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Saturday, October 11, 2003

No Serious Ideas

OK, call me delusional, but I'm not particularly looking for a governor with new and serious ideas. I'm looking for a governor who can, you know, like, uh, govern. And also one that doesn't continuously pander to special interests.

To me, being a good state governor simply involves good management and execution of existing laws and policies. To me, good state legislators enact a minimum set of laws and keep the size of government to the absolute minimum that enables the economy to operate efficiently yet prevents the trashing of the "commons". Perhaps a small safety net should also be included at the state level but it is arguable that this is better done at the local level.

In my opinion, Gray Davis was a fairly lousy governor. The electricity crisis was tough, and though in hindsight his choices weren't very good, I still didn't hold that against him. His "pay-to-play" fund raising approach was a bit much, but hey, most politicians operate like that, so I didn't think it was a big enough deal to recall him and so I voted against the recall.

Nonetheless, I think the recall may potentially have a significant impact. There are two books: The Rise and Decline of Nations by Mancur Olson and Demosclerosis by Jonathan Rauch that discuss the evolution of special interests within a democratic society, eventually choking that society. The recall threw a lot of potential special interests out on their ears along with Gray Davis, since Davis was the conduit by which these special interests were able to get their special deals.

The recall election I think is another step in the trend toward direct democracy. Eventually, I think we will vote directly on all legislation and our governments will simply execute our wishes.

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