Gov. Antoinette-Brown: Let the unemployed eat cake

Gov. Antoinette-Brown: Let the unemployed eat cake

Feb. 19, 2013

By Chris Reed

kish-rajan0Over the weekend, the U-T San Diego had a story about the Texas vs. California business-climate debate. It featured an astounding claim from Gov. Jerry Brown’s top economics adviser:

“California provides a higher level of service than other states, said Kish Rajan, director of California Gov. Jerry Brown’s Office of Business and Economic Development, Go-Biz.

“Rajan defended the state’s tax rates, saying they fund key services and are a known quantity to businesses who can budget for them. But, he said, there is work to be done on overlapping and confusing regulations.

“’I think that a lot of things that these states are selling are lower costs, lower costs, lower costs, and our mantra in California is we’re not in a race to the bottom with any other state,’ he said. ‘We have found a way in our state to have very high quality, very high value. We’ve proven that you can have a successful economy and still preserve the environment and look after workers and protect consumers and look after the public health.’”

No, you aren’t hallucinating. I didn’t make up the part that I boldfaced.  Jerry Brown’s economics guru really did describe California as having a “successful economy.” I laughed up a storm at that. But if I were without a job in our rotten economy, or had a spouse, parent or kid who had been hunting for work without success for years, I would be infuriated.

Brown administration blithely indifferent to economic suffering

Here’s part of my U-T San Diego editorial reacting to this blithe ignorance and indifference from the Brown administration:

“So the Golden State has a ‘successful economy’? Really?

“California is in its longest sustained stretch of high unemployment since the depression. Its jobless rate has been higher than 8 percent since September 2008. For 52 months, there have been at least 1.5 million people in this state actively seeking work who can’t find jobs. And those numbers don’t even reflect the ‘underemployed’ – those with part-time jobs – and the hundreds of thousands of people who have given up looking for work. In January, the state’s unemployment rate was 9.8 percent, among the worst of any state and significantly higher than the national average of 7.9 percent.

“Rajan’s comments make clear the immense disconnect between the powerful wing of California’s Democratic coalition – urban professionals, academics, public employees and those in the entertainment industry – and the coalition’s ignored wing – poor and lower-middle-income residents who struggle to find work and make a living in our expensive state.

“California has a ‘successful economy’ for those who have jobs. Those who can’t find full-time work? Jerry Brown says, ‘Let them eat cake.’”

Joel Kotkin, the brilliant Los Angeles demographer and a Democrat himself, has written about his party’s indifference to the poor and minorities and its hostility to capitalism for years. Here’s how to judge whether California most influential Democrats will like a policy proposal: Does it make a thrill go up the legs of the denizens of the faculty lounge? If not, who cares?

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