A few months back, Jim Rickards over at Agora put me onto this summary of what California was and has become. I have ties to California: my father and his parents lived in Southern California during WW2 and the last half of the 1940s, and I’ve lived there twice, both times on duty at the now-defunct Presidio of San Francisco: the second time for nearly four years. In the heart of the beast, so to speak. I have recently been in touch with a leader of the CalExit movement, and my wife has family in far, far northern California, around Cape Mendocino. We have friends living almost literally from North to South (east of San Diego). Mama Liberty was a refugee from California, now quite a few years ago.
It is clear that the situation in California is getting more and more dire, unstable, and fearful.
Welcome To The Hellhole California
Jim was providing an extract of a new book called The Stakes: America at the Point of No Return, by Michael Anton, published by Real Clear Books.
Here is the analysis of Mr. Anton, and my own observations.
The article describes the social, economic and political decline of California in the space of a single generation. The writer describes the natural beauty and economic attractions of California in the 1950s and 1960s. Of course, there have long been wealthy individuals in Hollywood and rich investors in San Francisco. But, California was above all a haven for the middle-class. Jobs were plentiful, taxes relatively low, schools were good and crime was not widespread. The initial problems of pollution and traffic were mostly solved by the late 1970s. California was a magnet, not only for middle-class Americans, but legal immigrants with diverse talents from all over the world.
Beginning in the 1990s and accelerating in the 2000s, California ran off the rails:
- Taxes exploded effectively beggaring many taxpayers
- Infrastructure decayed and crumbled, wrecking quality of life
- Public schools deteriorated to the point of complete uselessness: quality was gone and they became more and more “institutional”
- The cities were overrun by border jumpers
- Social services spending skyrocketed
- Wildlands management embraced “enviromentally sound” practices which led to the massive wildfires of today
Taxes skyrocketed, infrastructure crumbled, schools declined in quality and illegal immigrants overran the cities and pushed social service expenditures to the point of bankruptcy. Politicians ignored forest management until uncontrolled forest fires of historic size became the norm. Then things got worse. Homeless encampments now line the streets of major cities. Heroin needles and excrement cover the sidewalks. Violent demonstrations are burning shops and public facilities. Political leaders are more concerned with abstract and dubious projects like climate change instead of the real world crime in neighborhoods. Above all, Anton makes the point that California is a warning and preview of what the entire country will become if leaders don’t focus on real problems and once again make the states and cities attractive venues for entrepreneurship and middle-class life. It’s a difficult read, but it brings you face to face with the decline of civilization going on in America. No one who reads the article can say they weren’t warned.
Nathan again: I cannot argue with anything that either Michael Anton or Jim is saying. Any readers from California, or with recent knowledge of the Golden State are begged to chip in their two-cents. Especially you all pushing CalExit.
The CalExit people believe that, freed of the corruption of DC and the entire FedGov, California has a chance to reinvent themselves, by controlling the madmen and madwomen now running the asylum there. Perhaps, is some form of Free Association this may be the case.
I, like Jim and Mr. Anton, are more worried about the continued negative drain on America – the other Forty-Nine States – from California and its elites AND the parasites that in turn dominate the state.
And recently, especially with the Pandemic Panic, I am concerned more than ever with the influx of refugees into Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Texas, and even Wyoming and South Dakota. Unlike Mama Liberty and many others in past decades, these people bring their evil politics with them: more taxes, more services (by government), more regulation, more police enforcement, and all the rest. I fear Elon Musk will be the poster child for that.
Whether California is able to go on its own, not just as one of the Fifty nations we call the United States, or remains in a federal confederation (like we once had), the State’s only hope is LIBERTY. True liberty and not the falsely-claimed privileges and permissions that come from government.
Otherwise, whatever its national standing, California is pushing vigorously to the brink (and beyond) of collapse. Its infrastructure is coming apart, its society is fragmented, dysfunctional, and immoral (even from a purely Libertarian point of view), and its economy is spiraling to oblivion. Millions of people have a wonderful array of choices if something is not done: starve? die of thirst? get gutted by unofficial thugs or gunned down by official ones? get burned out?
Or escape. And I want none of that, and nor do the majority of the people in the States where they are going.