When an individual litigates against another individual or an organization for damages, one of the first things attorneys for the defendant(s) will do is determine the plaintiff’s need for capital. If the plaintiff is flush, it tends to negate the perception and likelihood that he’s in it for the money, whereas many a frivolous civil complaint has been lodged by plaintiffs who were sorely in need of money.
In a brief filed two weeks ago in federal court by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, it was revealed that Northern California utility Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) could face murder or manslaughter charges if the company is found negligent in the case of recent wildfires that have ravaged that state.
With the caveat that PG&E most certainly should face charges if they were somehow negligent in the case of the wildfires, bear in mind that there could be a vast difference between the company having been negligent, and being found negligent in the estimation of quirky California law.
Though a strong economy recently has filled Golden State government coffers with cash, traditionally California has been broke. Several municipalities in the state have sought bankruptcy protection over the last decade or so, and California’s fiscal woes have been apparent even to the most casual observer for at least that long. As in other large, liberal-run states across the U.S., lavish salaries and pensions for municipal workers have contributed significantly to financial shortfalls. In California’s case, an almost slavish devotion to accommodating millions of illegal aliens from south of the border have added billions to that state’s expenditures and economic deficits.
For decades, we’ve seen California voters exhibit a profound naiveté in their assent to politicians’ pie-in-the-sky governance, particularly in the area of superficial, “feel good” legislation, entitlements and deference to the environmental agenda. California’s resources are vast (particularly in the agricultural realm), but as I recently stated here, no resources of any type or measure can offset a sufficient degree of taxing financial obligations. It’s a simple matter of mathematics.
Unfortunately, given the knee-jerk, “stick it to the corporation” mentality so many under-informed citizens hold, the climate is often ripe for government agencies to fleece companies like PG&E. Should they escape the ignominy of murder charges, PG&E will probably be more than happy to face a civil suit and cough up a pile of cash to the state.
We all know how this plays out in the end, much in the same way it does when any business is hit with hefty, unexpected expenses: They pass it on to their customers, who already feel that they’re being gouged – and the cycle continues.
While “follow the money” may sound like a cynical refrain, money is obviously a central motivator in many areas of human endeavor where a viable economy exists. Ironically, it is doubly significant when dealing with socialist power players as they seek to usurp control of key economic sectors.
This was the sole motivation behind the passage of Obamacare and is behind the ongoing push for a “single-payer” government-controlled health-care system in America. For those who doubt the validity of this assessment vis-à-vis California and PG&E, bear in mind that it was a prominent California Democrat who floated the idea of the state taking over oil companies in 2008.
As I said last week in this space,the usurpation of power and resources (money) from the private sector is also the motivation behind some extremely radical environmentally focused legislation being advanced by freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. While it isn’t likely to get passed given the character of the current administration, in the eyes of Beltway socialists, it’s still quite important to get people used to the idea of living with less for the sake of the planet—normalizing these radical concepts, if you will. For more on how this plays out, a Web search on the “green riots” in France should be most enlightening.
In the end, socialism doesn’t so much represent a struggle between workers and capitalists, or the haves versus the have-nots, or even between two competing economic systems. It’s simply the device presently being employed by a group of like-minded megalomaniacs seeking to abolish modern concepts of self-governance and democracy.
We already know how rapacious our federal government and many state governments can be through something as simple as a breakdown of financial disbursements for each gallon of gasoline Americans purchase. Factor in socialist objectives, and we have a level of greed surpassing anything of which leftists accuse corporations.
What’s truly frightening is that we have come to a place where a U.S. lawmaker can proffer the notion of a marginal tax rate as high as 70 percent with a straight face, and without fear of being dragged into the street by an angry mob.