed, and it highlights  a much bigger problem, how much of our economy is regulated. But since it is regulated unfortunately, this measure is just a common sense initiative to stop frivolous lawsuits against the private ambulance industry.

In short, labor laws in California require workday breaks of employees to be completely undisturbed. This means that if applied to the case of EMTs, paramedics and ambulances, 911 operators could not reach them, regardless of how close they may be to the location that they are needed, during these breaks. Since it is a current and longstanding practice in the emergency industry to operate on the contrary (crews CAN be reached during breaks, since these are life and death situations), the industry is open to all sorts of crazy lawsuits.

This measure would allow operators to keep their crews “on call” during breaks (as they do today), and it also legislates that they must be paid for it. So basically all breaks will be paid hours. The crews themselves in large part support this measure (they already have “on call” paid breaks, and not only understand their necessity but also enjoy getting paid for them), as do most relevant organizations.

The opposition of course simply wants to require this private industry to hire more workers (estimates about 25% more) to cover these off duty breaks, therefore raising the already astronomical costs of healthcare and emergency response. As far as the teachers unions are concerned, no one can ever pay enough…”let them pay! they say, and “let us collect!”.

They also don’t like to see examples where people are required to work, it scares that someone might one day require it of them as well.

 

California Proposition 12, the Farm Animal Confinement Initiative

No

This one has an interesting and complex history. In 2008, voters misguidedly passed Proposition 2 which proponents claimed banned egg production from caged chickens (and that California would be completely “cage free” by 2015 which did not happen). In reality, the language was very vague, and led to all sorts of problems.  Initially, of course what happened is the usual… voters happily checked “Yes be nice to the chickens” but were not willing to pay double for their eggs, and so the large and healthy California egg industry suffered greatly. Many producers left the state or went out business. Eggs then simply started being imported from Nevada and Mexico, where chickens could be caged as usual, and egg prices only rose slightly (the added transportation). So while some producers were devastated, and chickens remained in the same cages in Nevada, Mexico and elsewhere, the consumers went about buying the same caged produced eggs as if nothing had happened.

This is a typical example of the dangers of coercion by law rather than consumer choice. If people want cage-free produced eggs, and are willing to pay for them, the market will provide them. You don’t ban food that is not organic, or not kosher, or not vegan, you let the people demand them as consumers. There is still a lot of hunger int the world (ironically the same pro cage free legislation leftist love to remind us of that) and financial hardship and if we can produce food more efficiently and cheaper, that is great for a lot of folks. Not everyone can afford to buy eggs from chickens that had 3 acres of pasture for themselves, daily massages and a jacuzzi at their disposal, though some people might want to, and should be free to do so.

Over time, as the vague language of the proposition was challenged, and the proposition turned out to have no real enforcement power, caged hen egg production continued in California (albeit with more space and cost per chicken than previously). Egg prices are estimated to have risen by 33%, and egg production dropped significantly in the sate (according to the California Farm Bureau).

Meanwhile, the a true massive change in egg production did happen in the state and across all the states, regardless of these type of laws. Consumers were not willing to buy cage free eggs for more money in 2008, but many are now. At the same time, like all new industries and technologies, their cost has dropped with increased experience, innovation and competition. Two hundred  major food companies like Walmart, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Burger King, Safeway, and Dollar Tree have committed to using cage-free products, because their clients, consumers, demand it.

This whole area is a wonderful example of freedom vs democracy, which is at best case (and most often far worse), the dictatorship of the 51% over the 49%. Our preferences need not be enshrined into law, we should simply have the freedom to pursue them.

This proposition tries to correct some of the errors of Prop 2, while making a whole new set of ones. For example, it tries to control production in other states (due to the previous experience… you can ban any production practice you want in California, but the same products can be produced by those same practices in other states), which is Constitutionally problematic at best and will be endlessly challenged in court. It also tries to compromise with the industry and so takes certain steps “backwards” from the perspective of animal rights activists.

While Prop 2 required chickens to simply have space to stretch their wings without knocking into another chicken or the enclosure wall, Proposition 12 defines the required space as 1 square foot (many activists want at least 2 square feet). Therefore it doesn’t really spell the end of cages, but in many cases will actually shrink their size. The proposition also reneges on timelines and requirements that were agreed upon with the industry. Every time the voters’ whim changes (or they are tricked), these measures require an entire industry to re-invest millions in new installations, wreaking havoc on costs, consumer prices, and production.

In short, this proposition is a mess, and we only covered chickens, the problems multiply when talking about the other animals it covers. This is why both producers, proponents of freedom, and even animal rights groups all oppose it (PETA opposes this measure for example!).  There are many more legislation that need to be removed, and the production of food should be left to those who know the most about it, not animal rights activists and not voters either, and the demand of consumers. You want cage free eggs, just buy them by all means! But as a leftist would love those say, don’t legislate that the starving children of Africa need to pay 5 dollars an egg so that you can feel all warm and fuzzy at night knowing you banned cages for chickens.

And even in the case that you do believe some minimum standards in the treatment of animals are required by law in the state, and you don’t care what that does to producers and their families, to food production or prices and the ability for the state to export these foods to the rest of the world, and regardless of what consumers in the state demand with their wallets rather than their ballots, then still in that case Proposition 12 is not for you.

It’s a big, misleading mess, a compromise of some animal rights groups with some producers, opposed by most on both sides, filled with special interest intrigues and legal and constitutional problems. A boon for trial lawyers and lawsuits for years to come, while chickens remain in one square foot cages in the state, (in any sized cages outside the state), and the only real effective control of how the chickens that produce the eggs consumed in California are raised, will remain what consumers demand and are willing to pay for. Just as is the case now.

 

 

 

 

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