Democrat-run California dives deeper into suicidal policies
California is a one-party Democrat state with an incredibly wealthy tech sector and, through Hollywood, control over the American psyche. For a while, thanks to that tech money and Hollywood’s continuing (albeit diminishing) popularity, it looked as if California could sustain its mad spending, drug policies, pro-criminal policies, and generally huge government without imploding. Several recent reports, however, indicate that the implosion is coming fast.
To begin with, the state has gone from a $100 billion budget surplus last year to a probable $25 billion budget deficit this year. The accepted wisdom is that this is the first indication of a coming recession (never mind that we long ago entered a recession), but that’s not the whole story.
California’s draconian COVID policies ravaged large parts of its business sector. By the end of 2020, California’s economy was “fast losing momentum,” with over 300,000 people giving up on jobs. This was at the height of pandemic madness, but California never let up on those policies. Since COVID began, 53 companies with over 100 employees have left California, the majority of them heading to the Southeast (Texas, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Florida, along with a handful of other states).
Image: California Dream farm crate label from 1928. No known restrictions.
That’s the big picture—a state with stunning human and natural resources that should be thriving no matter what (kind of like Florida) that’s engaged in a slow economic collapse. But as Ron Popiel would say, “but wait, there’s more.” Here are just a few recent headlines:
In San Francisco, “Low BART ridership could lead to drastic measures like cutting weekend service”: BART is one of the major public transportation arteries in the San Francisco Bay Area. Despite receiving $1.6 billion in federal assistance (which is expected to last through 2025), BART’s ridership has declined so much that it simply cannot make ends meet. The cause? COVID. Two years after lockdowns began, ridership is at only 35% of pre-COVID levels.
“California looks to ban all gas and diesel truck fleets.” Despite Germany’s example, as that nation struggles to manage without the coal and nuclear plants it self-righteously shut down, confident that Ukraine would do its dirty lifting when it came to the fuels necessary to run a modern nation, California is continuing to attack fossil fuel:
The California Air Resources Board has laid out an ambitious plan to eventually force all diesel truck fleets off the road, with varying timelines. This includes mandating that all new trucks operating around busy railways and ports be zero-emission vehicles by 2024; phasing out all diesel trucks from those areas by 2035; and eventually taking every diesel truck and bus fleet off California roads by 2045, where feasible.
The proposed Advance Clean Fleets regulation first targets the busiest trucking areas in the state — around warehouses, sea ports and railways.
Equity drives this policy suicide. Heavily trafficked areas tend to depress real estate prices, which means that poor people move in—and thanks in large part to the pro-poverty policies leftists have pushed onto minorities for decades, these areas are heavily minority. It’s an endless downward spiral because ending trucking will impoverish poor “Black and Brown” people even more.
Speaking of the obsession with race, two telling headlines popped up: The first blared, “‘Absolutely a hate crime’: Racist banners displayed on Walnut Creek walkway.” What did these hysteria-inducing signs say? “White Lives Matter” and “It’s OK to be pro-white.” In California, pushing back against racism is hate.
Meanwhile, San Francisco’s Elections director lost his job because he is White. The Elections Commissioner was open about the reason:
She did not dispute that San Francisco has run free, fair and functional elections for 20 years. Rather, she says, it was time to open up this position to a more diverse field; the city, she said, could not make progress on its racial equity goals without opening up its top positions.
“Our decision wasn’t about your performance, but after twenty years we wanted to take action on the City’s racial equity plan and give people an opportunity to compete for a leadership position,” reads an email sent from commission president Chris Jerdonek to Arntz. “We also wanted to allow enough time for a fair and equitable process and conduct as broad a search as possible.”
Being fired on account of your race should be a slam-dunk wrongful termination lawsuit. However, the suit would have to be filed in San Francisco’s state or federal courts, and that means no dice.
I remember growing up in a Golden State only slightly tarnished by the filth and drugs the hippies brought with them. Now, the state has turned to dross. It’s sad but, given its one-party leftist rule, inevitable.