California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s slate of fairly modest governmental reforms went down to stinging defeat on November 8, 2005, leading Californians to ponder a future in which their flawed celebrity governor has little power and the public-sector unions—the targets of most of the governor’s failed initiatives—are more brazen than ever.
Following the election, I spoke at a panel titled, “Where Do We Go From Here?” My answer: Nevada or Arizona. Kidding aside, California might soon face another exodus of productive, middle-class residents and small-business owners, who have long been fleeing this costly, high-tax, regulation-happy state for destinations throughout the intermountain West.
“Where to go?” has long been the big question at barbecues and parties but was less asked after the recall of an incompetent governor (Gray Davis) who was controlled by the unions. There was a sense of optimism, given that Schwarzenegger at least targeted the right villains. But immediately after his special election defeat, the governor started making amends with the unions. Now, conservatives have reason to fear that a governor who never had a firm commitment to their principles is going to tack to the left to bolster his image.
Proposition 74 would have forced public-school teachers to wait five years, rather than the current two, before...