Only Nixon Can Go to China

So says the old Vulcan proverb quoted by Spock in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and it just might be that a liberal governor will be the one to break the power of public employee unions in a very blue state.

I lived in California during the last few months of Gov. Moonbean’s second term. There was quite a bit of flakiness but also a certain practical recognition of the reality of limits. Jerry Brown is now up against the limit imposed by Thatcher’s Law (The principal problem with socialism comes when one runs out of other peoples’ money.); it is fitting that he should have a hand in cleaning up a mess he helped to lay the foundation for during his first two terms.

A big part of the proposed Brown reforms would be putting new employees into something akin to 401k plan. This has national political implications. Ed Morrissey notes:

That has national ramifications, too, in terms of entitlement reform. With Brown pushing a privatized pension system for public-sector workers, it will be somewhat more difficult for Democrats to demagogue Republicans who propose at least partial (and voluntary) privatization of the Social Security system. Herman Cain has built his entitlement reform in this area on the so-called Chilean model, which conservative economists cheer, and which actually didn’t go quite as far as Brown’s proposal appears to do.

More here.

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