This in recently from Reason.com: California’s is a Cautionary Tale for America. Excerpt:
In a series of tweets, Donald Trump has depicted California as a “cautionary tale” for the rest of the United States, as CalMatters recently noted. As is often the case with this president, his ideas are a mixed bag and his incendiary approach is less than constructive. But, as someone who has been writing about California’s policies for two decades, I concede that he makes a valid point.
California bounds from one crisis to another, with most of them being self-imposed. The latest one involves the raging wildfires that turned our air into a putrid soup. Obviously, heat waves and high winds were the proximate cause, but poor land management, ill-conceived liability and insurance laws, and the misuse of existing firefighting budgets are the fundamental problems.
The last crisis involved homelessness. Just because COVID-19 pushed it off of the front pages doesn’t mean that it’s become any less severe. “Gavin N has done a really bad job on taking care of the homeless population in California,” Trump tweeted last year. “If he can’t fix the problem the Federal Govt. will get involved.” The president and his supporters have depicted San Francisco, with its festering homeless issue, as a dystopia.
Trump is right that our state, which thinks that building $700,000 per unit housing for the homeless is a good idea, has done its usual terrible job. As a believer in federalism, I disagree with giving federal bureaucrats a bigger role in a state problem. I visit San Francisco regularly and it remains one of the world’s great cities despite the encampments and defecation. But it’s on a downward trajectory.
When cost of living is included in the calculation, California has the highest poverty rates in the nation. Its obscene housing costs, which are the direct result of poor policy choices, is the reason so many Californians struggle. Instead of reforming the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), slicing developer fees and eliminating urban-growth boundaries, the state is committed to more “affordable” housing subsidies.
This is the result of one-party rule, True Believers.
While the Constitution grants the states great power in organizing elections, sometimes that latitude backfires. Case in point: California’s “jungle primary” system, where the two candidates in a general election are the top two vote recipients in the open primary, regardless of party, which can (in California) result in a Democrat running against a Democrat. The result here has been a supermajority of Democrats in California for some time now.
By the fruits of their labors shall ye know them, and look at the fruits of the labors of California’s Democrats: A state literally and figuratively on fire, riots in the streets, feces and discarded needles on the sidewalks, bums passed out blocking the doorways of small businesses already struggling under onerous taxes and overbearing regulations. Look also at some of the highest housing costs in the nation, and (adjusted for the cost of living) some of the highest rates of people working for below-poverty level pay.
Congressional Democrats want to take this show on the road. There used to be a saying, “as goes California, so goes the country.” I can’t think of a more horrifying end to the greatest nation in human history.
Election Day is coming fast. You know what to do.