“California once epitomised all that was good about the United States. Those living in the Golden State enjoyed a standard of living and quality of life that was the envy of America, if not the world. It was a state of opportunity in a land of opportunity.
Silicon Valley in the 1960s was the cradle of the digital revolution. It was there that computers went from something owned by a handful of hobbyists to the smartphone in your pocket. The Golden State saw social revolution, too. From same sex marriage to billion dollar tech start-ups, things that might be regarded as outlandish elsewhere began in California before going mainstream everywhere else. It was a magnet for talent, and one of the most dynamic places on the planet. Where California led, America – and the world – followed. Or at least aspired to.
Let us hope that this is no longer the case because, if California is indicative of where the rest of America is going, the US is heading towards disaster.
California has been catastrophically mismanaged by a succession of Leftist leaders. Its personal state income tax is now the highest in America. While southern states like my own Mississippi are planning to abolish income taxes entirely, Leftist politicians in California have drawn up plans for a new wealth tax.
Once full of freewheeling entrepreneurs, California is now the most regulated state in the country, according to the Mercatus Center. Permits and licensing are required for almost everything. It is not just big name entrepreneurs, like Elon Musk, who have had enough. Hundreds of thousands of ordinary people and businesses are fleeing, moving to Texas, Utah, Arizona and elsewhere. Last year, California’s population fell for the first time in recorded history.
Having served as an emblem of modernity, there is something almost pre-modern about the California that progressive politicians have created.
For a start, the lights sometimes go out. In pursuit of a renewable energy policy, California has not built enough power generating capacity. This has made energy prices among the most expensive in America. The supply is often so unreliable that the state government has been reduced to pleading with residents to switch off the power to avoid blackouts. (Boris, please take note).” Douglas Carswell in The Telegraph
Comment: I may know Carswell. I built a factory in Mississippi for a former employer. Carswell looks and sounds like one of the state economic development commission people that I dealt with. They raised bank capital for us to create the factory and for operating expenses. They recruited and trained workers for us. They gave us massive state tax forgiveness for ten years. They arranged for site improvement and made sure that roads and utilities would be there for us. They helped us negotiate concessionary rates for electricity. They were very easy to deal with, a pleasure really. The difficulty I had was with my employer’s New York lawyers who insisted on treating these Mississippians as crooks who must be trying to cheat us. And he, himself, a Middle Easterner kept saying in private that something was wrong. “Why would they do anything like this for us?” I tried to move my household to Bay St. Louis, but my wife dragged her feet and Katrina destroyed the town. PL
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