The Natural Result

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“The salient example is the greatest victory ever won in an initiative campaign: The famous Proposition 13 tax revolt of 1978. With scarcely a backward glance at the finest public education system in America, California voters focused their rage about inflation on the local property tax, which rose with the value of their homes. Hating high prices, they took control over one price of one thing.

The natural results: Statewide funding of education without regard for differences in local needs; local administration without responsibility for raising funds or justifying expenditures; dominance of the education system by union organizers and lobbyists with more power than the Southern Pacific Railroad ever imagined; civic ineptitude that perpetuates itself by raising the self-esteem of a new generation of voters beyond the power of reason.

Revenge of the Progressives
California’s political inheritance blinds the state to the danger of too much democracy
By THOMAS G. DONLAN, Barron’s, August 18, 2003

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