The Two Californias

And one of them is making the other into part of the Third World:

Many of the rural trailer-house compounds I saw appear to the naked eye no different from what I have seen in the Third World. There is a Caribbean look to the junked cars, electric wires crisscrossing between various outbuildings, plastic tarps substituting for replacement shingles, lean-tos cobbled together as auxiliary housing, pit bulls unleashed, and geese, goats, and chickens roaming around the yards. The public hears about all sorts of tough California regulations that stymie business — rigid zoning laws, strict building codes, constant inspections — but apparently none of that applies out here.

It is almost as if the more California regulates, the more it does not regulate. Its public employees prefer to go after misdemeanors in the upscale areas to justify our expensive oversight industry, while ignoring the felonies in the downtrodden areas, which are becoming feral and beyond the ability of any inspector to do anything but feel irrelevant. But in the regulators’ defense, where would one get the money to redo an ad hoc trailer park with a spider web of illegal bare wires?

As far as I’m concerned, the people in Sacramento are criminals against humanity. But the Californians continue to reelect them, voting to hit the iceberg.

[Update a few minutes later]

Here’s some more:

I think it fair to say that the predominant theme of the Chicano and Latin American Studies program’s sizable curriculum was a fuzzy American culpability. By that I mean that students in those classes heard of the sins of America more often than its attractions. In my home town, Mexican flag decals on car windows are far more common than their American counterparts.

I note this because hundreds of students here illegally are now terrified of being deported to Mexico. I can understand that, given the chaos in Mexico and their own long residency in the United States. But here is what still confuses me: If one were to consider the classes that deal with Mexico at the university, or the visible displays of national chauvinism, then one might conclude that Mexico is a far more attractive and moral place than the United States.

So there is a surreal nature to these protests: something like, “Please do not send me back to the culture I nostalgically praise; please let me stay in the culture that I ignore or deprecate.” I think the DREAM Act protestors might have been far more successful in winning public opinion had they stopped blaming the U.S. for suggesting that they might have to leave at some point, and instead explained why, in fact, they want to stay. What it is about America that makes a youth of 21 go on a hunger strike or demonstrate to be allowed to remain in this country rather than return to the place of his birth?

I think I know the answer to this paradox. Missing entirely in the above description is the attitude of the host, which by any historical standard can only be termed “indifferent.” California does not care whether one broke the law to arrive here or continues to break it by staying. It asks nothing of the illegal immigrant — no proficiency in English, no acquaintance with American history and values, no proof of income, no record of education or skills. It does provide all the public assistance that it can afford (and more that it borrows for), and apparently waives enforcement of most of California’s burdensome regulations and civic statutes that increasingly have plagued productive citizens to the point of driving them out. How odd that we overregulate those who are citizens and have capital to the point of banishing them from the state, but do not regulate those who are aliens and without capital to the point of encouraging millions more to follow in their footsteps. How odd — to paraphrase what Critias once said of ancient Sparta — that California is at once both the nation’s most unfree and most free state, the most repressed and the wildest.


[Update a few minutes later]

Hasta la vista, Failure:

Schwarzenegger never grew beyond the role of a clueless political narcissist. As the state sunk into an ever deeper fiscal crisis, he continued to expend his energy on the grandiose and beyond the point: establishing a Californian policy for combating climate change, boosting an unaffordable High-Speed Rail system, and even eliminating plastic bags. These may be great issues of import, but they are far less pressing than a state’s descent into insolvency.

The Terminator came into office ostensibly to reform California politics, reduce taxation and “blow up the boxes” of the state’s bureaucracy. He failed on all three counts. The California political system–particularly after the GOP’s November Golden State wipeout–is, if anything, more dominated by public employee unions and special interests (including “green” venture capitalists) than when Gray Davis ruled. Taxes, despite efforts by members of Schwarzenegger’s own Republican Party, have steadily increased, mostly in the form of sales and other regressive taxes. The bureaucracy, with its huge pension costs, continued to swell until this year even as state unemployment climbed well over double digits.

Schwarzenegger’s fiscal street cred was undermined by his support for unessential new bond issues for such things as stem cell research and high-speed rail. He threw financial prudence out the window in order to appease his business cronies and faithful media claque, particularly those working for mainstream eastern media.

The idiotic climate bill, which the voters idiotically continue to support in November (mostly because of the deceptive add campaign) was the last straw for me. Girlie man. And I’ll bet that Maria was a big part of the reason.

9 thoughts on “The Two Californias”

  1. Don’t you mean “we Californians”? I do recall you abandoning our fine state of Florida not so long ago. 🙂

  2. Hanson’s commentary on California is interesting, because while he works in the posh burg of Stanford, he has roots in the Central Valley, and can observe the significant transitions there.

    He’s absolutely right the division between coastal/urban/suburban California and the hinterland is becoming almost Chinese in its size and starkness.

  3. When can we get this state split between the coastal and inland areas, and then let the coastal state fall into the ocean under the weight of their own stupidity?

  4. In fifty million years the coastal parts of California will reach Alaska. I imagine we will still be paying off the state’s debt even then.

  5. I remember that in late 04 there was a banquet of some sort in Sacramento, which Burt Rutan attended. The Governator, who was absent from all SpaceShipOne flights, asked him “Who are you and what did you do again?” Shows how much he cared about industry in the state.

  6. If the inspectors are more likely to be shot in the trailer parks, then why not have a Proposition on the ballot that *requires* them to spend most of their time in those areas, and do it the way the lefties love: UNARMED.

    That solves a lot of problem for the rest of you.

  7. The wealthy multi-culti left seem to be painting themselves into a corner. They’re obviously not leaving, since they keep electing progressively worse legislators and governors. When the third world encroachment finally reaches their doorstep, as it will, they’ll be unable to sell out in order to flee. So will there be a big wave of high-dollar foreclosures in California’s future?

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