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California is collapsing Once seen as a progressive's paradise, the state is drifting towards a new kind of feudalism

A new feudalism is sweeping through the Golden State (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

A new feudalism is sweeping through the Golden State (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)


February 11, 2021   5 mins

If one were to explore the most blessed places on earth, California, my home for a half century, would surely be up there. The state, with its salubrious climate, spectacular scenery, vast natural resources, and entrepreneurial heritage is home to the world’s fifth-largest economy and its still-dominant technological centre. It is also — as some progressives see it — the incubator of “a capitalism we can believe in”.

Perhaps channelling such hyperbole, President Biden recently suggested that he wants to “make America California again”. Yet before leaping on this particular train, he should consider whether the California model may be better seen as a cautionary tale than a roadmap to a better future in the digital age.

The on-the-ground reality — as opposed to that portrayed in the media or popular culture — is more Dickensian than utopian. Rather than the state where dreams are made, in reality California increasingly presents the prototype of a new feudalism fused oddly with a supposedly progressive model in which inequality is growing, not falling.

California now suffers the highest cost-adjusted poverty rate in the country, and the widest gap between middle and upper-middle income earners. It also has one of the nation’s highest Gini ratios, which measures the inequality of wealth distribution from the richest to poorest residents — and the disparity is growing. Incredibly, California’s level of inequality is greater than that of neighbouring Mexico, and closer to Central American countries like Guatemala and Honduras than developed nations like Canada and Norway.

It is true that California’s GDP per capita is far higher than these Central American countries, but the state has slowly morphed into a low wage economy. Over the past decade, 80% of the state’s jobs have paid under the median wage — half of which are paid less than $40,000 — and most are in poorly paid personal services or hospitality jobs. Even at some of the state’s most prestigious companies like Google, many lower (and even mid-level) workers live in mobile home parks. Others sleep in their cars.   

The state’s dependence on low-wage service workers has been critical in the pandemic, but it now suffers among the highest unemployment rates in the nation, outdone only by tourism-dominated states like Hawaii, Nevada and New Jersey. Los Angeles, the home of Hollywood, now has the highest unemployment rate of the nation’s top ten metropolitan areas, higher even than New York.

But that hasn’t stopped California from portraying itself as a progressive’s paradise, publicly advocating racial and social justice. The state just passed a Racial Justice Act to monitor law enforcement, endorsing reparations (although California was never a slave state) and is working to address “systemic” racism in its classrooms. This “woke” agenda was taken to a new extreme this week when the San Francisco School Board decided to rename 44 schools because they were named after people connected to racism or slavery. The district’s Arts Department, originally known as “VAPA”, also decided to re-brand because “acronyms are a symptom of white supremacy culture”.

Unsurprisingly, changing school names has little effect on the daily lives of minorities. In fact, minorities do better today outside of California, enjoying far higher adjusted incomes and rates of homeownership in places like Atlanta and Dallas than in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Almost one-third of Hispanics, the state’s largest ethnic group, subsist below the poverty line, compared with 21% outside the state. Meanwhile, one fifth of African Americans and over two-thirds of noncitizen Latinos, including the undocumented, are the edge of poverty.

The reality today is certainly a stark change from the 1980s, when the technology industry created lots of middle class jobs. Hewlett Packard was an exemplar of enlightened management and employee benefits; it was long noted for its informal way of running its business and worked particularly hard to involve its line workers in helping define and reach the company’s goals. Yet in recent years, Valley companies have become ever more abstract and digital, with fewer jobs requiring working and even middle-class employees.

By 2015, nearly 30% of Silicon Valley’s residents relied on public or private financial assistance. Once a beacon of middle-class aspiration, it has become “fragmented and divided,” note two Leftist researchers, Chris Benner and Manuel Pastor, “with the high-tech community largely isolated from the broader region and particularly those parts of the region that are less fortunate”. Rather than “a capitalism we can believe in”, the Bay Area has become “a region of segregated innovation,” where the upper class waxes, the middle class wanes, and the poor live in poverty that is becoming impossible to break out of. Silicon Valley, as we know it today, has essentially collapsed into “feudalism with better marketing”.

Yet for most of its 170-year history as a state, California was a magnet both for ambitious Americans and foreigners. The newcomers helped create the farms, drill oil wells, engendered Hollywood, the aerospace, and technology industries. The California dream was, in a sense, America on steroids. Even when high costs and the rise of other areas — Texas, North Carolina, Arizona, Washington State — slowed and eventually reversed domestic migration, people from abroad continued to pour in to pick up the slack.

This is increasingly no longer the case. California’s population is — for the first time in its modern history — falling. Millennials, particularly when they start having families, are heading to other states, a process that has been accelerated by the pandemic. Once the ultimate land of youth, the Golden State is now ageing 50% faster than the rest of the country. In time, the wheelchair could replace the surfboard as the symbol of the state. And as millennials flee the state and other expensive coastal regions, immigrants are no longer coming in large numbers. Instead, as demographer Wendell Cox explains, they are increasingly moving inland to cities like Houston, Nashville, and Orlando.

Californian officials try to cover up these shortcomings by pointing to the huge capital gains tax receipts they receive from large tech companies, and those derived from IPOs. Together these have created an enormous tax windfall estimated at $26 billion that allows the state to enjoy an annual surplus even in hard times. That’s partly why, when Governor Newsom recently defended his economic track record, he predictably pointed to the new round of IPOs to assure us that the state’s growing billionaire class is “doing pretty damn well”.

Yet Newsom currently faces a determined recall campaign, which could trigger an election if it attracts enough signatures. For in spite of his optimism, opportunities and avenues for growth, the Governor’s preening and inconsistent lockdown activities — such as closing outdoor dining despite no evidence of its dangers, and being caught eating un-socially distanced at the hyper-expensive French Laundry restaurant — have angered large swathes of the state’s population. Not only have these incidents exposed his cluelessness, but also the political class’ imperviousness to the needs of non-elite business and ordinary citizens of the state.

And this is all at a time when we are starting to see the unravelling of the precise policies on social justice, climate and taxes that are widely viewed among progressives as role models for the future. These policies have not brought about greater racial harmony, enhanced upward mobility and widely based economic growth. They are not even exemplars in reducing climate change, but, at best, shift the burden of saving Gaia onto the working class while their jobs and resources generate wealth elsewhere.

Clearly California is not the avatar of brighter future, particularly in an age of heightened competition from hungrier, more motivated and less carbon-obsessed places like India and China; indeed, California increasingly cannot compete, even for most high-end jobs, with American upstarts like Texas or Arizona. So before the state — and the President — entertains any notion of sensibly “exporting” its model, California’s leaders need to embrace the biblical notion of “physician cure thyself” and demonstrate that our state is the harbinger of a better future, rather than a feudalistic past.


Joel Kotkin is the Hobbs Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and author, most recently, of The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class (Encounter)

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Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
3 years ago

I don’t have a problem with Californians destroying their own state. Whatever, that is their choice. My problem, particularly as a Coloradian is them moving to another state and going “Hmm… let’s try that again.”

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Californians are moving to a lot of states trying to escape the dysfunction. I’ve noticed an influx in CO. I too hope they can be prevented from bringing the dysfunction with them.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

by almost any measure, California is a wealthy state. Yet it is also dysfunctional. Being wealthy does not prevent people from making ridiculous decisions. NY is also wealthy, and people are leaving it, too. Doesn’t make all wealthy people bad human beings, but being rich often means no more than being able to avoid the ill effects of your voting decisions.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

All that is true, but what are you gonna do about it?
Make CA/NY migration illegal?

Earl King
Earl King
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

if only we could

regnad.kcin.fst
regnad.kcin.fst
3 years ago

Any Californian who brings the social destruction of unlimited homeless unilmited illegals bad employment practice will destroy that state. Don’t californicate Texas-Colorado-Utah-Nevada.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

Don’t californicate Texas-Colorado-Utah-Nevada.

It is already happening – so what are you gonna do about it?

Michelle Haley
Michelle Haley
3 years ago

you forgot AZ

Dorothy Slater
Dorothy Slater
3 years ago

Years ago, Money Magazine rated Prescott AZ as the best place to retire so many many Californians moved to the relatively small town and settled – raising housing prices beyond the reach of most natives. When they realized that there was really no upscale shopping in Prescott, they prevailed on the town fathers to destroy a mountain in order to establish a convenient shopping center.

Did they breed dysfunction? It may be in the eyes of the beholder. Prescott now has a pretty decent community college and hospital system and is trying to become a high tech area but housing prices are still beyond the reach of most people and traffic is horrendous. THen there is the water issue . There is not enough but hey, there is enough now so why worry about the future.

Elaine Hunt
Elaine Hunt
3 years ago
Reply to  Dorothy Slater

Rather like the Cotswolds in England

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

They do in California

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

Been to Newport Beach, have a friend there. Very affluent and very functional.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

If you’re affluent, anywhere is functional. Rich people can buy their way out of dysfunction. The problem is that most Californians, the vast majority in fact, are not affluent. And the rich like to keep them that way. Who do you think is financially supporting people like Pelosi and Newsom?

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

They do and they vote. With their feet, money and votes. Literally.
Surely by now California would be empty….?
Mexican immigrants would be “crashing” in Malibu beach houses…

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Yes, they vote for dysfunction for others but not for themselves. They have the dough to avoid the dysfunction. What do you think all those gated mansions are for? So they can live among the homeless like other Californians have to?

People are escaping California if, again, they have the dough. Those that can’t, well, they just can’t.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

No gated mansions in Texas?

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Texas has a middle class. And not nearly as many homeless. Why does California have so many homeless? What are they doing wrong?

rick stubbs
rick stubbs
3 years ago

very high housing costs in areas were service jobs are plentiful..

Karl Schuldes
Karl Schuldes
3 years ago

Your first sentence is perfection.

Michelle Haley
Michelle Haley
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

I’m multi-generation Californian. Grew-up in a family business, that still exists, my great-grandfather started in 1929. I live in one of the most affluent neighborhoods in California. One of the best of the best school districts, have a wonderful lifestyle …and you have no idea what you are talking about.
just a few stats:
1 in 4 people in California are living below the poverty line
1 in 5 were not born in the US
We have the highest taxes and our infrastructure rates 49th of the 50 states.
Our school system is near the bottom also. we have 60k homeless and counting, opiod deaths in the 1000’s, looks like a 3rd world country in some places and growing, no joke.

There are no homeless in my neighborhood, they don’t last an hour. They are driven to the nearest poor neighborhood and dropped off. The list of problems here are unfortunately too long to mention.
And yes my husband and I are planning on leaving the state I used to love in just a few years.

Rich people are leaving here in high numbers. But what California is really missing is the middle class. When the lower or middle class have no hope of upward mobility. people leave.

Another stat for you…
to rent a U-haul out of California is 1000’s but to rent a U-haul into California is $500.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago

It depends upon type of wealth. Where there are landowning families with a tradition of military services they are often very tough. They grow up with the village children. In Skyfall Bond returns to his family home. If one grew up stalking deer and attending schools such as Rannoch, Ampleforth, Sedburgh, Stonyhurst , where rugby, cross country runs and cold showers are compulsory, one soon toughens up. When it comes to the rugby pitch or elite military selection, money, does not protect one from pain. Sensible wealthy families bring a degree of Spartan conditioning to the bringing up of their children.

Michelle Haley
Michelle Haley
3 years ago

Rich people have plenty of issues. I live in an affluent neighborhood in Southern California, near LA. Everything is shiny on the outside. People come from liberal States to go to college in Cal and never leave.

Michelle Haley
Michelle Haley
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Nope.

Tom Graham
Tom Graham
3 years ago

Affluent people caused the dysfunction in California. Didn’t you read the article?

It isn’t the middle-class or working class who are running the state and it’s political system.

Janusz Przeniczny
Janusz Przeniczny
3 years ago

Writing as a None-American born and living in the UK, the rich are the ones who breed dysfunction. There the ones “inventing” problems as you can see by Maslows Needs Pyramid, the vast majority of people are busy with putting food on tables, roofs over their heads and worrying about their kids education. The chattering classes, spend their days, inventing new sexes, new outrages they can cancel, and human rights for their pets. Their cooks, nanny’s, gardeners do all their worrying.
So yes , when they move to your State, they will carry on as nothing changed. Its happening/happened in the UK where immigrants aren’t supposed to fit in, the indigenous are supposed change for a better fit.
You might not like my answer, but you will find out I’m more right then wrong, the hard way.

Noah Ebtihej Sdiri
Noah Ebtihej Sdiri
3 years ago

I wouldn’t be so sure. History is full of examples (France, Iran, China….) of ruling classes that dug their own graves by supporting harmful policies.

Robert Reseigh
Robert Reseigh
3 years ago

They can especially as affluence can bankroll their superior woke virtue effluence.

Stephen Follows
Stephen Follows
3 years ago

Have you not met Antifa?

James P
James P
3 years ago

Oh yeah they do. Especially if they were born into wealth and think that they earned it. I offer you Justin Turdeau as an example. The guy went from drama teacher/snowboard dude to Prime Minister of Canada. He is poorly educated and dumb as a rock. But he is in the unique position of growing Canada’s debts past all sanity. The population that pays that debt back is way less wealthy than he is. His policy choices are all woke, and as stupid as you might expect given that. He is affluent, and so are his sycophantic fellow Liberals. The rest of you, us, can eat shit and pay the bills.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

You gone make it illegal for Californians to move to Co or vote?

Peter Mott
Peter Mott
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Sort of Hukou systems as in China?

Joe Francis
Joe Francis
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Voting restrictions never applied to any Democrat in the past.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Francis

And those democrats are now all Deep South Republicans.

VĂłreios ParatiritĂ­s
VĂłreios ParatiritĂ­s
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

An yet… Did you read the big brag in the Times article on how the election was “fortified” It seems once your broken Nazi detector gives you permission, cheating is no obstacle to success. No wonder people booed Biden’s video at the Super Bowl.

Peter de Barra
Peter de Barra
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

… dolled up CA femmes in the Plaza at Santa Fe ? ” too much – we moved out …

Joe Francis
Joe Francis
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

“Hmm…let’s try that again” should be part of the lyrics of the Internationale.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Why don’t you turn off the water?

Jeffrey Chongsathien
Jeffrey Chongsathien
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

They should be banned from voting in whatever state they move to for a period of 30 years, and they should pay an impact tax to the existing residents for the rise in living costs they’ll force on them.

Steve Hall
Steve Hall
3 years ago

The inevitable product of taking neoliberalism’s principle of free movement of capital, goods and labour too seriously. Outsource your manufacturing to a cheap-labour mercantilist regime abroad – which certainly doesn’t take the aforementioned principle too seriously – and watch your skilled working class and middle-managerial class disappear to be replaced by a precariat in insecure service jobs. Then import mass labour to undercut wages in the service economy and make them feel even more insecure. The global investment elite, the rentiers, the tech nerds and their lawyers etc. get rich while everyone else gets poor. Mask all this with identity politics posturing and dumbed-down woke education, and the Ship of Fools sails on. Little wonder we’re seeing the rise of angry, headless populism leaning to the nationalist right. Then call them all racist rednecks on mass media and social media, threaten to throw them in jail for rioting and watch them get even angrier, and rightfully so. Brilliant. The genius of liberalism at work.

David Jory
David Jory
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Hall

Progressive rather than Liberal in the JS Mill or WE Gladstone sense, but you are correct.

Robert Reseigh
Robert Reseigh
3 years ago
Reply to  David Jory

Liberals are at fault simply because they cannot bare to ally themselves with conservatives as somehow they may lose their identity. An identity that the far left progressives are stripping away from them, you’re either a wokeist or you are a fascist neo Nazi and no in between according to the far left. Wake up Liberals and ally with the conservatives as you have more in common than you think. Ps Conservatives does not mean far right either.

M Spahn
M Spahn
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Hall

Exactly right, but I wouldn’t call it liberalism. It’s the alliance of corporate globalist neoliberalism with wokeism. Real liberals hate it as much as anyone.

Robert Reseigh
Robert Reseigh
3 years ago
Reply to  M Spahn

True and that is why they need to swallow their pride and ally with the conservatives , which are not far right, they’re a different breed again.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Hall

Germany and Switzerland moved into advanced technology by mid 1990s ; there is little low and medium tech. This requires a German /Swiss mindset and education systems which do not exist in the Uk and USA apart from a few small areas.

Making robots whose arm moves with a precision of 0.01mm and Swiss watches of cannot be done outside of these countries; assembling cars in some countries can be done in countries like Slovakia . Basically it is machine tools and robots which are the key.

Robert Reseigh
Robert Reseigh
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Hall

Eloquently said.

Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
3 years ago

It seems that California, and much of the liberal West has yet to gird their loins and admit that post-nationalist globalization and the welfare state are incompatible.
What I call the ‘social globalists’ are all for the great human migration of the have-nots to the land of the haves.
To protest such policies is simply racist and xenophobic.
At the same time ‘corporate globalists’ are free to travel the world. showering their money and jobs on whatever pasture that they assess to be the greenest which in today’s terms means whichever jurisdiction bribes them with tax breaks and incentives.

So sooner or later you have a large portion of the economic demographic consisting of an uneducated and unskilled underclass that can’t pay taxes and a wealthy class that will simply move away if they feel over-taxed – taking their money and jobs with them.
The hollowed-out middle class which is mostly stuck where it is, can’t fill the void,

Up against that is the welfare state that insists on doubling down, spending money as if the new realities of globalism didn’t exist.
So poverty district schools aren’t performing poorly because some immigrants don’t value education – it’s all due to a “lack of funding because the rich don’t pay their fair share”.
The middle class gets hit with tax and fee hikes and has to buy Chinese toasters at Walmart to make ends meet.

We are going to have to choose.
The math doesn’t work.

Robert Reseigh
Robert Reseigh
3 years ago
Reply to  Walter Lantz

Like all things it’s about balance. Globalism is here to stay in some form as it has been since the industrial revolution , that though does not mean that nations cannot be their own masters. Taxes are also a balanced necessity, they are needed, enough to fill the govt coffers for governance but not so high as to stifle growth. Same with welfare, enough to be a safety net ( hopefully short term ) till people get back on their feet but not enough to become a way of life. It’s all about balance.

Tom Hawk
Tom Hawk
3 years ago

Reading the article and comments, I feel people are missing the elephant. Instead of comparing California against other US states and south American countries, people should be looking at China and seeing what is happening there.

China is a threat in a way that Russian communism never was. It is centralised and planning how to deliver but using capitalist incentives to encourage effort and productivity.

Peter de Barra
Peter de Barra
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Hawk

… the MSS presence in California is estimated to be greater than in all but one other State … and not all by any means clustered around Stanford, Silicon Valley, Berkeley etcetera … yiu don’t have to be Chinese to take their red gold …

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Hawk

Company ( computer Games) my son works at in LA was bought ago by a Chinese Billionaire 2 years ago. Many Chinese set up their companies in Kanada and buy US Firms. Very interesting…

Robert Reseigh
Robert Reseigh
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Hawk

Oh but at what cost to the individual humanity and soul. Golden prison bars are still prison bars.

Jeff Mason
Jeff Mason
3 years ago

Newsome saying another round of IPOs is a sign of California’s overall fiscal health is like Louis XVI saying the French economy was in great shape because he has just built another palace. Lesson from history: It didn’t work then and it won’t work now. California destroyed itself. It did not see its primary industry collapse due to globalism like the rust belt. It did not suffer from a boom that went bust or depletion of resources like some old west mining town. It simply shot itself in the foot – repeatedly. It was once a prosperous and well run state. Now it is a test tube for every wacky and insane progressive idea. It continues to stagger on. Like a hippo being starved, it will take a while but eventually it will collapse. Please, when you flee the state for Arizona or Texas, don’t vote for the same kind of idiots who destroyed California.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

California is the poster child of self-inflicted wounds without the self-awareness to realize the problem. Its expats, who leave while griping about taxes or housing prices, have this habit of then infecting their new homes with the same poison. It’s almost a punch line. The state is and has been poorly governed for decades, and shows no sign of changing. Even if Newsom is recalled, does anyone think his replacement will be a vastly different version?

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

No, he or she will not. And to some extent we have to say that Californians have made their bed and now must lie in it. If people insist on living this way, they surely have the right to do so.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

Why do Californians keep voting for people who create and/or allow these problems to make life so difficult and unpleasant for Californians? Do they not know what or rather who is causing it? Do they not know that people in other states don’t have to put up with what they do?

Eva Rostova
Eva Rostova
3 years ago

The California dream was, in a sense, America on steroids.

This I think is a key point. California is a great place to live if one is highly educated and well off.

This is not unique to California: the US system (eg taxation, employment law (including maternity/paternity benefits), healthcare, education, and entry into the professions) is set up to benefit the wealthy and the well-connected.

Being America’s most populous and wealthiest state (and the world’s 5th largest economy, just ahead of the UK), California illustrates what happens when there is such extreme inequality on a large scale. Quite evidently, it’s not good for society.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

Anywhere is a great place to live if you have a lot of money, California isn’t alone in that. But you missed the key point. The key point is actually that California is a great place to live ONLY if you have a lot of money. It is a horrible place to live if you don’t have a lot of money and that’s the vast majority of Californians. Inequality is worse in California than it is in Mexico. You cannot make that case against other states, which is why so many people are leaving California. It’s not enough to be a great place only for rich people.

What you miss is that while California is wallowing in all the problems mentioned in the article, other states are moving ahead. You’re going backwards.

Eva Rostova
Eva Rostova
3 years ago

I agree with your concerns, if not your zero-sum mindset. California will remain the largest US economy for decades to come, and continue to attract ambitious and well-qualified people due to world class universities like Stanford and Berkeley and the high-tech industries they cultivate.

California has a lot of reforming to do. Hopefully the other large states with high poverty rates including Texas, Florida, and New York etc learn from California’s mistakes and take action to improve the quality of life of all citizens.

And I personally hope the smaller states like Colorado can model their economies more on the highly innovative/entrepreneurial/high quality-of-life Scandinavian economies.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

Yes, we agree that other states should learn what NOT to do from California. The problem is that escapees from California try to infect other states with the same policies that brought such misery to California. Maybe they should volunteer not to vote for a couple of election cycles in their new states until they can acclimatize to an environment where more than just the rich matter. Sort of a zero California dysfunction strategy. Suppress the dysfunction.

Being the largest economy means nothing when only the rich can thrive. China has a huge economy, would you want to be poor there?

Eva Rostova
Eva Rostova
3 years ago

How democratic of you, Annette.

You seem to be making a partisan political point, whereas I’m looking at structural issues (taxation, labor rights, education, healthcare, etc etc).

My concern is that the entire US system is set up so that only the rich can thrive. It’s perhaps just more obvious in California given its size and diversity.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

It’s very democratic not to want to live with massive inequality. Yes California has vast structural issues, that’s the problem. Who do you think caused these, Santa Claus? It’s the people you elect.

The entire US system is not set up the way California is. This level of dysfunction is specific to California. That’s why you have problems other states do not. Although New York is nearly as bad a basket case.

I’m sure you wouldn’t live in China, so you DO understand that it isn’t the size of the economy that makes for great quality of life. Even though China’s surely a great place if you’re privileged and filthy rich, just like California. Do you see the problem now?

Eva Rostova
Eva Rostova
3 years ago

I take your point, but China simply isn’t a great comparator, as it’s not a liberal democracy.

I think I know what you’re getting at more generally, but perhaps you would be a bit more explicit: If it isn’t eg tax policy or the absence of universal health care or lack of European-style labor rights or affordable university education that you think are California’s structural problems, what are the structural problems you think Cali has that other states don’t?

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

Of course China works as an example of a huge economy it sucks to live in if you’re not rich. It’s a huge economy isn’t it? Much much bigger than California’s.

Taxes in California are an enormous problem and your tax base is shrinking because poor people don’t pay much tax. The rich are escaping because of the taxes and the business unfriendly environment. Highest sales taxes in the nation, highest state income taxes. There are much more business friendly states.

California teachers are among the most highly paid while your students rank at the bottom in both math and reading. What are you paying for? You also pay for schools for millions of people there illegally. Do you think that’s a good idea?

Unfunded pension liabilities means you have more debt than any other state.

Californians healthcare problems are a result of your politicians insisting on the taxpayers covering the costs of millions of illegal immigrants. Do you know how expensive that is with as many illegals as you have? Your sanctuary cities invite illegals who you then get to pay for. Other states don’t do that.

California is not a right to work state so the unions can keep you out of your job.

You have more homeless people than any other state. You can set up tent cities and block business entrances. You can lie around in hotel entrances so people have to step over you. And you can use the public streets as a toilet.

These are all things forced upon you by your elected leaders and every one of them reduces your quality of life. The article of course lists many more.

Eva Rostova
Eva Rostova
3 years ago

Ah got it. You think a supply side pro-business/low tax economy improves quality of life of the working class? Has that ever worked for the working class anywhere? I guess you don’t think the Scandi/European-style mixed economy with high innovation and strong social welfare is a good idea?

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

Read the article. The author highlights many of the political missteps that make CA so dysfunctional. I do not think bad schools, the highest number of homeless, streets used as toilets, the highest poverty rate in the nation, the highest number of illegal immigrants, the highest state debt and a business unfriendly climate make for quality of life, no.

But perhaps the onus is on you to explain how all these things make life great for the highest number of poor people in the country.

Eva Rostova
Eva Rostova
3 years ago

CA doesn’t have the highest poverty rate in the country.

It has the highest “cost-adjusted poverty rate” in the country. Big difference.

In any event, I don’t disagree with you that CA needs to improve schools and address homelessness. Doubt anyone would tbh.

But I’m curious about the working class/middle class (ie not just the poorest). In Europe, these socioeconomic classes don’t have to eg pay for healthcare or eg pay tens of thousands of dollars a year for university/college, plus they get maternity/paternity leave and at least 5 weeks vacation etc (although of course that is threatened in the gig economy; I’m talking relative to the US, I’m not suggesting Europe is heaven on earth). In that regard, I wonder whether any state in the US is particularly well structured to allow people not in the top 10% or so to have a European-style quality of life.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

In addition to topping the poverty chart, it has the highest number of people on welfare as well. Congratulations. You’re the tops!

California doesn’t have a middle class, that’s the problem. It has very rich and very poor. It used to have a middle class but those days are gone. Today, no state has higher inequality than CA. How are those progressive politicians working out for you?

CA is aging 50% faster that the rest of the country because young people are leaving. How is that sustainable?

Other states have fewer poor, fewer illegals to support, lesser unfunded pension liabilities and subsequent state debt. All these things affect businesses and people. Only Hawaii, Nevada and NJ have higher unemployment than CA. This really hurts the poor. Well paid jobs are going to Texas and Arizona as the author points out.

The author highlights some of the better managed states in the article as well as the reasons they are better managed. But the issue is California. After all, other states can’t accept the entire population of CA and most states won’t take the illegal immigrants. So CA really has to fix its problems, escape will work for some but not for everyone in CA. Fixing CA is the answer.

But the questions for Californians include:

How do you fix your schools? It’s not money, your teachers are already among the highest paid but your test scores are very poor.

How do you fix your homeless situation? You’re broke so you can’t start building facilities. Is it okay for them to set up tent cities on public streets? What should the non homeless use to get around if the streets are blocked? Is public defecation legal? If so, should it be? If not, what do you plan to do about it? SF already has a map of human excrement sites so the public can avoid them. Is that okay?

How do you fund your pension liabilities? Raise taxes again? Are your public pension liabilities reasonable?

Do you want to accept any and all illegal immigrants who want to live in CA? If yes, how do you plan to pay for them all, healthcare and education? If not, why the sanctuary cities? Should illegals who commit numerous crimes be deported and if so, why aren’t your leaders doing so?

Why is your LA DA ending cash bail even after it was voted down by the public?

Those sorts of questions may help Californians decide if they do want to dig out of the hole and how they can do so. California could also look to other states that have more able political leaders. California is a US state, not a country. What it needs to do is figure out how to become a well managed US state. Otherwise it could always secede. 🙂

Eva Rostova
Eva Rostova
3 years ago

Annette, you have a habit of making good points that I (and I suspect any reasonable person) would agree with, but then you follow your preconceived worldviews down a rabbit hole, including your preoccupation with illegal immigrants.

For instance, it is silly to describe California as “broke” or to suggest that the homeless crisis is caused by a lack of money. First, CA has ready access to the capital markets; check the credit default swaps on its debt. Second, CA has spent billions of dollars of public and private money on homelessness the past few years.

In a free country, one cannot simply permanently lockup homeless people who are mentally ill, drug addicted, or pretty criminals. However, I would suggest it’s obviously right that there should be a role for mental health institutions (“sectioning” in British parlance) alongside a developed social welfare system that can support continued rehabilitation in the community where appropriate. It’s ridiculous that in CA homeless people are endless jailed and released. Arizona for example does a far better job in seeing this holistically as a law enforcement/social care issue, not just the former.

I absolutely agree CA needs more effective management of these issues. Building more affordable housing is obviously essential too. But money is not the main problem.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

The homeless crisis isn’t caused by a lack of money. It’s caused by politicians who are okay with tent cities blocking public streets and businesses. Who are okay with people using the street for a bathroom.

But you should give some thought as to why California is the state with more homeless people than any other. And no, it isn’t the weather. Rather than scraping the barrel trying to defend California, why don’t you try to figure out what California political leaders are doing wrong. Unless you think that somehow they cannot solve the problem or even address it. In which case I would agree with you and suggest you hire different leaders.

Eva Rostova
Eva Rostova
3 years ago

Annette, I’m not defending anyone; I agreed with you that California needs to address the issue. And I already identified e.g. the treatment of mental health and addiction as a major issue that needs addressing. It’s a hugely complex problem: a quick google will show you the dozens of high quality research papers, policy proposals, and newspaper articles devoted to the subject. I don’t think any rational person is denying the problem.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

You still are not answering the question, though.

So the big question is why isn’t your political leadership addressing the issues? Do you not elect people to do this or are they completely off the hook for all of California’s problems? And why don’t you elect different people once it’s clear that the ones you elected can’t do the job? Political leaders are not hired to write research papers, they are hired to solve problems. And yours do not.

Repeated failure on the part of your elected leaders to address everything from homelessness to power outages to failing schools to unfunded pension liabilities to illegal immigration to unemployment don’t seem to get anyone tossed out of office. That leaves only one possible answer – Californians don’t mind living with these massive systemic problems.

Eva Rostova
Eva Rostova
3 years ago

Well, I’m not an American so I don’t get to vote. I’ve lived in the US (MA, CT, NY, Cali), Asia, and Europe, and as I’ve made clear I think California has its problems, including the morally unacceptable housing crisis. But I have a different perspective having lived all over the world. California has many virtues too, including being welcoming of diversity. We don’t live in an absolutist/zero-sum world.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

I guess I should be glad you can’t vote although the people who can vote in California don’t seem to be any more likely to hold politicians accountable than you are. I guess if you don’t mind living in a place that rivals Pyongyang for being unable to keep the lights on and Hades for being unable to keep the fires out, it’s your choice. But don’t try to convince anyone else that this is good or normal because it isn’t.

Eva Rostova
Eva Rostova
3 years ago

As ever Annette, you undermine your good points with ad hominem attacks and ridiculous falsities.

A few hours of energy cuts due to a poorly managed grid does not a Pyongyang make. Now I worry you one of those anti-renewable energy and electric car types, alongside all the other things that seem to enrage you so easily.

I look forward to the next exciting instalment of “Annette versus BlackRock and the rest of the rational world!” 😉

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

I made no ad hominem attack. I said nothing false. California has rolling blackouts every year. I hope you don’t have an electric car or you might not be going anywhere. But at least you mentioned the words “poorly managed” so we may be on the right track with you. We could soon even tip you over into an expectation that leaders actually do something. Do you really not know about California’s inability to manage land in a way that fires don’t ravage millions of acres every year?

I look forward to the next exciting installment of “Eva…..speaking for the rational world and other fantasies” 😉

Eva Rostova
Eva Rostova
3 years ago

Of course I have an electric car, Annette! I feel like you should know me better by now haha. A fun drive between LA and SF on the PCH. 0-60 in a couple of seconds. Barely anyone will be buying gas guzzlers in 10 years time. Check out GM’s Super Bowl advert about Norway’s electric cars. I’d love to know your reaction to that!

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

Oh my, what do you do when the power is off? Lol

Eva Rostova
Eva Rostova
3 years ago

Electric cars are big batteries, Annette! Take a read about the technology and the market trends/financing. Internal combustion is dead. NextEra’s market cap already topped ExxonMobil’s last year. Writing’s on the wall.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

So you get to walk then? Lol hitchhike maybe?

Eva Rostova
Eva Rostova
3 years ago

I charge it either at a station on the highway (full coverage on the West coast) or from solar panels on my house. Democratisation of the energy grid. Anyway, we’ve veered off-topic. Have a read about it. And take a look at GM’s ad.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

Sounds like you don’t know much about Norway’s electric cars. In any case, I’m not about subsidies for rich people I think they should pay more, not less.

But by all means, provide a full explanation of how EVs are purchased and operated in Norway and how it’s all paid for. Don’t run off now just when this is about to get fun.

Eva Rostova
Eva Rostova
3 years ago

I’m half Norwegian/Swedish, Annette. But sure, whatever you say hahahahaha. I’m calling it a day. Bye!

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

You’re ancestry doesn’t really answer the question but we already know that you’re kind of a sucker for good marketing. Why don’t you explain the situation with Norway’s electric cars. Let’s see what you know. Let’s have some fun shall we? Here are a few starter questions for you….
1) what amenities does Norway provide for both purchase and operation of EV? There’s at least 4.
2) how are these financed? IOW, who is paying for these amenities?
And in reference to the super bowl ad, why would a supposedly smart company use Will Ferrell for any purpose? 🙂

Eva Rostova
Eva Rostova
3 years ago

Ahhh Annette, I’m not your personal google! What do you want to know? That electric car sales in Norway exceed internal combustion car sales? That Norway aims to end internal combustion car sales by 2025?

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

Well answer the questions I posted above for starters. Show me how much you know. About the vehicles, and how they are financed, not sales. And if you know the answers to the above questions, you’d also know that Norway could end non EV car sales tomorrow.

I had a feeling you might be missing more than a few pieces of information. And I sense that you may have figured out right about now that this was the wrong subject to challenge me on. And maybe you have suddenly discovered something you need to go do desperately? Lol, advertisers love people like you.

Eva Rostova
Eva Rostova
3 years ago

Don’t take my word for it, just google it!

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

You haven’t answered so what would I be taking your word for? Here’s the questions again….

1) what amenities does Norway provide for both purchase and operation of EV? There’s at least 4.

2) how are these financed? IOW, who is paying for these amenities

And I’ll add another couple too.
3) when will EVs be self-sustaining, i.e. free of fossil fuel generated subsidies?
4) does mining battery-related minerals generate emissions?
5) what is the one innovation that has done the most to reduce emissions?

Surely your Norwegian/Swedish heritage provides the answers to these questions! Maybe Will Ferrell has the answers!

Eva Rostova
Eva Rostova
3 years ago

When did this turn into some kind of school test haha? These are involved questions and I don’t have the time/inclination to do justice to them point by point; you can research this yourself! As a starting point, take a look at McKinsey’s “The road ahead for e-mobility” (NB it’s from 2019 so not the latest numbers for Norway et al). Both EV and renewables markets are complex, but it’s a fascinating mix of technology and policy with lots of nuance and path-dependency, so hopefully you’ll enjoy learning. If you take a look at the top performing ETFs last year, you’ll see the returns are market-leading too.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

“When did this turn into some kind of school test haha?”

The minute you mentioned Norway and EVs. I wanted to see what you actually knew about the subject, which isn’t much apparently. Your information is from a Will Ferrell commercial. Think about that for a minute. You’ll find it as amusing as I did.

“These are involved questions and I don’t have the time/inclination to do justice to them point by point; you can research this yourself”

They are indeed very involved, much more so than a Super Bowl ad. And have no fear, you never came close to doing them justice. I don’t have to look them up. I know the answers, you see unlike you Ms. Attorney, I learned never to ask a question that I don’t know the answer to.

In any case, if you’d like to be educated on the subject rather than appearing not to have a clue what you’re talking about, you can find the answers to every one of them. And it wouldn’t hurt you a bit. Although it may disillusion you a bit.

Eva Rostova
Eva Rostova
3 years ago

Hahahahahahahahahaha I’m a renewable energy lawyer

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

Do you refer to Super Bowl ads in your work?

Any halfway decent renewable energy lawyer could name four things that Norway might provide for the purchase and operation of EVs. In fact, I’d bet any EV owner could do so even if they were not a “renewable energy lawyer”.

Any renewable energy lawyer could also answer if mineral mining for EV batteries generates emissions. And yet you cannot. Odd that.

Eva Rostova
Eva Rostova
3 years ago

And there’s the ad hominem attack haha.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

The truth is not an ad hominem. It’s just the truth. Attorneys are not by definition, all good at their job. You disagree that a renewable energy attorney would be able to determine how Norway is paying for EVs?

Eva Rostova
Eva Rostova
3 years ago

That hurts Annette. I’m contemplating my inferior legal abilities as I watch the sun set over the ocean from my deck in the Palisades. A bit cloudy tonight. I do hope my electric car still starts in the morning 😉

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

Awww, you don’t seem to want to talk about Norway and EVs anymore. Yet you kept insisting on doing so. Did you not expect me to take you up on it? As any good lawyer knows, don’t ask the question if you don’t know the answer. Law school 101.

And I dropped so many hints to help you answer the questions on these very important issues. Perhaps your legal expertise is not in Norway or EVs. I certainly hope you don’t use Will Ferrell’s ad in any of your obviously important legal work. 😉

Ps, it’s probably not clouds.

Eva Rostova
Eva Rostova
3 years ago

Hello, I’m back (glutton for rude treatment I guess!), and I really don’t understand your aggression, Annette. You come across as a very rude person, and I can’t help but wonder how far that has got you in life.

One does not need to be a New Haven-educated lawyer to get a good overview of the EV or RE markets. I assumed from your laundry list of questions (tell me if I’m wrong) that you were getting at the fact that Norway heavily subsidises EVs, including infrastructure/road use. I would then point out: e.g. Norway has ploughed its natural resource wealth into renewables via the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund (and that I think the US should similarly invest it’s wealth sustainably like Norway does as fossil fuel use winds down (cost of capital is just too high now to be competitive in long term with renewables, and that’s before one considers oil companies’ underpricing of stranded assets; see what Norway’s Equinor is doing in transition to RE)); that the US spends more on fossil fuel subsidies than renewable subsidies, and yet fossil subsidies have increased even as market price of renewables has fallen below the price-parity threshold with fossil fuels, etc etc. I would also point out that net zero or carbon neutrality does not mean that that there are no emissions or environmental harms associated with EVs, hence the “net” part etc etc. And finally I would say again that you shouldn’t take my word for it. Take a look at the returns on RE ETFs last year. Or Tesla’s market cap. Or have a read of Larry Fink’s letter to shareholders.

But I really don’t see why I should have to write out for you what I already guided to you (i.e. the McKinsey report) or what you can indeed google for yourself. This isn’t advanced stuff and certainly nothing to develop an inferiority complex over.

P.S. If it’s not clouds, what is it? Not ozone from internal combustion engines I hope?

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

I don’t think it’s aggressive to ask you what you know about a subject you brought up several times. In your long post above, you still do not answer the questions.

I asked very simple questions. Nothing tricky, just stuff like what 4 things does Norway provide to people for buying and driving EVs. Do you know the answer?

And then I asked as well how they fund it. You seemed immediately stumped as well as offended at even being asked.

Yes maybe the questions regarding emissions generated by EV battery metal mining were a bit deeper but should not have been beyond a renewable energy attorney. Should someone in your position NOT know what the most emission reducing innovation is?

Yet you immediately ruffled as though it was unreasonable for me to ask such questions since apparently everything anyone needed to know was in a Super Bowl ad. I’ve already told you. I know the answers, so why would I google? It was you being asked the questions, not me. I don’t know what it is that you think I’m not taking your word for since you didn’t answer the questions.

In any case, if you don’t want to talk about a subject, and you don’t know much about it to begin with, maybe you should not bring it up. If you do, be prepared to be questioned without getting ruffled and offended.

Eva Rostova
Eva Rostova
3 years ago

Crazy!

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

We could add a few more questions if you’d like.

What percentage of the worlds oil does Norway export? How about natural gas. Do you know the percentage it exports on that? Throw in what percentage of the world’s population Norway represents. Any inkling on that?

Here’s another question. Why doesn’t Norway allow EV sales to develop without the 4 items it provides to drivers? Which you will of course have to know what it provides to answer the question. After all, Norwegians want to drive EVs don’t they?

Lastly, who or what is underwriting Norway’s EVs?

Eva Rostova
Eva Rostova
3 years ago

You’ve discovered Google! Amazing!

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

Google didn’t come up with my questions I did. But you could google the answers. Do you know any of the answers?

It’s kind of important to think things through rather than simply accept advertising.

Eva Rostova
Eva Rostova
3 years ago

I’m such a sucker Annette, because I do still genuinely want to have a proper policy discussion. I remain perplexed by why you think that making me google a load of technical stats facilitates such a discussion? I set out above a succinct but I think relatively decent snapshot of some of the key policy issues as I see them based on my experience, including regarding EV incentives and the Norwegian energy transition with Equinor. Contrary perhaps to the idea you have, lawyers are paid for their judgment, not their ability to recite lists, which a trained parrot can do.

So let’s have a policy discussion on EVs or RE by all means and you can cite any facts/sources you like and we can address them. (The burden is not on me to make or substantiate your arguments for you, as we lawyers might say.)

That would be a productive use of time. But I’m not going to google endless lists of stats for you when you can do that yourself! Especially when literally the first google hit for “norway EV policy” is the Norwegian EV website listing all their EV incentives! If you’d been to law school, you’d know that the ability to collate a list of stats isn’t a sign of intelligence. Having a cool-headed, reasoned policy debate using well-marshalled and authoritatively-sourced facts to support your position is.

P.S. Oh look how smart I am, I just copy/pasted a list from the Norwegian EV association’s website haha. I didn’t even know a single stat off the top of my head. I guess I must be really bad at my job financing hundreds of millions of dollars of renewable energy projects 😉

* * * *

The Norwegian EV incentives:

No purchase/import taxes (1990-)

Exemption from 25% VAT on purchase (2001-)

No annual road tax (1996-)

No charges on toll roads or ferries (1997- 2017).

Maximum 50% of the total amount on ferry fares for electric vehicles (2018-)

Maximum 50% of the total amount on toll roads (2019)

Free municipal parking (1999- 2017)

Parking fee for EVs was introduced locally with an upper limit of a maximum 50% of the full price (2018-)

Access to bus lanes (2005-).

New rules allow local authorities to limit the access to only include EVs that carry one or more passengers (2016)

50 % reduced company car tax (2000-2018).

Company car tax reduction reduced to 40% (2018-)

Exemption from 25% VAT on leasing (2015)

Fiscal compensation for the scrapping of fossil vans when converting to a zero-emission van (2018)

Allowing holders of driver licence class B to drive electric vans class C1 (light lorries) up to 4250 kg (2019)

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

So , a lot then

Michelle Haley
Michelle Haley
3 years ago

one mention: most of our homeless are on fentanyl supplied by China through the leaky border of Mexico. Many or most are mentally ill, from drugs, from living the conditions they do. We have ballot harvesting and other practices that used to be considered illegal. So it’s very difficult, if not impossible to have a fair election. It all started going down hill in the 90’s. Liberals aren’t liberals anymore in the US they have sold out. It’s no use for the US to pay for college, give free healthcare when students fill classes and majors of Women’s Studies, Black studies…no jobs for most of what college teaches. California legislature voted for government healthcare but the found out it would cost double the amount of the whole California budget $400b added on to the $200b budget.

The rich want cheap unskilled labor. The rich send their kids to private schools. These are some of the reasons they turn the other cheek to illegal migration. The liberals say we should open our doors but they lock theirs.
We legally accept a million immigrants a year with another 2 million standing in line playing by the rules.
The left has the loudest voices. We used to say, the protestors are all the Left leaning Liberals because the Right leaning Conservatives are working. Another problem is California’s education system has become a indoctrination rather then teaching how to critically think for yourself and learn skills that lead to a job.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

you guys are having a really useful discussion-please keep them up !

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

“diversity”? Diversity of what? Class diversity – many wealthy, many poor, fewer middle. Racial – 50% Hispanic. Political – 85% Democrat. Age – Many youth, many seniors fewer middle aged. Bifurcated diversity isn’t diversity.

Peter de Barra
Peter de Barra
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

… when the MSS clusters en masse in a state you know that intellectual property of value exists and is being developed … and the door remains wide open.

Jeffrey Chongsathien
Jeffrey Chongsathien
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

Nope. I don’t even see tourists wanting to go to CA anymore, because of what they see globally in social media. The increasingly accepted remote working culture means people will be able to avoid the expensive clustering enforced by Big Tech (e.g. Salesforce).

Eva Rostova
Eva Rostova
3 years ago

We’ll see.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago
Reply to  Eva Rostova

I would say the danger is where the rich isolate themselves. The Duke of Wellington said the aristocracy should never isolate themselves as it would lead to their demise. The tradition of the landowners son boxing with the blacksmiths and playing cricket together and fighting together meant classes were not isolated. In France they were and it led to the Revolution. If one looks at village memorials from WW1, landowner and labourer died together.

Money does not turn cowardice into courage or venality into honesty.

Andrew Harvey
Andrew Harvey
3 years ago

The California Democratic Party defined itself as the pro-illegal immigration party to appeal to the children of illegal migrants who had voting rights. California used to be (pre-2000) split about evenly between the Democrats and Republicans, but is now a one party state based on the Latino vote. That is the problem. People don’t want to discuss the drawbacks to low-skilled immigration, but they are plain to see.

California has been swamped by low-skill immigration, legal and illegal. First of all, the state is wildly over-populated given the fragility of the existing ecology. Second, while there are some talented immigrants, most of them are very low-skilled. This has created a pool of labor to drive down wages for low-skill jobs (how many white people in California don’t have a cleaner?), but also created mass poverty and sky-high housing costs. Third, the state education system is completely dysfunctional because children don’t speak English and their parents don’t value education.

Su Mac
Su Mac
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Harvey

Yep, uncontrolled immigration has dragged down the employment chances and wages from the bottom of the scale and distorted the elections, the demographic and the labour market. The nail in the coffin after shipping all the manufacturing jobs to China et al. What was interesting in the 2020 election was listening to the proportion of black and Asian Americans, who recognised this attack on their communities had to end, turn away from the Dems and become Trump Patriots #blexit #lexit etc

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Su Mac

What was interesting in the 2020 election was listening to the proportion of black and Asian Americans, who recognised this attack on their communities had to end, turn away from the Dems and become Trump Patriots #blexit #lexit etc

But how come Trump didn’t win the any of the 2 presidential election in California?

Andrew Harvey
Andrew Harvey
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Hispanics (and they’re not Cuban-Americans) now make up about 40% of California’s population. The proportion of white people has fallen by 50% in a generation. Trump was never within miles of winning in California.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Harvey

All true, but what are you gonna do…

ChrisK Shaw
ChrisK Shaw
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Jeremy, we get your point, now relax and enjoy reading opinions from the folks

gjardine.2011
gjardine.2011
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Reading the posts from the UK its fascinating how similar the issues are! It is about immigration ( not immigrants) and their presence does drive down wages and disempowers the existing poor. Increasing inequality in the UK – and Europe and probably China and India. Too many people in the world with too efficient communication all with enhanced expectations equals problems.

regnad.kcin.fst
regnad.kcin.fst
3 years ago
Reply to  gjardine.2011

Except in the USA, the immigrants are given a “holy innocent” status not found anywhere else. Here no one is allowed to question in the slightest whether the immigrants are criminals or whether we should have so many. Trump won because of his stand on immigrants, and the Dems are setting themselves up for another round of “immigrant policy losses”.

VĂłreios ParatiritĂ­s
VĂłreios ParatiritĂ­s
3 years ago
Reply to  Su Mac

Hispanics in California will vote for immigration controls because it is in their self interest.

Mike Spoors
Mike Spoors
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Harvey

That’s right., blame the immigrants and the poor. In all these discussions irrespective of where they are centred it is always the immigrants and the poor who are to blame. The poor get poorer because of an influx of cheap labour driving down wage levels. Housing costs go up because of the imbalance between supply and demand. The list is endless. But what is never discussed is the role of the rich, both indigent and incomer in benefitting from this process. In the current situation the poor are getting poorer but the rich are getting richer. The two phenomena are never tied together. It being much more satifying to decry the former and laud the latter. Immigration is a problem but its exploitation to bolster the wealth and well being of those who exploit it is equally problematic. Not least for those who are being exploited.

Andrew Harvey
Andrew Harvey
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Spoors

I fully agree.

I didn’t criticize “immigrants”. I criticized “immigration”.

Now, if only Progressives’s reading-skills matched their self-important sense of morality.

regnad.kcin.fst
regnad.kcin.fst
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Spoors

Illegals drive down wages, drive up poverty, destroy schools, destroy neighborhoods. There are too many. Trump was right. Deport deport deport deport deport. You say “Housing costs go up because of an imbalance between supply and demand”. Yes, moron, very true – the illegals drive up the cost because there is an infinite number of them.

Mike Spoors
Mike Spoors
3 years ago

People need housing once they are ‘here’. Whether they should be where they are and how they got there is another topic. Those requiring housing do not drive up the cost. Those that provide the housing do. Simple economics. Illegals, as you term them also provide services to the sorts of people who support Trump, as much as Biden, and they most certainly do not destroy the schools, neighborhoods,wages, or drive down the wealth of those who those who live off the backs of immigrants, both legal and illegal. Deporting them might marginally help the poor but there are other reasons that people remain poor in the richest country in the world, and those get little consideration when immigrants remain so easy a target.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Spoors

Whether they should be where they are and how they got there is another topic.
That IS the topic. Immigration is meant to benefit the host country, not the immigrant. “Illegals” is what they are; shifting to undocumented or some other euphemism does not change the underlying reality. Those services, by the way, were provided before they arrived. The US did not magically discover hotel housekeeping and residential grounds maintenance only when the influx of illegals began.

they most certainly do not destroy the schools, neighborhoods,wages,
Of course, they do. Destroy may be harsh but they certainly impact these things, especially wages.

regnad.kcin.fst
regnad.kcin.fst
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

When a teacher spends huge amounts of time on non-English speakers, the other students suffer. CA schools went from the USA’s best to 49 under the unrelenting pressure of millions of illegal kids.

Jeffrey Chongsathien
Jeffrey Chongsathien
3 years ago

I’d first blame the teachers unions.

Don Gaughan
Don Gaughan
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Spoors

In Canada, the 3 largest cities are also the destination point for foreign migrants, The population growth and housing costs have skyrocketed, the local group whose generations built it are now a minority and most can not even think of owning their own home where they were born and raised.
The current Liberal govt is making dramatic increases in foreign immigration in the next two years.
To even question or make valid criticism of these immigration policies brings the left progressive cancel cult accusations and persecution .
First, we need to restore , uphold and protect the human right of free speech from those who have suppressed and violated it for so long.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Spoors

The fact that the rich are getting richer does not mean the poor have to get poorer. In fact, in a economically growing society with no barriers to movement (but restricted borders) then most of the population will get richer. On a world scale that applies also, and has done so over the last 40 years as the growth of enterprise has greatly reduced poverty – not eliminated it, but greatly reduced it.

The problem now though is that governments do not do what they should do to allow this process to continue, by breaking down barriers to the poor to move up, especially in education which in most of the West has become a disgrace. It does not help of course that monopolies seem to be encouraged – just look at the success of a certain on-line retailer and the enormous damage it has done to so many small stores which used to create much middle class wealth, and a way from working class lives up the income ladder. Ditto the vast food supermarkets

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

Barriers to education, spot on. In California today, school boards are focused on renaming closed schools with offensive names like George Washington. Meanwhile other states are opening schools, some have been open since last fall. California students not in private schools will, of course, be even more behind. But that choice was made by Californians.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Spoors

The poor get poorer because of an influx of cheap labour driving down wage levels.
Weren’t you saying that the illegal immigrant is blameless? Yes, of course, cheap labor drives down wage levels. Employers can pay what they like because who will the illegal complain to?

But what is never discussed is the role of the rich, both indigent and incomer in benefitting from this process.
Plenty of people are willing to discuss it, but the gatekeepers of such discussions – elected officials, media, business – tend to stifle that discussion because it makes them look bad.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Spoors

The rich are not displaced by illegal immigrants. Only the poor are.

Don Gaughan
Don Gaughan
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Spoors

Its telling that domestic state to state migration can be criticized without comment but mass culture changing foreign migration brings forth immigrant bashing accusation.
It mirrors the left liberal Democrats taking down of borders fences and obstacles on the southern border and putting up fences and soldiers in the capital to keep out those “other “demonised Americans hyped but unrealized” domestic terrorist” threat.
Hopefully , at least here,we can openly discuss the public issues that profoundly affect our lives and world without the tiresome self appointed intolerant woke censor trolls policing and parsing the discussion .

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Harvey

California school boards do not value education either.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

Because – brace yourself – the “other” party is crazy.
And, life in California is pretty good. There are serious problems but when people move (and they do) they move to other liberal “areas” like Austin (TX) or Colorado. They don’t move to Alabama.

Peter de Barra
Peter de Barra
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

… and they certainly don’t move to rural West Virginia – nor share any wealth to help the poor folk existing there …

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter de Barra

…what are you gonna do…?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

if they did move to Alabama, they would find a city with more per-capita engineers than any other city, or close to it. They would find housing that is far more affordable without the homeless population, the idiocy of cosmetic names changes of schools, and all the rest. Those rednecks you seem to hate don’t have to deal with rolling blackouts during summer months, either, in a state that is known for heat and humidity. But, sure; one party Dem rule for decades is the ‘other’ party’s fault.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

He has a problem with Alabama.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

I really don’t. It is easier to write Alabama than Mississippi.
That is all.

Benjamin Jones
Benjamin Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

He has a problem with all places that he perceives to be inhabited by people ‘who vote the wrong way’ . For the UK his go to examples are Clacton, Blackpool and Skegness.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Benjamin Jones

You are mistaken, I don’t have a problem as I don’t care at all about Blackpool. The painful reality (that you pretend that it doesn’t exit) is that those places are left behind because no one really wants to live there. The people that live there don’t want to live there – but they are stuck.

Benjamin Jones
Benjamin Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

……what are you gonna do…….?

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Housing is affordable because no one wants to live there….
And 1 state party rule (Dems) NY/CA is richer than 1 party rule (Reps) in Alabama or Mississippi.
ALl the good stuff (music, food, art, culture, science, innovation) all happens in liberal places…not the backwoods of ‘bama!

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Does the photo attached to the article look like life is good? I mean, if you’re very rich and you can seal yourself off from this, sure. But most people aren’t very rich, even in California.

VĂłreios ParatiritĂ­s
VĂłreios ParatiritĂ­s
3 years ago

The only way out if for the Hispanic communities of California to move to the right and vote in populist republicans to oust the Democratic apparatus. This is possible. Florida is a model.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

FLorida is not a model – Cuban Americans are very different from the rest of LatAm immigrants. Texas would be a better example.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

You mean they’re smarter?

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

Cubans in FL (not all) are better educated than the Mexicans ones for example (Or Central America)
The ones that arrvied in the 60s were affluent and highly educated (the upper classes of Cuba)
The new arrivals are still better educated that Mexicans .
The middle class Mexican migrants moved to Texas not California.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Not all immigrants in Florida are Cuban. What new Cuban arrivals? The ones that arrive by raft?

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

Florida (geography) generally attracts rich/middle classes of Latin America. You can not “cross the border” on foot like in CA or AZ.
I don’t know the stats about the new Cuban arrivals but Cuba in general has a better education system than Central America.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Even more reason for California not to let in masses of illegal immigrants don’t you think?

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

Good point. Immigrants do better outside of California than inside though as the author says. Isn’t it just easier for them to move? Florida is a great example.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago

The reason why for generations the most deprived areas (I am from one) of the UK kept voting Labour notwithstanding the fact that doing so never improved their lot. Certainly the people the labour party and their acolytes did well enough. If you were a cynical you might conclude that keeping the population poor kept them voting labour.

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
3 years ago

“acronyms are a symptom of white supremacy culture”

*Facepalm*

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Kreff

Apparently so is knowing your Shakespeare from your Faulkner.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago

One would think that Alan Greenspan’s wife might have read Shakespeare.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

At least we now know what an English Literature degree from the University of Pennsylvania is worth.

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
3 years ago

Perhaps I’m being nitpicky here, but I’m puzzled by the use of ‘feudalism’ to describe California. Feudalism was a system of mutual responsibilities in a rigid hierarchy of social class.Those at the top had to protect those lower down; those lower down had clearly defined obligations to serve in certain situations and at certain times of the year. But California as you describe it is divided between haves and have-nots with no oblesse oblige.

voodoopolitics
voodoopolitics
3 years ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

“Feudalism” sounds fancy to all the people in California with rotten educations?

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
3 years ago
Reply to  voodoopolitics

Suspect you’re right!

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  voodoopolitics

Yes, just like Shakespeare sounds like Faulkner to poorly educated “journalists”.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

You’re quite right of course but probably the writer means feudal in the colloquial sense of ‘all the power and most of the money concentrated into the barons’ hands, the king in his position only with their consent’. That’s an incomplete description of feudalism but a reasonably accurate one of, well, California.

I’ve heard accounting firms, law firms, the acting business and some sports such as cricket described as feudal. It’s usually shorthand for ‘a small number of people making pots of money thanks to serf underlings making next to nothing’.

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Yes, I’m sure that’s what’s meant, Jon. I was being nitpicky!

Tim Corn
Tim Corn
3 years ago

Working, in the UK, for a Palo Alto based company, I once told my Sonoma-resident boss that I was planning to blow the leaves off my lawn at the weekend. “Don’t you have Mexicans?”, he inquired with a smile.

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Tim Corn

They say Americans don’t understand the word irony. Ironic really.

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago

California is living proof that the “progressive” left have no answers. Their policy of not control burring created the perfect conditions for wild fires. There police of not improving (and reducing) water collection causes lack of water in cities. This is not climate change, as they like to claim, but bad management.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

Sure, but why don’t conservatives win state wide elections?

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Reagan did.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

pointless.
win now!

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Anyone who ran for office in California on a platform of keeping the electricity on, keeping the excrement off the streets, preventing the homeless from setting up tent cities wherever they want to, reforming pension liabilities, stopping illegal immigration and being a bit more business friendly would immediately lose.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago

Sounds like Rome post 350 AD.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

It’s a third world country.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

Life in California wasn’t bad back then.

Dominic Rudman
Dominic Rudman
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

He wasn’t massively conservative, but Arnie was republican (unless I’m going mad, or, being a Brit, have missed something).

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Dominic Rudman

Exactly – he wasn’t massively conservative. He was a Rockefeller Republican if you can use the term.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Because people in California like living with their problems.

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Because the left wing scare the electorate by lying to them about the Conservative agenda – think “privatise the NHS” and “XX days/hours to save the NHS” as a case study in how the left lie!

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

It’s just an experiment in combining globalization with the welfare state. And it can’t work for the obvious reasons that politicians in California can’t or won’t admit. But then they are sealed off from the people they think don’t matter.

regnad.kcin.fst
regnad.kcin.fst
3 years ago

The majority of the tech jobs are given to visa workers. There are millions of H-1Bs, L-1, OPT, J-1, E-2, and other classes. Some of these get US FEDERAL TAX BREAKS – in other words, the US Federal government gives you a tax break to not hire a USA citizen. The digital serfs are paid under the prevailing wage. Although some qualify for Green cards (first step to citizenship), country limits mean that the wait is now 20 years (this is due to a per country limit, and 80% of the serfs are Indian).

Jeffrey Chongsathien
Jeffrey Chongsathien
3 years ago

This essay doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of Cali’s problems. The typhus outbreaks, the human faeces and urine, the trash and rats, the tent cities everywhere (the Venice boardwalk has never seen so many homeless), the non-obvious homeless living in cars but discounted from the statistics, the used needles all over SF, LAX as a homeless shelter, the riots, the massive corruption by government employees bleeding the taxpayer dry, the indicted city councillors, the pre-2020 traffic, the Calexit is real – not just the high profile names like Musk and Rogan but what’s left of the middle-class.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

I forgot about the typhus. Truly third world.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago

“This “woke” agenda was taken to a new extreme this week when the San Francisco School Board decided to rename 44 schools because they were named after people connected to racism or slavery.”

Funny how the folk promoting this renaming and distancing symbolism never turn their attention to the symbols and teachings of a certain Middle-Eastern religion – you know, the one which was invented by the warlord (“the perfect man” to his adherents) who kept slaves, advocated slavery, and more…

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

Renaming closed school is much more important than opening the schools, you see.

M Spahn
M Spahn
3 years ago

80% of the state’s jobs have paid under the median wage

Given the definition of median I don’t see how that is possible.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago
Reply to  M Spahn

Its not possible if its the state’s own median wage but is if its the national median wage, in their haste the writer probably didn’t check their own syllogy.

Richard Cooper
Richard Cooper
3 years ago

My Californian cousins have joined the “Texodus”. The parents are delighted but their teenage daughters loathe it.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Cooper

Teenagers are not known to like moving. It’s part of being a teenager. Losing your friends is paramount. I have some sympathy for them. But their parents probably know they are far better off out of California.

I have a son in law from LA but thankfully he knows not to go back. They’re happy in Colorado.

Iliya Kuryakin
Iliya Kuryakin
3 years ago

Yes, but nowhere in this article does the author point out the obvious, that California is run by the Democrats.

Sean MacSweeney
Sean MacSweeney
3 years ago

I assume that the fact these idiots keep voting for the “Democrats” means the like living in a failed state, I totally understand why Texas wants to leave the “United States” as they don’t want these idiots turning the lone star state into another left wing failure

Alison Houston
Alison Houston
3 years ago

http://www.readmypoems.co.u
My short poem on the subject, made out of a quote by Roger Scruton.

Peter de Barra
Peter de Barra
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

… Roger must have known only late hippies … the originals were far from envenomed … especially in Summer on the slopes of Mt Tamalpais …

Quentin Vole
Quentin Vole
3 years ago

There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience. And then there is California.
Edward Abbey (1927-89)

Sgt Dad
Sgt Dad
3 years ago

Not only have these incidents exposed his cluelessness, but also the political class’ imperviousness to the needs of non-elite business and ordinary citizens of the state.

Laissez-les manger du gùteau

Eugene Norman
Eugene Norman
3 years ago

80% of jobs earning less than the median wage is impossible. By definition that’s always 50%.

David Smith
David Smith
3 years ago

mass immigration did this to CA, and if its not stopped now will do this to the rest of America

Earl King
Earl King
3 years ago

As has been pointed out, CA is failing. It is failing because “progressives” cannot learn. They are committed to social policy regardless of whether it works or achieves any of the goals set out. The problem with progressive policies is that they are based on a lie. They are based on human behavior that doesn’t exist. Systemic Racism…There is still a dearth of examples. For example, cash bail is often pointed out to an example of systemic racism. It is empirically not. They point out that is impacts Black Americans more than any other race. That may point out to a greater instance of criminal behavior in a community but that still is not systemic racism. If you poor, no matter what color…white, green, yellow, brown are of zero consequence if you cannot put up anything of value nor have the 10% cash you need for bail. Cash bail is a problem for systemic poverty not the amount of melanin in ones skin. Black poverty rate is 22%, the avg. in America is 11%. For married Black Americans it is 7%…..Gee that statistic should point to the problem but progressives will fail to see facts. Systemic poverty is the problem, not skin color.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

You can go to the beach (be LA or San Fran) and hit the slopes. Only Northern Italy and Provence can give you that!

Andrew Harvey
Andrew Harvey
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

But you’re not actually going to do either because you’ll be sitting in traffic for hours (actually, probably days) on end to get from the beach to the ski slopes.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Harvey

True, but when I did it (from Newport Beach) we left for the slopes (San Gabriel range) at 5.00AM.
It was pretty easy.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

The traffic jams started at 5:30-35years ago…

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

Did the drive in mid Jan 2009. Very little traffic

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

LA doesn’t even nearly give you the beauty of Italy and Provence. Bleak – there is no ‘there’ in there.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

Absolutely true but it is the closest thing…Florida is a swamp and the East Coast in general is crappy.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago

Yes, indeed.
Where would you find the likes of Nimes, Arles, Senanque or Silvacane in the wastelands of California?

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Cyprus and the Lebanon also. You should get out more Jeremy.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

Southeastern Spain, too.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

Yes indeed, another destination for young Jeremy when he is posted to Luxembourg, lucky chap!

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

Haven’t been to those places but I would not put Lebanon in the same level as Provence.
Can you really ski in Cyprus? I know you can in Lebanon

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Well, the modern Lebanon was built by the French as you probably know. So if it’s not the bombing season it is/was very pleasant. Skiing by floodlight is novel, if not terribly taxing.
Inland off course you have Baalbek and Anjar to admire, plus excellent vino from the Beqaa Valley.

Cyprus skiing on Mt Olympus, 6000′ high, put in place by the British during the halcyon days of Empire. Again not terrible exhilarating but the drive up, through the Troodos Mts makes it all worth it.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

Lebanon would be a very nice place if it was all Christian.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Well if ‘we’ hadn’t stupidly lost the Crusades it might well have remained Christian, but ‘we’ were no match for Baybars and Qalawun sadly!

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

There was the potential for cleaning up Lebanon at the end of WW1 but French were unwilling to do it.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

You recall what their Viceroy said on his arrival in Damascus?

Andrew Harvey
Andrew Harvey
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

That’s racist. You will now be reported to Twitter.

Carl Urmston
Carl Urmston
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Parts of it from East Beirut through Jounieh up to Byblos and Batroun, if you never left that area you’d never guess it wasn’t fully Christian. The boozing is legendary. And there are some great places to see along that way. I hope they can recover from this miserable last 18 months, it’s a brilliant place.

Derek M
Derek M
3 years ago

As goes California so goes the USA, as goes the USA so goes the rest of the west (at least the Anglosphere) ……..it’s coming to a town near you (if it isn’t there already)

David J
David J
3 years ago

The VAPA decision surely marks a high-water level in Woke stupidity.
Bright but dim, and noisy with it, is my view of those responsible.

Derrick Byford
Derrick Byford
3 years ago

“Over the past decade, 80% of the state’s jobs have paid under the median wage” Very interesting article and sorry to be pedantic, but isn’t the median wage the point where 50% earn less and 50% earn more?

Lizzie J
Lizzie J
3 years ago

As a Brit visiting California last year I was really surprised to see the very ordinary 2 bed flat that our friend’s son was renting, living there with his wife and three children. In his late 30s, he has an MBA from a top school and a job in investment management. His wife worked full time in PR until her third pregnancy. They are struggling to buy a house (or even an apartment). Compared to a comparable family in London he was living to a much lower standard. So much for the Californian dream.

LCarey Rowland
LCarey Rowland
3 years ago

When I was kid in the 1950’s-60’s, growing up in the South, a tv sitcom came along about a hillbilly family leaving their shabby Appalachian homestead and trucking out to southern Cal with grandma on a rocker on the back of the truck. The theme song from the Beverly Hillbillies featured this advice:
“They said California is the place ye oughter be, so they loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly. . . Hills, that is . . . swimmin’ pools, movie stars. . . ” blah blah blah
Then a little while later Scott Mckenzie came along with his huge hit song: “If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair. . .” which generated some serious interest and migration among my boomer generation.
Meanwhile there were a few significant omens along the way, Otis Redding sittin’ on a dock of the bay, watchin’ the tide roll away. . . left my home in Georgia headed for the Frisco bay . . .” with a note regret in his tone.
By ‘n by, after the Shockley transistors and after Jobs and Wozniak, after Larry and Sergei and Yahoo and Facebook and venture capitalists and the demise of Hotel California, not to mention Hollywood and downtown Burbank . . .
Now it seems California is the place folks don’t necessarily wanna be any more and so Jed and all his kin are picking up states and moving back Easterly.
That’s America for ye! We always were a pioneering people, seeking out the places where the grass is greener on the other side of the Great Divide. Turn off the lights on your way out, folks.

LCarey Rowland
LCarey Rowland
3 years ago

When I was kid in the 1950’s-60’s, growing up in the South, a tv sitcom came along about a hillbilly family leaving their shabby Appalachian homestead and trucking out to southern Cal with grandma on a rocker on the back of the truck. The theme song from the Beverly Hillbillies featured this advice:
“They said California is the place ye oughter be, so they loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly. . . Hills, that is . . . swimmin’ pools, movie stars. . . ” blah blah blah
Then a little while later Scott Mckenzie came along with his huge hit song: “If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair. . .” which generated some serious interest and migration among my boomer generation.
Meanwhile there were a few significant omens along the way, Otis Redding sittin’ on a dock of the bay, watchin’ the tide roll away. . . left my home in Georgia headed for the Frisco bay . . .” with a note regret in his tone.
By ‘n by, after the Shockley transistors and after Jobs and Wozniak, after Larry and Sergei and Yahoo and Facebook and venture capitalists and the demise of Hotel California, not to mention Hollywood and downtown Burbank . . .
Now it seems California is the place folks don’t necessarily wanna be any more and so Jed and all his kin are picking up states and moving back Easterly.
That’s America for ye! We always were a pioneering people, seeking out the places where the grass is greener on the other side of the Great Divide. Turn off the lights on your way out, folks.

Peter de Barra
Peter de Barra
3 years ago

… for me, a final, pivotal fact was the discovery that the pious, once respected Sierra Club had ” in return for a huge, accepted donation ” been bribed to forever remain silent in the environmental cost and damage caused by the soaring influx of illegal incomers … silence bought.
Ojai and Sea Ranch ” farewell from me.

M Spahn
M Spahn
3 years ago

80% of the state’s jobs have paid under the median wage

I think perhaps you do not know what a median is.

eugene power
eugene power
3 years ago