Thursday, March 31, 2011

Californai--nutville or great place to live?

On an unrelated forum I mentioned by lifelong pleasure at being a Californian, saying (jokingly, pretty much) that "I've felt a smug sense of locational superiority to other Americans..." . I got this comment:

George says:
This is why most of Americans think that people in California are way too weird, smarmy to excess, and now they may have to bail them out from their fiscal excesses. Great people there. Every time a Californian tries to say something, no matter how refined in ability, most people in this great nation look upon them as irresponsible hippies. But that's just me talking... 
My response:
Actually, George, California is and has been for many years, a donor state. Which means every year we send far more money to Washington then we ever get back. That money is distributed to "conservative" states as pork, to Republican communities that never seem to object to what amounts to liberal welfare.

And most states, Red and Blue, are in deep trouble now, due to Washington trying to balance its books by withdrawing much/most of the state aid that used to go out--and to states making unbreakable pension promises to employees that are now biting them in the you-know-what. Most of those state employee unions are Democratic, but three of the biggest categories of pension pork are solidly Republican--police, prison guards, and firefighters. So it's a bipartisan fiscal black hole.

Texas, one of the most conservative states, has for years bragged about being in far better shape fiscally than California. Now it turns out the Republican state government was simply lying. So they're both fiscally profligate--like the Democrats--and serial liars--not a Republican monopoly, but, if you read regularly, you'll see that Democrats shade the truth and spin it wildly, while Republicans just lie, brazenly and repeatedly, depending on the vast financial resources of their patrons to say those lies so often and from so many paid mouthpieces that many take them for truth.

Moreover, a majority of the people living in most of California's geography--i.e. away from the coast--are actually conservative, politically and socially. And even here on the coast a substantial minority is, like my spouse, socially and politically very conservative.

Lastly, despite the looniness which abounds, to be sure, we've led in things that are now generally accepted and adopted by everyone else--such as banning smoking in public places, and setting higher emissions standards for vehicles and industry.

And we can't get our financial house in order because (1) the state's Democrats and Republicans colluded in making the state heavily gerrymandered, which has stuffed the legislature with left- and right- wing extremists who can't compromise, and (2) our supermajority rule for taxing/spending legislation has enabled one third of the electorate (the conservative third) to dictate to the rest, making for minority rule.

Texas is also heavily gerrymandered, but rather than doing so through collusion, it was strictly designed to make Democratic voters disproportionately under-represented, using every dirty trick in the book to do so, after a state election putting Republicans firmly in charge that has now been revealed to have been accomplished through illegal corporate campaign contributions engineered by now-convicted criminal Tom DeLay.

Bottom line: California and other Democratic donor states have been carrying the Red states for decades. I will gladly listen to Red state denizens pontificating about how we should put our house in order--after, and only after, the Red states voluntarily renounce the Liberal welfare they've been receiving for so long.

Wanna take bets on the odds of the new Republican House of Representatives fixing this?

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