Kotkin Compares California to Iran

Calling California's attempts at environmental responsibility a "green jihad," Joel Kotkin argues that the state's "ideological extremism" has led to illogical economic and political decisions - similar to those made in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
June 8, 2011, 1pm PDT | Victor Negrete
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From article by Joel Kotkin:

"Californians are learning what ideological extremism can do to an economy. In the Islamic Republic [of Iran], crazy theology leads to misallocating resources to support repression at home and terrorism abroad. In California green zealots compel companies to shift their operations to states that are still interested in growing their economy - like Texas."

Kotkin borrows from an argument made by Harvard Professor Ed Glaesser in Triumph of the City when he explains that "some of these green policies often offer dubious benefits for the environment. For one thing, forcing California businesses to move to less energy-efficient states, or to developing countries like China, could have a negative impact overall since shifting production to Texas or China might lead to higher greenhouse gas production given California's generally milder climate."

Kotkin concludes his article by asking, "So who really benefits from the green jihad?" His answer: "crony capitalists" who support solar power and electric cars, companies hoping to build CA's proposed high-speed rail lines, and finally ... lawyers. Kotkin compares the need for lawyers in "a hyper-regulatory state" to the need for "mobs of mullahs and bare knuckled religious enforcers" in a theocracy.

The epicenter of this "green jihad," is San Francisco, according to Kotkin.

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, June 7, 2011 in New Geography
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