It’s been a couple years since I fled California. The lack of jobs chased me from what I think should be renamed “The Tarnished State.” California is certainly not golden anymore, not in the economic or political sense.
So when I read the Facebook comment of a fellow conservative the other morning, I had to chuckle… not at her, but at her comment.
Happy for Wisconsin, not so much for California…..Feinstein, Waxman, Waters, Stark, Schiff, ugh. Really, again, Cali??? For a state full of ‘artists & dreamers’ you certainly don’t have much imagination when it comes to politicians. Apparently the majority of voters are perfectly happy paying insanely high taxes, having businesses move to other states, paying almost $5 for gas, maintaining one of the worst public school systems in the US, etc etc. At least the weather’s nice…sigh.
A couple words in her comment caused me to ponder. California has typically been known as a state chock full of artists and dreamers. After all, Hollywood exists there. Aside from that, you can’t travel far within California without coming across an art gallery or a book featuring the gorgeous and diverse landscapes that cover over half of America’s left coast.
What is it about the vast majority of voters in California who seem stuck in the rut of failed feel-good political policies? Has California lost its ability to dream big?
I’m not talking about $68 billion bullet trains or other stupid, costly ideas. After all, isn’t California also home to the Silicon Valley and ideas that started companies such as Apple and Microsoft? Maybe California’s proposed bullet train wouldn’t be such a colossal example of stupidity if everyone who wanted to in the state was employed or otherwise engaged in the creation of ample amounts of private capital that could be taxed at a reasonable rate so as to support a limited government bent on perpetuating the advance of more private capital. It’s rather ironic that a state that is tens of billions of dollars in debt and over-extended in spending can even consider adding four times its current budget deficit in additional debt for a bullet train through the world’s most productive agricultural land, but I digress.
Where’s California’s imagination for the next great private equity start-up that could once-again make it one of the world’s top 5 economies? But maybe that’s not the best first question to ask. After all, there are those who still live there who remember voting in a recall election to oust a governor who was blamed for skyrocketing utility rates, even though California boasted the worlds fifth largest economy at the same time. Now, two governors later the state has sunk to the 9th largest economy in the world and is still trying to convince its remaining residents (20-some percent of which do not work and are therefore not capable of paying taxes to fund such ventures) that the problem is that Californians aren’t paying enough taxes!
Why, with all the talent, intelligence and ingenuity — just think big dreams — in California do voters continue to elect people with a proven track record of stifling, stealing and suppressing those dreams? Where’s the motivation, desire and foresight for bigger and better, or has it already fled for other states where their elected representatives don’t tax and regulate those dreams out of existence?
California once had several very large (albeit public) projects going on simultaneously, the product of dreamers who accomplished things seemingly insurmountable. One of those projects just celebrated its 75th anniversary of completion and still stands as a picturesque icon that proves that big dreams, matched with skill, ingenuity and foresight, along with the political will of the people, can accomplish great things.
I don’t think all is lost for California, though it sure seems like it at times. All it will take is the political will of the people, dreaming big, and of a limited government, bending to the will of the people and their dreams, for a greater California where ideas aren’t taxed and over-regulated beyond their ability to be realized.