Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Gavin Newsom: Something Something Crony Capitalism Something Something Central Planning

We'll let you know when we get tired of working Gavin Newsom's lame jobs plans like a punching bag. Yesterday, Newsom continued to earn his $130,000 salary by rehashing his plan for resuscitating California's economy in an op-ed for the Huffington Post. Unfortunately, his ideas aren't getting better with repetition.

For those of you who wiped the mind-numbing tedium of Newsom's plan from your mind as quickly as possible, it basically has three components: lobby for a new federal patent office to be set up in California, try to broker more trade deals between Californian and Chinese firms, and rearrange the deck chairs in Sacramento so that the central planners can develop more central plans. The Lieutenant Governor, you see, is a glass-half-full sort of guy. To hear him tell it, the Golden State is still a great place to live, work, and do business, and the current state of affairs is just a hard bump in the road. There's no mention of the relationship between the state's tax structure and its sluggish economy, and Newsom only mentions regulations in the context of his proposed "working groups," which will reach consensus on recommendations for "regulatory smoothing" at some point in the ill-defined future. Nor is there acknowledgment of the outmigration of businesses from California or the specific complaints about the state's business climate from private industry. Wisely, the former San Francisco Mayor has dropped references to green technologies, as even the true believers in clean-energy socialism have started losing faith.

In other words, there's no recognition from Newsom that Sacramento's insistence on tightly regulating economic activity and heavily taxing private wealth has anything to do with the current recession. Which shouldn't be surprising, considering the man. Much as he likes to reference his days as a "small business owner," most business owners don't have the benefit of millions of dollars in backing from friends in the Getty oil family, or a host of political connections through their own families. And he's yet to be called to account for the unsustainable government spending, increased regulation, and increased crime in San Francisco on his watch. For Newsom, entrepreneurship was easy, and the shortcomings of government are minor inconveniences. So it makes sense that he views the state's problems as simple foibles requiring a few minor adjustments.


  1. RobAug 23, 2011 01:19 PM
    What this picture lacks is an awesome alt text.
  2. GSLAug 23, 2011 01:21 PM
    When I think of one that's funnier than the actual photo, I'll put it in. But the photo sets a high bar.
  3. RobAug 23, 2011 10:43 PM
    Yes. Yes, it does.