The headline on IE Business Daily read “Enterprise Zone Holds One Last Workshop.” With this headline we are reminded that the one egalitarian economic incentive program for businesses in the State of California will die shortly. The program was put on death watch by Governor Jerry Brown and its suicide was assisted by the democrats in the State Legislature. The EZ Program will be executed at 11:59 p.m. on December 31.
It will be a lonely vigil. As others prepare to ring in the new year we WILL BE MOURNING THE DEATH OF OUR DEAR FRIEND E.Z. AS MANY CAME TO CALL IT FOR SHORT OVER THE YEARS.
E.Z. was never one to brag or boast – although it did more to help business-starved communities land opportunities for local residents to get employment single handedly than anyone else in the state in the last 20 years. E.Z. hardly fought back when it was maligned by editorial boards and think tanks as ineffective and unnecessary. Indeed when the hacks at the left leaning Public Policy Institute of California attacked, E.Z. he hardly said a peep.
After all, the results it was producing in poor and rural areas of the state that were starving for jobs and industry spoke for themselves didn’t they? From Shasta County in the North to San Bernardino in the South, E.Z. was doing good all over California. Surely the musings of some pointy headed academics with political axes to grind could not outweigh the truth.
But in the end, it was E.Z.’s easygoing ways that were its undoing. As many urged E.Z. to get more vocal, to fight back with economic studies of its own it resisted. E.Z. just was not one to hog the spotlight. E.Z. followed the Reagan mantra that said, “it‘s amazing how much you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit.”
When the verdict came down and E.Z. realized the end was coming it seemed resigned to its fate. As it did in life, it will go quietly in death and only those that knew it well will realize just how much it will be missed – even if all of the other people in California don’t.