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When Californians Realize their Supposed Saviors Are the Exploiters, What Then?

Californians can bypass their legislature and save their state via the initiative process

By Edward Ring, January 28, 2020 6:01 pm

By the millions, Californians will suddenly realize that their supposed saviors are actually the exploiters.


There is a mass delusion afflicting millions of Californians. They endure a cost-of-living nearly twice the national average, high taxes, the highest incidence of poverty, the most hostile business climate, some of the worst K-12 schools, well over a $1.0 trillion in bond and pension debtunaffordable homes, among the highest prices in the nation for gasoline and electricitywater rationing, and they drive on congested and decaying roads and freeways.

Yet the latest PPIC poll, released this month, finds 49 percent of likely voters approve of Governor Newsom’s job performance, and 47 percent approve of the state legislature.

Meanwhile, on the streets and in the parks of every major California city, over 150,000 homeless people are permanently encamped. Literally tens of thousands of them are either insane, diseased, drug addicts, criminals, or all of the above. As working Californians attempt to keep their shops open, or walk to work, or live in peace, these homeless, who need help, not “lifestyle tolerance,” defecate, shoot heroin, and shriek in terror of schizophrenic demons. But instead of declaring an emergency, Governor Newsom just throws additional billions at what is a well-documented scam, where politically favored cronies build “supportive housing” at average costs over $500,000 per unit.

Yet this same poll finds that “fifty-eight percent of Californians are optimistic that the governor and legislature will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year.”


California is a feudal state masquerading as a democracy.


This is mass delusion. Because as long as a clique of leftist oligarch cronies and public sector union bosses control everything that happens in California, they will enrich themselves, and none of these problems – homeless, housing prices, cost-of-living, high taxes, etc. – will ever get solved. Eventually, Californians will realize that Newsom and his entire gang’s supposed solutions are scams, and their incessant virtue signaling on issues of social equity and “climate change” are diversionary cons.

California’s Red Pill Moment is Coming

In the movie Matrix there is a scene where the main character is offered a choice: He can take a blue pill and continue to live in a dream world, or he can take the red pill and confront harsh reality. As rebel leader Morpheus warns, “all I can offer you is the truth.”

The truth is this: California is a feudal state masquerading as a democracy. A supermajority of voters are either ultra-wealthy, or they are the well heeled professional class that serves them, or they are public employees whose pay and benefit packages exempt them from the laws and the costs they impose on everyone else, or they are low income residents who’ve been bought off – some by state funded benefits, others by socialist rhetoric. But it can’t go on.

It will only take a few influential Californians take the red pill, and accurately view the harsh reality of life for most Californians, and a preference cascade will ensue. By the millions, Californians will suddenly realize that their supposed saviors are actually the exploiters. They will see social justice excess and environmentalist extremism for what it is, cover for the corporations and the bureaucrats to consolidate their power over every aspect of economic life, making it almost impossible for working people to live here.

Overnight, California will transition from having not millions, but tens of millions of engaged, politically disenfranchised residents who want to do something, anything, to save their state. And there is something they can do. They can file state ballot initiatives.

Building An Open Source Ballot Initiative Capacity

The one way Californians can bypass their legislature is via the initiative process, even though that process has been undermined by lawmakers. Recent legislation requires signature gatherers to be paid employees instead of independent contractors, greatly raising costs and liabilities. The minimum one can expect to pay to place an initiative on the California state ballot is $5 million. What if that cost could be reduced by 80 percent?

What if a comprehensive online resource for any state ballot initiative campaign could be developed, posted as open source, and made available to California’s beleaguered serfs? Who cares if the aristocrats also get their hands on it? They don’t need it. They already have all the money in the world, and they already do whatever they want. It doesn’t help them.

With access to lists from well established, supportive grassroots organizations, along with viral endorsements from celebrities, activist Californians could be driven to a set of online resources that would comprise a one-stop shop for volunteer sustained ballot initiatives, from concept to polling to signature gathering. Those who shared their lists could have input into what initiatives would be promoted. But that would just prime the pump. The project would acquire its own momentum and attract followers who immediately recognize its breakthrough potential. These resources would include:

1 – Central online dashboard – a website that explains the project along with how the initiative process works, and provides links to all areas.
2 – YouTube instructional videos explaining each step in the process (for example, petition downloading and petition verification).
3 – A “polling” module (and report generator) where registrants vote on various initiative concepts.
4 – A status report module showing where various initiative concepts are in the pipeline.
5 – Downloadable petitions that can be printed and signed.
6 – Signature verification module to be utilized by volunteers (with professional assistance) in each county.

The technology for all of this exists. It is an idea whose time has come. In most cases utilizing off-the-shelf plugins (along with gaining access to the current California voter file from the Secretary of State), this entire online resource can easily be built.

Leveraging online technology and volunteers to greatly reduce dependence on paid signature gatherers has already been done by San Diego based Reform California. They successfully put a gas tax repeal measure, Proposition 6, onto the state ballot in November 2018. Although the initiative was defeated, the innovations implemented by Reform California dramatically reduced the cost to qualify their measure for the ballot, and paved the way for future efforts.

There are several populist reforms that would appeal to Californians of all political sentiments and across all backgrounds of income, ethnicity and gender. In education, union work rule reforms, more charter schools and school vouchers would all have broad appeal. In other areas, for example, spending more on water and transportation infrastructure, repealing crippling environmental edicts, reforming the disastrous downgrades of property and drug crimes, changing policies governing treatment of the homeless, and requiring pension fund investment in infrastructure revenue bonds would all have broad appeal. Californians want these reforms, but the legislators won’t do any of it.

This could be a game changer. A slate of activist generated state ballot initiatives with broad populist appeal could offer candidates a platform, it could offer opportunities to educate the electorate on alternatives to the one-party rule, and it gives activists something tangible to work on. Initiatives successfully placed onto the ballot will drain tens, if not hundreds of millions out of the coffers of the aristocracy, and some of them will win, transforming the political landscape of California.

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4 thoughts on “When Californians Realize their Supposed Saviors Are the Exploiters, What Then?

  1. Great article, Edward Ring. I appreciate the lifeline you throw out to us about a sea change that could plausibly happen in this state and what we can do when it does. A ray of hope in these terrible California times. We need that when others would stop at doom and gloom. Thank you.

    1. One of the better articles from Ed Ring in quite a while. Our family sold all property in California last year or two, with the exception of a beach house – hoping to sell that this summer. Moving to Florida, where zombies aren’t on every corner has been quite nice. The people of Florida are friendlier, more educated (at least in our area), and wealthier. While we miss our beach house in California, we have discussed what is better in Florida vs California – and Florida won all counts. This was really surprising to us when we took an analytical view of FL vs CA, as both my wife and I grew up in California and enjoyed it for many years. It is just the last 20 years things started down hill, and as that rock has been rolling it has been growing bigger and bigger. California is no longer at the point that ‘if something isn’t done, California will be a 3rd world s-hole’. California is already there, but with 1st world prices. Feel for the people that have no way out, and wish you the best. From your old ‘frenemy’ BOPRN.

  2. The California Attorney General controls ballot initiatives. Substantive initiatives are watered down or given obfuscating titles and summaries. In fact, the Governor is attempting to divert the initiative process to his own nefarious uses by publishing the current Prop 13 ballot measure, which undermines the historic Prop 13 tax revolt measure by establishing a split roll tax.

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