AB 32 is high-tech Jim Crow

John Seiler:

AB 32 really is high-tech Jim Crow.

The great libertarian activist Richard Rider of San Diego wrote on open Salon about how, if Prop. 23 is defeated, AB 32 would especially kill black and Latino jobs. But Der Arnold and AB 32’s supporters don’t care. They just want to profit from the government subsidies and coercion for “green” technologies. Read all Rider’s column, but here’s an excerpt:

Recently I did a debate on Prop 23 out at SDSU before a wildly Gaya-worshipping audience.  I was representing the hated “for” position (but was fairly treated with civil discourse).  And a very interesting issue came up.

BACKGROUND:  Remember that Prop 23 is the CA measure that would suspend the Draconian state-killing AB32.  AB32 is a bill about to take effect in 2011 that imposes crushing, taxes, costs and regulatory burdens in the name of global warming.  Or global cooling.  Or climate change.  Or sudden change.  Or whatever.

Even AB32 proponents concede that with just CA adopting the measure, it will have essentially zero effect — their response is that “it sets a good example.”  The fact that the other 49 states wisely decided not to follow suit is blithely ignored. Indeed, Arizona was the last state to rescind its commitment to AB32-type legislation — doubtless seeking to snag refugee businesses fleeing CA….

California is ALREADY an incredibly high tax, anti-business state (using my “Breaking Bad” fact sheet for supporting evidence), and AB32 will crush our already weak economy.

I pounded on the fact that businesses and productive individuals are already leaving WITHOUT AB32 — the latest survey showed that this year CA business departures TRIPLED over last year (and that was with months left to go in 2010).

At first my opponent (an environmental lawyer who presumably makes his living suing to block businesses — or to put them out of business) was in denial, asserting that the green jobs would offset the million plus jobs lost.  But even the CA Air Resources Board states that AB32 should produce only 10,000 jobs.

Finally I got the response I expected (from both the audience and my opponent) — “good riddance” to the “dirty industries” of California.  We don’t want ’em, or need ’em.  (Their definition of a dirty industry is any business that gives off any pollution, however tiny.)

That’s the response I was waiting for.  My response:

“Look around this room.   What do you see?  Whites and Asians.  Not a black or Hispanic in sight.

“The industries you plan to run out of California offer the best jobs for working class people — especially for these two minorities.  You see yourselves working in upscale office park/campuses researching green technology — somehow immune from (and profiting from) AB32’s mandates.

“Consider the irony.   I’m perceived here as the knuckle dragging right winger, and I’m greatly concerned about the loss of good paying working class jobs.  But you (the audience and my opponent) who consider yourselves liberal progressives, don’t give a hoot about minorities or blue collar workers.  Isn’t that an embarrassingly elitist position for you to take?”

My audience found that an unsettling thought.  They had no real rejoinder.

Afterwards several students came over to thank me and to say that they appreciated my viewpoint, as such thoughts are unavailable in their classrooms, or elsewhere on the SDSU reeducation camp(us).  And two more decided to vote for Prop 23 (two more than I expected).

He predicted that Prop. 23 would fail. I have, too. So, he said, the next governor and the Legislature will have to change AB 32.

A better idea: Another initiative to suspend — or outright repeal — AB 32.

But let me put it in plain English: AB 32 is anti-black and anti-Latino. It’s racist. It’s high-tech Jim Crow.

Oct. 18, 2010

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