And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Two Californias – An article well worth reading as it is coming to a state near you soon if Obamanation prevails.

Posted on: December 15, 2010

Two Californias – Victor Davis Hanson – National Review Online.

This is California now.  While on our RV travels Lew and I spent a great deal of time in California because we loved the state.  Would have retired there but couldn’t afford to live there on our retirement incomes.  I am happy I saw California before the Progressives and  the labor unions completely destroyed the  State.

And even we did see some of what the overwhelming bureaucratic regulating had done to communities.  Because of the regulations specifying exactly how and what people can do to their own property people can not afford to do anything so the property simply falls apart and decays away.  Areas declared “historical” will soon be nothing but historical wood dust and rust due to unreasonable regulations.  This is happening in your town and counties and certainly in our nation as the Progressive Left progresses.

In California we have witnessed 50 years of  the Progressive/Liberal points of view holding sway from the college campuses and  the city and state governments.  It is no wonder than that the author of the article bemoans the past as he knew it growing up in what really is a paradise.

Anyhow this article is about California today and well worth reading.  BB

On the western side of the Central Valley, the effects of arbitrary cutoffs in federal irrigation water have idled tens of thousands of acres of prime agricultural land, leaving thousands unemployed. On the western side of the Central Valley, the effects of arbitrary cutoffs in federal irrigation water have idled tens of thousands of acres of prime agricultural land, leaving thousands unemployed. Manufacturing plants in the towns in these areas — which used to make harvesters, hydraulic lifts, trailers, food-processing equipment — have largely shut down; their production has been shipped off overseas or south of the border. Agriculture itself — from almonds to raisins — has increasingly become corporatized and mechanized, cutting by half the number of farm workers needed. So unemployment runs somewhere between 15 and 20 percent.  (Why was the water cut off?  A damned little insignificant minnow that isn’t even a part of the natural food chain to give it some value!  BB)

……………………………………………………………..I pass on the cultural consequences to communities from  the loss of thousands of small farming families. I don’t think I can remember another time when so many acres in the eastern part of the valley have gone out of production, even though farm prices have recently rebounded. Apparently it is simply not worth the gamble of investing $7,000 to $10,000 an acre in a new orchard or vineyard. What an anomaly — with suddenly soaring farm prices, still we have thousands of acres in the world’s richest agricultural belt, with available water on the east side of the valley and plentiful labor, gone idle or in disuse. Is credit frozen? Are there simply no more farmers? Are the schools so bad as to scare away potential agricultural entrepreneurs? Or are we all terrified by the national debt and uncertain future?

……………………………………………………California coastal elites may worry about the oxygen content of water available to a three-inch smelt in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, but they seem to have no interest in the epidemic dumping of trash, furniture, and often toxic substances throughout California’s rural hinterland.  (Immigrants can not be blamed entire,y for this attitude because I have seen it in slums everywhere where there is no hope.  People without work have no hope.  BB)

………………………………………………………..In two supermarkets 50 miles apart, I was the only one in line who did not pay with a social-service plastic card (gone are the days when “food stamps” were embarrassing bulky coupons). But I did not see any relationship between the use of the card and poverty as we once knew it: The electrical appurtenances owned by the user and the car into which the groceries were loaded were indistinguishable from those of the upper middle class.   (The fruits of the welfare entitlement state that the Left wants more of.  BB)

……………………………………………………………..By that I mean that most consumers drove late-model Camrys, Accords, or Tauruses, had iPhones, Bluetooths, or BlackBerries, and bought everything in the store with public-assistance credit. This seemed a world apart from the trailers I had just ridden by the day before. I don’t editorialize here on the logic or morality of any of this, but I note only that there are vast numbers of people who apparently are not working, are on public food assistance, and enjoy the technological veneer of the middle class. California has a consumer market surely, but often no apparent source of income. Does the $40 million a day supplement to unemployment benefits from Washington explain some of this?

…………………………………………Again, I do not editorialize, but I note these vast transformations over the last 20 years that are the paradoxical wages of unchecked illegal immigration from Mexico, a vast expansion of California’s entitlements and taxes, the flight of the upper middle class out of state, the deliberate effort not to tap natural resources, the downsizing in manufacturing and agriculture, and the departure of whites, blacks, and Asians from many of these small towns to more racially diverse and upscale areas of California.

Fresno’s California State University campus is embroiled in controversy over the student body president’s announcing that he is an illegal alien, with all the requisite protests in favor of the DREAM Act. I won’t comment on the legislation per se, but again only note the anomaly. I taught at CSUF for 21 years. I think it fair to say that the predominant theme of the Chicano and Latin American Studies program’s sizable curriculum was a fuzzy American culpability. By that I mean that students in those classes heard of the sins of America more often than its attractions. In my home town, Mexican flag decals on car windows are far more common than their American counterparts.

………………………………………So there is a surreal nature to these protests: something like, “Please do not send me back to the culture I nostalgically praise; please let me stay in the culture that I ignore or deprecate.” I think the DREAM Act protestors might have been far more successful in winning public opinion had they stopped blaming the U.S. for suggesting that they might have to leave at some point, and instead explained why, in fact, they want to stay. What it is about America that makes a youth of 21 go on a hunger strike or demonstrate to be allowed to remain in this country rather than return to the place of his birth?

……………………………………………………….I think I know the answer to this paradox. Missing entirely in the above description is the attitude of the host, which by any historical standard can only be termed “indifferent.” California does not care whether one broke the law to arrive here or continues to break it by staying. It asks nothing of the illegal immigrant — no proficiency in English, no acquaintance with American history and values, no proof of income, no record of education or skills. It does provide all the public assistance that it can afford (and more that it borrows for), and apparently waives enforcement of most of California’s burdensome regulations and civic statutes that increasingly have plagued productive citizens to the point of driving them out. How odd that we overregulate those who are citizens and have capital to the point of banishing them from the state, but do not regulate those who are aliens and without capital to the point of encouraging millions more to follow in their footsteps. How odd — to paraphrase what Critias once said of ancient Sparta — that California is at once both the nation’s most unfree and most free state, the most repressed and the wildest.

……………………………………...Hundreds of thousands sense all that and vote accordingly with their feet, both into and out of California — and the result is a sort of social, cultural, economic, and political time-bomb, whose ticks are getting louder. (Did you notice that Californians voted Jerry Brown ultra /Progressive Liberal in as their Governor?  Just as we Americans made the mistake of voting in Barach Obama a totally unknown from out of the hinter lands with no experience beyond community organizing as our President.  Some of us knew a horrendous mistake was being made by even allowing this person to consider running for any office at all.  But President?  Dear Lord!   So read this article carefully and see America of the future if we do not throw every Progressive/Liberal politician out of every office from city Councilman to the president of the United States.  BB)

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