Saturday, March 6, 2021

Newsom's recall "may presage another rising tide of national conservative revolt.”

The Newsom recall effort calls to mind a conservative political response in California from two generations ago: Proposition 13. Enacted in 1978, Proposition 13 was a sweeping tax limitation amendment to California’s constitution aimed at skyrocketing property tax increases.

Both episodes were driven by government policies with broadly negative economic impacts. In Mr. Newsom’s recall, it is lockdowns’ hit to working class and small business owners. In Proposition 13, it was skyrocketing property taxes, which were in turn driven by nationwide stagflation, a combination of rising inflation and stagnant economic growth....

...Two generations ago, political policies’ adverse economic effects reverberated nationwide and propelled Reagan and conservatism unexpectedly. The fundamental policy — increasing inflation and low growth, stagflation — originated in Washington, but the warning — Proposition 13 — came from California. Although lockdowns’ duration has been shorter, their intensity has been greater and even more tied to the left. It therefore bears watching to see if California’s recall effort today foreshadows a nationwide one tomorrow. Perhaps the greater question is whether there is a Reagan today who can seize it.