L.A. Liberty

A Libertarian in Leftywood

Tax Burden By State →

Reviewing eight primary forms of taxation:

  • Real Estate Tax  (this metric reflects the median real estate tax payment divided by the median house price – both at the state level)
  • Income Tax – State
  • Income Tax – Local
  • Vehicle Property Tax (this metric only applies to VA & Conn.; data for those states is at the county level)
  • Vehicle Sales Tax (this metric includes vehicle sales tax and registration fee; we used the Toyota Camry L 4D Sedan – the country’s top selling car – as a proxy)
  • Sales & Use Tax (this metric includes state & local data for 2012)
  • Fuel Tax
  • Alcohol Tax (this metric includes state-level data for beer, which accounts for more than 80% of all nationwide alcohol sales)
  • Food Tax
  • Telecom Tax

The top five are Wyoming, Alaska, Nevada, Florida, and South Dakota.

Meanwhile, the only state worse than California - that is, with a greater overall tax burden than California - is New York.

Incidentally, there was a measurable difference in tax burden between “red states” and “blue states.”

So for those keeping score at home, California is second worst in tax burden, second worst in economic freedom, fourth worst in personal freedom, worst in regulatory freedomworst in civil liberties, worst in “nanny” lawsfifth worst in liability laws, second worst in occupational licensing, worst in labor and occupational freedomthird worst in property freedomhas the strictest gun controland has by far the heaviest debt burden (more than double the second worst state). Oh, and cost of living is among the highest in the country, especially in L.A. and San Francisco.

If I could pursue my career anywhere else, I would.

All Cars Are Under Investigation, LAPD Tells Court →

Related: Forget the NSA, the LAPD Spies on Millions of Innocent Folks

This is what a six hour line for passports looks like.

Such efficiency and freedom!

Our solution: go to FedEx/Kinko’s (a private company) to take photo and have forms notarized. No line.

Despite populist rhetoric to the contrary, there is no more efficient or just mechanism for conservation[1],[2],[3],[4] and allocation of resources[5],[6],[7],[8],[9],[10],[11] than individuals acting freely under private ownership of property, making consensual, peaceful, and mutually beneficial exchanges of scarce resources. No “human sacrifice” required.

Despite populist rhetoric to the contrary, there is no more efficient or just mechanism for conservation[1],[2],[3],[4] and allocation of resources[5],[6],[7],[8],[9],[10],[11] than individuals acting freely under private ownership of property, making consensual, peaceful, and mutually beneficial exchanges of scarce resources. No “human sacrifice” required.

Los Angeles Starts Forcing Marijuana Dispensaries Shut and Threatening Landlords →

Morons. 

Corporatism is universal. As I keep mentioning: “So long as there are centers of power, those with means will aim to wield that power or work it in their favor. And there’s no greater power than the state’s monopoly on force. The state, therefore, will always serve the interests of the connected few above the masses.”

There’s more to this story, but here’s the bottom line:

And now it’s going around closing shops and threatening not just those businesses with fines and jail time but the landlords who rent out their spaces, even if the businesses have been issued registration certificates by the city.

Of course, if these shops were free to open at will, consumer demand would naturally determine the number of shops desired in a given area, with the added bonus of driving up quality and safety while driving down price. 

California’s Solution to Truancy ‘Crisis’: More Bureaucracy! →

'Six Californias' instead of one?

[Venture capitalist Tim Draper], the prime mover behind the “Six Californias” initiative, a proposal to partition the nation’s most populous state into six smaller ones…
With 38 million people spread over such a vast and varied territory, Draper argues, a monolithic California has grown ungovernable. The state’s population is more than six times as large as the average of the other 49 states, and too many Californians feel estranged from a state government in Sacramento that doesn’t understand them or reflect their interests. He is far from the first to say so. Plans to subdivide California have been put forward since the earliest days of statehood in 1850. Inan 1859 plebiscite, voters approved by a landslide a proposal to split off Southern California into a separate state. (The measure died in Congress, which was in turmoil over the looming Civil War.)
Can Draper’s six-state plan do better? It moved one step closer to plausibility last month, when California’s secretary of stategave backers the go-ahead to begin collecting the necessary petition signatures to put “Six Californias” on the ballot. If 808,000 signatures are submitted by July 14, the measure could go to voters in November.
Clearly, a six-way Golden State split is the longest of long shots, and critics aplenty have already started blasting Draper’s proposal. But even many of the critics agree that California has become an unwieldy, unmanageable mess.
"No other state contains within it such contradictory interests, cultures, economic and political geography,"writes Keith Naughton at PublicCEO, a website that covers state and local California issues. “It has become impossible to even remotely reconcile the array of opposing forces. The only way to get anything done is to shove laws and regulations down a lot of unwilling throats.” In the Los Angeles Times, business columnist Michael Hiltzik claims the economic fallout from the Six Californias plan would be “horrific” — he’s especially disturbed that the proposed new state of Central California “would instantly become the poorest state in the nation,” while Silicon Valley, where Draper lives, would be one of the wealthiest. Yet Hiltzik concedes that “Californians have lost contact with their government as more budgeting and administration [have] been upstreamed to Sacramento” and as state policies have “taken decision-making for everything from pothole repair to art and music classes out of the hands of the locals.”

Tim Draper, a storied Silicon Valley venture-capital investor, is the the prime mover behind the ‘Six Californias’ initiative.
It’s been a long time since an existing state was partitioned into smaller states. It last happened in 1863, when 50 northwestern counties of Virginia were renamed West Virginia and admitted as the 35th state. More than 40 years earlier, Maine, which had been part of Massachusetts since the 1650s, voted overwhelmingly for a divorce, and eventually entered the union as a new state in 1820. In both cases, separation was driven, then embraced, by communities and people who had grown alienated from a state government dominated by interests they didn’t share. West Virginia’s mountain people had chafed under Richmond’s rule, and sharply opposed the formation of the Confederacy. Mainers had long complained that the Legislature in Boston — where Maine was underrepresented — was not only too far away, but too willing to sacrifice their interests to those of Massachusetts.
Maybe those chapters from 19th-century history have no relevance to California today. Or maybe Draper is onto something that shouldn’t be dismissed too casually. Last September, in California’s rural north, Siskiyou County and Modoc County voted to pursue secession from California and support the creation of a new State of Jefferson. Local residents crowded the Siskiyou board of supervisors’ chambers, and when a speaker asked who in the audience favored the idea, the local paper reported, “nearly every hand in the room was raised.”
Conventional wisdom says Draper’s scheme hasn’t got a chance. But venture capitalists have a knack of seeing openings and opportunities that most people miss. Would “Six Californias” would be an improvement over the status quo? That’s definitely a debate worth having.


I think splitting up states into smaller, more manageable, responsive, representative, and accountable chunks is a great step in the right direction. Six California’s is a start. Then those six should be split in half, and those halves split again and again. Only this way can governments trend toward better representation of the demands and values of the people who reside within their borders.
If a small state predominantly of leftists passed a law to ban water bottles, issue penalties for “excess profits,” and create expansive welfare and public transportation programs, then it will gather more support and alienate fewer people than if such a law were passed in a larger, more mixed state. If a small neighboring state promised greater gun rights, fewer business regulations, and lower taxes, then the two states would compete for residents and occupants by virtue of their public policy. And despite such competition, there would ultimately be less conflict among individuals since their ideas on how one should live his or her life won’t affect the other (as much as if they all shared the same borders, anyway).
As I noted in a recent conversation with a coworker about splitting up California (and the United States) into smaller states: “it makes no sense for people who have little in common culturally, geographically, and ideologically to be forced into some common union in which they battle for whose ideas should run the others’ lives.”

'Six Californias' instead of one?

[Venture capitalist Tim Draper], the prime mover behind the “Six Californias” initiative, a proposal to partition the nation’s most populous state into six smaller ones…

With 38 million people spread over such a vast and varied territory, Draper argues, a monolithic California has grown ungovernable. The state’s population is more than six times as large as the average of the other 49 states, and too many Californians feel estranged from a state government in Sacramento that doesn’t understand them or reflect their interests. He is far from the first to say so. Plans to subdivide California have been put forward since the earliest days of statehood in 1850. Inan 1859 plebiscite, voters approved by a landslide a proposal to split off Southern California into a separate state. (The measure died in Congress, which was in turmoil over the looming Civil War.)

Can Draper’s six-state plan do better? It moved one step closer to plausibility last month, when California’s secretary of stategave backers the go-ahead to begin collecting the necessary petition signatures to put “Six Californias” on the ballot. If 808,000 signatures are submitted by July 14, the measure could go to voters in November.

Clearly, a six-way Golden State split is the longest of long shots, and critics aplenty have already started blasting Draper’s proposal. But even many of the critics agree that California has become an unwieldy, unmanageable mess.

"No other state contains within it such contradictory interests, cultures, economic and political geography,"writes Keith Naughton at PublicCEO, a website that covers state and local California issues. “It has become impossible to even remotely reconcile the array of opposing forces. The only way to get anything done is to shove laws and regulations down a lot of unwilling throats.” In the Los Angeles Times, business columnist Michael Hiltzik claims the economic fallout from the Six Californias plan would be “horrific” — he’s especially disturbed that the proposed new state of Central California “would instantly become the poorest state in the nation,” while Silicon Valley, where Draper lives, would be one of the wealthiest. Yet Hiltzik concedes that “Californians have lost contact with their government as more budgeting and administration [have] been upstreamed to Sacramento” and as state policies have “taken decision-making for everything from pothole repair to art and music classes out of the hands of the locals.”

Tim Draper, a storied Silicon Valley venture-capital investor, is the the prime mover behind the ‘Six Californias’ initiative.

It’s been a long time since an existing state was partitioned into smaller states. It last happened in 1863, when 50 northwestern counties of Virginia were renamed West Virginia and admitted as the 35th state. More than 40 years earlier, Maine, which had been part of Massachusetts since the 1650s, voted overwhelmingly for a divorce, and eventually entered the union as a new state in 1820. In both cases, separation was driven, then embraced, by communities and people who had grown alienated from a state government dominated by interests they didn’t share. West Virginia’s mountain people had chafed under Richmond’s rule, and sharply opposed the formation of the Confederacy. Mainers had long complained that the Legislature in Boston — where Maine was underrepresented — was not only too far away, but too willing to sacrifice their interests to those of Massachusetts.

Maybe those chapters from 19th-century history have no relevance to California today. Or maybe Draper is onto something that shouldn’t be dismissed too casually. Last September, in California’s rural north, Siskiyou County and Modoc County voted to pursue secession from California and support the creation of a new State of Jefferson. Local residents crowded the Siskiyou board of supervisors’ chambers, and when a speaker asked who in the audience favored the idea, the local paper reported, “nearly every hand in the room was raised.”

Conventional wisdom says Draper’s scheme hasn’t got a chance. But venture capitalists have a knack of seeing openings and opportunities that most people miss. Would “Six Californias” would be an improvement over the status quo? That’s definitely a debate worth having.

I think splitting up states into smaller, more manageable, responsive, representative, and accountable chunks is a great step in the right direction. Six California’s is a start. Then those six should be split in half, and those halves split again and again. Only this way can governments trend toward better representation of the demands and values of the people who reside within their borders.

If a small state predominantly of leftists passed a law to ban water bottles, issue penalties for “excess profits,” and create expansive welfare and public transportation programs, then it will gather more support and alienate fewer people than if such a law were passed in a larger, more mixed state. If a small neighboring state promised greater gun rights, fewer business regulations, and lower taxes, then the two states would compete for residents and occupants by virtue of their public policy. And despite such competition, there would ultimately be less conflict among individuals since their ideas on how one should live his or her life won’t affect the other (as much as if they all shared the same borders, anyway).

As I noted in a recent conversation with a coworker about splitting up California (and the United States) into smaller states: “it makes no sense for people who have little in common culturally, geographically, and ideologically to be forced into some common union in which they battle for whose ideas should run the others’ lives.”

"Tase Him Again! Tase Him Tase Him Tase Him!": San Francisco BART in Action Against Man Fellow Passengers Said Was No Problem →

Police Shoot, Kill 80-Year-Old Man In His Own Bed, Don’t Find the Drugs They Were Looking For

And the cop’s account that the hard-of-hearing 80-year-old with no criminal record was charging him with a .22 pistol runs counter to the coroner’s report, forensic evidence of the scene, and an audio recording of the incident. 

This Is How Government Builds Infrastructure →

With corrupt, inefficient, and expensive boondoggles…

As if the condition of the roads and the efficiency of the highways in LA weren’t enough to cast doubts…

California court: Drivers can read cellphone maps

Drivers in California can legally read a map on their hand-held cellphones while behind the wheel, a state appeals court ruled Thursday.
The 5th District Court of Appeal reversed the case of a Fresno man who was ticketed in January 2012 for looking at a map on his iPhone 4 while stuck in traffic. The driver, Steven Spriggs, challenged the $165 fine.

California court: Drivers can read cellphone maps

Drivers in California can legally read a map on their hand-held cellphones while behind the wheel, a state appeals court ruled Thursday.

The 5th District Court of Appeal reversed the case of a Fresno man who was ticketed in January 2012 for looking at a map on his iPhone 4 while stuck in traffic. The driver, Steven Spriggs, challenged the $165 fine.

(Source: Gizmodo)

Border Patrol Use of Force Questioned in Report They Tried to Keep from Congress →

"Border Patrol agents have deliberately stepped in the path of cars apparently to justify shooting at the drivers and have fired in frustration at people throwing rocks from the Mexican side of the border"

Forget the NSA, the LAPD Spies on Millions of Innocent Folks →

Curbed LA breaks it down:

In 2010, the LAPD teamed up with Motorola Solutions to deploy military-grade technology in tracking the goings-on in high-crime areas like the Jordan Downs projects; now they’re employing those same technologies and newer, more advanced ones to monitor people across the city before they’ve committed crimes, as LA Weekly reports. How does “predictive policing” work? It starts with your car. If you have a license plate, the LAPD has its eyes on you, thanks to license-plate-reading technology that records your plate number any time you pass police cars with cameras or when you drive past street-mounted cameras. That network could even expand: The LADOT has a system of 460 cameras posted above major roads and intersections to watch traffic, and those could soon be digitized and fed into the LAPD’s surveillance network. The pre-crime approach to policing doesn’t stop there.

If you don’t want to be tracked, you could walk or bike, but there’s also tech in place now throughout the Topanga and Foothill divisions of the LAPD that uses live-monitored CCTV cameras outfitted with facial-recognition software. These are supposedly used to tip cops off to people who are on watch lists or have outstanding warrants, but there’s no way to know what is actually being collected, or what they’re doing with it all.

Calif. Police Officials Charged with Seizing Cars of Poor Hispanics and Selling Them →

Related: How Government Hurts the Poor

California Public School Students Suing Against Teacher Tenure →

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