Escape from CA: Why Workers, Taxpayers, and Businesses Should Leave

Escape from LA is a 1996 post-apocalyptic movie that features a villain who can cut off the world's power supply. California's inability to prevent wildfires has led to a massive power shutdown that has left hundreds of thousands of people without power, refrigeration and, if they are dependent on wells, running water. This, along with the state's high taxes and cost of living, $4 or more a gallon gasoline, and the fact that its major cities are turning into open sewers where sidewalks serve as gender-neutral toilets, is a strong argument for workers, taxpayers, and businesses to go elsewhere. The same goes for other big cities that are governed almost universally by the extreme left wing of the Democratic Party.

The Big City: What is it Good For?

The answer is the same as that in the song about war: "absolutely nothing," except possibly for museums, theaters, and other downtown attractions. Cities were otherwise obsolete a century ago as described accurately by Henry Ford in My Life and Work (1922). Emphasis is mine:

"And finally, the overhead expense of living or doing business in the great cities is becoming so large as to be unbearable. It places so great a tax upon life that there is no surplus over to live on. The politicians have found it easy to borrow money and they have borrowed to the limit. Within the last decade the expense of running every city in the country has tremendously increased. A good part of that expense is for interest upon money borrowed; the money has gone either into non-productive brick, stone, and mortar, or into necessities of city life, such as water supplies and sewage systems at far above a reasonable cost. The cost of maintaining these works, the cost of keeping in order great masses of people and traffic is greater than the advantages derived from community life. The modern city has been prodigal, it is to-day bankrupt, and to-morrow it will cease to be."

Cities evolved for exactly two purposes, neither of which they serve today. These were (1) as centers of commerce, and (2) defensible positions around which one could build a wall. Long gone are the days when you had to make a trip into "the big city" to buy what you wanted, and cities are now nothing more than dense targets for enemy bombers and ballistic missiles.

San Francisco: A Literal "Outhouse City"

San Francisco, whose Board of Supervisors called the National Rifle Association and its millions of law-abiding members a domestic terrorist organization, deserves a new city seal whose central feature is the smiling poo emoji, and whose motto is "Gardyloo;" the warning shout required when emptying a chamber pot into the streets of a medieval city. The city mascot is now the hepatitis virus (all three versions, A, B, and C) noting that the disease is transmitted by excrement and also discarded hypodermic needles, while the equally appropriate plague-carrying rat has already been taken by Baltimore.

San Francisco is indeed an "outhouse city" -- I am using a family-friendly and radio-safe version of the word Donald Trump used for certain countries -- in terms of more than sanitation. The cost of living is more than three times than the average in the United States. Employers who are mandated to pay $15.59 an hour should therefore move the jobs, if possible, to a state like Michigan or Pennsylvania and pay the minimum wage workers $7.80 an hour: a 50% reduction in labor costs and a 50% pay increase for the workers. $7.80 buys 50% more in most of Pennsylvania and Michigan than $15.59 buys in San Francisco.

This is by no means a recommendation that employers pay workers as little as possible. Bosses who pay as little as they can have no right to complain when their employees do as little work as they can. It means the organization should similarly consider moving $50 an hour jobs out and paying $25 an hour instead. When studio apartments rent for roughly $3000 a month, the organization and its stakeholders might as well be throwing $10 or even $15 an hour per worker down the nearest sewer. This means higher prices for customers, lower profits for investors, and no benefits whatsoever for the workers.

Los Angeles was meanwhile, and this was back in 2013, squandering $2370 per citizen household on welfare for people who are neither U.S. citizens nor legal guests of the United States. The city now plans to squander $700,000 per apartment to house homeless people. To put this in perspective, a clean working class house can be purchased in Allentown PA for a tenth of this money. The Quonset hut, a practical shelter once used extensively by the Armed Forces, can be built for $13 or less per square foot. Quonset huts can be built to resist hurricanes and, more importantly in Los Angeles, earthquakes.

The productive citizen households, the makers who contribute to their community's economy, should therefore relocate and let the takers, who include the government of California, fend for themselves. Will the last worker to leave California please turn out the lights, unless PGE takes care of this first?

Escape from New York

The movie of this title depicts Manhattan as a maximum security prison, and maybe Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio will need to make it into one to prevent the workers, taxpayers, and employers from leaving once they wake up to the fact that the entire city is, like LA and SF, a pay-more-get-less waste of money. Here, for example, is a good question for users of legal services. Do some New York City lawyers charge $1000 an hour because they are outstanding lawyers, or because the median price of a 1-bedroom apartment in Manhattan is $710,000? You, the individual or business client, are paying not only for the attorney's skills but also to carry New York City's bloated cost of living, sky-high city and state taxes, and whatever inflated rent the law firm must pay for office space. The result is that you pay a lot more than you should, and the attorney receives less real compensation than he or she should. Shoppers in downtown New York are similarly carrying the retailer's sky-high rent and New York City taxes.

Henry Ford added of prestigious office buildings, "We will not put up elaborate buildings as monuments to our success. The interest on the investment and the cost of their upkeep only serve to add uselessly to the cost of what is produced…" A New York City (or SF, or LA) address doesn't tell me you're a high-quality, top-of-the-line business; it tells me you are squandering my money as a customer along with your investors' return on investment and your employees' wages. When investors, workers, and customers wake up to this fact, the big cities that are managed almost exclusively by the extreme left wing of the Democratic Party will lose their disproportionate influence on the nation's politics.

Image vredit: IMDB

Civis Americanus is the pen name of an American Thinker contributor who remembers the lessons of history and wants to ensure that our country never needs to learn those lessons again the hard way.

Escape from LA is a 1996 post-apocalyptic movie that features a villain who can cut off the world's power supply. California's inability to prevent wildfires has led to a massive power shutdown that has left hundreds of thousands of people without power, refrigeration and, if they are dependent on wells, running water. This, along with the state's high taxes and cost of living, $4 or more a gallon gasoline, and the fact that its major cities are turning into open sewers where sidewalks serve as gender-neutral toilets, is a strong argument for workers, taxpayers, and businesses to go elsewhere. The same goes for other big cities that are governed almost universally by the extreme left wing of the Democratic Party.

The Big City: What is it Good For?

The answer is the same as that in the song about war: "absolutely nothing," except possibly for museums, theaters, and other downtown attractions. Cities were otherwise obsolete a century ago as described accurately by Henry Ford in My Life and Work (1922). Emphasis is mine:

"And finally, the overhead expense of living or doing business in the great cities is becoming so large as to be unbearable. It places so great a tax upon life that there is no surplus over to live on. The politicians have found it easy to borrow money and they have borrowed to the limit. Within the last decade the expense of running every city in the country has tremendously increased. A good part of that expense is for interest upon money borrowed; the money has gone either into non-productive brick, stone, and mortar, or into necessities of city life, such as water supplies and sewage systems at far above a reasonable cost. The cost of maintaining these works, the cost of keeping in order great masses of people and traffic is greater than the advantages derived from community life. The modern city has been prodigal, it is to-day bankrupt, and to-morrow it will cease to be."

Cities evolved for exactly two purposes, neither of which they serve today. These were (1) as centers of commerce, and (2) defensible positions around which one could build a wall. Long gone are the days when you had to make a trip into "the big city" to buy what you wanted, and cities are now nothing more than dense targets for enemy bombers and ballistic missiles.

San Francisco: A Literal "Outhouse City"

San Francisco, whose Board of Supervisors called the National Rifle Association and its millions of law-abiding members a domestic terrorist organization, deserves a new city seal whose central feature is the smiling poo emoji, and whose motto is "Gardyloo;" the warning shout required when emptying a chamber pot into the streets of a medieval city. The city mascot is now the hepatitis virus (all three versions, A, B, and C) noting that the disease is transmitted by excrement and also discarded hypodermic needles, while the equally appropriate plague-carrying rat has already been taken by Baltimore.

San Francisco is indeed an "outhouse city" -- I am using a family-friendly and radio-safe version of the word Donald Trump used for certain countries -- in terms of more than sanitation. The cost of living is more than three times than the average in the United States. Employers who are mandated to pay $15.59 an hour should therefore move the jobs, if possible, to a state like Michigan or Pennsylvania and pay the minimum wage workers $7.80 an hour: a 50% reduction in labor costs and a 50% pay increase for the workers. $7.80 buys 50% more in most of Pennsylvania and Michigan than $15.59 buys in San Francisco.

This is by no means a recommendation that employers pay workers as little as possible. Bosses who pay as little as they can have no right to complain when their employees do as little work as they can. It means the organization should similarly consider moving $50 an hour jobs out and paying $25 an hour instead. When studio apartments rent for roughly $3000 a month, the organization and its stakeholders might as well be throwing $10 or even $15 an hour per worker down the nearest sewer. This means higher prices for customers, lower profits for investors, and no benefits whatsoever for the workers.

Los Angeles was meanwhile, and this was back in 2013, squandering $2370 per citizen household on welfare for people who are neither U.S. citizens nor legal guests of the United States. The city now plans to squander $700,000 per apartment to house homeless people. To put this in perspective, a clean working class house can be purchased in Allentown PA for a tenth of this money. The Quonset hut, a practical shelter once used extensively by the Armed Forces, can be built for $13 or less per square foot. Quonset huts can be built to resist hurricanes and, more importantly in Los Angeles, earthquakes.

The productive citizen households, the makers who contribute to their community's economy, should therefore relocate and let the takers, who include the government of California, fend for themselves. Will the last worker to leave California please turn out the lights, unless PGE takes care of this first?

Escape from New York

The movie of this title depicts Manhattan as a maximum security prison, and maybe Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio will need to make it into one to prevent the workers, taxpayers, and employers from leaving once they wake up to the fact that the entire city is, like LA and SF, a pay-more-get-less waste of money. Here, for example, is a good question for users of legal services. Do some New York City lawyers charge $1000 an hour because they are outstanding lawyers, or because the median price of a 1-bedroom apartment in Manhattan is $710,000? You, the individual or business client, are paying not only for the attorney's skills but also to carry New York City's bloated cost of living, sky-high city and state taxes, and whatever inflated rent the law firm must pay for office space. The result is that you pay a lot more than you should, and the attorney receives less real compensation than he or she should. Shoppers in downtown New York are similarly carrying the retailer's sky-high rent and New York City taxes.

Henry Ford added of prestigious office buildings, "We will not put up elaborate buildings as monuments to our success. The interest on the investment and the cost of their upkeep only serve to add uselessly to the cost of what is produced…" A New York City (or SF, or LA) address doesn't tell me you're a high-quality, top-of-the-line business; it tells me you are squandering my money as a customer along with your investors' return on investment and your employees' wages. When investors, workers, and customers wake up to this fact, the big cities that are managed almost exclusively by the extreme left wing of the Democratic Party will lose their disproportionate influence on the nation's politics.

Image vredit: IMDB

Civis Americanus is the pen name of an American Thinker contributor who remembers the lessons of history and wants to ensure that our country never needs to learn those lessons again the hard way.