I'm going back to Cali, Cali, Cali
I'm going back to Cali... hmmm, I don't think so -- LL Cool J, Esq.
Those 11 years, age 15-26, were life-changing. But after returning to Colorado in the mid-70s and visiting California often over the decades, I saw the decline, the congestion and the encroaching socialism; I struck forever California from my list of places to reside.
There are a lot of songs about California (though not nearly as many as Texas songs--which by my last count totaled 8,347) and almost all of the well-known ones are upbeat, promising... even joyful, full of fun in the sun, and its promise to make you feel "safe and warm, if I was in L.A."
The Golden State.
But, nobody there is singing any more.
And with good reason. America, if you want to see your future--a dull gray future controlled by democrats' unfettered agenda politics, class warfare and fascist environmentalism--look West to the sea.
Writing in the current Newsweek, Joel Kotkin sees the "Death of a Dream: -- California has come back before, but 'hysterical greens' aren't helping." I encourage you to read it.
Of course he sees the demise as George Bush's or Republicans' fault... or something, but at least he realizes that Rome is burning.
- Unemployment--roughly 10 percent, ahead only of Rust Belt basket cases like Michigan and East Coast calamity Rhode Island."
- California ranks 4th in the national for mortgage fraud offenders in 2007. Florida is number 1, Nevada, 2, and Michiganistan 3.
- Net outmigration should reach well over 200,000 by 2011. This flight would be worse, were it not for residents who cannot sell their homes and are essentially held prisoner by their mortgages.
- California-based Intel Corporation will invest $7 billion over the next two years to upgrade U.S. factories for its computer chips, but none of it will be spent in California. All the money will go to expand existing facilities in Arizona, New Mexico, and Oregon, where it will be used to support more than 7,000 existing jobs. (You don't become Intel by allowing the fruits of your hard work to be stolen by socialists).
- Barely 3 percent of the state budget goes to building roads or water systems; in the early 60s it was nearly 20 percent. These hundreds of billions instead now fund golden pensions and lifetime guaranteed health care to public employees.
- Near-unlimited migration of illegal aliens has swollen public entitlement programs which help stress the budgets of large and especially smaller communities to the breaking point.
In 1960 Neil Morgan described San Francisco as "the narcissus of the West," a place whose fundamental asset was first its own beauty, followed by its own culture of self-regard.
This is wonderfully illustrated by the fact that no other city in the world would insist on being call "The City."
It's remarkable that "The One"--Barack Obama--didn't grow up there, and even more surprising that he was able to build within himself such monumental narcissism without long-term exposure to the Bay Area.
And what group is mostly responsible for all this across the board...? I'll wait.
It is The Worst Generation (mine) which created the politics of narcissism that Kotkin agues, is at the core of the current politically-correct, green, Prius-owning, recycling, mindless self-indulgence that prevents them from understanding that milk comes from cows, and arugula from the San Joaquin Valley.
Case in point: Kotkin writes that the entirely self-absorbed enviros who dominate in California's beautiful Central Coast, oppose "the expansion of wineries that might bring new jobs to a predominantly Latino area with persistent double-digit unemployment."
It strains credulity, but it seems they don't like the wineries (which produce some of the best--and therefore quite lucrative--wines in the world) because it interferes with their "viewshed"; yes, I know, it's a seldom-used, California word which means that which you see from a fixed point such as your living-room window.
See...? Narcissism on steroids.
And so what?
Well, my crystal ball is only that, but I firmly believe that if Real America does not prevail, and soon, there will be a wholesale march into the quick sand that stretches from San Diego to Eureka.