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Monday, November 14, 2005

3 Winners In Last Week's Elections

John Fund's short recap of the political winners finds:

1. John Warner, former Gov of Va, helped elect Tim Kaine to the Va governorship. Warner is a Democrat who polls well with centrist, anti-Hillary Democrats. A relative unknown (but this is only 2005), he is quoted as saying:

"The Democratic Party ought to get over refighting how we got into the war and, again, continue to press the president on what he hopes to do in terms of how we will finish the job."

Fair enough point.

2. John McCain is a popular Senator, admired by all voters of both parties, who has been instrumental in all important Senate policies (including the moderate Gang of 14) with lots of TV face time. His problem is he does not get the support of conservatives. With his championing of campaign finance reform and global warming restrictions, he is too Big brother for my tastes. Yet, like most Americans, I admire his forthright style and unquestioned patriotism.

3. Government unions won on various referenda in California. Arnold apparently did not get "out of the box" fast enough and the unions spent $150 million to defeat the initiatives. With government worker unions so strong in California, they defeated bills to limit teacher tenure (teachers do not have faith in their talent matching their salaries, I guess), end gerrymandering (I guess incumbents do not have faith in their talent matching voters wishes) and reform the budget process (I guess the state legislators do not have faith in democratizing the handling of state wealth).

The beauty of the last victory is, as Fund says, that it is likely to be Pyrric, especially:

if it accelerates the flight of California private-sector jobs and capital to other states, taking the source of much-needed government revenue at the same time. Even the most powerful economic engines can rust. Take New York City, which today has the same population it did two generations ago but a total of 30% more government workers. During the same period, the number of Fortune 500 headquarters in New York City has dwindled to 30 from 140. When the unions win too much political clout, the overall economy inevitably suffers.

We have often written about the flight of businesses from high tax-high regulation states. The same occurs among countries with France and Germany facing business flight and a brain drain. It always comes down to the struggle between Leviathan minions and freedom lovers.

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