More On The Golden State-The City Journal Via Youtube: ‘The Beholden State’


California has high taxes, lots of regulation and red-tape, environmentalists and unions deeply entrenched in politics and lawmaking, along with a more liberal politics of patronage generally controlled by the coast.  All of these forces conspire to create a stifling environment for free enterprise and wealth creation.  This is not exactly how you build a strong ‘middle-class,’ even in a land of dreamers.  Add to this multiculturalism and diversity as often the highest goods around, deeply rooted in the educational system and deeply rooted within the the public mind, and even slow, incremental changes in California will be difficult.

Eventually you run out of other people’s money, and many Californians have voted with their feet, often taking the same worldview to Arizona, Colorado and north along the coast.

Science and technology (the UC system does this very well) can only go so far, as it’s the belief of this blog that a more liberal/Leftist worldview has its own incentives and its own ideology, and these are not necessarily those of an open society that renews itself.

You can’t say that Victor Davis Hanson doesn’t care about California, and he gives it a lot of credit despite the following:

‘California’s multidimensional decline-fiscal, commercial, social, and political-sometimes seems endless.’

I imagine it must be tough for a well-educated, reasonably conservative Democrat from a farming family in the Central Valley looking out upon the coast.  He finishes with:

‘Soon, even the Stanford professor and the La Jolla administrator may learn that illegal immigration, cumbersome regulations, and the terrible elementary schools affect them as well.

The four-part solution for California is clear:  don’t raise the state’s crushing taxes any higher; reform public-employee compensation:  make use of ample natural resources: and stop the flow of illegal aliens. Just focus on those four areas-as California did so well in the past-and in time, the state will return to its bounty of a few decades ago.  Many of us intend to stay and see that it does.’

So goes California, so goes the nation?

-A link for Michael Lewis’ article about California politics, public pensions and Schwarzenegger’s time in office.

-A map from Immodest Proposals on how to divide California.  Just some suggestions.

-California’s anti-immigration, anti-union Democrat: Full video and background on Mickey Kaus here.

Related On This Site:  Remember, neo-conservatism partially came out of the increasing liberal trends in our society, as folks get ‘mugged by reality,” .  There is always a sharp edge to people, their affairs, and the groups they form:  Victor Davis Hanson Via Youtube Via Uncommon Knowledge: ‘The New Old World Order’

Dream big: Via Reason: ‘California’s Public Transportation Sinkhole’

A great city deserves great art extravaganzas…: L.A.’s New Public Art Piece ‘The Levitated Mass,’ Or As The American Interest Puts It: ‘A Moving Rock’

Richard Epstein At The Hoover Institution’s Defining Ideas: ‘California’s Kafkaesque Rent Control Laws’

California Dreamers From The Atlantic-A Brief Review Of Kevin Starr’s History Of California

The people who promise solutions to poverty and homlessness seem to be engaged in a utopian cost-shifting exercise which favors their interests and overlooks crime, violence and personal responsbility…hardly a way to balance the budget: Repost-Heather MacDonald At The City Journal: ‘The Sidewalks Of San Francisco’

Some concentrated wealth on top, a stalled legislature with members who know how to play the game…and a service sector beneath…that probably can’t go on forever: …From The WSJ: ‘Joel Kotkin: The Great California Exodus’

Adam Garfinkle At The American Interest: ‘Still Broken’

Full post here.

Trying to prop up what’s here without more serious restructuring will have consequences:

‘The first is how our big banksters make money off all sorts of cons, besides encouraging consumption-based debt, in ways that create systemic misalignments between the financial interests of the major banks and the economic interests of everyone else.’


‘It also illustrates how the major banks torque the economy because of how the Federal Reserve system actually works—a complete mystery, apparently, to the average American.’

And from the comments:

‘But there is a specific issue with the large “money center” banks in New York and the way they steer the New York Fed’s policy and the influence they have on the main Fed board and the FOMC. It’s the “Fed central” in DC and the NY Fed that are the problem.’

Also, if you have a few minutes, read Malcolm Greenhill’s post “Naive And Sophisticated Economics” about this very same issue, which is not good for Main Street:

‘Ah, you get the idea. I’m describing the Federal Reserve’s policy of penalizing savers and propping up declining asset values for the sake of poorly managed dysfunctional banks.’

RelatedArnold Kling From The Library Of Economics And Liberty: ‘My Perspective On The Budget Fight’Richard Epstein At The Hoover Institution: ‘The Economic Ignorance of Barack Obama’Jesse Walker At Reason Links To Ross Douthat: ‘”The Meritocracy As We Know It Mostly Works To Perpetuate the Existing Upper Class’

Megan McArdle At Bloomberg: ‘When Law Is No Longer A Safe Bet’

Full piece here.

‘Fighting your way into a good firm just buys you the right to fight desperately to stay there. Once unthinkable, mass layoffs happen regularly; and once those graduates are laid off, they have a hell of a time finding work. Did I mention that there are too many law school graduates for the available jobs?’

Many legal services can be provided online, many big firms have taken big hits, and naturally, in a field as competitive as the law, it trickles down.

Many people have gone into the academies for security (law and otherwise), but I suspect the signs of more supply and less demand have been showing for awhile, along with automation:  More low-paid adjuncts, stiffer competition for jobs, more and more rush to publish scholarship to make one’s self marketable, more Ivy League candidates hustling for jobs at more poorly-ranked schools.

Perhaps the rush to Washington D.C. and our universities is part of a similar process for many, seen as ports in a storm and a model that is no longer going to work for many people.

Addition:  And if you want to know how many people in our universities and institutions are going to handle these changes, look at old media.  Not very well, grudgingly at best.

The Disruption Of Education-From AVC: ‘Video Of The Week: Mark Suster Interview of Clayton Christensen’

Related On This SiteMegan McArdle At The Daily Beast: ‘The Absurd Lies Of College Admissions’Megan McArdle At The Daily Beast: ‘America’s New Mandarins’

Mead takes a look at the blue model (the old progressive model) from the ground up in NYC to argue that it’s simply not working.  Check out his series at The American Interest.  Technology is changing things rapidly, and maybe, as Charles Murray points out, it’s skewing the field toward high IQ positions while simultaneously getting rid of industrial, managerial, clerical, labor intensive office jobs.  Even so,  we can’t cling to the past.