Friday, September 25, 2009

Lament of a Californian

Remember that whole gold rush thing? Land of milk and honey? Wagon trails heading west to prosperity?

Good times.

Obviously it took us a long time to get here, but I was naïvely holding out hope that we would reach the point at which the legislature stops and says; "Ha ha! Boy, we sure fucked over this economy. OK, no more playing, lets fix this state."

With the recent release of a STATE PRODUCED report saying that California's extremely negative business climate caused the state to miss out on 1.5 TRILLION DOLLARS over the past three years, I was hoping that time was approaching.

Apparently not.

AP: Calif. OKs fee to pay for global warming program

Yes, hot on the heels of a report that says California would have no budget crisis and probably have more money to spend frivolously, if only it were nicer to businesses, California institutes a new round of heavy taxes fees on some of the state's largest employers.



The state of California has sealed its fate.

California has cut open the goose that lays the golden egg, found nothing, and has begun cutting open all the other animals in search of gold, and burning down the crops in search of another goose.

There can be no recovery here.

There is no fix here.

There is nothing more here.

Only the husk of a once vibrant state, and a few glimmering mirages remain.

It is only a matter of time before the entirety of state of California comes crashing down.

There is only one hope.

One very remote hope.

That The People of California first stand up and vote out every last one of the bastards that did this.

Then The People of California demand that the new legislators overturn every bit of foolish legislation, nullify every challenge to the businesses that drove California to it's highest heights, and redraw every gerrymandered district in the state.

Then The People of California make the California Legislature part time. Remove the perks and the personal prestige. Make the job a civil service again. Texas legislature meets once every OTHER year, and makes pennies compared to our current $100k legislators. And they run in the black.

Once The People of California have done this, they must watch those they've placed in charge like hawks. Scrutinize every action. Question every bill. Root out the tiniest HINT of the poison that brought us so low, and eliminate it.

That's what we'd have to do to bring real change to this state WITHOUT letting it hit rock bottom first.

I keep saying "The People of California", because they are the only ones who can fix this. The legislators will not. They will fiddle while Rome burns, and ride their limousines over the ashes and into another state. Like a virus killing its host and seeking a new one.

But I, a serial optimist, just don't have faith that the majority of Californians will have the stomach to do what needs to be done to break the cycle.

The cycle of success, arrogance, decadence, collapse, stagnate, regroup, rebuild, strengthen, flourish, repeat is a tough one to break.

We see it happen in places like Detroit and Pittsburgh, both are in different stages of the cycle, but I think this will be the first time we see it happen on a state-wide level. Particularly for a state so large.

I do NOT believe a sufficient majority of Californians have the clarity to see what's coming, understand the dire necessity of skipping the bad steps of this cycle, and relentlessly push the difficult action necessary to save the state from collapse, and a long, painful recovery.

At least I know I did my best to divert the state from this path.

At least I know I tried.

I will be sad to see it go.

I don't agree with its politics.
I don't agree with what it does to the rest of the country.
I don't agree with the politicians we send to the highest reaches of government.
I don't agree with the laws it chooses to enact.
I don't agree with who and how it taxes.
I don't agree with what it chooses to spend or borrow money for.

But I will miss it.

Because it has been my home.

You may grow weary of a new dog that refuses to be trained. You may grumble as you pick up after it, and scrub at its stains. You may become embarrassed when it jumps on the leg of a guest. You may strike it with a newspaper as it persists at what it shouldn't. You may yell with frustration after hours of ineffectual instruction. And, yes, you may even wish it weren't yours.

But you will still cry if it gets put down.

But the most darkly humorous thing?

The people the state of California tried the hardest to save, to prop up, to support, to keep from failing...
The people California spent and borrowed and taxed in order to protect...
The poor will suffer the most.

Good fucking luck to all of us. We're going to need it.

I'm getting tired of having to say that.


Anonymous said...

Vote with your feet. LEAVE!! Come to Nevada.

DirtCrashr said...

To choose failure and impose further, throat-cutting regulation based on a whimsical fantasy like Goreball Warmening is just insane.

Anonymous said...

California has been going downhill ever since Carter canceled the SST project: all those machinists and welders and other tradesmen went elsewhere looking for work, and didn't come back, ever.

You can't convince a lib to vote for anything else but a tax-raising, vote-buying, like-minded lib, and expecting your property value to go back up is just misplaced optimism.

DirtCrashr said... property continues to go up in value - it didn't drop, and I don't find anything compellign about Nevada - I'm more inclined towards Hawaii, or maybe even buy a sailboat and sail off over the horizon to Thaiti and desert islands elsewhere - rally cut the ropes.
We only waste $500-billion a year in bloated regulatory excess, if we can cut that back we can recover...