To really understand the political situation in California today it helps to think of the "Golden State" as Venezuela-on-the-Pacific. And while you’re at it, you can forget about "Golden," too. Both California and Venezuela are run by a political class obsessed with equality, but only as a means to maintain its power.
In the case of our Southern neighbor, the rulers are outright Socialists propped up by a combination of guns and bribes. In California our rulers endorse "social justice" and compassion, but inside that velvet glove the fist is still iron, if you should disagree.
The hallmark of both systems is centralized control by elites who plan on managing their subjects' lives down to the smallest detail, and doing so very poorly. In California it’s banning smoking in your own home. In Venezuela it’s rationing toilet paper and setting prices in electronics stores.
But the similarity also extends to the big questions of governing and life. In both central planning and misplaced priorities result in shortages of essentials. In response both governments share the misery by imposing rationing.
In Venezuela, which sits on the largest known oil reserves in the world, electricity is being rationed because the power grid can’t respond to demand during the summer. Water is also rationed to keep hydroelectric dams functioning and the limited electricity flowing.
In California, crisscrossed by rivers, water is also rationed because the state government hasn’t approved a dam for over 40 years. Democrats in Sacramento believed keeping rivers wild and the fish "free range" was more important than acting to provide water for a rapidly increasing population.
Capoliticalnews.com reports “most major farms in the Central Valley will not plant this year, [and] tens of thousands will go jobless with many losing their homes.”
Democrats that worship the environment have managed to create their own private California Dust Bowl, along with the human misery and migration that always accompanies disasters like this. It’s no wonder that businesses and workers are leaving the state for locations more conducive to making a living.
And that’s something else the two places have in common. Toyota, which just announced it is moving from California to Texas, has also suspended production in Venezuela, along with Ford and Dutch manufacturer CNH Industrial NV. The reason is also rationing, although in this case it is not water, but money. Government exchange rates are so unrealistic that the companies can’t get enough dollars to import parts for the manufacturing process.
Both governments stand uneasily on an inherently unstable foundation composed of extremes: government workers and government beneficiaries. As long as the money holds out they can keep unrest at bay.
But when the bill finally comes due the lucky people will be those who were smart enough to get while the getting was good.
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan. He is president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation and chairman of the League of American Voters. Mike is an in-demand speaker with Premiere. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.
© Mike Reagan