This is a bit of a long read but this guy seems to hit the nail on the head.
This is an article from Victor Davis Hansen, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University
The last three weeks I have traveled about, taking the pulse of the more forgotten areas of central California. I wanted to witness, even if superficially, what is happening to a state that has the highest sales and income taxes, the most lavish entitlements, the near-worst public schools (based on federal test scores), and the largest number of illegal aliens in the nation, along with an overregulated private sector, a stagnant and shrinking manufacturing base, and an elite environmental ethos that restricts commerce and productivity without curbing consumption.
During this unscientific experiment, three times a week I rode a bike on a 20-mile trip over various rural roads in southwestern Fresno County. I also drove my car over to the coast to work, on various routes through towns like San Joaquin, Mendota, and Firebaugh. And near my home I have been driving, shopping, and touring by intent the rather segregated and impoverished areas of Caruthers, Fowler, Laton, Orange Cove, Parlier, and Selma. My own farmhouse is now in an area of abject poverty and almost no ethnic diversity; the closest elementary school (my alma mater, two miles away) is 94 percent Hispanic and 1 percent white, and well below federal testing norms in math and English.
Here are some general observations about what I saw (other than that the rural roads of California are fast turning into rubble, poorly maintained and reverting to what I remember seeing long ago in the rural South). First, remember that these areas are the ground zero, so to speak, of 20 years of illegal immigration. There has been a general depression in farming - to such an extent that the 20 to100 acre tree and vine farmer, the erstwhile backbone of the old rural California, for all practical purposes has ceased to exist.
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.
Many of the rural trailer-house compounds I saw appear to the naked eye no different from what I have seen in the Third World. There is a Caribbean look to the junked cars, electric wires crisscrossing between various outbuildings, plastic tarps substituting for replacement shingles, lean-tos cobbled together as auxiliary housing, pit bulls unleashed, and geese, goats, and chickens roaming around the yards. The public hears about all sorts of tough California regulations that stymie business - rigid zoning laws, strict building codes, and constant inspections - but apparently none of that applies out here.
It is almost as if the more California regulates, the more it does not regulate. Its public employees prefer to go after misdemeanors in the upscale areas to justify our expensive oversight industry, while ignoring the felonies in the downtrodden areas, which are becoming feral and beyond the ability of any inspector to do anything but feel irrelevant. But in the regulators' defense, where would one get the money to redo an ad hoc trailer park with a spider web of illegal bare wires?
Many of the rented-out rural shacks and stationary Winnebago’s are on former small farms - the vineyards overgrown with weeds, or torn out with the ground lying fallow. 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. Yesterday, for example, I rode my bike by a stopped van just as the occupants tossed seven plastic bags of raw refuse onto the side of the road. I rode up near their bumper and said in my broken Spanish not to throw garbage onto the public road. But there were three of them, and one of me. So I was lucky to be sworn at only. I note in passing that I would not drive into Mexico and, as a guest, dare to pull over and throw seven bags of trash into the environment of my host.
In fact, trash piles are commonplace out here - composed of everything from half-empty paint cans and children's plastic toys to diapers and moldy food. I have never seen a rural sheriff cite a litterer, or witnessed state EPA workers cleaning up these unauthorized wastelands. So I would suggest to Bay Area scientists that the environment is taking a much harder beating down here in central California than it is in the Delta. Perhaps before we cut off more irrigation water to the west side of the valley, we might invest some green dollars into cleaning up the unsightly and sometimes dangerous garbage that now litters the outskirts of our rural communities.
We hear about the tough small-business regulations that have driven residents out of the state, at the rate of 2,000 to 3,000 a week. But from my unscientific observations these past weeks, it seems rather easy to open a small business in California without any oversight at all, or at least what I might call a "counter business." I counted eleven mobile hot-kitchen trucks that simply park by the side of the road, spread about some plastic chairs, pull down a tarp canopy, and, presto, become mini-restaurants. There are no "facilities" such as toilets or washrooms. But I do frequently see lard trails on the isolated roads I bike on, where trucks apparently have simply opened their draining tanks and sped on, leaving a slick of cooking fats and oils. Crows and ground squirrels love them; they can be seen from a distance mysteriously occupied in the middle of the road.
At crossroads, peddlers in a counter-California economy sell almost anything. Here is what I noticed at an intersection on the west side last week: shovels, rakes, hoes, gas pumps, lawnmowers, edgers, blowers, jackets, gloves, and caps. The merchandise was all new. I doubt whether in high-tax California sales taxes or income taxes were paid on any of these stop-and-go transactions.
[The hi-lighted paragraphs are ways in which at least some of the nearly 47% of U.S. non tax payers are able to get by]
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.
By that I mean that most consumers drove late-model Camry’s, Accords, or Taurus’s, had iPhone, Bluetooth’s, 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?
Do diversity concerns, as in lack of diversity, work both ways? Over a hundred-mile stretch, when I stopped in San Joaquin for a bottled water, or drove through Orange Cove, or got gas in Parlier, or went to a corner market in southwestern Selma, my home town, I was the only non-Hispanic - there were no Asians, no blacks, no other whites. We may speak of the richness of "diversity," but those who cherish that ideal simply have no idea that there are now countless inland communities that have become near-apartheid societies, where Spanish is the first language, the schools are not at all diverse, and the federal and state governments are either the main employers or at least the chief sources of income - whether through emergency rooms, rural health clinics, public schools, or social-service offices. An observer from Mars might conclude that our elites and masses have given up on the ideal of integration and assimilation, perhaps in the wake of the arrival of 11 to 15 million illegal aliens.
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.
I note this because hundreds of students here illegally are now terrified of being deported to Mexico. I can understand that, given the chaos in Mexico and their own long residency in the United States. But here is what still confuses me: If one were to consider the classes that deal with Mexico at the university, or the visible displays of national chauvinism, then one might conclude that Mexico is a far more attractive and moral place than the United States.
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 is it 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 over-regulate 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 least free 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.
Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, the editor of "Makers of Ancient Strategy: From the Persian Wars to the fall of Rome”, and the author of "The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern."
I'm not completely useless. I can be used as a bad example.
California has become Mexico North...
”laissez le bon temps rouler“
امّا شما مشخص خواهد شد كه با همه شما را ملاقات کنند
Very nice read and thanks for sharing.
IMHO: California got what they voted for. I fully understand that everyone in California didn't vote for these political thugs or agree with their perverted philosophy, but obviously there are enough voters that do agree with whats going on in California on local, county, state and federal political levels and governmental agencies. California needs to do what they keep threatening to do; succeed from the union! Please follow through with your promises. We will all be better off. And while you're succeeding, please take New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington State and every other progressive, liberal, social leaning state with you.
Please leave the rest of us alone, leave our constitution, laws and rules alone. Flood yourselves with illegals, refugees, transgenders, gays, lesbians, socialist, communist, ANTIFA, black panthers, Bernie and Hillary lovers, safe spacers, snowflakes and every other wack a do be. But leave the rest of us alone!
Read this if you want to see what a delusional liberal thinks about California:
|Legalize the Constitution|
It must be difficult for an educated man, who obviously cares deeply about his home state of California, to witness its demise. The best analogy I can think of is a state populated by “Stepford wives” driving through the devastation of a once great state.
The principle of self defense, even involving weapons and bloodshed, has never been condemned, even by Gandhi.
- Martin Luther King
As per forum rules: You are obliged to provide a link to the original article.
"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
"Whenever somebody uses 'liberal,' when what they really mean is 'leftist,' they immediately lose my attention." -- Me
California is lost. To the good people there, don't die on your sword. Make a tactical withdrawal to a friendly state and set up your defenses there. Hopefully together we can keep the insanity contained.
|Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished|
The point the author is trying to make is obvious but there are crumbling roads, trash piles and declining small farms in almost every state, including the one I live in and I really doubt the cause is illegal immigration.
Around here, new roads are just old roads paved over with tar and all the bridges are in bad shape. Even if we could completely close the Us-Mexico border the roads and bridges aren't going to be fixed. No one in power seems to give a fuck anymore.
Where is the link to the Hanson article that is quoted, as I’d like to be able to send it to some Libs who can’t see the forest for the trees.
California (Alta Norte México) just needs to go ahead and SECEDE, and don’t worry, the remaining 49 won’t fight to stop you—California ain’t worth it to fight for.
As what the Great Bismarck said of the Balkans, California is to the USA: “Not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian Grenadier.”
"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." — Mark Twain
|Too old to run, |
too mean to quit!
So, if I understand this, we taxpayers are sending 40 MEGABUCKS A DAY TO SUPPORT THAT INSANITY!
I submit that if Trump really wants to clean up that shit hole, he could make a great start by stopping that 40 million a day, not to mention all the other outrageous federal spending supporting that shit hole!
Seems that most/all of southern kalifornistan has become a huge ghetto supported by all of us TAXPAYERS!
There is not enough money in the nation to pay to clean up that shit hole! Between the corruption and outright criminal activities there it is a lost cause. Beyond the point of no return.
There has never been an occasion where a people gave up their weapons in the interest of peace that didn't end in their massacre. (Louis L'Amour)
"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical. "
"America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." Alexis de Tocqueville
The Idaho Elk Hunter
"And it's time that particularly, some of our corporations learned, that when you get in bed with government, you're going to get more than a good night's sleep."
- Ronald Reagan
Thanks for posting the link. I was having difficulty finding it.
I'm not completely useless. I can be used as a bad example.
But...but...but...They're the sixth largest economy in the world...IN THE WORLD!!!
I am so sick of hearing anyone spouting this foolishness.
Personally, I would like to see some designated area of land for the liberals that currently reside in CA to be interned. From there, they can secede.
CA, environmentally, is a beautiful place. The liberals that currently reside there don't deserve to take it with them. Wherever they are, it will be like the rest of liberal bastions (detriot, baltimore, SF, etc). Carve off some land that gives them a head start on their end state. Leave the rest of CA to those of us that can keep it free and pristine.
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - B.Franklin
"Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it." L.Tolstoy
|Short. Fat. Bald. |
I'm currently on assignment right smack dab in the middle of all that, in Hanford. He's not kidding, outside of the city, its a mess.
He looked like an accountant or a serial-killer type. Definitely one of the service industries.
The wall we need to build just got a lot longer!
He Is No Fool Who Gives What He Cannot Keep,
To Gain That Which He Cannot Lose!
I think you're missing the bigger picture. California is just on an accelerated rate of decline because they've enthusiastically embraced 'all' of the tenants of liberalism. NC, not unlike many other states, is suffering decline but at a slower rate than California, since the state hasn't completely lost its grasp of reality. Ultimately at its core, the agenda of liberalism destroys productivity, and shifts focus to topics that not only contribute to poverty and pain (i.e. illegals, lawlessness, chaos, and government running and subsidizing everything) but guarantee the exodus of the people from the state that are its only salvation. Ultimately California has passed the brink of no return. Other states like yours and mine still have a chance to remain productive, rational places to live and work, so long as the disease that is liberalism is recognized for what it is, and eradicated.
It won't be for much longer (as noted in the Hanson article) if liberals continue to run the state.
Guns are awesome because they shoot solid lead freedom. Every man should have several guns. And several dogs, because a man with a cat is a woman. Kurt Schlichter
I think the REAL point is that they cannot afford to fix the roads BECAUSE of all the welfare spending.
Every state in the union spends like crazy on welfare, thus a lot of the problems with state budgets.
Another huge expense that is not mentioned in this article is the amount spent on house criminals in prisons.
Many states with a lot of crime is feeling the pinch of prison costs.
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We have to turn off ALL of the EBT cards and let the chips fall where they may. There will be private charity for the truly needy.
"To ban guns because criminals use them is to tell the law abiding that their rights depend not on their own conduct but, on the conduct of the guilty and the lawless."
- Lysander Spooner
"The United States government is the largest criminal enterprise on earth."
Excellent observations and write up. Should be shared with friends and certainly with representatives.
First hand information, should go into the classrooms for discussion.
Tagged for future reference.
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