Conn Carroll: What happened to the Golden State?
Conn Carroll, Senior Editorial Writer
The Washington Examiner
“What is this but the most diverse, creative and longest standing mass migration in the history of the world,” Brown said of the Golden State. “The rest of the country looks to California. Not for what is conventional, but for what is necessary to keep faith with our courageous forebears.”
It’s a nice story. And up through the tech boom in the late 1990s, it was largely true. California was an engine for innovation and job growth. It was a prime destination for middle-class families throughout the country who were looking for a better life.
But it isn’t true anymore. More Americans now emigrate from California to other states than immigrate from other states to California. This exodus has cost California more than 1.5 million residents since 2000. And the reason is simple – the jobs are fleeing first.
In his state of the state speech, Brown claimed, “California lost 1.3 million jobs in the Great Recession, but we are coming back at a faster pace than the national average.” The first half of Brown’s statement is true, but the second half is not.
This article provides a Reader’s Digest overview of what CA has done to itself the past 40 or 45 years that brought it to its current dismal state. It introduces topics that will be examined in greater detail in further articles. But for now, I’ll just say that it’s spot on!
Let me be clear about something. That “past 40 or 45 years” I cited above spans roughly from the first Jerry Brown ***MAL***Administration through (ironically) the current Jerry Brown ***MAL***Administration. There were R Governors during that time span: George Deukmejian; Pete Wilson; Arnold Schwarzenegger. Deukmejian tried to reverse some of the damage Brown had done, not very successfully, courtesy of the Legislature. Wilson also made some efforts to reverse the course toward our current mess, but - fiscally - made a very serious compromise/mistake by allowing a large tax increase in exchange for future budget cuts (that never happened … sound familiar?). Arnold made some good-sounding noises, made some efforts, but when those failed he surrendered and went so far as to try to recall a R legislator who dared to vote against the Ds’ tax increases; when it came to things Enviro, Arnold was an unmitigated disaster! So I’m not playing the partisan - though Ds deserve much of the credit/blame for CA’s current mess. Stupidity in politics is not peculiar to any political party. CA has been blindly electing and living the worst from both parties, IMO!