Golden State Gloom

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Yet even as California remains mired in the economic doldrums, it remains wedded to progressive notions regarding illegal immigration. Notions which, for all intents and purposes, amount to de facto amnesty. Again, one might think the insanity of tolerating millions of illegals reached its zenith late year when the state approved taxpayer-funded college scholarships for illegal aliens, which dovetails quite nicely with the sanctuary city policy at work in several of that state’s largest municipalities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco. Yet again, one would be wrong: Democrat State Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes has proposed an initiative that would bar deportation of illegals from California. Both policies are in clear violation of federal law, but the same U.S. Justice Department currently suing four states for such violations when they work against the interests of illegals, continues to turn a blind eye toward progressive-inspired violations that give illegals free reign.

As one might suspect, progressive policies have predictable results with respect to unemployment as well. California’s rate just dropped below 11 percent for the first time in three years, but that is only part of the story. Entire counties in that state have unemployment levels far higher, including Fresno County at 16.9 percent, Merced County at 19.5 percent, Tulare County at 17.3 percent, Madera County at 15.1 percent, and Kings County at 16.9 percent. All of them pale in comparison to Colusa County, where the unemployment rate is 27 percent.

Aiding and abetting California’s economic woes is the progressive infatuation with radical environmentalism. In 2006 the state has passed AB32 requiring a cap-and-trade reduction in global warming emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. It kicks in this year. Yet that nuttiness pales in comparison to the intentional destruction of farms in the San Joaquin valley in order to save a fish known as the Delta smelt under the auspices of the Endangered Species Act. San Joaquin once produced half the fruits and vegetables consumed by the entire nation with $26 billion in annual sales. And despite the attempt by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) to undo the damage with congressional legislation, the Obama administration has signaled it will veto the bill because it would “unravel decades of work” on California water regulations. Work that has turned America’s most bountiful county into a dust bowl.

Unsurprisingly, all of the above has contributed to an exodus of businesses leaving the state. Since 2007, more than 2,500 employers have left, taking approximately 109,000 jobs with them. And the trend is accelerating: 26 percent more companies left the state in 2011 compared to 2010, further burnishing California’s dubious distinction as the state that lost both the most jobs and the most firms during the recession. Even crony capitalist “winner” Solyndra went bankrupt in a state that worships mindless environmentalism.

And so it goes. A state dominated by Democratic politicians in thrall to government unions, who long ago past the tipping point where they could ram their interests through the legislature against the public will, is reaching critical mass. Unfunded liabilities for public worker pension alone are more than $500 billion, according to a study by Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. Productive people are leaving the state in droves as an unfriendly business climate and radical environmentalism drive them to greener pastures.

In short, California is looking more and more like Greece, which despite all rhetoric to the contrary about being “saved” by a bailout, has triggered $3.1 billion in credit default swaps (CDS), coining a new term in the process known “restricted default.” Keep in mind that Greece’s economy is the size of Rhode Island’s. California’s economy? In 1999, it was the sixth largest in the world. In 2007, it was eighth. In 2011 it was ninth.

Does anyone seriously believe a world mired in recession for three-plus years, including an entire continent of Europe beset by an existential debt crisis, is catching up? Hardly. California is sinking into a progressive swamp entirely of its own making. The very same progressive ideology president Barack Obama and his party are endeavoring to inflict on the rest of the nation.

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  • Ken

    Hopefully, I will not be living here in California when it implodes!!

    • EKP

      It won't matter.

      "As goes California, so goes the rest of the nation."

      You can't escape it. It will just happen to California first and then sweep north, south and east, like a virus. We are all genuinely screwed. Moving to another state will only spare you the pain and suffering temporarily.

  • tagalog

    Jennifer Jones said California is headed for bankruptcy? I LOVED her in Song of Bernadette!

  • Voslucky

    California is the prime example of what will happen on a national level when the entitlement generation is in full control.

  • M.Archer

    The comments to this story tell the story! With freinds like these who needs progressives? Are you kidding. STAND UP AMERICA. Are we men or mice? The progressives are in the minority; but because we want our overinflated retirement and subsidies and to feel the warm fuzzy of subsidizing the illegal alien pouring accross their border- we will ride our societal mental illness right into the ocean. But don't worry once California goes belly up we can start over the right way by putting the entire state on the welfair dole of the USSA! Great job people.

  • kentatwater

    You are really neck deep in Skittles, when someone like Moonbeam has to tell folks to dial back the socialism just a touch.

  • rbla

    Actually California is the prime example of what happens when we displace the American population with masses of cheap labor immigrants from the Third World thereby permanently altering the demographic and electoral balance. And nitwit Republicans have joined Democrats in enabling this.

  • fiddler

    "Pay raises and enhanced benefit packages for police and firemen became the order of the day".

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    Everyone needs to support the "re-election" of Gov Scott Walker in WI. Brain-dead people in OH bought the lie that people would lose their Fire-Department and Police Force. That was a ploy to defeat Gov Kasich, and emboldened unions to take down Walker. These are the most selfish, self-serving, narcissists on the planet. They catch this "neurosis of entitlement" and feel that their union dues ought to buy them the world. People ought to get off the couch and realize that these people (the politically charged ones) are a threat to the economy. They do NOT deserve special treatment, but they are coddled because they are boots on the ground for the left. California is drowning in its own ideology and refuses to wise up. It's no wonder people are leaving in droves.

  • AntiSharia

    I wonder if there is any way to kick a state out of the country?

  • Dave

    Yes, California is the canary in the coal mine. Nations are organisms that are born, grow, thrive, decline and die. It's been a nice ride for many decades, but now we're in decline. The most we can hope for is to slow the decline before we sink into that good night.

  • george

    it is the whole country boys and girls and there is nothing going to stop it !!!!!!!

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Yes Jerry Brown is leading his state into a hole so large it will bottom out where only Jules Verne sent
    Capt. Nemo……….why do leftists do this to California knowing economic destruction is eminent by
    continuing irresponsible fiscal practices? The answer is that leftists want to destroy America and
    the leftists of California are mostly ahead of everyone else in the process of ruination. When there
    is zero accountability required in our educational system and irresponsible dolts are the graduates
    it follows that they will be making the decisions affecting everyone's life. The absence of self control
    and the desire to subvert America to lower it's standing in the World and kick it's prosperity down
    the hole is something the leftists do not recognize as self destruction. Who will they whine to when
    there is no life left to destroy, what will necessity call for amidst the chaos, we are in for quite a

  • Raymond in DC

    "Unsurprisingly, all of the above has contributed to an exodus of businesses leaving the state. Since 2007, more than 2,500 employers have left, taking approximately 109,000 jobs with them."

    Though "mugged by reality", many (maybe most) of these transplants haven't taken the lesson to heart. Setting up new homes in Texas or Colorado they remain "true believers", intent on promoting their progressive ideas. They just think this time they'll "do it right".

  • Maxie

    The Left has had a chokehold on California's Legislature for decades. In that time they've gerrymandered voting districts to assure perpetual political hegemony. By controlling the Legislature they've "bought" the public sector unions by granting high wages and super-cushy retirement benefits. This is the definition of Fascism as devised by Mussolini. Italy collapsed and California is collapsing. The nail in the coffin has been California's feckless GOP which, like the national GOP, is dominated by RINO's who "go along to get along". California's Central Valley is the only conservative entity in the state but its' relatively sparse population gets swamped by LA and SF. The state also has dozens of universities which pump-out thousands of brainwashed lefty's each year to keep the disease thriving. The high schools are a hundred times worse.Take note elsewhere; the plague is coming to your state as we speak.

  • outofthere

    I got out of California "Greece part 2" 3 months ago and will never go back.