Boycott, schmoycott (why there isn't going to be any boycott of Arizona)

When L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa and California Senate President Steinberg call for boycotts of Arizona, they don’t tell you one thing: California and L.A. are broke. A boycott raises costs, because lower-cost Arizona producers would be shunned in favor of higher-cost producers elsewhere. Which would make L.A. and California even more broke.

So, you can bet that right now the New York Banks are telling these boycotters: “Blab all you want to. Make some small boycott gesture. But do anything serious against Arizona and your credit rating drops even further.”

And you can bet Arizona’s politicians are on the horn to the New York Bankers, saying, “By the way, you know we’ve had some credit rating problems ourselves. We don’t want things to get worse. Could you please call California and tell them to cool it with that boycott talk?”

That’s how these things work. For reference, see Bob Woodward’s “Agenda,” about Bill Clinton’s first two years in office. Bill wanted to start some expensive new social programs, but America’s credit rating was crashing. So the New York banks told him, “Sorry, you can’t afford it.” Then Bill cursed a lot.

— John Seiler

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