What Happened to California?
I don't know if I can describe the wonder of Southern California to a fairly well traveled 21-year-old 'pon his arrival, in a new Chevy pickup, into which were packed my pregnant wife, my mother and everything we thought worth bringing along from the old home town. We left the snow shovels behind.
Palm trees. Eight-lane freeways--smooth white highways on which one never needed to stop or worry about oncoming or cross traffic, or bumps! Stop laughing! It was 1965.
Gas was 24 cents a gallon. Cigarettes were about a quarter a pack. Our first apartment was $75 a month. It took me less than a week to find a job, then six months to find a really good job in construction (which was what I wanted).
After a few years here, I made the decision that I'd be living and working here for the rest of my life. I maintained that opinion through two years in the San Fernando Valley, three in Orange County and fifteen years in San Diego.
There was a point, and I think it was during the time Jerry Brown was Guber, when things started going bad in California, although it might've been earlier. When Ronald Reagan was Guber, he enacted for the first time, withholding of state income tax money. This opened the door to draconian tax increases, coming very often.
Heavy tax increases and wasteful spending have been the rule in California rather than the exception. It's been happening under both Democrat and Republican administrations, without mercy or appeal. If the state income tax doesn't increase, then the sales tax does. California's tax tab is exceeded by only three or four states, and more increases can be expected.
What do we get for these increases? Roads, streets and highways are in far worse shape than they were in 1965. The state's children's prisons are turning out gangsters and illiterates, and even the better ones turn out graduates who can score well on tests, but have little reasoning ability or critical skills.
Public safety services (police, fire, etc) are underfunded for ridiculous arts projects that not only disfigure the city aesthetically, but make poor excuses for artists wealthy. Police are ordered not to inquire as to the citizenship of arrested individuals who when released, often commit more crimes. Government continues to turn a blind eye to the notion of individual self defense.
Gangs roam the streets, attacking and murdering people (often children) of other ethnic and racial groups, and our moronic Chief of Police has the nerve to try and convince the public that there's no racial component in it. Professional agitators attack police during an otherwise peaceful protest, and police physically attack the peaceful protesters with tear gas and truncheons while the agitators look on with smiles on their faces.
I can only assume, from statewide news reports and word of mouth, that it's as bad or even worse in Frisco and its surrounding suburbs.
San Diego's city government has been flirting with bankruptcy for some time, because of fiscal irresponsibility in its politicians.
I can only hope that the smaller cities near the farm and ranch lands of California are populated with individuals with better sense.
Productive individuals have been leaving the state for years, having gotten a bellyful of what I like to call California's war on productivity. The state's population continues to increase, though, primarily because of the influx of foreigners. These foreigners mean well, and are looking to make a better life means of the more favorable opportunities here, but their skills are limited.
Tax revenues are decreasing as spending is increasing. Tax rates will increase and productive individuals will continue to look for greener pastures. Frivolous spending will assure that Public safety will continue to be given the short shrift.
One wonders how long one should remain here.
They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!