How California became France

Even discounting for the impact of global recession, the most populous state’s ills are unique and self-inflicted — and avoidable. In the last three decades, California expanded the public sector and regulation to Europe-like dimensions. Schools, state employees, health care, even dog kennels, benefited from largesse in flush times. Government workers got 16 official holidays, everyone else six. The state dabbled with universal health care and adopted strict environmental standards. In short, California went where our new president and Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco want America to go…

California is in a French-like bind: unable to afford a welfare-type state, and unable to overhaul it. “The people say they want all these programs, then there’s nothing they want to pay for,” says Hector De La Torre, a Democratic assemblyman. “The schizophrenia in the legislature reflects the peoples’.”