COMMENTARY | Joel Kotkin, writing for the Daily Beast, casts his eye on California and has concluded that the liberal, blue model of governance has transformed the once Golden State into a third world, medieval kingdom in which the rich lord it over the poor.
“Now, instead of a land of opportunity, California has become increasingly feudal. According to recent census estimates, the state suffers some of the highest levels of inequality in the country. By some estimates, the state’s level of inequality compares with that of such global models as the Dominican Republic, Gambia, and the Republic of the Congo.
“At the same time, the Golden State now suffers the highest level of poverty in the country-23.5 percent compared to 16 percent nationally-worse than long-term hard luck cases like Mississippi. It is also now home to roughly one-third of the nation’s welfare recipients, almost three times its proportion of the nation’s population.
“Like medieval serfs, increasing numbers of Californians are downwardly mobile, and doing worse than their parents: native born Latinos actually have shorter lifespans than their parents, according to one recent report. Nor are things expected to get better any time soon. According to a recent Hoover Institution survey, most Californians expect their incomes to stagnate in the coming six months, a sense widely shared among the young, whites, Latinos, females, and the less educated.”
This is the exact opposite of what liberals claim their policies will create. It is an embarrassment that a state of such vast resources and potential human capital is being compared to third world countries such as Gambia. The fact that lifespans of Latinos is actually declining, a phenomenon most often seen in failed states like the old Soviet Union, should be the cause of eternal shame.
From the point of view of relatively prosperous Texas, certain degree of schadenfreude is indicated. It is not like a conquering army swept through California and imposed this system on the people there. The people of California did this do themselves, by electing people like Jerry Brown to run their state directly into the ground. Governor Brown is not even a very competent feudal baron. Smart feudal overlords like their serfs to be prosperous, the better to extract more taxes from them.
But state Republicans should bear some responsibility for the situation as well. Considering the mess that Democrats have made, it should be easy to sweep them out of office and establish a sane government again. But thus far what passes for the California GOP has not been able to convince enough voters that they have the solution to the state’s self inflicted woes.
Rick Perry warned California, did he not? But they have not listened.