April 25, 2012

As goes California — the epic failure of the Progressive Left [Darleen Click]

Well, only if one defines failure as being a vibrant example of Western principles rather than a feudal state of coastal lords and inland serfs

[Joel] Kotkin, one of the nation’s premier demographers, left his native New York City in 1971 to enroll at the University of California, Berkeley. The state was a far-out paradise for hipsters who had grown up listening to the Mamas & the Papas’ iconic “California Dreamin'” and the Beach Boys’ “California Girls.” But it also attracted young, ambitious people “who had a lot of dreams, wanted to build big companies.” Think Intel, Apple and Hewlett-Packard.

Now, however, the Golden State’s fastest-growing entity is government and its biggest product is red tape. The first thing that comes to many American minds when you mention California isn’t Hollywood or tanned girls on a beach, but Greece. Many progressives in California take that as a compliment since Greeks are ostensibly happier. But as Mr. Kotkin notes, Californians are increasingly pursuing happiness elsewhere.

Nearly four million more people have left the Golden State in the last two decades than have come from other states. This is a sharp reversal from the 1980s, when 100,000 more Americans were settling in California each year than were leaving. According to Mr. Kotkin, most of those leaving are between the ages of 5 and 14 or 34 to 45. In other words, young families. [...]

And things will only get worse in the coming years as Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and his green cadre implement their “smart growth” plans to cram the proletariat into high-density housing. “What I find reprehensible beyond belief is that the people pushing [high-density housing] themselves live in single-family homes and often drive very fancy cars, but want everyone else to live like my grandmother did in Brownsville in Brooklyn in the 1920s,” Mr. Kotkin declares.

“The new regime”—his name for progressive apparatchiks who run California’s government—”wants to destroy the essential reason why people move to California in order to protect their own lifestyles.”

Housing is merely one front of what he calls the “progressive war on the middle class.” Another is the cap-and-trade law AB32, which will raise the cost of energy and drive out manufacturing jobs without making even a dent in global carbon emissions. Then there are the renewable portfolio standards, which mandate that a third of the state’s energy come from renewable sources like wind and the sun by 2020. California’s electricity prices are already 50% higher than the national average. [...]

Meanwhile, taxes are harming the private economy. According to the Tax Foundation, California has the 48th-worst business tax climate. Its income tax is steeply progressive. Millionaires pay a top rate of 10.3%, the third-highest in the country. But middle-class workers—those who earn more than $48,000—pay a top rate of 9.3%, which is higher than what millionaires pay in 47 states.

And Democrats want to raise taxes even more. [...]

As progressive policies drive out moderate and conservative members of the middle class, California’s politics become even more left-wing. It’s a classic case of natural selection, and increasingly the only ones fit to survive in California are the very rich and those who rely on government spending. In a nutshell, “the state is run for the very rich, the very poor, and the public employees.”

One very dirty and not so secret thing about Gov. Moonbeam’s November tax initiative is that while it is touted by the Lefties as an “education initiative” not one dime will end up in the classrooms. Half of the projected (heh) $7 billion raised will go straight into unionized teachers’ pension fund with the rest going to state employee pension funds.

What a racket.

Posted by Darleen @ 7:34am
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Comments (38)

  1. Manhattan, NY is a microcosm of what Kotkin describes above. No one can afford to pay for an apartment there unless they’re rich; but the poor receive benefits that pay for them to stay there.

    The people who work in Manhattan live in the outer boroughs of New York; they can’t afford to live there because it’s too expensive for the middle class. The rich left seem to like it this way.

    Get out Darlene, while you still can.

  2. people with income-producing assets what want to retire will be leaving in greater and greater numbers if the housing market ever comes back, and maybe even if it doesn’t I bet

  3. I can hear it now: “The other 49 states have benefited significantly by stealing our wealthy, successful, productive citizens, so it’s only fair that they chip in to bail us out!”

  4. Last year I jokingly threw up this, now I’m thinking it may be the only thing worth working for here in California.

  5. How well does that line correlate to the San Andreas, mv? Maybe Mother Gaia will save us a lot of trouble…

  6. When a state is so far gone that it elects a governor who has admitted he didn’t have a plan when he was governor before, I think you can safely assume it’s over for this state.

  7. Philadelphia, embiggened.

  8. Squid, my dad and lots of family are in the Zone, there. Not everyone there is a nut. They seem to be concentrated in clusters.

  9. He does have a plan now. His daddy built an aqueduct, he is going to build a high speed rail system or you’ll die trying. A venture socialist robber baron.

  10. My best wishes for your family and friends, Leigh. I hope they make it through the coming disaster* with a minimum of fuss.

    * earthquake/economic meltdown/social unrest/Kardashian outbreak/etc.

  11. My family has bank, Squid and weaponry and aren’t afraid to use either of them. Natural disasters be damned.

  12. I agree that San Diego can be salvaged and be part of the non-insane California, but only if the new government is serious about border enforcement.

  13. The new government would write a new state constitution, incorporating a lot of hard lessons learned about voting, public employees, government financing, and the rule of law. The makers would soon abandon Fruitloopistan, and the takers would abandon American California.

  14. To dream, the impossible dream…

  15. The new government?
    Would that be in Sacramento or Mexico City?

  16. Is it just me, or does anybody else find it weird/funny that the boss of the RNC has a name that’s a semi-anagram of “Prince Rebus”?

  17. What I find reprehensible beyond belief is that the people pushing [high-density housing] themselves live in single-family homes and often drive very fancy cars, but want everyone else to live like my grandmother did in Brownsville

    New rule for all politicians who want to monkey with people’s lives: You first.

  18. I’ve been reading on blogs about business owners fleeing CA for TX in the last few years, and when I lived in San Antonio a high % of my neighbors were people who had fled CA.

    The problem is that a lot of these people take their democrat tendencies with them, and start ruining the states that they flee to. :(

    Already the taxes in Austin are going up.

  19. “The problem is that a lot of these people take their democrat tendencies with them, and start ruining the states that they flee to. :(”

    New Hampshire hears you loud and clear missfxt.

  20. New rule for all politicians who want to monkey with people’s lives: You first.

    Squid’s Corollary: Anybody remarking about how wonderful the light rail line is/will be gets asked “Which station do you use?” Like I’d give two shits for the opinion of some bastard from Evil Prairie or Asshole Valley…

  21. mojo:

    Even though I know better, I’ve always “seen” his name that way at first glance.

  22. ditto sdferr on New Hampshire. Some transplanted Mass-holes wanted to change the state motto of”Live Free or Die” because it is not a friendly, supporting message that appeals to young people.

  23. Actually, I have no proof that they were Mass-holes, but they were still lily-livered, swamp-sucking ass-holes.

  24. Isn’t New Hampshire where the Free State Project ended up?

  25. Considering Gov. Moonbeam’s clear and pathological failure to recognize reality, based on his repeated refusals to give up on his doomed high speed train to nowhere project, I believe that no matter how dire the state’s financial situation becomes, he will blindly (and futilely) continue his “higher taxes and more regulations will magically fix everything” approach until enough businesses and taxpayers have fled the state and it finally implodes.

    Fellow California residents planning to stay behind, we are royally boned.

    And when (not if) the coming cries for BAILOUT! begin, I strongly urge the rest of the US to say not just NO but HELL NO!

  26. BT, yup, I glommed onto that site a while back. But I’ve already got my little piece of NH just waiting for me to replenish my retirement account, go Galt, or both. You’ll know I’m there when the moniker changes to NH Red. Or something similarly pithy. Or pissy.

  27. Cool, calm and collected.

    Me? Tied in gut-knots.

  28. I like the light rail, but buses would have been fine too. I used them before the light rail was put in.

    38th St Station.

  29. It’s still a huge waste of money.

  30. Buses are not for me. Too many freaks and weirdos ride the bus. The scared old grannies, too. I liked light rail when I lived in Pittsburgh. It was very handy and always nice and clean with no weirdos.

  31. Proponents of leftist ideologies around the world share one common trait: they always demand to be included, but once you let them in, they force everybody else out, while refusing to leave themselves…

  32. they always demand to be included, but once you let them in, they force everybody else out

    It’s conquest by craft.

  33. Buses are not for me. Too many freaks and weirdos ride the bus.

    What is it with people believing that mass-transit ridership somehow changes depending on the shape of the vehicle? When you take away the Route 16 and Route 50 and Route 21 buses, and replace them with a shiny train, do all the weird people decided that they no longer need to travel east or west? I really wish somebody could explain to me why they think this is the case.

    38th St Station.

    My best friend lives just east of there. Ted Cook’s is just west of there. When we’re at his place and decide we need some BBQ, I’ve learned to say “I’ll be back in 20 minutes. Or 45, depending on the fucking train!”

  34. motionview says April 25, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Last year I jokingly threw up this, now I’m thinking it may be the only thing worth working for here in California.

    Squid says April 25, 2012 at 8:35 am

    How well does that line correlate to the San Andreas, mv? Maybe Mother Gaia will save us a lot of trouble…

    Where’s Lex Luthor when you need him?

  35. What is it with people believing that mass-transit ridership somehow changes depending on the shape of the vehicle?

    I never rode the busses in Pittsburgh. The last bus I rode was in San Diego and that was 25 years ago and they were always full of pissbums, sullen yoots and the like. I only rode them as a last resort.

  36. “while it is touted by the Lefties as an “education initiative” not one dime will end up in the classrooms. Half of the projected (heh) $7 billion raised will go straight into unionized teachers’ pension fund with the rest going to state employee pension funds.”

    Road to Serfdom, anyone?

    A fundamental rationale for feudalism was that the serfs supported the nobles so that the nobles would be able to protect the serfs. Curiously, it ended up being more about keeping the nobles in luxurious comfort than anything else. Plus ca change….

  37. I’ve learned to say “I’ll be back in 20 minutes. Or 45, depending on the fucking train!”

    Crossing Hiawatha is a major PITA in that direction, as is turning east while going south. I’ve decided to just take the Minnehaha exit instead.

  38. The San Diego transit system is a huge joke. It’s useless for anyone who actually has to get somewhere in a decent amount of time. Comparing that to Minneapolis or any other city with a decent transit system is ludicrous.

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