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Scaredy Cats
by Ray Haynes [politician] 10/10/06 

In 1922, Ludwig Von Mises, an Austrian free market economist wrote:  “It is not the business of entrepreneurs to lead the political fight against Socialism…It follows, therefore, that neither associations of entrepreneurs, nor those organizations in which entrepreneurs support counts, are inclined to fight on principle against socialism.”

When I first joined the Legislature, I could never figure out why the California Chamber of Commerce, the California Manufacturers Association, the California Taxpayers’ Association, and the variety of other “business” associations which populate the halls and lobbies of Sacramento, could not be counted upon to fight the left wing agenda of my Democrat friends in the Legislature.  They were always ready to accommodate their demands.  The unions would fight Republicans with all their influence and power, giving 99% of their contributions to Democrats.  The business groups would (and still do) give 50 to 60% of their campaign money to Democrats.  I used to complain that in politics, the Democrats married the unions, who have remained faithful partners.  Republicans married the business community, and we got a partner who slept around.  I then read the Mises quote, and knew that if was true in 1922, and still true in 2002, I wasn’t going to change it by complaining.  I personally would fight against encroaching socialism in California, and leave the compromising with the Socialists and business lobbyists.


Ray Haynes

Mr. Haynes is an Assembly member representing Riverside and Temecula. He serves on the Appropriations and Budget Committees. [go to Assembly Member Haynes website at California Assembly][go to Haynes index]

Free markets require two basic components to work:  freedom of contract and protection of private property rights.  A society that chooses to take private property is either socialist, or traveling quickly down the road to socialism. The threat of losing a lifetime of work to the whim of an all-powerful government will often convince even the most principled person to forego his or her freedom of speech. 

 I joined up with the proponents of Proposition 90, the “Protect Our Homes” initiative because of my belief that our current system of land use control, whether through the use of eminent domain or regulatory takings, is the key factor in California’s leftist state and local governments obtaining and maintaining power.  This was my way of taking a principled stand against socialism in California.

I did not think that my friends in the business community, however, would oppose the roll back of socialism in California.  They may not support us, but they certainly would not oppose those of us who stand in favor of free markets.

Boy was I wrong.

They are afraid, they tell me, of retaliation from the government, if they don’t oppose the initiative.  Local governments are telling business and developers that, if they don’t oppose Proposition 90, they will make their business lives miserable.  They are being told that if they donate money, their projects will be fast tracked.  However, if they don’t help, their projects will go into some sort of governmental purgatory, lost in the bowels of some regulatory or planning agency until the new temple is built in Jerusalem.  I am told that they have to oppose us because they just can’t risk it.

That is how far down the road to socialism California has gone.  So much of the financial future of our business community depends on government action that the business community trembles in fear of the government officials.  The ruling class in California knows that Proposition 90 will be their Waterloo, and they are trying to enlist the aid of all of their economic slaves to fight this last battle. The business community, now the economic slaves of our state government, is willing to sell out the freedom of us all to stay in business. 

I know Mises was right; the business community is a bunch of “scaredy cats.”  I have seen it in action day after day in Sacramento.  I understand why; they have to survive in this socialist political environment.  I am still disappointed.  CRO

Mr. Haynes is a California Assemblyman repesenting Riverside and Temecula and frequent contributor to CaliforniaRepublic.org.


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