Monday, November 7, 2005
IN MY OPINION (Column)
Living in a Chemically Induced Dream
By RAY HAYNES
(The writer represents the 66th Assembly District, which includes portions of western Riverside County and northern San Diego County.)
It must be nice to be a left wing ideologue. Facts don’t matter. Apparently, the chemically induced dreams of their youth are the defining aspects of their lives. If facts or common sense contradicts chemical stupor, too bad.
In the last two weeks, two separate reports have sought to justify the actions of the socialists in the state government by minimizing the impact of their policies. One report, by the Legislative Analyst Office (LAO), claimed that a 43 percent drop in crime between 1994 and 1999 could not be explained by the adoption of “Three Strikes” in 1994. The other implied that the slow job growth in California was not affected by California’s hostile business environment. We don’t need to change, both reports say, we should adopt more socialist policies. These reports are obviously the result of some college chemical flashback.
First, the LAO claims in its report, “A Primer, A Report on the Impacts of Three Strikes,” that the 1994 “Three Strikes” law may not have reduced crime in California. Although crime rates fell by ten percent in the three years before three strikes, and 43 percent in the five years after three strikes, it claims that those facts don’t necessarily prove that “Three Strikes” has worked.
What? A 400% difference is not enough? What do they want? Do they want the answer handed to them on tablets from Mt. Sinai?
Common sense tells us that if the state locks a bad guy away, he cannot commit more crimes until he is released. Research data tells us that 70% of the crimes in this country are committed by 7% of the criminals. “Three Strikes” tends to catch more of those 7% and put them in jail, and keep them there. The result? The crime rate goes down...except in the eyes of a liberal. Liberals claim that a strong economy, more effective law enforcement techniques, and a decline in handgun use reduced crime, not “Three Strikes.” The only problem with their conclusion is that this same scenario occurred before “Three Strikes”-without any reduction in crime.
Next, the Public Policy Institute wrote an article, “Are Businesses Fleeing the State?” and concluded that they are not. Between 1991 and 2003, “less than one-tenth of one percent of the total number of jobs” was lost, according to this report. The fact that nationally we added jobs, and in California we lost jobs during this same period, is lost on these “nonpartisan” experts.
Once again, common sense tells us that a business will locate where it can maximize its profit. If taxes are higher, the business loses money. If regulations prevent the business from operating efficiently, the business loses money. Since price is set by the market, a business from a more expensive state will make less profit. This is fact. Lose too much money for too long, and POOF - you’re out of business. In fact, the report concludes that most of California’s job losses resulted from the death of California businesses, not from relocation. In other words, many who were dumb enough to stay in California went bankrupt. So, according to the report, it is not relocation, but stupidity and hence, bankruptcy that cost California jobs. This is some poor consolation to the people who lost their jobs and their businesses.
Common sense has to play a role in public policy. It doesn’t matter what chemicals you ingested in college, criminals who are in jail don’t hurt good people, and businesses create jobs in places that help them maximize their profit. Left wing platitudes don’t change those facts of life. Apparently, some of our left wing friends can’t abandon their youthful drug-induced fantasies, but we can’t allow those fantasies to affect our laws today. It’s time for a reality check.
Copyright 2005, Metropolitan News Company