Will Californians recall Newsom to keep their state from flying over the cliff?

By Grant

For decades, Californians have ingested a dreamy concept that living there is enough, in and of itself, just because they're among the 331 million lucky souls who managed to land and stay there. It's classic marketing: "Things don't really have to work in Golden California; it's enough just to be here!"

But it isn't, and Californians are increasingly recognizing how many things in their state just don't work. Those things are screwed up by state government that's usually ideologically driven or bureaucratically incapable of getting out of its own way. The Golden State manages its people and resources horribly:

  • The state's Energy grid is already inadequate, hasn't been improved for decades, and regularly plunges its citizens into blackouts that last from hours to days. Residents are urged to have faith in the coming Green New Deal, although current green energy sources are far from being able to keep the grid turned on, and the only nuclear power reactor creating electrical power is slated to be decommissioned soon. Lights out in California?
  • California's Crime statistics show that residents have suffered sharp increases across a range of nonviolent and violent crimes, and that situation will surely deteriorate further as the effects of "bail reform" laws and early release from state prisons take effect. Throughout the whole state, shoplifters have to steal more than $950 in merchandise to be charged with a crime, so small shop–owners might as well close their doors.
  • The formerly beautiful Forests of California are increasingly ravaged by wildfires more intense and massive than they were in earlier years. The state, of course, cries that climate change is to blame (and that too little can be done to change it), but numerous studies including the Little Hoover report in 2018 point out that the state's forests are terribly mismanaged, with underbrush and low timber allowed to accumulate until any small fire becomes a conflagration. Governor Newsom has recently been charged with failure to allocate critical forestry-improving funds. After he'd bragged that over 90,000 forested acres had received fire-mitigating treatment, it was learned that only 12,000 acres actually had received that assistance from Newsom's state government.
  • California's Homeless people increase in numbers every year, now spilling onto the sidewalks and business properties of all major cities and almost all smaller cities. Their lifestyles and personal choices often lead to petty crimes, violent crimes, and accidental fires, but all the state is able to do is keep throwing more billions of dollars at them — currently over $1,945 million per year, in poorly-focused efforts, and there's been no real improvement in decades. The state has been incapable of trying new approaches.
  • The state's Public infrastructure, which hasn't been seriously improved since the 1960s, is teetering on the edge of collapse. Abundant litter quite noticeably crops up when a traveler crosses into the state from any other neighboring state. Numerous dams, bridges, tunnels, highways, and ports are "third-world" quality as Victor Davis Hanson surveyed them, yet the state can't find a way to afford serious improvements, and if it did, it wouldn't be able to get around regulatory obstacles to succeed at these chores.
  • California's Educational system, once its pride and joy, is now held hostage by teachers' unions and entrenched bureaucracies to a degree that the state's public schools are now ranked 37th in the U.S. in terms of graduating students from high school, and those students' readiness for higher education.

California can't demonstrate any ability to adequately manage these basic elements of caring for its state residents and resources. Governor Newsom has been the person in charge and should therefore be held accountable for this state of affairs.

Californians will have to recall Newsom, now, if they actually want to save their state. The Golden State's working- and middle-class business owners and employees are the only ones who can take that step forward.

Photo credit: Charlie Nguyen, CC BY 2.0 license.

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