California Governor Gavin Newsom has publicly admitted that he wants to use the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to usher in a “new, progressive era.”
While the left-wing governor didn’t get into details, he did specifically target capitalism, as if the freedom to make money and do business without government interference is responsible for a deadly plague that originated on the other side of the world.
“There is opportunity for reimagining a progressive era as it pertains to capitalism,” Governor Newsom said in early April. “So yes, absolutely we see this as an opportunity to reshape the way we do business and how we govern.”
It’s hard to imagine California becoming more progressive than it already is. The state’s disastrous AB5 bill, which was supposedly intended to ensure that companies paid contractors a fair wage and benefits, has wreaked havoc on the gig economy as businesses simply began hiring contractors from other states.
This if far from California’s only economic obstacle. The Tenant Protection Act of 2019 prevents landlords from raising rents above a certain amount, a move that is meant to make it possible for low and middle-class renters to afford housing. In reality, such a rule makes housing more expensive by encouraging landlords to either start with high rental fees or exit the housing market altogether. Coupled with the state’s existing laws making it easy for tenants to withhold rent, move out or even file lawsuits against owners for “failing to make important repairs”, it’s not hard to see why large cities such as San Francisco have a housing crisis.
California has long maintained a reputation for treating private property owners like obstacles to their progressive plans. As the Hollister Ranch discovered earlier this year, California bureaucrats have no qualms attempting to take private land and turn it into public land without the landowner’s consent.
Governor Newsom isn’t the only Democrat eager to use the pandemic to “remodel the United States.” Several Democratic members of Congress, including powerful Rep. Jim Clyburn, have used the crisis to justify jamming in as many far-left reforms as possible. All you need to do is look at what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tried to sneak into the round of stimulus bills. Writing in arbitrary requirements for corporate boards, new regulations on businesses, and other items that have nothing to do with the pandemic whatsoever is proof positive that Democrats are more than happy to play politics right now.
Many of these goals, such as limiting airline emissions, would pressure businesses at a time when they are already facing unprecedented challenges. The California economy would likely tank for good if Newsom and his cronies had their way. what’s more, they would likely blame President Trump for the ensuing mess instead of realizing that socialist laws make life miserable for everyone.
The idea that the COVID-19 crisis should be used for any purpose at all is reprehensible. As the governor of the most populous state in America, Newsom should be using his powers to ensure that hospitals are well-equipped, the vulnerable are protected from the sickness, and that the business community has what it needs to get back on its feet once it’s all over. But that’s never been their agenda, has it?