Does California Want to be Saved?

Just recently one of my favorite historians asked the question in an opinion piece; “Can California Be Saved?” Victor Davis Hanson, a Californian, knows what the problem is, at least in terms of what is wrong and what continues to go wrong there because of the single party control oriented on destroying what works, in favor of idealistic dreams of political utopia and ecological harmony at the expense of the humans living there.


One of Professor Hanson’s points regarding California’s future is the maturing of the population. California has a very young average age, and as many political theorists have noted, younger people tend to think more with their emotions than with logic and common sense. And thereby hangs a tale, or at least an understanding of why youth and idealism often go hand in hand. It is the lack of experience and the common sense born of such experience that makes he difference.


But this does not address the issue presented above; whether California wants to be saved? The answer is complicated. As an Californian for most of my life, born and raised in the People’s Republic of Berzerkeley, I am very familiar with the problems that plague the state and present a barrier to any serious change toward rational government any time in the near future. This barrier is constructed out of the two major population blocks remaining in the state. As Professor Hanson points out, most of the others have moved out, will move out if then can, or will die off in the state because they lack the ability to move elsewhere.


The remainder, fit into two groups; the wealthy and the non-wealthy. Most of the wealthy congregate on the coast, and work in the high-tech sector, expensive professional services such as medicine and law, or in entertainment, including the Hollywood glitterati and their hangers-on. The non-wealthy are now largely centered in the Central Valley where their livelihoods, formerly based in agriculture no longer exist as of old, or are inner city welfare cases and the like. That does not, necessarily include the illegal aliens who have flooded and continue to flood the state.


Rationally, one would think that the non-wealthy would rationally desire to leave for better parts rather as the farming residents of the Great Plains did during the 1930’s Dust Bowl. Today’s demise of California’s agriculture industry lies largely with the man-made drought all, for the purported purpose of preserving the population of Delta Smelt; a small fish that frequents the Sacramento River Delta and is supposed to need additional fresh water to survive. So people must go hungry and water bills skyrocket for the purpose of saving a fish, which, might not be doing so well after all with the additional fresh water, as reports have surfaced to the effect that the population has declined after more fresh water was directed their way. Or perhaps the amount of water directed from the north to the Los Angeles Basin for so many years is at fault. In any event, agribusiness is dying in the state. But the wealthy go on doing what they have always done and because they can afford, financially, to do so, they will continue until the state becomes uninhabitable or their industries must adjust to changing circumstances; the goose that laid the golden eggs for so long may give up.


Unfortunately, these two remaining groups have what amounts to vested interests in maintaining the present system. The poor have come to subsist on government handouts and find it easier than working, even though they should find more pride and self-respect in work. The wealthy pride themselves on their financial accomplishments and appease their philosophical problems by adhering ever more strongly to the political left; they devote themselves to any cause that comes along, regardless of its worth to society.


So California is faced with a decision. Whether to do the rational thing and re-focus on the real needs that will benefit the state, or continue down the present road to potential oblivion. The state, relying on ever-higher taxes and with declining productivity may end up as another Detroit, writ large.


But if California does go that way, it will be because the wealthy, who wield the largest amount of political clout in the state want it to. The problem that these people face is turning their backs on ever greater amounts of power and influence, while building a serf class which is not a productive one, as was the case in Europe’s feudal society during the Middle Ages. No one likes to admit that they have failed in their idealistic pursuits. The monied elites who want to portray themselves as enlightened and altruistic will likely never admit that their crusade was misguided and failed to achieve its purported intent. Thus, California, or at least those who control what matters will not want to be saved. They will go down with their idealistic ship while those who could get away moved to Nevada, Texas (as I did), or Florida.

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