Prager: Here’s why CA left is indifferent to economic misery

by Chris Reed | July 9, 2014 11:30 am

Fracking-ban1-300x248The news that the U.S. is now the world’s no. 1[1] oil and no. 1 natural gas producer is almost unbelievable, given the decades of America fretting about its energy dependence. And the reason is fracking. Yet here in California, Democrats have convinced themselves fracking is evil — even though there is so much oil in the Monterey Shale that it could create millions of middle-class jobs if North Dakota-style drilling were allowed, and even though the Obama administration says fracking is safe:

Why? I think Dennis Prager is on to something with his theory[2] about what’s driving this thinking:

Yes, of course, as individuals with a heart, most people, right and left, care about people losing their jobs. But in terms of what matters to the left and the policies they pursue, they don’t care. The left and the political party it controls do not care if their policies force to companies to leave the state (or the country). They don’t care about the …  job-depressing effects of high taxes, or energy prices that hurt the middle class, or compelling businesses to leave.

They don’t care because the left is not interested in prosperity; the left is interested in inequality and in the environment. Furthermore, the worse the economic situation, the more voters are likely to vote Democrat. The worse the economic situation, the greater the number of people receiving government assistance; the greater the number of people receiving government assistance, the greater the number of people who will vote Democrat.

Therefore, both philosophically and politically, the left has no reason to be troubled by bad economic news. And it isn’t. It is troubled by inequality and carbon emissions.

I’ve been mulling Prager’s theory for several days now and it beats any other explanation for the indifference to economic misery that is so prevalent in the party that allegedly cares about social justice. As Prager notes, citing stats accumulated by Joel Kotkin, this indifference is taking a terrible toll.

–In the last 20 years, about 4 million more people have left California than came in from other states. Most of those leaving are young families.

–In the last 15 years, one-third of California’s industrial employment base has disappeared. That’s 600,000 jobs that have disappeared.

–California has the 48th-worst business tax climate. (The Tax Foundation)

–California’s electricity prices are 50 percent higher than the national average.

–Middle-class workers, those who earn more than $48,000, pay a top income tax rate of 9.3 percent. That’s higher than what millionaires pay in 47 other states.

–California’s unemployment rate is fourth highest in the nation.

–From 2010-13, California produced fewer than 8,000 jobs, while the country added 510,000.

Fracking could change this picture. But among Cali Dems, fossil fuel phobia trumps the common good.
  1. world’s no. 1:
  2. his theory:

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