The bad news for California: A recently released study named the Golden State's "economic outlook" to be the fifth-worst in the nation.
The good news: There's always Illinois, New Jersey, Vermont and New York. Sucks to be them!
Taking stock of California and surmising things are bad and going to get worse doesn't exactly require a Ph.D in common sense. Still, the study, released by the American Legislative Exchange Council, probably won't win many devotees who aren't already fond of their limited government Kool-Aid.
The "Rich States, Poor States" report -- which you can download here
-- comes peppered with text decrying "the long-term damage caused by nearly uncontrolled 'progressive' policymaking," and the use of California as an example to "demonstrate the serious consequences of tax-and-spend governance." The report also points out the folly of "every" move President Barack Obama has made to attempt to resurrect the economy.
Again, a serious case can be made that our state is governed about as well as the 49ers are playing -- but you're certainly pushing a certain stripe of ideology when you promise "prosperity" solely through the creation of a "business-friendly environment."
The American Legislative Exchange Council's attempts to create such "business-friendly environments" have earned it the classification of "one of the best-funded and most prolific industry front groups
" from the good government organization Common Cause.
Essentially, ALEC gets big business and willing legislators together at the same table, and helps craft solutions that will make both of those groups happy. Nice work if you can get it.
In any event, the group's crucifixion of California is worth a glance. An industry-funded band of self-acknowledged conservatives openly advocating "limited government, free markets, and federalism" won't present "solutions" everyone will agree with. But California is so poorly run no one's criticisms of the status quo can be discounted out-of-hand.
By the way, ALEC's top-five economic outlooks are predicted in Utah, Colorado, Arizona, South Dakota, and Florida. Party, party, party.
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