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Manhattan Institute

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California and New York Show the Ugly Face of ‘Progress’

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California and New York Show the Ugly Face of ‘Progress’

The Wall Street Journal October 16, 2019
Urban PolicyOther
Energy & EnvironmentOther

Voters may not like Trump, but they can see what the Democrats’ ideas look like when put into action.

Don’t be fooled by the dozen people on stage for Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate. For now, this is a two-person contest between Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren, who have distanced themselves from the rest of the pack in national polls and in the early-voting states.

We know that many liberal elites, particularly in the media, would prefer to replace President Trump with a hard-left Democrat like Ms. Warren. But if Hillary Clinton’s loss in 2016 taught us anything, it’s that the political preferences and sensibilities of the Washington press corps don’t always jibe with the rest of the country’s. That Mr. Biden has led this primary race from the moment he announced his candidacy suggests that the electorate might not be as progressive as liberals hope. And even a cursory glance at what’s been happening recently in the most progressive regions of America could explain voter skepticism.

Millions of California residents were left in the dark last week, and it wasn’t because of an earthquake or storm or terrorist attack. It was the result of government mismanagement of a state utility, which intentionally cut off power to avoid wildfires caused by outdated electric lines. Instead of upgrading its equipment, Pacific Gas & Electric has been spending billions to fight global warming at the behest of state lawmakers. Californians already pay electricity bills well above the national average and nearly double what customers pay in neighboring Oregon. In return they get rolling blackouts reminiscent of the Third World.

Continue reading the entire piece here at The Wall Street Journal (paywall)

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Jason L. Riley is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a columnist at The Wall Street Journal, and a Fox News commentator. Follow him on Twitter here.

Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

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