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We’ve Legislated The Middle Class Out Of California

Beware politicians who tell you that you need their help – what you want in a democracy is a system where no one blocks your upward mobility.

But with a legislative culture that relies on creating people dependent on government, and regulations designed to insure that only the rich can start a business, California has put in motion a shocking decline in the middle class – as Joel Kotkin at The Daily Beast phrases it, we have created feudalism for the 21st century.

The antithesis of California liberalism is that a few will benefit at the expense of the multitude but we see it happening here and nationwide. Nationwide, it is with health care – about 10 million people are without health insurance so we are going to force them to buy it even if they don’t need it or want it, with the reason being that everyone must pay so the system can help everyone. But for those few to benefit, the multitude must suffer. For 10 million people to be insured, all 100 million taxpayers must suffer.

Mainstream news has to highlight shocking outliers to gain attention, so older people saying “I was laughing at Boehner until the mail came today” – and found they were going to pay $10,000 more per year – are only giving a shot of dopamine to people who hate Obamacare anyway. But the California problem has been ongoing. It used to be called ‘white flight’ but that is politically incorrect now so instead they say ‘middle class disappearing act’.

In the 1980s, California had 60% middle class people – and just about equal political representation. Today, California has 36% Republicans redistricted into 20% of the Congressional seats and a state legislature that changed its own rules so the majority did not need any minority votes at all. What happened in the 1980s? The first immigration amnesty, which supposedly was going to fix the illegal immigration problem. Now 23.5 percent of the state lives in poverty, but Californians don’t believe it. When you ask, they cite places like Mississippi or some other place where religious people and Republicans are. Californians don’t realize we have created a poverty problem, instead the rationalization becomes that because we take in poor immigrants, there are more of them.

And they can’t get upward mobility. We have created France, where you have to be connected to go upward. Kotkin cites state Democratic Senator Roderick Wright, who represents a heavily minority district and compares the state’s regulatory regime to the “vig” or high interest charged by the Mafia, calling it a major reason for disinvestment in many industries.

Silicon Valley doesn’t stand up to it, they can afford to be progressives because they are in white collar jobs and export all of their manufacturing to poor countries. California has 500,000 fewer jobs than when President Obama took office while Texas is up almost 1,000,000. Even in the tech sector, jobs are at 1999 levels. Texas advertises here as a place for companies and people to move to escape the taxes and regulation. They don’t mention the social authoritarianism, but that is only on the coasts and those people are not moving to Texas anyway.

The only challenge to the status quo is going to come from people who feel like the state is not far left enough. California barely defeated a bizarre, poorly-worded resolution putting warning labels on GMOs – even after they made sure to exempt GMOs in organic food, alcohol and restaurants. It shouldn’t have been close, it was anti-science scare-mongering by homeopathic quacks and organic food companies. But it was close – and they are not going to stop until they win.

Kotkin writes a good piece.

California’s New Feudalism Benefits a Few at the Expense of the Multitude by Joel Kotkin The Daily Beast

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