As California Goes, So Goes the Nation

The video embedded below details the decline of California over the last 50 years or so. Arguably, most of the decline happened during the latter half of that period. The narrator lists the usual litany of ills: higher taxes, poorer services, one-party rule, and increasing income stratification. Aside from the first of these, they are all markers of a third-world society. He’s not wrong about any of it.

What’s left unexplained is how this is tolerable for anyone. Victor Davis Hanson has addressed the this question in general terms but he’s personally unhappy with the regime because he has to suffer its negative consequences at his Central Valley farm. My perspective is somewhat different. I can afford to pay the confiscatory taxes and don’t have to deal with homeless or crime* in my neighborhood. Unaffordable housing is not my problem. The climate is great and the cultural amenities are superb. On the surface everything is fine.

This goes a long way to explain the complacency of many Californians. Judging by the bumper stickers and (during the election) yard signs in my neighborhood, I’d bet most folks are Democrats and TDS sufferers. Sure, there are some closet Trumpers; my next-door neighbor once said to me, sotto voce, “There are more Trump supporters here than you might think.” That’s wishful thinking if you ask me. No, life is good for most of the normies, especially those who’ve lived here a long time. There are no red flags, no alarm bells ringing. Have another margarita and enjoy the rest of your afternoon.

There’s already been an outbreak of typhus in Los Angeles and some are warning of the bubonic plague. But hey, there’s no typhus near me so it’s OK, right? Many European cities have monuments of gratitude for the end of black death. If California cities survive into the next century, they might consider erecting similar monuments.


*I almost never lock my bicycle. In over a decade of following this practice on a daily basis it has never been stolen. Someday this will change. Then again, it’s a risk I can afford to take.

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Author: drlorentz

photon whisperer & quantum mechanic

16 thoughts on “As California Goes, So Goes the Nation”

  1. People who live in my state, Washington (no income tax) sometimes move to CA for jobs.  Hell, the Boeing Company moved its corporate headquarters to Illinois, land of sky-high taxes.  I often wonder what they are thinking.  Or maybe, IF they are thinking.  Our climate is actually better here, with less-extreme temperatures.  But they are welcome to move away-I just don’t want to listen to them complain about the high cost of living where they went.

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  2. RB49:
    People who live in my state, Washington (no income tax) sometimes move to CA for jobs.  Hell, the Boeing Company moved its corporate headquarters to Illinois, land of sky-high taxes.  I often wonder what they are thinking.  Or maybe, IF they are thinking.

    There are a few things wrong with this analysis. First, Chicago may have higher taxes  much lower real estate values than Seattle. State and local taxes pale in comparison to housing costs. Second, people choose places to live for reasons besides the financial. Above a certain level of wealth, somewhat higher taxes are not significant. Likewise, the other negative externalities do not affect everyone. That was kinda the point of the OP. I quote myself:

    drlorentz:
    I can afford to pay the confiscatory taxes and don’t have to deal with homeless or crime* in my neighborhood. Unaffordable housing is not my problem. The climate is great and the cultural amenities are superb.

    Finally, the following is not factually correct for coastal California, where the large population centers are.

    RB49:
    Our climate is actually better here, with less-extreme temperatures.

     You might as well be comparing the climate of Washington east of the Cascades to Seattle’s. You can readily verify this is false by comparing the temperatures at SFO and LAX to those at SEA. Simply scroll down to the “History & forecast” section and select “Past year” to see one year’s worth of daily mean temperatures. Over the last year, the low in Seattle was 20F, the high was 90F: a range of 70F. By contrast, the corresponding numbers for San Francisco were 38F and 94F; for Los Angeles, 39F and 86F.

    Before assuming that your former fellow Seattlites are fools in their choices, consider that they may have different priorities than you. Some of them may ultimately regret having moved but generally word gets around about the pros and cons of various places.

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  3. when a state loses the entrepreneurs, the heart goes out of the economy. Boomers who own real estate and have secure jobs plus assets will do fine, but eventually no one can buy their real estate, so they become trapped.

    It will be a long slow bleed until the Hispanics decide to take it away from the incompetent whites.

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  4. drlorentz:

    RB49:
    People who live in my state, Washington (no income tax) sometimes move to CA for jobs.  Hell, the Boeing Company moved its corporate headquarters to Illinois, land of sky-high taxes.  I often wonder what they are thinking.  Or maybe, IF they are thinking.

    There are a few things wrong with this analysis. First, Chicago may have higher taxes  much lower real estate values than Seattle. State and local taxes pale in comparison to housing costs. Second, people choose places to live for reasons besides the financial. Above a certain level of wealth, somewhat higher taxes are not significant. Likewise, the other negative externalities do not affect everyone. That was kinda the point of the OP. I quote myself:

    drlorentz:
    I can afford to pay the confiscatory taxes and don’t have to deal with homeless or crime* in my neighborhood. Unaffordable housing is not my problem. The climate is great and the cultural amenities are superb.

    Finally, the following is not factually correct for coastal California, where the large population centers are.

    RB49:
    Our climate is actually better here, with less-extreme temperatures.

     You might as well be comparing the climate of Washington east of the Cascades to Seattle’s. You can readily verify this is false by comparing the temperatures at SFO and LAX to those at SEA. Simply scroll down to the “History & forecast” section and select “Past year” to see one year’s worth of daily mean temperatures. Over the last year, the low in Seattle was 20F, the high was 90F: a range of 70F. By contrast, the corresponding numbers for San Francisco were 38F and 94F; for Los Angeles, 39F and 86F.

    Before assuming that your former fellow Seattlites are fools in their choices, consider that they may have different priorities than you. Some of them may ultimately regret having moved but generally word gets around about the pros and cons of various places.

    I understood the weather comparison to be Seattle to Chicago.

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  5. Great Adventure:
    I understood the weather comparison to be Seattle to Chicago.

    The comment mentioned both California and Chicago. The topic of the OP is California, not Chicago so it’s reasonable to assume that California was included. I welcome clarification on this point from the commenter.

    The principal point of my response was to address the other issues; climate is a minor element of both the OP and my response to the comment.

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  6. The biggest problem with California is that it is full of Californians. The rest of the states should seriously encourage California to secede. Everyone would no doubt be better off.

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  7. Robert A. McReynolds:
    The biggest problem with California is that it is full of Californians. The rest of the states should seriously encourage California to secede. Everyone would no doubt be better off.

    That is precisely the conclusion of the video embedded in the OP. Sadly, that will not save the nation since the rot is not confined to California. There might be hope if the lines are drawn according to the cover of Schlichter’s book but even that may not suffice.

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  8. CA native here. Moved to IL last year. Housing costs are much less, auto insurance is half, and I don’t have to smog my car. Had no idea that there are still places that don’t require car smogging! It’s a small fee, but I always hated it.

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  9. JJ:
    CA native here. Moved to IL last year. Housing costs are much less, auto insurance is half, and I don’t have to smog my car. Had no idea that there are still places that don’t require car smogging! It’s a small fee, but I always hated it.

    I went the other direction, IL—>CA with a sojourn in the East Coast. Smogging is a racket, but then again so is the car inspection required in many other states. (Doesn’t IL require annual vehicle inspection?) Someone’s been lobbying the state legislature to get more business. Crony capitalism begins at the state level.

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  10. As far as I can tell, car inspections are only in certain counties, but mine isn’t among them.

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  11. I wish I did not have to care what goes on in California.

    Three years ago I was a delegate to the General Conference of the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod.   We heard from Lutheran educators about threats out on the Left Coast.   One of the provisions we approved was a measure to grant our university system trustees the authority to close our California campus without needing to return to a General Conference.   This was approved due to a law that had passed in committee at the California State Senate that would have robbed religious universities of any meaningful First Amendment protections.   That bill was withdrawn, but I have watched each year as California creeps closer and closer to passing measures that would drive out all traditionalist Christian educational facilities.

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  12. I am also an LCMS member.  It seems like  Concordia Irvine is still a faithful school, but I fear for her future as well.

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  13. Dave:
    LCMS

    One of the measures approved at this year’s Meeting was interesting.   We will not publish the names and home congregations of the delegates, as we have been doing for many decades.   This is to shield our delegates from harassment, doxxing, etc.

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  14. Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!” He said, “Nobody loves me.” I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?”

    He said, “Yes.” I said, “Are you a Christian or a Jew?” He said, “A Christian.” I said, “Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?” He said, “Protestant.” I said, “Me, too! What franchise?” He said, “Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?” He said, “Northern Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?”

    He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region.” I said, “Me, too!”

    Northern Conservative†Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.” I said, “Die, heretic!” And I pushed him over.

     

    -Emo Phillips

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