Op-Ed: "'Job Killers That Aren't"

"Since 2003, the California Chamber of Commerce has published an annual hit list of bills it labels job killers. The list has included state legislation to protect consumers, workers and the environment, and to raise revenue to fund public services or support middle- and working-class families.

No politician — Democrat or Republican — wants to be known as someone who kills jobs, so many of them will avoid supporting any bill so labeled. Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger used the list as a to-do list for his veto pen. His Democratic predecessor, Gray Davis, vetoed some of its top targets. ...

The chamber and its business allies rigorously carry out the central principle of modern advertising — repetition, repetition, repetition — hoping that their job-killer claims become each bill's default sound bite.

But if we look backward, we find that the job-killer predictions are often wrong. Despite the chamber's political clout, some of the bills on its lists became law. So it is possible to evaluate whether the organization was providing honest analyses or crying wolf and engaging in scare tactics."

Donald Cohen, director of the Cry Wolf Project, a nonprofit research network, writes in the opinion pages of the Los Angeles Times May 19, 2011.

Thursday, May 19, 2011