Op-ed asks, Why can’t California be more like Rhode Island?December 3rd, 2011 at 12:28 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
Time magazine’s “Little State That Could” article about Rhode Island’s pension overhaul continues to reverberate around the country. This time it’s in an Orange County Register op-ed by Steven Greenhut, who gloomily contrasts his state’s approach to the issue with ours:
As the public employee pension and health care benefit crisis sweeps across the nation, some states are dealing seriously with these multibillion-dollar threats to public services and treasuries. And other states remain in deep denial. California, to no one’s surprise, is moving stridently in the wrong direction. …
[Rhode Island's] sweeping reforms were passed in a union-dominated state, where Democrats control even bigger legislative majorities than in California. Time magazine called Rhode Island “The Little State That Could.”
By contrast, California is “The Big State That Can’t.” Or maybe the right word is “won’t,” given that there is no real reason that California leaders can’t adopt similar reforms if they had the desire to do so. …
Wouldn’t it be nice if California’s legislators, governor and courts rolled up their sleeves and behaved like their counterparts in Rhode Island? Then again that would take a level of political maturity not seen in this state for a long time.
If it’s any consolation to Mr. Greenhut, as I write this the temperature in Orange County is 60 degrees, compared with a brisk 45 here in Rhode Island.