The California Way?

For decades now the carnard has been that so goes California so goes the nation.  It has allegedly been the trend setter for everything from social mores to economic development and political leanings.  There has certainly been some truth to that assertion.  Those Hollywood glitz hounds do continue to lead the way in style and social outlook.  They are very trendy and so much of the nation does follow that lead.  This applies to the language we use and the clothes that some of us wear.  Many of us got stuck in a fashion -challenged mode years ago and we are hopelessly out of sync with the glitterati. 

In politics it was the Reagan launch pad and then the more liberal influences of the cheese and Chardonnay crowd from San Francisco.  We have seen the changes there work their way across the land in politics and economics.  Pelosi is now Speaker of the House and we have a very progressive Governor in Sacremento.  When it comes to demographics there is no doubt that California has lead the way in illegal immigration and the every changing ethnic makeup of its society as a harbinger for the rest of the nation.  California was not so many decades ago a leading manufactoring state and center.  Its aircraft industry was the leader.  Even ahead of Boeing up in Seattle for years.  The entire LA region was filled with machine shops and and manufactoring facilities.  Then it lead the way with Silicon Valley and the entire computer and IT revolution of the last couple of decades.

The tax policy of California has also been at the forefront of the tax debates for over thirty years.  First there was the Jarvis revolt of the ’70’s and then the escalating increases in taxes as the years went by and the constant increase in government spending.   The reduction in property taxes has lead to an increase in every other tax that can be conjured up by the mind of man.  In envoirnmental policy there is no peer with the activists in California.  They control the flow of your water and the mileage and emissions of your vehicle more stringently than anywhere else.   They also have restricted the exploration for more fossil fuel like no other and lead the way and have the highest cost for gasoline exceeded only by Hawaii and maybe Alaska due to lack of refinery capacity and transportation costs.   The issue is do we want to follow their lead.  Is their existence a heaven or a hell?

The manufactoring jobs have disappeared rapidly over the last couple of decades.  LA is no longer a major manufactoring locale.  They do a lot of stevedore work unloading manufactored goods from China at Long Beach but the jobs to make those goods are not here.  The budget is in a crisis at the moment and appears that they voters will reject the latest effort to raise taxes.  Maybe they had some very local and targeted Tea Parties out there a couple of months ago.  California has been heading toward displacing New Jersey, New York and Conneticutt as the highest tax states in the nation.  Now they are talking about legalizing pot and taxing it as a revenue source.  Sure sounds like a solid business plan to me.  It is running deficits as far as the eye can see and there is no existing plan to rein in those costs.  They also have a debt that is huge and there is no obvious way it can be paid.  Soon they won’t  be able to issue state bonds because their rating will be so low.  They can’t  cover their current operating expenses.  The size of state government has expanded enormously in the last decade or so.  A greater percentage than ever of their citizens are not in the productive market place but working a government job.  Those jobs don’t create money or an economy for the people.  They drain money from the  economic system.  They allow illegal aliens to attend school without any effort to turn that information over to the Immigration authorities so that the citizens don’t have to bear the burden of paying for the schooling of those that are not even citizens.  Likewise no effort is made to restrict the use of emergency room use by illegals. 

California is running out of water by the day and the agricultural industry is facing destruction if relief is not found.   How will they support any future development without new sources of water?  

You can come up with your own analysis of California.  It has so many wonderful positives about it–the climate, the topograhy and the people.  Do we want the rest of the nation to follow its example on those key economic issues and just as importantly can we afford it.   Will the nation replicate the California experience?

If it is the leader of the trends for the nation then I fear for the nation.   Maybe the upcoming vote on taxes will be a wake up call for the politicians there and elsewhere.  If not then their sleep may be disturbed with nightmares down the road.

Taxes and death are inevitable as Ben Franklin said but the former we can control as a free people. 



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Filed under business, Culture, Economics, Environment, government, immigration

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