Tag Archives: California

War on the Grocery Industry in California

I have grown to hate the grocery industry in California following the passage of SB270, the grocery bag ban.  Now yes, a lot of it is the insane liberals, but one thing that people haven’t paid a lot of attention to was the influence of the grocery industry in particular, but of lots of businesses in general.

See, the second this came up, they started frothing at the mouth, wanting their cut of the sweet, sweet reusable bag money that was sure to sweep the land.  And why not?  Grocery stores in particular are one of the biggest beneficiaries of the ban.  They no longer have to pay for all of the plastic bags that they used to go through, in fact, now they make money on every single bag they can sell to the forgetful public.  Plus, I’ve seen stores cutting back on grocery baggers because now that people bring their own, there’s an expectation in a lot of places that you’re supposed to put your own groceries in your own bags.  Why pay for someone to do it?

And of course, that turns checkers into hard-core hawkers of selling bags.  Some of them are really insistent, like they have a quota to sell.  Some get really rude when they see you brought your own bags, or that you’ll simply pile it in your cart without bags.  It’s like you’ve done them some grave disservice.

But there are some stores that, at least so far, aren’t charging you for bags.  I’m sure that will come down the line, but I wonder if there are stores who will simply provide reusable bags for free to their loyal customers?  It would be great to see and I’d certainly do business with them because of it.  Still, I’m sure that everyone will cave to the reusable bag cult that has developed in California.  It isn’t like Californians have any choice and the grocery industry, in particular, put a ton of money into making sure the bill passed.

So, I did what I had to do.  I ordered some of the bags pictured above.  I mean, if I have to carry them around, I might as well make my opinion known.  And I never, ever buy bags from grocery stores.  Ever. If I forget my bag, I just throw it all in the cart, no matter how much I buy, and take it out to my car.  I don’t care how much the cashiers hate me.  In fact, the more they do, the more their employers do, the better.  Screw these people.  They stabbed the people of California, the good, hardworking people who aren’t liberal retards, for a profit motive.  And a cheap profit motive at that.  If I could simply never go to a grocery store again, I would.  If I trusted Amazon to get me all of the food I need on time, I’d order through them.  Maybe sometime I’ll try it.  But then the grocery stores would go after Amazon because people hating what the stores have done and taking their business elsewhere doesn’t teach them a lesson.  They don’t care.  But then again, I don’t care about them.  So screw the liberals and screw the grocery stores.  You’ve made an enemy once again.

Smoking is Not a Tax on the Poor

There are a ton of really idiotic propositions coming up on the California Ballot, which by the time you read this will probably already be past.  One of them, Prop 56, wants to raise the cost of tobacco again to pay for a whole bunch of liberal causes.  But the major argument that I’ve heard against it is, get this, that tobacco taxes unfairly target the poor.

Um… nobody is forcing them to smoke, are they?

The idea is that a disproportionate percentage of poor people smoke, hence if you raise taxes on tobacco, they will be unfairly harmed by it.

Or they could just stop smoking.  Why in the world would someone who has very little money be throwing it away on things like tobacco and alcohol in the first place?  Of course, that assumes that these people are acting rationally and, if they were, they most likely wouldn’t be in that situation to begin with.

Now personally, I don’t care what the taxes on tobacco are because I think anyone that smokes is a complete idiot to begin with.  If you make a choice to do something that is known, without a doubt, to harm you, how can you point fingers and complain when you get harmed?  In fact, the prevalent use of tobacco and alcohol among the destitute is probably one of the reasons they are that way, but nobody ever bothers to think about that.  Because thinking is hard and sometimes uncomfortable and nobody ought to be required to do anything that doesn’t make them happy 24/7.  Or some kind of liberal bullshit like that.

Nothing changes the fact that smoking and drinking is a choice.  It is not mandatory.  It is not helpful. It costs money.  You make a choice and accept the consequences.  If you make a bad choice, you get bad consequences.  While I reject these kinds of liberal money-grabs out of hand, I still think the argument against the proposition is utterly asinine.  It doesn’t disproportionately target the poor, the poor are disproportionately self-destructive and stupid.  That’s why they’re poor.  Learn the difference between correlation and causation.

But of course, the left will just accuse me of being every kind of “ist” they can think up because they can’t handle reality.  They can’t handle people being required to take responsibility for their lives.  It’s all about excuses and complaints.  These people are idiots.

Here’s the Real Problem in California

Burn baby, burn

California is, in a lot of ways, a liberal paradise.  The government is run by the public employee unions, the government gives tons of money, money it doesn’t have, to the poor, it has 12% of the nation’s people, yet has more welfare recipients than the next 8 states combined!  In fact, we are so absurdly far beyond just the next most welfare-ridden state, 1,226,362 recipients in California vs. 252,434 recipients in New York, it’s clear that there is something seriously, seriously wrong with California.  In the past 25 years, there have been 10 million new residents that have arrived in the state of California.  Of those 10 million, 7 million of them are on Medicaid.  Only 150,000 are filing any income taxes.  That means that 98.5% of the newcomers to California are relying on 1.5% of the newcomer population to pay their way.

It’s really ridiculous how far things have gone in the formerly Golden State.  Going back to 2008, here’s a chart showing just how out of touch with reality the government of California really has become when it comes to throwing tax money away.  The next two closest “states” since one of them is the District of Columbia, are nowhere remotely close to what California doles out.  A lot of this has to do with giving freebies to illegal aliens, freebies that are not supposed to be provided to anyone who is not a legal resident, but that California, the land of fruits and nuts, just hands out willy-nilly to anyone.  Anyone starting to see why there’s a problem yet?

But it’s not just welfare that California leads the way in, we’re also the least business-friendly state in the nation.  We actively work to chase businesses away.  We have the highest tax rates anywhere.  Then we pass absurd environmental laws, many of them utterly contradictory to what’s already on the books, and expect businesses to follow mutually exclusive laws or pay fines.  Nobody worries whether these laws are feasible or whether they make sense, it is often hoped that other states will follow suit but nobody else is that insane.  Los Angeles has declared that it will eliminate all power generated via coal by 2020.  Where does it think it will get it’s power?  Magic, I guess.

So where do they pretend to get their money?  Since California has gone entirely liberal wingnut (remember, this is the state that once elected Ronald Reagan as Governor), it has entirely relied on target groups to pay it’s way.  It focuses on tobacco users to fund schools.  It focuses on the wealthy, who are usually small-business owners, to pay for pretty much everything.  The problem, of course, is more people are stopping smoking and more wealthy people are leaving the state.  Even for those that remain, with the economic downturn, they haven’t been making as much as they usually would, thus tax revenues are down while expenditures are up.

With the passage of Proposition 30, California has gone entirely around the bend.  Now, the wealthiest members of society will have to pay more than 13% of their income to the California state coffers, 5% more than in any other state in the union.  California residents will have to pay the highest state sales tax anywhere, worse considering many cities in the Golden State have their own local taxes which make shopping in these cities absurd.  That’s alright, I guess because businesses are shutting down left and right and fleeing the state entirely.  Unemployment numbers in California are worse than anywhere else.  So why do the good liberals of California continue to vote taxes through the roof?  Because they don’t have to pay them!  The majority of people in California pay no income taxes whatsoever.  They vote to raise taxes on other people to fund things that they want.  They charge other people more so they can have more freebies.

But it’s not just freebies they vote for, it’s a well known fact that the 2008 election of Obama, a liberal candidate, directly contributed to the passage of Proposition 8, the anti-gay-marriage bill.  How, you might ask?  Racism, of course.  Oh, let’s be honest, the Obama campaign has regularly used race to get votes, not only from the poor but directly from black and hispanic voters of all strata.  Tons of black and hispanic voters registered for the first time so they could cast a vote for the first black candidate.  Unfortunately, black and hispanic communities are traditionally very deeply religious so a vote for Obama often turned into a vote for gay-hate.  I can’t place it wholly on Obama’s shoulders but as I’ve shown before, people on Obama’s team are absolutely advocating “get out the vote, niggers”.  Is that something we ought to advocate?  Hell, it’s something they embrace tightly here in the liberal loony-lands.

In a recent poll, taken just before the election, 46% of Californians say they’ve given serious thought to leaving the state.  46%!  Hell, I’m among them.  It’s certainly not hard to find states with very favorable economic climates, both Nevada and Arizona, right next door, are much better places to live.  Oh sure, you can’t go to Disneyland every other day, but I’ve long since tired of California amusement parks, with the exception of a vacation to Sea World two years ago, I haven’t been to one of them in close to a decade.  It’s not like it’s a bad drive to cross the border into California for a vacation to Disney, or to hit any of the things I do regularly here, the more I look at this state, the less reason I can see to stick around and watch it go belly up.

Come on California, give me a reason to want to stay here!

Election 2012: Proposition Guide

It’s under a month to the election and here in California, we once again have a load of absurd propositions on the ballot.  As we’ve become used to, there are lots of propositions that ask us to tax ourselves into oblivion, almost exclusively for that perennial boondoggle, education.  Yet for all the times we’ve voted to screw someone, from the wealthy to tobacco-users, it’s funny how none of that money ever seems to get into the classrooms, isn’t it?

Let’s go over them one by one, shall we?

Proposition 30: Increases personal income tax on annual earnings over $250,000 for seven years.  Increases sales and use tax by ¼ cent for four years. Allocates temporary tax revenues 89 percent to K-12 schools and 11 percent to community colleges.

NO!  California already suffers from among the highest tax rates in America, raising taxes on *ANYONE* at a time when the economy is so poor is absolutely absurd.  Further, this is a sham, it claims to be giving money to education when not one penny of this money will ever see the inside of a classroom.  In fact, the money is going to fund teacher benefit packages, which are among the highest in the nation.

Proposition 31:  Establishes two-year state budget cycle. Prohibits Legislature from creating expenditures of more than $25 million unless offsetting revenues or spending cuts are identified. Permits Governor to cut budget unilaterally during declared fiscal emergencies if Legislature fails to act.
NO!  In reality, this seems to be a means of getting around the constant failure of the legislature in passing a new budget on time every year.  By pushing it out to two years, they have more time to finagle the numbers, which is really all they ever do.  California lives under a continual fiscal emergency, we’re always in a budget shortfall, I don’t want to put that kind of power in the hands of the governor, who has been a complete asshat for decades.
Proposition 32:  Restricts union political fundraising by prohibiting use of payroll-deducted funds for political purposes. Same use restriction would apply to payroll deductions, if any, by corporations or government contractors. Permits voluntary employee contributions to employer or union committees if authorized yearly, in writing. Prohibits unions and corporations from contributing directly or indirectly to candidates and candidate-controlled committees.
YES!  California politics has been controlled by the public employee unions for decades.  The abuses have been constant and legendary and they, especially the California Teacher’s Union and the California State Employee Association, routinely spent millions getting their favored candidates into office.  In fact, in one case, where the legislature was “locked in” session, they’d go outside, just to ask the union reps what they should do.  It’s absurd.  We need to break that control and influence.  This proposition will stop unions from being able to forcibly take money from member paychecks and spend it as they see fit, buying candidates.
Proposition 33:  Changes current law to permit insurance companies to set prices based on whether the driver previously carried auto insurance with any insurance company. Allows insurance companies to give proportional discounts to drivers with some prior insurance coverage. Will allow insurance companies to increase cost of insurance to drivers who have not maintained continuous coverage.
YES!  Currently, companies can deny you continuous coverage discounts if you change insurance companies, even if you have been continually covered under some policy.  This will change that, it will force companies to consider your length of coverage, not just consistency with one company.  It will also give companies the option of increasing premiums for those who have had spotty insurance coverage.
Proposition 34: Repeals death penalty as maximum punishment for persons found guilty of murder and replaces it with life imprisonment without possibility of parole. Applies retroactively to persons already sentenced to death. Requires persons found guilty of murder to work while in prison, with their wages to be applied to any victim restitution fines or orders against them.
NO!  As a strong advocate of the death penalty, I oppose any and all attempts to get rid of it or limit it’s scope.  It needs to be not only strengthened but it’s use expanded, it’s appeals process streamlined so that those sentenced to death will be actually put to death in a reasonable amount of time.  The cost of the death penalty lies not in the penalty itself, but in the legal wrangling that we permit to go on, at taxpayer expense, even after it’s painfully clear that they’re just trying to string it out as long as possible.
Proposition 35:  Increases criminal penalties for human trafficking, including prison sentences up to 15-years-to-life and fines up to $1,500,000. Fines collected to be used for victim services and law enforcement. Requires person convicted of trafficking to register as sex offender.
YES!  This should apply to everyone from sex traffickers to human mules smuggling in illegal aliens.  Previously, this hasn’t been a serious crime, people are caught, processed, spend a little time and jail and go right back to doing it again.  If anything, perhaps this doesn’t go far enough, but it’s certainly a good start.
Proposition 36: Revises three strikes law to impose life sentence only when new felony conviction is serious or violent. Authorizes re-sentencing for offenders currently serving life sentences if third strike conviction was not serious or violent and judge determines sentence does not pose unreasonable risk to public safety.
NO! This is just more criminal coddling.  The three strikes law requires that any person convicted of three felonies immediately becomes a life-without-possibility-of-parole inmate, which I strongly support.  Anyone who is a career criminal needs to be put away forever, and in fact, ought to just be put to death.  If you refuse to live within the confines of society’s rules, you will be taken out.
Proposition 37:  Requires labeling on raw or processed food offered for sale to consumers if made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways. Prohibits labeling or advertising such food as “natural.”
NO! Just more mindless bureaucracy, this is funded by the trial lawyers as a means of making more money filing frivolous lawsuits against those who meet needlessly complicated labeling standards.  There is nothing whatsoever wrong with genetically altered food, it’s called progress, someone should tell these people to look it up.
Proposition 38:  Increases personal income tax rates for annual earnings over $7,316 using sliding scale from 0.4% for lowest individual earners to 2.2% for individuals earning over $2.5 million, ending after twelve years. During first four years, 60% of revenues go to K-12 schools, 30% to repaying state debt, and 10% to early childhood programs. Thereafter, allocates 85% of revenues to K-12 schools, 15% to early childhood programs.
NO!  Yet another money-grab from the highest taxed people in the nation.  Forget it.  The State of California is infamous for it’s gross mismanagement of tax money now, why would we give them any more?
Proposition 39:  Requires multistate businesses to calculate their California income tax liability based on the percentage of their sales in California. Repeals existing law giving multistate businesses an option to choose a tax liability formula that provides favorable tax treatment for businesses with property and payroll outside California.
NO!  And one more, this time against businesses.  California suffers from one of the poorest business climates in the nation, with high taxes, horrible environmental laws, etc.  Similar schemes to this have sent businesses fleeing the state, often to places like Las Vegas, which are very business friendly.  The last thing we need is more business, and thus more jobs, leaving the state.
Proposition 40:  State Senate districts are revised every ten years following the federal census. This year, the voter-approved California Citizens Redistricting Commission revised the boundaries of the 40 Senate districts. This referendum petition, if signed by the required number of registered voters and filed with the Secretary of State, will: (1) Place the revised State Senate boundaries on the ballot and prevent them from taking effect unless approved by the voters at the next statewide election; and (2) Require court-appointed officials to set interim boundaries for use in the next statewide election.
YES!  One of the biggest problems that California has suffered from is it’s lack of rational redistricting.  The majority of elected officials never have to fight for their seats because they, or their party, draws the boundaries of their districts.  If you look at the boundaries today, they’re absurd, little strips of ground here and there, built entirely on party demographics.  California has voted time and time again for redistricting propositions and each time, partisan politicians and special interest groups have either gotten them thrown out or taken the teeth out of the law.