Hat tip to Lost Patrol.
It’s fashionable to complain about California’s self-destruction, especially given the low-hanging fruits of Los Angeles and San Fransicko. But for the most part, it isn’t true other than the punitive taxes. I’ve documented the cities and even San Diego County that backed Trump’s efforts to thwart the state gov’t’s insurrectionist sanctuary state policies. I’ve documented California-style socialism in other states. And if you haven’t noticed, California is very, very big. It will never be ruled by a roomful of corruptocrats.
It surprises me to say this, but the National Review is being too harsh about California:
America’s First Third-World State
By Victor Davis Hanson, 18 June 2019
“Third World” is now an anachronistic geographical term of the old Cold War. But after 1989, “Third World” was reinvented from a political noun into an adjective to mean more than just Asian, African, and Latin American nations nonaligned with either the West or the Soviet bloc.
Rather, the current modifier “Third World” has come to transcend geography, politics, and ethnicity. It simply denotes poor failed states all over the globe of all races and religions.
The anachronistic term you want, Mr. Hanson, is “Communist”. Socialist. Marxist. ATHEIST. But hey, we defeated Communism back in Reagan’s Day. That couldn’t be our problem.
Third World symptomologies are predictably corrupt government, unequal or nonexistent applicability of the law, two rather than three classes, and the return of medieval diseases. Third World nations suffer from high taxes and poor social services, premodern infrastructure and utilities, poor transportation, tribalism, gangs, and lack of security.
You could have simplified that to “no fathers in Christian-style marriages”. Typical for a Cuckservative, he lists all the symptoms and none of the causes. No Christ, no fathers, no hope.
Another chief characteristic of a Third World society is the official denial of all of the above, and a vindictive, almost hysterical state response to anyone who points out those obvious tragedies. Another is massive out-migration. Residents prefer almost any country other than their own. Think Somalia, Venezuela, Cuba, Libya, or Guatemala.
The LA Times has been doing regular features on the typhus and homeless epidemics. Bay Area News Group, too. And rather than leave Commiefornia, I’d rather avoid all the morons who think ceding California to the wicked will guarantee that the wicked will leave them alone in peace forevermore.
Could that be VDH’s motivation for calling California “Third World”?
Does 21st-century California increasingly fit that definition — despite having the nation’s most amenable climate and most beautiful and diverse geography, with major natural ports facing the dynamic Asian economies, and being naturally rich in timber, agriculture, mining, and energy, and blessed with a prior century’s inheritance of effective local and state government?
We used to be a very conservative state. Then socialists and homosexuals overran us. Does anybody think his home will not be next because it’s a “very conservative state”? Tell it to Colorado.
The California Manor
By many criteria, 21st-century California is both the poorest and the richest state in the union. Almost a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line. Another fifth is categorized as near the poverty level — facts not true during the latter 20th century. A third of the nation’s welfare recipients now live in California. The state has the highest homeless population in the nation (135,000). About 22 percent of the nation’s total homeless population reside in the state — whose economy is the largest in the U.S., fueling the greatest numbers of American billionaires and high-income zip codes.
Misleading statistics. The immivasion is the cause of that income disparity and it’s not a problem unique to California. And many of those “poor” people drive late-model SUVs.
But by some indicators, the California middle class is shrinking — because of massive regulation, high taxation, green zoning, and accompanying high housing prices. Out-migration from the state remains largely a phenomenon of the middle and upper-middle classes. Millions have left California in the past 30 years, replaced by indigent and often illegal immigrants, often along with the young, affluent, and single.
The AMERICAN middle class is shrinking.
If someone predicted half a century ago that a Los Angeles police station or indeed L.A. City Hall would be in danger of periodic, flea-borne infectious typhus outbreaks, he would have been considered unhinged. After all, the city that gave us the modern freeway system is not supposed to resemble Justinian’s sixth-century Constantinople.
And it doesn’t, thank you. The poor of California STILL live better than the kings of old.
Yet typhus, along with outbreaks of infectious hepatitis A, are in the news on California streets. The sidewalks of the state’s major cities are homes to piles of used needles, feces, and refuse. Hygienists warn that permissive municipal governments are setting the stage — through spiking populations of history’s banes of fleas, lice, and rats — for possible dark-age outbreaks of plague or worse.
San Diego isn’t like that. Not NorCal, either. Heck, the San Fernando Valley (northern quarter or so of Los Angeles) isn’t like that yet.
High tech does its part not to clean the streets but to create defecation apps that electronically warn tourists and hoi polloi how to avoid walking blindly into piles of sidewalk excrement. In Californian logic, public defecation butts up against progressive tolerance, so it is exempt from the law. Yet for a suburbanite to build a patio without a permit, for example, costs one dearly in fines. Indeed, a new patio without a permit can be deemed more dangerous to the public health than piles of excrement in the public workplace.
And the Californians hate that.
I also documented how the people of San Francisco themselves are upset about being governed as heartlessly as a Commissar from Moscow.
One out of three Californians who enters a hospital for any cause is now found to be suffering from either diabetes or pre-diabetes, an epidemic that hits the Hispanic community especially hard but for a variety of reasons has not led to effective public-health efforts and sufficient publicity. State-run dialysis clinics now dot the towns and communities of the Central Valley — a tragic symptom of dietary culture, massive illegal immigration, and poor public-health education.
Haha! Die, Baby Boomers, die! You and everybody who thinks Chicken McNuggets are vegetables!
Seriously, diabetes is a motivation problem not an education problem. If you don’t care enough to eat right, and Idiocracy & Wall-E didn’t scare you straight, then education is wasted on you.
Infrastructure Is for the Unwoke
California’s transportation system, to be honest, remains in near ruins. Despite the highest gas taxes in the nation, none of its major trans-state freeways — not the 99, not I-5, not the 101 — after 70 years off use, are yet completed with six lanes, resulting in dangerous bottlenecks and wrecks. Driving the 99 south of Visalia, or the 101 near Paso Robles, or the 5 north of Coalinga is right out of Road Warrior — but not as dangerous as the fossilized two-line feeder lines such as 152 into Gilroy, or the 41 west of Kettleman City. The unspoken transportation credo of Jerry Brown’s aggregate 16 years as governor apparently was “If you don’t build it, maybe they won’t need it.”
He’s badly mistaken. I drove the 101 through Paso Robles for last week’s camping trip. They’re doing new construction on it right now. Highway 46 running between the 101 and 5 (to just south of Coalinga) used to be a two-lane washboard nightmare but has been widened to four last over the last decade. I don’t know about I-5 north of Coalinga but south of Coalinga at Lost Hills, I-5 is also bring improved right now. Also I-5 in Los Angeles. I haven’t driven I-5 to San Diego recently but it was okay last time and cannot be enlarged anyway. Not with land values being inflated like they are.
Several new overpasses have been built around Gilroy in recent years to eliminate deathtraps. The Garlic Capital of the World, incidentally.
Don’t talk about Jerry Brown’s unspoken transporation credo. Talk about his spoken one, it is far more evil: the term is “road diet”. More for the interested:
Meanwhile the concrete carcass of the recently cancelled multibillion-dollar high-speed rail system dots the skyline over Fresno. Bureaucrats now insist that more billions must be spent to ensure that a short segment of the least traveled route will be finished, though they obviously do not anticipate spurring a new tourist or commercial corridor between Merced and Bakersfield.
An Obama-era pork barrel project. It was never going to work. There was never any tourism between Merced and Bakersfield. No need for a commercial corridor, either, with agriculture priced depressed by free trade and slave labor.
High-speed-rail gurus insist on salvaging something of the boondoggle not because they have an economic rationale justifying more dollars — they would be far better invested in improving freeways, airports, and rails — but largely out of pride and shame that demand some small token rescued from a very bad pipe dream.
No, Gavin Newsom insists on a billion taxpayer dollars that Obama promised and Trump cancelled:
Pride? Shame? Dream? No. Greed. Cronyism. Evil.
In 1973, when I first visited and lived in Greece, the roads were medieval. The old Hellinikon Airport was dysfunctional, if not creepy. Highway rest stops were filthy. I have lived in or visited Greece in the ensuing 45 years since, including occasionally after the 2008 meltdown and European Union standoff. And yet today, the freeways, chief airport, and rest stops of relatively poor Greece are in far better shape than are California’s. LAX’s poor road access, traffic, uncleanness, crowds, and chaos seem premodern compared with the current Athenian airport.
Why compare us to Eastern Europe? Why not compare us to Oregon or Arizona? Because they have similar problems…
Nothing about LAX feels premodern to this air traveler. Nothing can be done further to improve LAX’s congestion, either. A major airport sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and a major city, how is that not going to have lots of traffic?
It is an eerie experience to see America’s once premier state, currently at its supposed acme, now resemble Greece of the colonels a half-century ago, while 2019 Greece seems more like a functioning 1973 California. Athens and Thessaloniki are still dirty in a few places, and there are homeless and illegal immigrants. But one does not see needles and feces on the sidewalks, and it is safe to walk in the evening. Greek public restrooms, once notorious, are far more sanitary than those at rest stops in Fresno, San Francisco, or Los Angeles.
The rest stops along I-5 and 101 are fine. No piles of dirty needles or even graffiti.
Power outrages are characteristic of Third World countries. Here in California we are advised to brace for lots of them, given that our antiquated grid apparently contributes to brush fires on hot days. As a native, I do not remember a single instance of our 20th-century state utilities shutting down service in the manner that they now routinely promise.
I assume he means power “outages”. Third World countries have power only for specified hours of the day. There are no such outages in California. The closest are “brownouts” in Los Angeles that coincide with heat waves.
Although it’s true our need for electricity is outstripping supply.
California for Others
Crime the last three years has increased. It is epidemic in local jails. San Francisco has the highest property-crime rate per capita of any major city. The California prison system is a mess, and sanctuary cities ensure that illegal aliens charged with crimes will not be deported. Pick up a McClatchy paper and you’ll see that the day’s fare of Central Valley criminality, even after sanitization and editorialization, is mind-boggling.
Good thing that only California does the evil of sanctuary cities. /sarc
California’s cycles of wet boom years and dry bust years continue because the state refuses to build three or four additional large reservoirs that have been planned for more than a half-century, and that would store enough water to keep California functional through even the worst drought. The rationale is either that it is more sophisticated to allow millions of acre-feet of melted snow to run into the sea, or it is better to have a high-speed-rail line from Merced to Bakersfield than an additional 10 million acre-feet of water storage, or droughts ensure more state control through rationing and green social-policy remedies.
Is Hanson writing this for any reason except to hate on California? For the record, reservoirs are not our problem. Reliance upon a massive aqueduct system in earthquake country is. We could add a billion acre-feet of reservoir and it wouldn’t help without revamping the aqueducts, which will never be earthquake-proof. Desalination is the better solution.
Which is also being blocked by evil environmentalists, who consider cockroaches to be humans and humans, cockroaches. Don’t blame us for their behavior. We are not them.
Twenty-seven percent of Californians were not born in the United States…
We know. Skip.
California schools are usually in the bottom decile of national rankings. No one in polite conversation asks why that is so, given that the state’s K–12 schools used to be among the most competitive in the United States.
Everybody talks about it. Nobody, especially the conservatives, will admit the only effective solution: END PUBLIC EDUCATION. Every school, everywhere in America is a horror factory for Socialist indoctrination. Hanson wants to whine about California’s schools while not paying attention to what’s happening in his own backyard? Kiss my ass. This not a California problem.
Yet, again in medieval fashion, the professional schools and science and technology departments of California’s premier research universities — Cal Tech, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, USC — are among the highest-rated in the world. Imagine something like the scribal oases of Padua, Oxford, or Paris in an otherwise frightening 13th century. If one wishes to be schooled as an electrical engineer or cancer researcher, California is an attractive place; if one wishes to be a knowledgeable graduate of a public elementary and high school, it most certainly is not.
All except CalTech are Leftoid cesspits whose reputations are as decrepitly old as the alumni who still donate to them.
I knew a CalTech professor back when I lived in LA. He complained that CalTech’s education was actually too much. The professors rode the students so hard that many of them, especially the undergrads, had no social lives at all, as in hundred-hour work weeks just to keep up with the curriculum. More than a few graduated only to walk away from engineering and science in complete burnout.
You don’t want a top-level, prestigious university for your undergraduate work. Their faculty are research professors who consider every minute they spend teaching Differential Equations 102 as purgatory. Go to a mid-level college where the faculty teach for a living. Grad school is the point at which the ivory tower wizards are at least able to communicate with you.
California’s Department of Motor Vehicles is perhaps the worst public-service entity in the United States. To enter any branch office is to venture into a Dante’s Inferno of huge lines, chaos, unkept rest rooms, and rude and often incompetent unionized employees. The only efficient DMV office in the state is the unmarked and secret branch in Sacramento reserved for state legislators and grandee insiders who oversee the DMV for the rest of the population. For a fee, concierge private auto clubs and firms often duplicate some DMV services, a de facto admission that the state needs something else besides itself to offer basic services. I once asked a DMV clerk, after a long wait in line, if it was right to be wearing a purple SEIU organizing T-shirt; she replied, “Do you still want to be served?”
This is reaching farce. California is a Third World country because the DMV is a bureaucracy? Oh noes!
The several DMVs I’ve used across Central and Southern California have been at least decently run. They’ve got a system going that allows you to read a book while waiting for your number to be called, if you didn’t call ahead for an appointment.
The DMV scandals are multifarious: Thousands of motor-voter registrations sent to the wrong people, including illegal aliens supposedly ineligible to vote; corrupt employees who sell commercial truck driver’s licenses to the unqualified; and private corporations and occasionally individuals selling hard-to-obtain reservations and appointments.
Features, not bugs. You gawddamned Republicans don’t get to complain about liberal vote fraud until you get off your dusty RINO asses to prosecute it. You’d rather lose an election than prove the other guy cheated!
…Yet the rule in California is to punish the upper middle class while pandering to the rich and romanticizing the poor. Thus, the legislature is now considering a punitive new inheritance tax, and it just imposed an Internet sales tax.
No, the rich are getting whacked too. Didn’t you notice which faction coined the phrase “One Percenter”?
California’s apocalyptic present has created an alternate universe, in good Third World style, of pay-for-play services. To avoid the emergency room (the last time I used one, two gangs squared off in the waiting room, to continue what their wounded members were under treatment for), progressive Californians often pay for concierge medicine and anything private to avoid at all costs using any state services.
Not that I’ve noticed. My female coworkers, as I’ve overheard, are happy to use the social welfare system while thinking I’m crazy for paying the no-health-care premium and then my medical costs out-of-pocket on top of that. Sometimes I want to call up the Amish, who have inexplicably worked out a “faith-based” exemption to Commiefornia’s health care system, and ask how much they’ll charge me for a letter of exemption.
And sometimes, I realize that’s exactly pay to play. Which means they aren’t the good guys.
The coastal corridor elite often put their kids in tony prep schools that have sprung up or vastly expanded, in the fashion of the 1960s white Southern academies that were designed to circumvent federal desegregation edicts. Elite progressives mimic old-style, 1960s segregationists but feel that their children’s green and multicultural curricula offer enough penance to assuage their guilt over abandoning the state’s much praised “diverse” schools.
I knew a tech billionaire a few years back whose son was enrolled in the prestigious Robert Louis Stevenson school in Pebble Beach. He said that many of those children of the rich and famous were functionally abandoned by their parents.
The Elites have always sent their kids to top-end schools but before you complain about Privilege, you should first check if they’re boarding schools. Money doesn’t guarantee a happy family.
Our Dreams, Your Nightmares
What caused this lunacy?
The fool said in his heart, “There is no God.”
A polarity of importing massive poverty from south of the border while pandering to those who control unprecedented wealth in Silicon Valley, Hollywood, the tourism industry, and the marquee universities. Massive green regulations and boutique zoning, soaring taxes, increasing crime, identity politics and tribalism, and radical one-party progressive government were force multipliers. It is common to blame California Republicans for their own demise. They have much to account for, but in some sense, the state simply deported conservative voters and imported their left-wing replacements.
In a reductionist sense, perhaps if former governor Jerry Brown knew that he would one day retire to Delano and drive the 99 daily, rather than to Grass Valley, with several state pensions in his bank account, or if Dianne Feinstein dwelled in an East Palo Alto or Redwood City residence rather than in Pacific Heights, or if all the Pelosi grandchildren had to attend state public schools, then the architects of 21st-century California might have had to live with the consequences of their own dreams and been less eager to inflict their nightmares on the other 40 million Californians.
When he stands before God in Judgment, Jerry Brown won’t even try to defend his actions. He will calmly unbuckle his pants and defecate on the floor in order to defile God’s works one last time before being cast into Eternal Hell.
He knew what he was doing. He loved Evil because he hated God.
You Cuckservatives have yourselves abandoned God so completely that in all this complaining about California, you, Victor David Hanson, never, not once, called out evil. You gave a long list of complaints and problems without even trying to find the causes, identify common threads or call for solutions. You don’t want solutions. You don’t want California to clean up its act. You want to feel good about yourselves by talking about how badly the “other people” behave.
But then again, such a radical divergence between a few insider elites and a massive underclass, with little in between, is perhaps what best defines “Third World.”
The point of his diatribe is that VDH doesn’t consider California to be part of America. Preemptively giving Socialists permission to keep California in return for nothing but false hope that California is all they want is why controlled opposition like the National Review exists.