No Profits, No Pensions

California Gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown knows he’s in a fight. His presumptive Republican opponent, Meg Whitman, not only is doing a good job presenting herself as a socially moderate, fiscally conservative candidate, but she has abundant personal wealth she can tap in order to finance her campaign. So Jerry Brown has to turn to the only reliable source of campaign cash out there, the public employee unions.

In Joel Fox’s report of March 22nd entitled “Brown Embraces the Public Unions,” Fox quotes Brown as saying “California’s fiscal problems are not the unions’ fault but that of Wall Street and corporations.” Get ready for a campaign season filled with more bashing of corporations. And here are some reasons why this rhetoric is absurd, nihilistic, corrosive, deceptive, utterly bankrupt, and at least to-date, tragically effective:

Public sector unions are by far the most powerful source of campaign cash in California. They can pretty much spend as much as they want to make sure their candidates get elected, and their opponents are defeated. Without these unions, Jerry Brown wouldn’t have a chance against Meg Whitman. But is Brown only singing the union song in order to get their financial support? After all, in late February 2010, in a closed meeting with a group of California business leaders, Brown admitted the single greatest mistake he made as Governor back in the 1970’s was his decision to sign legislation allowing public sector workers to unionize.

Public sector unions have […] Read More

The Once & Future Governor Jerry Brown

Yesterday the 71 year old Jerry Brown made his formal entry into the California Governor’s race. In a three minute announcement posted on, he highlighted his experience as well as took some indirect shots at his opponents. What kind of a Governor Jerry Brown was, and what kind of a Governor he would make, are an interesting topic for discussion.

Jerry Brown first served as Governor of California in the years 1975 to 1983. Elected when he was only 36 years old, Brown inherited a State that was experiencing one of the best economies in its history. The first efflorescence of the high-tech boom happened during Brown’s years as Governor, it was also the heyday of the west-coast aerospace boom. Other sectors of the State’s economy, from housing to agriculture, and everything in between, had not yet fallen prey to the plague of over-regulation and environmentalist gridlock that has since diminished opportunities in the Golden State. Brown presided over some very good years for California.

Brown is still criticized by mainstream journalists for being Governor when Proposition 13 was passed. This is guilt by association at most, he campaigned hard against the initiative. But when Prop. 13 passed, something happened that is instructive about Jerry Brown – he implemented it with a vengeance. He respected the will of the voters. Something the critics ignore, however, is that Prop. 13 didn’t hinder California’s ability to balance its budget, it was something else Jerry Brown did that caused our […] Read More