Gray Davis’s Government By Smog Check

by | Sep 26, 2002 | Environment

The race for governor of California has played like a choice between the lesser of two evils. But there are several reasons why Bill Simon, Jr. — whatever his flaws — will do less harm to California. Ruled by the liberal dogma of his most ardent supporters, Gov. Gray Davis has enacted a stream of […]

The race for governor of California has played like a choice between the lesser of two evils. But there are several reasons why Bill Simon, Jr. — whatever his flaws — will do less harm to California.

Ruled by the liberal dogma of his most ardent supporters, Gov. Gray Davis has enacted a stream of laws that threaten to make Saudi Arabia look like a free society.

For example, Davis signed a bill yesterday forcing every employer in California to subsidize an employee’s absence for up to six weeks, at a cost of hundreds of dollars per employee. All one has to do to stake claim on America’s biggest new entitlement is to invoke a new baby or a sick relative as an excuse. Almost every employee can skip work for six weeks and the employer must pay – – no employer is exempt.

This latest act of socialism — intended to draw Big Labor to the polls — is typical of Davis’s record as governor. Under Davis, government intervention has affected nearly every aspect of life in California. If re-elected, lame duck Davis — who has virtually vowed to raise taxes during a second term — will make matters much worse.

Under Davis, environmentalism is practically the official state religion. This summer, Davis signed a bill restricting carbon dioxide emissions based on the widely disputed interpretation of global warming by environmentalists.

Auto manufacturers will soon be forced to make the equivalent of golf carts — with Californians forced to pay big bucks to drive an electric tricycle — in the nation’s first attempt to prescribe which vehicle each person drives. It’s more government by smog check.

Another law dictating how you do your laundry was signed by the governor last week. Davis outlawed washing machines that use what the state considers an abundance of water — the amount to be decided by the government.

This bill, popular among those who favor the similarly-mandated low-flow toilet, prompted Sacramento Bee columnist Daniel Weintraub to wonder whether “the new law will do for dirt on clothes what the low-flow toilet did for human waste, leaving it in places it doesn’t belong.”

Perhaps Davis’s most insidious law is the daily overtime law that threw California employers and employees alike into a tailspin, from which neither has fully recovered.

Davis’s convoluted overtime law imposes harsh rules on work hours, punishing employers and hurting employees. One waitress, according to the Wall Street Journal, worked 10-hour days for four days a week to have an extra day to herself; she now works eight hours a day for five days per week to receive the same salary. Davis’s overtime restrictions violate both the employer’s and employee’s rights.

Other Davis laws border on the bizarre. Something called the Lactation Accommodation forces employers to let lactating employees do their thing at work and take extra time off to do it. The employer must also create a private area in which to lactate. A Lactation Commissioner can’t be far behind.

Contrary to Thomas Jefferson’s ideal of less government, Davis believes the best government is that which governs the *most*.

Simon has characterized Davis as another pandering politician and that’s true. But Gray Davis’s pandering is merely the means to his dismal term as governor, which is based on Davis’s fundamental premise: government control. Simon should make the case that — by prohibiting cars and washing machines, forcing businesses to pay employees to leave for six weeks and dictating the work habits of waitresses and mothers — Gray Davis is making life in California intolerable.

That leaves Californians with the best reason to vote for Bill Simon — who has conducted an independent campaign and has avoided becoming the religious right’s poster boy — the alternative is another term for Gray Davis, whose Big Government is making life in California like living under the Taliban.

Scott Holleran's writing has been published in the Los Angeles Times, Classic Chicago, and The Advocate. The cultural fellow with Arts for LA interviewed the man who saved Salman Rushdie about his act of heroism and wrote the award-winning “Roberto Clemente in Retrospect” for Pittsburgh Quarterly. Scott Holleran lives in Southern California. Read his fiction at ShortStoriesByScottHolleran.substack.com and read his non-fiction at ScottHolleran.substack.com.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

Related articles

The Real Meaning of Earth Hour

The Real Meaning of Earth Hour

The lights of our cities and monuments are a symbol of human achievement, of what mankind has accomplished in rising from the cave to the skyscraper. Earth Hour presents the disturbing spectacle of people celebrating those lights being extinguished. Earth Hour symbolizes the renunciation of industrial civilization.

No spam. Unsubscribe anytime.

Pin It on Pinterest