Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Paul Krugman on California's crisis

State of Decline

As usual, Prof. Paul Krugman of MIT's comments on economic life are well worth hearing.

"California's slide into irresponsibility, in which politicians refuse to acknowledge any connection between the government services the public demands and the taxes that pay for those services, is being replicated all across America."


"Proposition 13, the 1978 cap on property taxes, led to a progressive starvation of California's once-lauded public schools. By 1994, the state had the largest class sizes in the nation; its reading scores were on a par with Mississippi's.

Voters wanted this shameful situation remedied. Indeed, much of the recent growth of education spending was mandated by a rather complex measure called Proposition 98. So when conservatives denounce "runaway government spending" in California, what they're really talking about is the effort to hire more teachers and repair decrepit school buildings."

Sound familiar? Yes, it's another bad case of tax deficiency - the social sickness that takes hold when the political public forget that all-important link between taxation and spending.

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