As California goes, so goes the nation — but even rank stupidity can be corrected

CraziforniaRoughly a year-and-a-half ago, I gave a rave review to Crazifornia, which my long-time friend Laer Pearce wrote. Since he published that book, California has only gotten more crazy, proving that everything he wrote was accurate and prescient.

People are catching on to the fact that they should listen to Laer if California is to have any hope of regaining its once golden glow and, more importantly, if the rest of America is to be stopped from following in California’s dross-strewn footsteps.  I was therefore beyond thrilled when I saw that Laer’s latest speech in Beverly Hills got the worldwide coverage it deserves thanks to a write-up in Breitbart:

The discussion began with Mr. Pearce agreeing with the AFA presenter’s assertion that progressive ideology is “deeply embedded” in California. The author said that progressivism’s anti-business, pro-regulation agenda has “run the state into the ground,” and added that it’s a “tragedy” that such a resource-filled state is struggling so badly. He explained that California often “gets away” with it, because many of the best minds in business, technology, and politics are in the state.

Mr. Pearce then directed the conversation to specific problems plaguing California. Quoting from his book, he said, “Despite rising taxes, services in the state continue to deteriorate.” To illustrate his point, Mr. Pearce asked the audience: “How many people here get their mail at 6 o’clock?” After almost everyone’s hand went up, one woman in the audience sighed, “I get mine at 7.” Mr. Pearce also noted that California has the lowest-rated tax collection service in the country, while burdening its residents with the highest taxes of any state. “You’d think they’d be good at it by now,” he quipped.

Next, the author shifted the forum’s focus to California’s inefficient bureaucracies. He related a personal experience he had with the California Coastal Commission in his hometown of South Orange County. Apparently, there was some mud on a neighborhood sidewalk that residents wanted scraped off. The Coastal Commission came in, surveyed the mud, and designated the small sidewalk area a “wetlands.” The Commission had found just one of three possible indicators of a wetlands environment; still, they sprung into action, erecting a bridge and guardrail around the area, spending about $200,000 of taxpayer money so they could brag about “preserving wetlands.” Mr. Pearce called the unelected Commission “extremely corrupt,” although he noted “it’s probably the best one I’ve seen in my lifetime.”

You can read more about Laer’s talk here, and I really do urge you to get Crazifornia, which isn’t just informative, but is also delightful.

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  • jj

    It can be, but history is generally unfortunate in that regard.  Everything from Babylon to Rome to France to Britain all saw it coming down around their ears in time to stop it – and couldn’t.  The problem with building a powerful and successful society – be it empire, monarchy, or even democracy – is that after a couple of generations, once survival is assured, everyone gets comfortable.  They forget that it’s always a struggle.  Then they forget how to struggle.  (Clean the goddam mud off the goddam sidewalk yourselves, what the hell is wrong with you?  Why are you involving the government?  When has that ever ended well?)  Then they’re circling the drain, just as California is.  It’s sad.  History says it’s also inevitable.  There comes a point when the whole thing’s past saving, and California’s corpse is beginning to smell suspiciously like that time may be upon us.
    We are up to our ears in California escapees up here, and we tell them: don’t come up here and vote the same way you voted down there.  Be among the few Americans smart enough to connect cause and effect.  You’re here because you like it here, you came here because it struck you as a better place;  try not to ass it up like you did there.  Some of them get the message.  Washington is far more precarious than Texas, or Florida – but it’s one whole hell of a lot better than California.   

  • Ymarsakar

    There’s something in the air in Cali.
    For example, people there think Oakland’s problems and violence come about due to the handguns there, rather than due to Democrats in California making the social system collapse. When they can’t even see the problem in a neighborhood not too far from LA and SF, there’s little that Californians can say about the rest of the country that is objective.
    Before they attempt to remove guns from California because Oakland, they should think about removing their rose tinted pink Democrat glasses first.

  • Ymarsakar

    The social consensus in California is so strong, it’s like a Republican in the Old South. Dangerous to speak certain things out loud that the social consensus hasn’t deemed an authoritative agreement on via consensus. So the “smart” people there read the papers, the SF Times, the LA Times, they hear and talk to their buddies in law, unions, and the teaching industry… and they Think They Know what’s going on.
    They have no clue what’s going on, as usual. The slaves think they are free.

  • March Hare

    Dear Ymar,
    I belong to a literary organization here in the Bay Area where most of the members are older, white, college-educated, and politically liberal.  Recently we had a casual discussion where it came to light that most of us no longer subscribe to any of the local papers in the Bay Area (SF Chronicle, SF Examiner, Contra Costa Times).  For most of us, it was the quality of the reporting, especially the lack of local focus and local stories in the purportedly local paper.  But I wonder (I hope!) the disparity between what they read and what they saw also contributed to the sense that newspapers are irrelevant?  Can California survive until a critical mass of voters figures out what the problem is (without the help of the MSM)?

  • Charles Martel

    Circulation figures for the San Francisco Chronicle are telling: At the height of its prestige and reach, the Chron reached 550,000 daily subscribers (1991). The current daily circulation is around 240,000. In the 23 years since the paper’s peak, the population of the nine-county Bay Area has grown from just over 6 million to 7.5 million—a 25 percent increase—while the Chron‘s circulation has fallen by almost 60 percent. According to one report, its owner, the Hearst Corp., has hemorrhaged $1 billion on the paper, which continues to distinguish itself with mediocre, agenda-ized “reporting” (aka pushing the narrative).
    It does have some good writers, but they’re not in charge of hard news, and as long as they stay away from the tediously predictable leftist pieties, they can offer some excellent reads—wine man Jon Bonne; movie critic Mick LaSalle; restaurant reviewer Michael Bauer.
    On the other hand, their main water-carrying columnist, Jon Carroll, is a clueless hack. In a recent column, he discussed how America’s last righteous war was the war on Nazi-ism, then leaped almost 60 years into the future to make an inept analogy to America’s war on the Taliban. His conclusion was that, “Homey don’t play that no more,” as in the Taliban simply do not conjure up the menace posed by the Nazis or the fierce resolve they inspired among Americans. Carroll the Clueless managed to completely disregard America’s 46-year struggle against the Soviet Union.
    The man is smart, so the omission was deliberate: He knows that most of his readers believe that Communism was a hyped-up bogeyman that simply lacked the properly enlightened people to make it work.