Jerry Brown's Zen Mantra for Limited Government

Gov. Jerry Brown defended his record in a meeting with the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board last week. In addition to touting his record on job creation, defending the troubled high-speed rail project, and claiming that Toyota's departure from the state was a small price to play for the "dynamism" of Silicon Valley, Brown presented a Zen mantra for limited government, warning against creating sweeping new social entitlements:

First the desire emerges, then the desire becomes a need, and the need becomes a right, and the right becomes a law, and the law becomes a lawsuit.

"When I was in Japan, practicing my Zen meditation," Brown concluded, "...we would say: 'Desires are endless. I vow to cut them down.'" 

He still "desires" high-speed rail as a symbol of the state's capacity to "move forward."



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