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Sunday, April 29, 2012


Donald Pay

Why not deal with South Dakota issues to make your point?

After all California citizens pays in more to the federal government than it gets back in order to subsidize you welfare queens in South Dakota. By welfare queens, of course, I'm talking about the ag industry, road builders, timber industry, and, let's just say it, college professors. If Californians could get South Dakota to deal with its own economy and fiscal issues responsibly and get off the government teat, California might be able to deal with its own fiscal issues.

Still, that government subsidy South Dakota gets from California (and other blue states), and all the economic activity generated by it, are figured into the GDP, along with the economic activity generated by all government debt, corporate debt and personal debt. Now, knowing this, KB, is GDP really the statisic that's really the best indicator of "whether we are in fact providing for the social outcomes we desire?"


The problem with doing anything fiscally sensible in California is the people who receive the benefits in CA far outweigh the number of people who pay. I believe in one of those articles, they mention something like 25% of the people are on Medicaid. Not that Governor Terminator was the virtue of conservatism, but when he tried to pass some modest cuts in government spending he was overruled by the legislature and I believe by the people in special elections. We get the kind of government we deserve. California will eventually implode.
Donald, does that statistic about how much California gets compared with what they pay include the military bases in CA? Also, in one of the articles I was reading, part of the reason for the low pay in to receive ratio has to do with the relatively young population that does not receive SS benefits (1 in 8). I am not sure I count SS benefits as federal spending per capita since that is just people getting back what they put in. In SD, it is almost 1 in 5.


Good points Donald.

A question for you though KB: Who do you include in the "we" who desire social outcomes. I thought you movement conservatives were only interested in individual outcomes.

Bill Fleming

Other than the climate, of course, the big difference between Sweden and California is that Sweden doesn't have any Republicans. ;^)


Dr. Blanchard,

You mock Stiglitz for declaring, "The notion of the welfare of most citizens is almost a no-brainer." You assert, "Those who purport to measure the welfare of citizens almost always measure something else: whether their favorite policies have been enacted."

Yet, your examples of decline are replete with examples of citizens or visitors declining welfare:
1) "It took me two hours to drive fifty miles from the beach inland"
2) "The state's remaining energy producers have been slowing down"
3) "Family income has declined across the spectrum"

Other statements such as "Our leaders are battling new water-storage facilities and punishing farmers with absurd water restrictions." seem to be the author's lament that a favorite policy has not been enacted.

It seems that both sides in this debate use citizens' welfare when it suits and failed pet policies when it suits.

The problem with ignoring citizens' welfare and relying on GDP is GDP ignores distribution. I'm fairly certain that California's GDP, or whatever the equivalent is for a state, is far higher than South Dakota's yet in California "The gap between upper- and lower-income families is now wider than ever. And the number of families in the middle-income range is shrinking."

Stan Gibilisco

"California will eventually implode."

Yup. And we will bail them out.


And the difference between California and the rest of the nation is California does not have any Republicans.

Ken Blanchard

A.I.: "we" is made up of individual people. Have you heard of social conservatives? Societies are large collections of individuals.

Bill: there are Republicans in California?

LK: We probably agree a lot more on social outcomes than you would imagine. My point here is that wanting to do something doesn't automatically generate the means with which to do it. California pursues all sorts of laudable goals without figuring out how to pay for them and, in fact, pursuing them in ways that depresses the economic growth that might pay for them.

Donald: the idea that South Dakota is causing California's problems is five kinds of stupid.

Bill Fleming

Yes. They run the military, agribusiness, law enforcement, and about half of the biker clubs. (...approx 30% of registered voters are GOP. Not all that much lower than the national average.) Apparently you didn't get down to San Diego when you lived there? ;^)

Ken Blanchard

And somehow they amazingly cause all of California's problems. The things I wouldn't know if it weren't for Bill.


Democrat politicians want to extend unemployment, making it possible to have (note, not earn) a living without working. Democrat voters will vote for Democrats who will protect those checks, as per Congresswoman Chakka Fattah, D, PA. Republicans amount to about 30% plus in CA. Democrats amount to almost 45%. It is not hard to do the math. Republicans can do next to nothing to bring sanity to state government. BTW, 45% is a little over the national average for Democrat affiliation on a national level. No wonder CA is a mess. Those damned Republicans!


Yes KB, I have heard of "social conservatism". It has damn little to do with fiscal issues though--as described by Wikipedia: "Social conservatism is a political, and usually morally influenced, ideology that focuses on the preservation of what are seen as traditional values. Social conservatism is a form of authoritarianism often associated with the position that the national government, or the state, should have a greater role in the social and moral affairs of its citizens, generally supporting whatever it sees as morally correct choices and discouraging or outright forbidding those it considers morally wrong ones."

You have described yourself as a "movement conservative" which Wikipedia describes as: The term movement conservatism was an inside term describing conservatism in the United States‎ and New Right. According to Nash (2009) the movement comprises a coalition of five distinct impulses. From the mid-1930s to the 1960s, libertarians, traditionalists, and anticommunists made up this coalition, with the goal of fighting the liberals' New Deal. In the 1970s, two more impulses were added with the addition of neoconservatives and the Religious Right.[1]

Note the Religious Right, which is the social conservatives, is a bit of an after thought. As a force for social issues like health care and education, social conservatism is an oxymoron. And as a force for authoritarianism, it is and enemy of the liberty embodied in our constitution.

Bill Fleming

I'm not the only one saying it, KB. I do understand that you wish I were and why though.

Even so:



"The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.

When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges."

Ken Blanchard

Bill: nice job of evading the question. The Ornstein/Mann article is a hit piece, and a particularly stupid one, as Powerline has demonstrated http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2012/05/who-you-callin-extremist.php.

However, even if Republicans are very bad no good people, that doesn't mean that they can be responsible for the fiscal irresponsibility of government in that bluest of blue states, California.

Ken Blanchard

A.I.: social conservatives are no more authoritarian (indeed, they are far less so) than liberals who want to make people stop drinking cola. However, the point was that conservatives are hardly less interested in social outcomes than individual outcomes, as you put it.

Erik Sean Estep

KB: I like Obama/Biden on the EPA, but OB need to let us drill for oil. Obama has sold out labor for the environmentalist lobby.


in previous posts, give me some of that stilmuus money an I'll (somehow!) manage to create four or five jobs with the money. I'm referring to the $393K amount that cmjcex worked out.Isn't that how it's supposed to work.Wait! They're non-union jobs My bad, no wonder the Gubmint hasn't come calling!Igor


Even if you give them credence to their nbuemr of jobs saved or created, $786 billion divided by 2 million works out to $393,000 per job. Where can I apply for one of those jobs?


You do group shots beautiful. I love the close up imgaes.What ever happened to your Christmas presents btw? I thought you were waiting on something and then I never heard if they had been shipped.


These are awesome piruects! And I'm sorry about your week. Boo! BUT I must admit that I laughed while reading this only because I loved how you described everything! hehe! Anyway, you're amazing.

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