Resist the enviro-socialist state

May 10, 2017

Mike Brown

By MIKE BROWN

The bad news is that the environmental socialists, who have hijacked the historic Democratic Party, now fully control the government of the State of California as well as that of many cities and counties within the State. They can pass tax increases at will, such as the Senate Bill 1 fuel tax increases.

The good news is that environmental socialism contains the seeds of its own destruction.

Ultimately the high taxes, ever growing fees, and blighting regulations will undermine productive elements of society, which in turn will erode governmental revenues and sap governmental power. Vast state and local unfunded pension debt, bonded debt, and unfunded deferred maintenance of the roads, universities, public schools, government buildings, dams, aqueducts, and parks are the harbingers of the looming catastrophe.

The power of governments rests largely on their finances. As the private sector weakens, physical and social blight proliferates, capital facilities deteriorate, social unrest and crime increase, and housing becomes impossibly expensive, driving the up-coming generational work force (millennials, generation Z) out of state. As a result, existing businesses leave the state to expand in more favorable employment climates.

Ultimately, income taxes, sales taxes, and property taxes stagnate or decline. In SLO County the impending demise of the Diablo Nuclear Power Plant underscores this reality. Enviro-socialist elites react by further raising fee and tax rates, which in turn accelerates the destructive death spiral process.

The problem is that, while one can take solace in the knowledge that ultimately the corrective forces will prevail and hold the enviro-socialists historically accountable, millions will become unemployed, homes foreclosed, life savings destroyed, and most tragically, the hopes and dreams of generations annihilated.

Sadly, the era of dominance of environmental socialism may exist for decades. This fact is very disheartening to many of those who understand the problem, as well as current grass roots leaders and potential grass roots leaders who would resist and ultimately seek to overcome the regime. Since the enviro-socialists control the government apparatus of the of California as well as the government apparatus of many cities, counties, special districts, local public schools, and the state universities, the full force of professional staff expertise, contract patronage, alliances with powerful government employee unions, and job patronage are used to enhance their power and advance the enviro-socialist agenda. In the face of such daunting obstacles people may be tempted to give up and submit. Or they may run away to Nevada, Texas, or Idaho.

On the other hand, we may regard it as our duty as citizens to fight back. The American Revolutionary patriot Thomas Payne wrote as the colonies were threatened by the military might of the British Empire, “Tyranny, like hell is not, easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”

Here are practical things we can do to resist:

Be aware and stay informed. Spend 20 minutes per day, while having that cup of coffee or lunch, doing a quick scan of the following sources:

For local information read the COLAB SLO weekly updates here.

Listen on line or on the air to the Andy Caldwell Radio Show on KUHL 1440 or KZSB 1290.

For both local and State as well as national information read the free online postings and also Stephen Franks’ California Political News & Views.

For national perspectives check out the site Stanford University Hoover Institution here. The guest articles, book reviews, and editorials contained in the last two pages of section A of the Wall Street Journal are also quite helpful. The Journal can be obtained in paper format or online. Of course there are many other fine sites as well.

Get mad. As the late former University of Texas football Coach Darrell Royal (back when Texas won three national championships) used to say, “You have to get mad to win football games.” The injustice and destructiveness of the enviro-socialist’s policies are outrageous and are a powerful motivational factor.

Recognize that anger can be destructive and must be converted into plans and action, which result in holding the currently powerful enviro-socialist regimes accountable. Elected officials, appointed board members, and sycophantic senior staff members should understand that once the consequences of their policies are widely understood as perpetuating economic decline and suffering, they will be held accountable legally, professionally, and materially. It should not be sufficient that they are allowed to retire into oblivion.

Reject ballot measures that establish new or increased sales taxes, property taxes, or special tax assessments. Often voters who oppose general taxes will support a tax for a specific benefit such as roads, a school, a library, a new jail or parks. It is rationalized that these are specific benefits for which there is a demonstrated need. The problem is that the new tax relieves some of the pressure allowing the government officials avoid balancing their ever-growing operating budgets. Demand that they grow the natural economy to pay for their feel-good programs instead of placing higher taxes on an ever-narrowing base.

If you can afford the tuition, put your kids and grandchildren in private schools. The public schools are now a vast indoctrination system promoting enviro-socialism, political correctness, and value relativism. The teachers unions are powerful allies and funders of the enviro-socialist regimes locally, and in Sacramento and Washington. Eliminate the reason for their existence.

Do not compromise on fees and regulations, even if you love the particular purpose or project. By supporting a new tax or fee, you are simply feeding the machine.

Many business, agricultural, and trade organizations seek to minimize the damage caused by state and local enviro-socialist regimes by participating in efforts to ameliorate more egregious regulatory and fee proposals by seeking compromise. Paid representatives and officers attend workshops, provide suggested wording changes, and otherwise “cooperate” to obtain crumbs.

The current state of regulatory and tax conditions in the state and many cities and counties are clear proof that the strategy ultimately fails and is death by a thousand cuts. Business owners and their trade associations, both large and small, should recognize that short-term cooperation and collaboration only advances the regime’s ultimate goals.

Similarly, some businesses, and especially those dependent on government contracts, may fear retribution if they or their representative associations oppose particular enviro-socialist policies. Such retribution may come in the form of economic ostracism and/or regulatory punishment. In these circumstances, the government is little more than a “legitimized” protection racket.

Demand that your elected officials/candidates declare a moratorium on all new fees and regulations for their term of office or prospective term of office. When your elected official or aspiring candidate is at a meeting, campaign event, or other situation where there is a crowd, wait for the question period.

When your turn comes ask this question: “Given the sorry state of state and local finances, unaffordable home prices, unemployment, etc., will you agree to sign this pledge today to promise to vote against all new fees, taxes, and regulations if you are elected, reelected, or for the remainder of your term (whatever the case is for that individual)?” Have a friend hand him/her the form with a signature block pre-filled out with his or her name. Have extra copies for the crowd to can see what you are asking. If the officials/candidates refuse to sign or say they have to study the matter, hit them again at the next event.

Organize: Set up study groups or writing groups. These may be only three or four people or they can be more extensive. Write letters to the editor. Oppose new regulatory measures and fee increases. On major issues, appear at the SLO County Board of Supervisors, Planning Commission, Air Pollution Control District, SLOCOG, and the Integrated Waste Management Authority. If you have a business association or trade group, make sure its staff alerts you to critical issues.

Remember, it’s not sufficient to oppose just the fee or regulation that affects your own particular business. Eventually the knock on the door will come for you. Groups should help one another by opposing all fees and regulations. Write, email, appear and complain.

Support candidates who oppose the regime: Hold a coffee hour for a candidate in your home or with your business group (or both). If you are able, support such candidates financially. Remember, early support is important because a large proportion of votes are now by absentee (mail-in) ballots. These are sent out a month before the actual Election Day. Thus, funding for media buys, printed materials, and so forth must be accumulated very early in the campaign.

Mike Brown is the Government Affairs Director of the Coalition of Labor Agriculture and Business (COLAB) of San Luis Obispo County. He had a 42-year career as a city manager and county executive officer in four states including California. He can be reached at mike@colabslo.org.







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6 Comments

  1. MrYan says:

    Yawn…..nothing but a Howard Jarvis–Grover Norquist wanna be.

    …..I knew Howard Jarvis, I worked with Howard Jarvis, you sir are no Howard Jarvis….

    …”Sadly, the era of dominance of environmental socialism may exist for decades”.

    It is a war….as you allude…of attrition. And I hate to point out, that those who believe as you, are a dying breed. The next generation just doesn’t view the world through the same lens as you.

    Then again you can take your advice and move to Idaho–it is easily 20 years behind us and would feel like the America you long for.

    (1) 15 Total Votes - 8 up - 7 down
  2. rukidding says:

    Another rambling. I have asked Mr. Brown why COLAB gives ANY support to those that vote for more fees, taxes, bonds and overpriced projects, ie: $14 million animal shelter, His answer was that’s the way it is. Mr. Brown you are either on board or off board. In between doesn’t get it.

    (-1) 9 Total Votes - 4 up - 5 down
  3. modernwelding says:

    NIMBYS are pseudo environmentalists. Environmental issues, such as global warming, clean water, biodiversity, are important. Their is a lot local selfishness represented as environmentalism.
    State cartels and sweet government deals are also a form of socialism. Socialism for the entrenched and privileged, a plutocracy.
    As for government cost, look at the pay of our upper level local government servants.

    (9) 13 Total Votes - 11 up - 2 down
  4. Myself says:

    We, the taxpayer don’t stand a snowballs chance in hell, these people shove there agenda down our throats how ever they want, anytime they pass a tax without a vote,IE: cal fire, gas tax, are a couple that come to mind, we are stuck paying them,why, because they have the state board of equalization steal it from us,pay up or loose your house or business or property, the rest of the population is either been drinking too much coolaid and believes the crap the state tells them and the rest are on the dole, so a very small portion of us taxpayers are pissed,we don’t have the time to band together and fight these jerkwads because we’re too busy trying to protect what little we have to call ours.
    It might not feel so bad if the bastards used the money they steal from us for what lie they told us about but they piss it away in more giveaway programs to garner votes to stay in office,just about no matter what we are screwed. The only way this will cure itself is when it implodes on these nutballs, but guess what we the taxpayer are still the lowest form of life there is, the illegals and the welfare bunch will still be at the top of the heap.

    (8) 18 Total Votes - 13 up - 5 down
  5. Incredulous1 says:

    “Have a friend hand him/her the form with a signature block pre-filled out with his or her name”

    What you are advocating here is bullying someone into saying what you want them to say. Not really fair.

    It’s sad that you see no good in environmentalism even though you directly benefit from their hard work in the form of cleaner air to breathe, cleaner water to drink and healthier food to eat, not to mention many other benefits you aren’t even aware of. You are solely focused on your bottom line. Ok. Whatever.

    Small note: I believe that quote you inserted above supposedly from from Thomas Payne was actually from Thomas Paine, a different guy.

    (-8) 26 Total Votes - 9 up - 17 down
  6. Slosum says:

    Unfortunately Mike… the seeds of our own destruction will result in our own destruction. I can’t imagine any sane California resident waiting until that happens. We’ll be long gone… and only the dependents will remain to fight amongst themselves for whatever scraps exist.

    (20) 26 Total Votes - 23 up - 3 down

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