Another “quick takes” on items where there is too little to say to make a complete article, but is still important enough to comment on.
The focus this time: California Unter Alles
First, a little (ironic) mood music: California Ueber Alles
Victor Davis Hanson speaks eloquently on the downfall of small Central Valley farmers:
“I recently took a few road trips longitudinally and latitudinally across California. The state bears little to no resemblance to what I was born into. In a word, it is now a medieval place of lords and peasants—and few in between. Or rather, as I gazed out on the California Aqueduct, the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Luis Reservoir, I realized we are like the hapless, squatter Greeks of the Dark Ages, who could not figure out who those mythical Mycenaean lords were that built huge projects still standing in their midst, long after Lord Ajax and King Odysseus disappeared into exaggeration and myth. Henry Huntington built the entire Big Creek Hydroelectric Project in the time it took our generation to go to three hearings on a proposed dam.
“A final twist was the infusion of a trillion dollars of capital into a few hands in the relatively small environs of the Silicon Valley. The tech boom, in connection with the mass influx of illegal immigrants into central California, sent coastal-corridor real estate into the stratosphere, from La Jolla and Monterey to Napa and Sonoma. California was redefined as coastal California—and the ‘rest.’ A Californian is rich if he lives in a hovel in Menlo Park and poor if he lives in a castle in Stockton or Madera.”
From independent farmers to willing serfs…
The New Feudalism comes to þe olde California…
“California’s new conservatism, often misleadingly called progressivism, seeks to prevent change by discouraging everything – from the construction of new job-generating infrastructure to virtually any kind of family-friendly housing. The resulting ill-effects on the state’s enormous population of poor and near-poor – roughly-one third of households – have been profound, although widely celebrated by the state’s gentry class.
“Rather than a land of opportunity, our ‘new’ California increasingly resembles a class-bound medieval society. The proportion of aggregate income taken by the top 1 percent is greatest in a couple of Californian metros, San Francisco and San Jose, as well as New York. California is the most unequal state when it comes to well-being, according to the report by Measure of America, which is a project of the Social Science Research Council.
“These inequities clearly aren’t changing the state’s policy direction. Gov. Jerry Brown explains the state’s leading poverty rate as simply a reflection of how grand things are and California’s natural attractiveness. Poverty, he says, is ‘really the flip side of California’s incredible attractiveness and prosperity.’ It’s a view not far from the old excuse espoused by British tories, that ‘the poor will always be with us.’
“This inequality is being justified – and made worse – by attempts to turn California into a mecca for the most extreme measures to reduce greenhouse gases. Like a good medievalist, Brown blames this one phenomenon for virtually everything, from wildfires to the drought and mass migrations. Like a medieval cleric railing against sin, Brown seems somewhat unconcerned that his beloved ‘coercive power of the state’ is also largely responsible for California’s high electricity prices, regulation-driven spikes in home values and the highest oil prices in the continental United States.”
Is not California embracing the #NewFeudalism
What better measure of the elites ignoring their serfs in order to push their insanity than the public transportation schemes of Los Angeles:
“For almost a decade, transit ridership has declined across Southern California despite enormous and costly efforts by top transportation officials to entice people out of their cars and onto buses and trains.
“The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the region’s largest carrier, lost more than 10% of its boardings from 2006 to 2015, a decline that appears to be accelerating. Despite a $9-billion investment in new light rail and subway lines, Metro now has fewer boardings than it did three decades ago, when buses were the county’s only transit option.
“Most other agencies fare no better. In Orange County, bus ridership plummeted 30% in the last seven years, while some smaller bus operators across the region have experienced declines approaching 25%. In the last two years alone, a Metro study found that 16 transit providers in Los Angeles County saw average quarterly declines of 4% to 5%.
Why both accept failure when you can just blame it on others? Let’s just stop the acculturation of immigrants and cease that eeevil assimilation…
“The longer immigrants live in the U.S., the less likely they are to take the bus or train, either because they begin to drive or move to suburbs with less transit service. After two decades in the United States, about 6% of immigrants ride transit, only slightly higher than native-born residents, Blumenberg said.
“After a surge in immigration in the 1980s, which significantly bolstered bus and rail ridership, the influx of foreign-born people peaked in California in 1991 and has been declining since, she said.”
Why is that such an invariably bad thing?
Can’t have that eeevil assimilation, can we…