The lead editorial by conventional liberal Dan Morain presents the Church’s position on California’s “green chemistry” regulatory adventure, just the latest paternalistic intervention into the private lives of the citizenry by our state’s ruling nomenklatura. The very label “green chemistry” is another Orwellian linguistic syrup designed to help the progressive agenda go down smoother. The ostensible aim of the initiative is to force “manufacturers of consumer products find alternatives to ingredients that are linked to cancer, are reproductive toxins or otherwise despoil the planet.”
The assumption is that all those evil chemicals (some 84,000, according to Mr. Morain) inundating us can be transformed into benign and “eco-friendly” compounds without pain. Unfortunately, greedy and callous capitalists who use the bad ones, fronted by such nasty organizations like the American Chemistry Council, will have to be forced to make that happen.
The good guys, supported by the Democrats in the state legislature and green poseur former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, offer the standard progressive formula: give power to regulate chemical usage and rearrange this sector of the state’s economy to another unelected body of “experts,” in this case the Department of Toxic Substances Control along with Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.
Mr. Morain’s treatise uncritically accepts the assertions of “green chemistry’s” promoters and paints the chemical manufacturers and those that use chemicals in their products as “squawkers” and weasels seeking exemptions. He also drags out the old chestnut that California had to act because of federal inaction. In fact, that is the angle of his article, not an analysis of the actual “green chemistry” push itself.
In Washington, Senate Democrats have introduced legislation to update the Toxic Substances Control Act, a 1976 law that has never lived up to its name.
The American Chemistry Council is a lobbying heavyweight, having spent more than $9 million to keep Congress in line last year. Congress is unlikely to pass anything opposed by the chemical industry.Yes, the conventional liberal mantra drones, the states have to act, especially because the ACC "keep[s] Congress in line." Exactly why California has to act, and to act in the way it does, is not explained. Also left unsaid is anything about the background and philosophy of the DTSC director, Debbie Raphael, a lifelong regulator who cut her eyeteeth in such blue social model havens as Santa Monica and San Francisco. The draconian reach and punitive methodology of the regulations is overlooked, as is the potential cost to consumers of the whole project.
From California's perspective, congressional gridlock probably is best. Republicans insist that any legislation pre-empt states from adopting green chemistry rules.
"Industry has blocked progress on reform nationally," said Andy Igrejas, director of the Washington, D.C., advocacy group Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. "That drives the states to act."
Mr. Morain doesn’t have to lay these things out because his presumption is that the good-guy majority automatically gets it and agrees. Those who don’t are deemed to be outside the moral pale, acting only upon their own greedy self-interest.
That this might be a mammoth projection is simply outside the consciousness of the Church of the All Powerful State’s adherents.
And, of course, that other progressive initiatives like the AB 32 carbon trading scheme are being rejected by early adopters like the European Union doesn’t phase Our Betters here in California.
The Recovering Bureaucrat, along with millions of other Americans (both citizens and every other supporter of our founding principles), challenges the assumptions and motivations of the progressives. He believes that the America of the founders and of Abraham Lincoln offers a superior way to organize and support human aspirations, behaviors, and limitations. Unlike our opponents, he believes that the individual human is the best person to create and manage his or her own life, and that society is superior that organizes itself to secure and perpetuate the freedom for each citizen to do so without interference from other citizens or outside forces.
Mr. Morain doesn’t believe this. His closing line says it all. “Green chemistry aside,” he writes, “manufacturers need to answer to the people who buy what they sell.”
Notice the presumption: people have no choices; manufacturers don’t care about their customers; Mr. Morain and the Church of the All Powerful State can decide what manufacturers—and, of course, everyone else—needs to do; only the All Powerful State can make this halcyon event come true, and only by punitive regulatory intervention.
This is progressive paternalism’s monarchical worldview, in which the king is replaced by the bluenoses, overseers, and rent-seekers.
Mr. Morain might want to read his own newspaper, however. In the front section is an article by a New York Times reporter (!) warning about the long-term debilitations of the blue social model. “Danes develop doubts about generous welfare state,” headlines the story. (The RB could not find the story on the Bee’s web page; the link is to the Times web page.) California’s fierce adherence to its paternalistic blue social model will force, sooner or later, the same reckoning the Danes are now obliged to undertake. That day can’t come soon enough.
In the meantime, the Recovering Bureaucrat urges Americans committed to our founding principles to learn how the MSM and its various outlets propagandize the progressive blue social model worldview. The blogger Dewey from Detroit recently posted a series about this methodology entitled "Know Thy Enemy." It's a great place to start.