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Opinion | The Thrilla in Alpharetta

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It won’t be Ali-Frazier, but Thursday’s debate between Govs. Gavin Newsom and Ron DeSantis has high stakes for both men’s presidential ambitions. More important, the face-off in Alpharetta, Ga., will show two different models for America’s economic future.

Both states have balmy weather and beautiful beaches. Both are coastal hubs with high levels of immigration. But on policy, they are almost polar opposites. California is the nation’s poster child for progressive governance. Its 13.3% income-tax rate is the highest in the country. It has forced union rules, a minimum wage that can reach $20 an hour, highly restrictive land-use rules and strict regulations on climate and labor. California is a generous welfare state—paying out twice as much per person as Florida—with a politically dominant teachers union. Florida has no income tax. It is a right-to-work state with an ambitious school-choice program.

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