Southern California has wonderful weather. Within the coastal zone it’s especially wonderful. The sun shines bright every day, there’s low humidity, and a cool breeze wafts off the Pacific Ocean making things perfectly pleasant. You just can’t beat it.
But for every sweet smelling rose there’s a stem full of jagged thorns…for every yang there’s always a yin. Whether we like it or not, that’s how the world works. In Southern California, the traffic, cost of living, and the large swaths of urban blight fall far short of perfection.
Still, it really isn’t all that bad…there are plenty of things that are plenty worse. The state government, state taxes, and the collective will of the voter, for example, are categorically abysmal. They penalize the financial rewards of hard work by taking money from those who’ve earned it. Then they spend it on money losing enterprises – like bullet trains and public pensions – that vaporize wealth from existence.
There’s no place in the world we can think of, with the possible exception of France, where the scum suckers’ suck with such voracious frenzy. No matter how much they take it’s never enough. What’s most important is that they spend more and more money that other people earned.
California wasn’t always this way. Not long ago the government was small and the open spaces were expansive. Opportunities were limitless for lunatics and dreamers to do remarkable things.
Those Were the Days
Take the Los Angeles Basin, for instance. During the pre-World War II days, before the mania to splatter every square foot of its surface with concrete took hold of the local spirits, the place was already a magnet for eccentrics, delusionals, and hucksters galore. Howard Hughes, a total madman, would dream up his latest flying machine and then crash it into Beverly Hills.
Consider, too, Italian immigrant Simon Rodia, who, for no good reason, spent 33 years chicken wiring steel pipes and rods together, erecting numerous towering eyesores in his backyard in the Watts district of Los Angeles. Ironically, these monstrosities known as the Watts Towers are now a National Historic Landmark.
There was also Griffith J. Griffith, who amassed a fortune in the mining industry…before he shot his wife in a Santa Monica Hotel. To make good for his transgressions – and to commute his time in San Quentin to just two years – Griffith donated the land for Griffith Park to Los Angeles and funded the city’s observatory. Without Griffith’s private act of preservation the City wouldn’t have any open space left to get lost in.
Back then state and local governments were small and feeble and money was practically free. It was the beginning of a long property boom…where, for the next 50-years, property values went up without interruption.
Even the most harebrained business ventures were almost guaranteed to succeed. For example, you could buy an old mail service boat – like John Clearman did – tow it from the Long Beach Harbor up to a wide open corner lot in the San Gabriel Valley, plop it down, and get rich selling hotdogs and red cabbage salad out of it to commuters on their way to and from work in Los Angeles each day.
Those were the days. Regrettably, they are long gone…
Jerry’s Definitive Moonshot
These days the California state government and the collective voter are comprised of a vast assemblage of morons. They can’t help themselves. They consistently pursue destructive policies of high taxes and high costs.
Unfortunately, these decisions have been dragging the state down for years. What’s more, they’ve cost California some of its most successful and productive citizens…
According to Tom Gray and Robert Scardamalia, who recently authored the report, The Great California Exodus: A Closer Look, over the last 20-years Californians have fled in droves to Texas, Nevada, and Arizona because those states have better economic opportunities with less taxes and regulations. In fact, over the last decade, domestic out-migration from California has averaged 225,000 per year, and has resulted in lost income of $5.67 billion to Nevada, $4.96 billion to Arizona, and $4.07 billion to Texas.
During this time the state has continued to raise taxes. But raising taxes only encourages the state’s “public servants”…Sacramento keeps spending more and more money. Between 2000 and 2010 California’s government spending increased 42 percent per capita. Yet the state’s all the worse for it.
Then there’s California retread Governor Jerry Brown. When he presided over California in the late 1970s he was known as “Governor Moonbeam” because of his uncanny ability to garner the moonbeam vote. Since returning as Governor in 2011 he’s continued to hustle the moron and moonbeam majority of the California populace.
Earlier this month Governor Moonbeam pulled off a definitive moonshot. He convinced voters that raising both sales and income taxes – again – by passing Proposition 30 was an intelligent thing to do. Governor Moonbeam said the tax hikes were to fund education and safety. But it really allowed Sacramento to free up existing money already allocated to schools and use it for whatever they want…and then replace the money with the revenue from the new taxes.
Analysts think that with the new revenue from Proposition 30, the 2013 Fiscal Year budget deficit will fall to $1.9 billion from the $15.7 billion projected earlier. Of course, these things never work out the way the politicians draw them up. We suspect, despite the wonderful weather, the California exodus will transfer some of the expected tax revenue to a nearby state that respects the people that live and work within its borders.
Maybe then the state will wise up. Though, we wouldn’t count on it.
for Economic Prism