No Representation for Non-Bosses

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

Governor Gavin Newsom’s economic task force has plenty of representation if you’re a boss. It’s full of presidents, CEOs, board chairs, and directors of various enterprises in business, labor, government and academia.

For those few of us—we humble few—who aren’t bosses, well, we don’t have any representation at all. 

I suspect non-bosses may constitute a majority of Californians. As a group, we are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. But hey, rulers gotta rule.

It’s a very strange body. With 80 members, it’s hard to imagine it being effective as a governing force. It also is full of people who have massive responsibilities in their own jobs, so they probably can’t give their full attention to the vital work of fashioning an economic response to COVID-19.

It doesn’t help politically that the both co-chairs are Democrats, including the state’s biggest Democratic donor, Tom Steyer. This state has many millions of non-Democrats who might be suspicious of a partisan figure.

A task force with all leaders will lack for followers. Maybe it would be a good idea to shrink this group by 75 percent, and add people who know how to get work done and follow a leader.

And if you want an enlightened despot—a justifiable choice in an emergency—why not just put Bob Iger in charge and get rid of everybody else? 

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