Gold apparently can actually corrode. Douglas Carswell

The Golden State – LA

“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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9 Responses to Gold apparently can actually corrode. Douglas Carswell

  1. Matthew says:

    Can anyone explain how California—a state with a history of terrible finances—can have a greater than $70 billion surplus?

    • Deap says:

      Top 1% in this state pays 50% of all state tax revenues – This is mainly Silicon Valley and they make a lot of money. We have willingly given them too much of our money for their online “services”.

      However, that said there is a major dispute between the Governor running for re-election (recall) and the state accounting offices about the actual size of the budget surplus ….this year of covid. State was running very scary deficits just the prior years. The dispute is whether it is $35 billion or $70 billion.

      Regardless, either of those amounts would barely touch the back log of failed state infrastructure projects and will be pissed way on public sector union compensation increases.

      Because public sector union members vote. Dams, bridges, highways, forest management fire suppression, electricity grids do not.

      If you look at the voting patterns of the state, geographically most of Calif map is red and trounced Newsom badly in this last election, some counties voting up to 82% for recall. But the heavy population clusters in the coastal fringe areas and they consistently outnumber the rest of us.

      My town is a company town – government is the largest employer or government dependent services like government employee health care benefit funding a large health care system which is the second largest employer.

      Government money flows into very large state university, a large community college, the county government seat, bloated municipal government, and a long history of single party registration and control with liberal media being the main opinion setters. Who collectively think allowing this same area to be a magnet for vagrants and squatters assuages their own guilty consciences as major tax dollar ripoff artists themselves.

      Term limits has insured political machine candidates get replaced by more of the same and the exact same people move on up the political career ladder when new openings exist.

      Like many of these areas in California there remain some glorious bubbles where life is isolated and quite glorious – and increasingly inhabited by very wealthy public service sector employees – Montecito Fire Department personnel cost tax payers $250,000 – $450,000 each.

      Montecito remains a very lovely enclave for the rich and powerful, just like the tony suburbs of Silicon Valley. Somehow they manage to keep the vagrant camps out of their neighborhoods. And are quite happy to hold fund-raiser galas to ensure they get sent somewhere besides their own back yards.

      So enough uber rich continue to balance much of California’s craziness on their own backs, while human depravity is encouraged for reasons unknown only a few miles away.

      I keep pointing to two major changes in the past twenty years: closed shop government employee unions and term limits.

      And the uber wealth rise of Silicon Valley, ironically born out of President Clinton’s intent to punish California by defunding the large military research think tanks in this state – who then went private and out of this concentration of engineering brain power allegedly rose Silicon Valley.

      That is then the state polarized into Uber-rich and Uber-dependent on state handouts. Both of which curiously vote only Democrat today.

  2. Deap says:

    Personal anecdote from the middle of liberal California – neighbors in my area are pretty private and keep to themselves. The only time politics come up is during elections and some people sport yard signs, which typically are 99% Democrat. In a pique of perversity last year we not only put up a Trump yard sign, but we even flew a Californians for Trump flag a bit down the driveway where we have a bracket for our American flag.

    The Trump yard sign was immediately slapped overnight with a large preprinted RACIST sticker and later someone tried to steal it in broad daylight while we were sitting on our front patio. But we persevered and there was no other fuss than obviously sending out the clear message we were Trump people. Occasionally a neighbor would whisper they too supported Trump, but were too afraid to make a public statement.

    Then yesterday, DH had long –and very first– conversation with an immediate and younger neighbor who ranted how much he hated Newsom and the Democrats and again thanked us for putting up the Trump signs last year, but he would not dare in this town.

    So while the recall failed, badly, it did bring opposition voices out of the shadows and surprised not only ourselves as closet conservative in this very liberal town, but also shocked the Democrat status quo who admitted this shock there were so many here locally that did come out in public to support Larry Elder – not just the few fringe nut cases they long assumed any local deplorables were.

    So was this an awakening – and emboldening, happening in California ? 500 showed up yesterday to protest vaccine mandates – and they are mainly younger people, not just just old white Republicans. So if California is where national trends begin, there is a trend for younger people to reject the Democrat locks and mismanagement of this state.

    Decline to State registration now runs as much as the GOP vote, which together is a counter weight to the Democrat registration. That is the dark horse for California the Democrats are not talking about.

    I was a poll worker for this past recall election and those showing up to vote in person, instead of universally by mail, were younger and were pretty vehement about wanting to make sure their ballot did not get stolen.

    What this state needs is an influx of conservatives – wealthy and retired would do just fine – because many of the desirable amenities remain and housing prices can be a relative bargain, health care is good. Geographical enclaves still exist in this state that keeps one away from the Democrat urban and political decay, yet provide what does make this state special – weather and scenery.

    We simply need to get the numbers back so we can vote the bastards out.

  3. Eliot says:

    Col. Lang,

    I’m concerned that the wealth creating policies you see in places like Mississippi and Alabama, will destroy these states. Poverty kept change at bay, now that these towns and cities are growing wealthy, they’re attracting people from California, New York, and Boston.

    – Eliot

    • Deap says:

      Many people moving out of Calif are those getting very large California public pensions. No fools, they know those pensions for life will allow a much more lavish lifestyle than what they can buy if they stay in California.

      Shame being is they do not recycle their tax payer funded pensions in the same state where they were granted. And yes, they will voter very, very liberal once they arrive in your state. Why not, look what their liberal votes rewarded them in California – living high in your state now on our California tax dollars. For life.

      While we bust our local budgets backfilling all their California government pension shortfalls Few understand the depth of the public sector pension problem – again term limits means no one needs to be accountable for this and there is still enough OPM to pay for this first wave of baby boomer retirees.

  4. scott s. says:

    I don’t think So Cal ever really recovered from the Aerospace bust? When I lived in Oxnard my landlord was a Lockheed engineer forced into retirement. The Convair plant where we built Tomahawks got bought by Raytheon and moved to Tucson.

    • Deap says:

      Military R&D in California allegedly did morph into the rise of Silicon Valley. Former being publicly funded; the later being private industry so the two revenue streams may not track to show direct replacement factors.

      Certainly, military R&D did materially diminish a few decades ago. The end of Vietnam War/ Cold War bonus that passed instead to other “progressive”government social programs.

      But no loss of military spending to California can compare to the vast new wealth Silicon Valley created, except in the loss of actual employment numbers, and the move from blue collar jobs to white collar high tech jobs, which also included the switch from domestic local employment, to foreign high tech international employment. So yes as a result, California did change dramatically.

  5. English Outsider says:

    Deap – this struck a chord! “Occasionally a neighbor would whisper they too supported Trump, but were too afraid to make a public statement.”

    Yes. Same thing happened over here with our own upheaval not long back. Remember it vividly. Didn’t conform to the usual stereotypes either. But you identify the main problem. So many now owe their living to the way we are they’re locked in to keeping it so.

  6. Timbo says:

    Don’t think it’s the same Carswell. He’s a Brit, former MP, working in Mississippi.

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