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Daily Tech News 17 April 2023 | Main | Mid-Morning Art Thread
April 17, 2023

The Morning Report — 4/17/23


Good morning, kids. Tomorrow is tax day, and so it's time to pony up and pay "our fair share." Whatever the hell that is. It's funny; despite the political kabuki-bukkake theater of debt ceilings and deficit spending, the Left nevertheless keep insisting that somehow the laws of economics don't apply to government, insofar as the government can borrow as much as it wants without any consideration to paying it back. Well, if that's the case, then why do we need an income tax if they can just print and spend at will?

They can't, of course. And one day, perhaps very soon now, it will be time to pay the piper, as it were. Of course, the ultimate goal is to wipe out the ability of the individual to earn as much as his God-given ability and drive allows him to and thereby make him a slave to The State. What better way than onerous tax regimes, fees and bureaucracies that allow those who've already made it big to pull up the ladder behind them and keep the last slice of what is supposed to be an ever-expanding pie to themselves and their protectors in government. It's a neat little racket that sort of resembles a Venn diagram of fascism and communism.

For my money – pun totally intended – there's no better example of this than what's happening in California, which nowadays has all but become the Democratic People's Republic of California. And remember, historically, as goes California, soon so goes the nation.

The state of California is implementing full Marxism before our very eyes under the guise of “equity.” And so now there can be no possible doubt if there ever was for anyone: instituting Communism has been what “equity” initiatives have been about all along. Now three of its most powerful utility companies are saying that they’re going to charge based not on how much of their product was used, but on how much money the user makes. . .

. . . If the California utility companies are going to make people who have more money pay more for the same goods and services they could get for less money if they had less, there will be several results: wealthier people will seek to hide their wealth through various means, so as to pay the lower rate. Some enterprising entrepreneurs will make a good living by helping them do this. So from the Marxism of the utility companies will come more capitalism.

Also, people will see that there is no point in working harder to try to earn more money, as the state will just confiscate it in various ways. Consequently, people will work less, and less hard. The standard of living will decline, because productivity will have declined. This is why Communist countries have always been economic failures: they block the capitalist incentive that people have to work hard, and thus destroy the only path to prosperity.

That last paragraph of friend Robert Spencer's article many of you with a proper education will find familiar because it is the actual story of what happened to the Pilgrims after landing in the new world, but I digress. Here's another great idea from Gavin Newsom:

The more tightly things are grasped, the more likely they are to slip through the fingers. Predictably, the elite who normally support progressive measures found themselves scrambling to sell their homes before the measure, known as the “Mansion Tax,” kicks in.

The real estate market might be cooling nationally, but among the multimillionaire set in Los Angeles, it has been red hot — so much so that some sellers are getting burned.

Sellers have been throwing in brand new Bentleys and McLarens and drastically slashing prices in order to incentivize a quick close.

That’s because a so-called “mansion tax” goes into effect Saturday in Los Angeles, adding a 4% tax for sellers on homes that sell for between $5 million and $10 million and 5.5% on amounts $10 million and above.

The change will add hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of dollars in additional new transfer taxes for sellers, which will go to support a homeless housing measure Angelenos passed last November.

Supporters assert that the tax will bring in $900 million annually for subsidized housing in an area in which affordable housing is a significant issue.

Of course, supporters of tax increases count on monies they don’t yet have and fail to consider all the unintended consequences.

[The] tax applies to every real estate sale within Los Angeles that is not exempt – including not just mansions, but apartment complexes, retail and industrial buildings and other structures, causing some in the real-estate business to warn that developers will look elsewhere to build.

. . . The once robust tax-base is now fleeing the state in droves. Fiscal experts are beginning to notice the state’s economy is on edge. . . But, hey, if the progressives feel good about their choices . . . isn’t that what’s really important?

Quit your bitching, Californians. After all, you've got all all that free, clean, renewable energy that's going to make everything groovy. Or not.

California’s headlong rush to replace its electricity grid with renewable energy has given the rest of the country a preview of the decarbonized future that Joe Biden and his revived Clean Power Plan envision for America. It isn’t pretty.

Before supply-chain woes and federal stimulus goosed inflation, California’s cost of living already ranked second highest in the nation. Enthusiastic efforts to rely more heavily on wind and solar power—touted as “cheap” sources of clean energy—have only made the state more expensive . . .

. . . California and clean energy seem like a natural fit. The state’s sunny coastlines, bright deserts, windy mountain passes, and deep river valleys should offer bountiful sources of cheap, all-natural solar, wind, and hydropower. Unfortunately, they don’t. Nightfall, droughts, and windless days take these renewable power sources offline. And when intermittent clean energy sources cannot keep up with demand, California power providers turn to natural gas and electricity imports that backstop the state’s grid, but which are now more expensive due to the insufficient storage and pipeline capacity created by the idealized rush to “cheap” clean energy.

Inefficient energy markets, unpredictable price spikes, unreliable power sources, and a hostile regulatory environment have all contributed to a 40 percent increase in the average California electric bill over the last five years. Retirees, low-income households, and middle-class families bear the brunt of the higher prices. Millions of Californians now stretch their already strained budgets just to cover food, fuel, shelter, and an ever-rising electricity bill. . .

. . . California’s seismic shift to cleaner energy tells a cautionary tale. The Golden State may someday achieve fossil fuel independence, but that dream remains elusive. And imposing the Biden Administration’s California-style emission reduction policy would be economically disastrous for states that rely on energy-intensive manufacturing and agriculture without California’s sun-kissed geographic advantages.

Well, we've covered taxes. Now let's talk about death.

The District Attorneys of Tulare County and Riverside County, Tim Ward and Mike Hestrin, respectively, and Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco and Riverside City PD Chief Larry Gonzalez, held a joint press conference on April 12, 2023 (See Video).  These DAs are not radical Left Soros-supported prosecutors.  Instead, they are at wit's end regarding the unintended consequences of Assembly Bill 109, the California Public Safety Realignment Act, for serial low-level felony offenders. . .

. . . AB109 released low-level felons from state prison back to their home counties for incarceration and supervision (AB109 local state prison).  Riverside County DA Hestrin expressed his frustration “Frankly, all of us up here on stage have had enough…. We cannot protect our public; we are getting no help from Sacramento, the laws don’t back us up.”  

. . . Riverside County, CA's chief law enforcement officers are not pleased with the unintended consequences of AB109's results and subsequent actions of the progressive-dominated California State Legislature (here) and Governor Gavin Newsom.  However, social justice reform advocates quickly point out that in prison populations, minorities are disproportionally represented and assume this is from racial discrimination and deserve early release (a debate for a later time). . .

. . . Under the cloak of social justice reform, the radical Left decriminalized many crimes by selective prosecution and no cash bail releases before trial without considering victims and public safety in many states nationwide.  There is a hidden political agenda of the radical Left with decriminalizing and no cash bail – to sow havoc and chaos to destabilize our local communities:

NGOs funded by George Soros and others dropped millions of dollars into local district attorney races to elect far-left prosecutors (as many as 70).  Under the veil of social justice reform, these prosecutors implemented policies including no cash bail, which released violent serial offenders without regard for public safety.  The released, ruthless, violent criminals commit new murders, rape, robberies, and mayhem before trial.  Again, to wreak havoc and chaos within our communities, who then, in fear for their safety, will willingly relinquish their civil rights in exchange for totalitarian controls.

Should Joey "Sponge-Brain Shits-Pants" decide not to run, or have that decision made for him, one of the prime candidates being talked about is Gavin Newsom. Frankly, I don't see it because he's got the wrong melanin, wrong gender and wrong sexual orientation. But if you only look at the state of the State of California, in terms of Democrat-Leftist policy he's their ideal candidate.

Of course, the Democrat-Left abhor the concept of meritocracy, and yet Newsom has "succeeded" wildly. There's an irony in there that is chuckle-worthy, or would be if the consequences were not so horrifyingly catastrophic. California is, or at one point was the sixth largest economy in the world. When you consider its ports, its farmland, the non-ideological aspects of Silicon Valley, and many other things, its complete ruination -- driven by a Leftist-dominated statehouse and several of our nation's formerly great megalopolises within its borders -- was and remains a harbinger of things to come.

What a waste.

NOTE: The opinions expressed in the links may or may not reflect my own. I include them because of their relevance to the discussion of a particular issue.

ALSO: The Morning Report is cross-posted at CutJibNewsletter.com if you want to continue the conversation all day.

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