The overarching message of “The Opportunity Cost of Socialism” — a study recently released by the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) — is that the advocacy of socialism cannot reasonably be based on policy preferences; its attraction has always been grounded in a combination of wishful thinking and ignorance. For example, the new CEA study shows that the socialist approach to “single payer” health care advocated by many on the left would cost much more and deliver much less, resulting in the significant worsening of mortality and morbidity, not just higher taxes and reduced economic growth.
California isn’t just a place, but a dream. In the American mythos, California represented the end of the journey, the land where the dispossessed and forgotten could start again, where “Okies” who fled the Depression searched for relief and veterans of the Second World War discovered a middle-class paradise. And what’s most incredible is that, for a time, that’s what it was.