A trio of some of the wealthiest men from Hollywood and Wall Street has unveiled a self-congratulatory video aimed at defeating the California Jobs Initiative, Proposition 23.
At the roll-out, actor-turned-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hollywood director James Cameron, and billionaire hedge fund manager Thomas Steyer smugly reminisced about making movies, riding motorcycles, travelling the world together, and their personal environmental epiphanies. This enlightenment apparently has not inspired them to give up their own carbon-intensive lifestyles which reportedly include multiple mansions, fleets of gas-guzzling exotic cars, private jets, yachts, and of course, motorcycles.
Mr. Cameron is famous for making fantasy movies such as "Titanic" and "Avatar," and Mr. Schwarzenegger specializes in portraying indestructible, superhuman characters on the screen. While both may be entertaining, their value lies not in improving the real lives of real people but in providing them a temporary escape from the ever-harsher economic realities of our time.
Unfortunately their latest production perpetuates a green fantasy that will have severe consequences for the public, who may find they can no longer afford Netflix, let alone the price of a night out at the movies should these Hollywood and Wall Street elitists succeed in defeating Proposition 23.
The warning signs are everywhere: implementation of California’s global warming law will destroy more than a million jobs and impose a hidden energy tax on California’s struggling families to the tune of billions of dollars in higher energy costs including up to a 60% increase in electricity rates, up to 57% hike in natural gas rates, and $3.7 billion a year in higher gasoline and diesel fuel prices. And that’s before factoring in the impact of a $143 billion cap and trade tax on every sector of our economy. Utilities are already petitioning the PUC for permission to raise rates by millions to pay for the administrative costs alone.
The results for the vast majority of Californians are likely to be analogous to the fate of passengers on Mr. Cameron’s legendary "Titanic."
At the time the ship struck the iceberg, the first class passengers were enjoying their cigars and sipping brandy from fine crystal, then given time to gather up their cash and jewels before taking their place in the priority boarding line for the limited number of seats on the lifeboats. The steerage passengers, who far outnumbered the privileged few in first class, were left to fight for the remaining seats, deck chairs and whatever flotsam they could grab in a desperate and ultimately futile attempt to stay afloat until the hoped-for rescue, which never came.
In the end, the survivor list read like a Who’s Who of the American and European Social Registers and the casualty list like the public assistance roll.
Without Proposition 23, California’s economy will be on an even faster collision course with the economic iceberg than it already is. And the figurative outcome will be the same: The wealthy elitists bankrolling the No campaign will emerge virtually unscathed, marveling in disbelief that their ill-timed green tech mandate could sink the economy after all, just as the robber barons of the Gilded Age learned the hard way that the unsinkable Titanic could indeed wind up at the bottom of the ocean.
The economy and the less fortunate proletariat will go down with the ship.
When that happens, don’t be surprised if Mr. Steyer finances and Mr. Schwarzenegger stars in the next Cameron epic: "How Wall Street and Hollywood Terminated California’s Economy." It will do big box office in China, where the green jobs will have gone.