Shades of ancient Rome, from whom we still apparently have not learned the lesson. (Oh, and yes, this is a discussion about California. There is a larger principle at stake, but I’ll get more responses if I mention California. California-California-California. Betelgeuse!!)
In effect, government workers have hijacked democracy. Instead of state employees working for the people, the people now work for the state employees. As far as the state government is concerned, people in the private sector work merely so that they can be taxed for the benefit of the tax consumers. They’ve entered a condition not unlike like that of pre-industrial serfs.
This is a serious problem. The average US taxpayer is already taxed more heavily than medieval serfs were (Full Disclosure: I iz a medievalist). In other words, it is only because our productivity is up in science-fiction fairy-story heights compared to the medieval world that average men and women are able to do better than merely treading water and surviving — and even then, it typically takes such a couple half their lifetime merely to purchase a badly-constructed home sitting on a postage-stamp-sized lot.
Rome fell because taxes got so high that people were willing to ally themselves to other political powers (Visigoths, for instance) which would protect them from ruinous taxation which was the equivalent to slavery. We have already reached the beginnings of this stage in the process, where it is incredibly rare for any of the monetarily-above-the-law elite NOT to have large chunks of their money parked semi-permanently in tax shelters.
Don’t have a solution, though. Claire Wolf said “it’s too late to work within the system, but too early to start shooting the bastards.” I don’t think we’re quite there yet, but when this sort of thing is tied to gerrymandered voting districts and outright federal robbery (big chunks of California’s financial problem is due to the FedGov saying “you will pay big benefits to illegals and house them in prisons at your own expense, or else”), the sources of relief start to look thin on the ground.
Taxpayers’ Union, anyone? Maybe we should start cutting those guys a check or two.