California is Losing to Florida, but at Least It’s Regulating Skittles

California is facing a $32 billion deficit, but at least it can still regulate Skittles.

The state assembly approved a bill last week that will ban a food dye used in the popular candy. The state senate may pass a bill to make In-N-Out Burger and other big companies report their greenhouse gas emissions. And later this year, legislators will consider reparations for slavery (in a “free” state). These are the priorities.

Not a day goes by when California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) doesn’t tweet about some aspect of Florida life that he finds personally objectionable — some restriction on transgender surgery for children, for example, or a gun law that doesn’t include banning the AR-15. But Florida is crushing California in the economic stakes, which is why tens of thousands of Californians are moving there — at a pace that appears to have accelerated after 2020.

That was the year the two states diverged over pandemic policy, with Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) opening his state’s economy after just a few weeks, while Newsom waited for years. Both states have come out of the worst of the pandemic. But while California’s unemployment rate has started to worsen again, Florida’s unemployment rate continues to improve. By at least one economic measure, Gavin Newsom’s California is already in a recession.

Florida is winning because DeSantis — and his predecessor, Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) — put economic growth ahead of every other priority. So while California and left-wing groups like the NAACP attempt to discourage travel to Florida, warning that it is too dangerous or too socially conservative, the Sunshine State is the third-most-popular state for black Americans to move to from elsewhere, and South Beach remains a gay mecca.

One thing Florida does far better than California — and almost any other state, with the possible exception of Texas — is disaster management. Last year, DeSantis managed the devastation of Hurricane Ian with such success that he won the support of some black Democrats. Meanwhile, Newsom escaped California to Baja California during a deadly blizzard this weekend, enjoying the coast while people were trapped in their homes.

Newsom has also declared war on the oil and gas industry — once a mainstay of the local economy — and has banned the sale of gas-powered cars after 2035. But the phaseout of fossil fuels has left the state short of energy. During a power crisis last year, California authorities discouraged people from charging their electric vehicles in the late afternoon and early evening. You may not be able to drive the car you are forced to own.

This winter, California residents rejoiced at the arrival of heavy rain, which defied predictions and ended a three-year drought. But wonder turned to frustration as people watched most of that water — enough to meet the state’s needs for a decade, if stored — run out to sea. California has not built significant new reservoirs in decades, and the pace of approval for desalination projects — despite Newsom’s support — has been glacial.

Meanwhile, crime is soaring. Retailers in San Francisco, the city Newsom once ran, have been fleeing from once-coveted Union Square. Radical Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón, who won in 2020 with Newsom’s endorsement and with the help of millions of dollars in spending by George Soros, is said to have a 10,000-case backlog, and is boasting about how much prison time he has helped convicts avoid.

But don’t worry. California has Skittles under control.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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