California nightmares

There’s already plenty of documentation about the collapse of California and how its citizens legislated it from a land of opportunity to a hell hole that punishes anyone with ambition and a dream. In the annals of its decline, this small item will surely pass unnoticed but it’s emblematic of what happened. In fact, I think it sums up the whole sorry saga quite neatly.

Under a California law enabling people to sue for violations of the disabilities act, here’s a wheelchair-bound cripple who makes “in the low six figures” by suing companies for, say, having an outside towel dispenser too high off the ground. Each suit is for a few thousand dollars – to small to make it worthwhile defending against, to expensive to pay and stay in business. I again urge readers to give their kids a copy of Dr. Seuss’s “Thidwick, the Big Hearted Moose”. He described what was coming just around the same time Ayn Rand wrote “Atlas Shrugged.” Maybe it was the fallout from open air nuclear testing – who knows?

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82 responses to “California nightmares

  1. Don't think so

    “to[o] small to make it worthwhile defending against, to[o] expensive to pay and stay in business”

    Can’t both be true, can they?

  2. christopherfountain

    I think what I was trying to say was each individual claim of, say, $1,000 is too small to justify paying $5 – $10,000 in legal fees to defend against but the steady accumulation of these cases adds up to a substantial burden. Couple it with a few thousand other California regulations and laws and businesses flee the state. Which they’re doing. And when the Legislature imposes still more taxes on “the rich” as they’re threatening to do, still more will flee. Sooner, not later, California will be populated solely by welfare takers and bearded professors in Berkeley. Then who pays the bills?

  3. DebtVulture

    California is in such bad shape that they may give IOUs to those expecting income tax refunds this year. Here is one link to this story:

    http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/politics&id=6586660

    I would hope there would be demonstrations if this actually comes to pass. People need to get angry at the gov’t for their fiscal mismanagement across the board!!!

  4. Ming the Merciless Siamese Cat

    “I think what I was trying to say. . . .”

    Dude, if you don’t know, who does?

  5. Hogarth

    Then who pays the bills?

    I’ll hazard a guess. The producers that are fleeing California are the same people that voted for the very entitlement programs that are bankrupting the state. They will relocate to new states and immediately begin enacting the exact same untenable entitlement plans.

    The consumers will follow, having no other choice. Watch for Oregon, Idaho, Washington, and Colorado to follow the same self-destructive path as California when the new imports begin following their socialist Utopian dreams again.

  6. RickenAxer

    We’re seeing it in Colorado, Hogarth. The Californians, with their good intentions, destroyed their beautiful state and are now coming to destroy ours.

  7. They’re kind of like locusts.

  8. Peg C.

    Thus the immutable Law of Unintended Consequences, formerly known as “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

  9. Thidwick

    This is already happening to New Hampshirites from the Massachussetts exodus crowd.

  10. Clint Eastwood struck a blow for business owners by fighting one of these ADA law firms that use a professional plaintiff who goes from business to business suing for alleged violations such as faded paint marking handicapped parking spaces. The suits are for around $10,000 and cost at least as much to defend. Eastwood fought one, spending a lot of money, but got a judgement that led to one law firm being disbarred.

  11. tyree

    “…and how its citizens legislated it from a land of opportunity to a hell hole that punishes anyone with ambition and a dream.”

    Don’t blame all of the citizens. When my CongressCritter was elected at least 800 illegal immigrants voted for her. I haven’t had any Congressional or Senatorial representation for years. She and most of our other representatives vote for what is good for the illegal immigrants because they out number us now. My grandson is the only one in his kindergarten class who is not in ESL (English as a Second Language).
    Many of the people leaving California are like my sisters and their families. They left because the couldn’t afford home because they were competing with illegals with sub-prime loans.
    A state (or country) can’t absorb millions of poor uneducated illegal immigrants for decades and decades and not suffer some ill effects. If you protest illegal immigration into your state and someone calls you a racist, just tell them you don’t want to wind up like California.

  12. Juan Gonz

    Then who pays the bills?

    I will, along with every other American who doesn’t live in California; the Cali reps have already sidled up to Bernanke looking for a bailout.

    But Hogarth is right too. Like parasites, the same people who destroyed California will drift over the borders, infesting nearby states and proceeding to drag them into the abyss too.

    Self-important types would never be happy sitting on the sidelines, they will feel compelled to get involved in politics and lobbying….and there goes the west.

  13. Having lived my entire 55 years in California I must sadly agree that the good intentioned people of this state have sealed their own doom.

    We’ve had so much for so long I don’t think people realized that there is an upper limit to everything. Even with the economy in a shambles Californian’s voted for new bond issues and sales tax increases in the last election. It makes one wonder about the sanity of the electorate, however considering that so many here can’t even manage their own finances what would make one think that they would make astute judgments about their own state finances.

    For the first time in our lives my wife and I are considering retiring to another state. You can bet we will make it one without a lot of California’s ex patriots.

  14. g.e. Taylor

    Boo-hoo-hoo.
    Much like our banking system – claiming to have been debauched by laws such as the “Community Re-investment Act” – the rest of the business community has decided to “play-the-victim”.
    The only response to these types of threats or lawsuits is:
    “We don’t make deals with crooks like you.”
    Fight or die

  15. Djordan

    Heh, makes them sound like a disease. Maybe we should quarantine California? Not only would this be enforcing the You made your bed, so now lie in it world philosophy, but it could be a very interesting social experiment. What happens to a society when there is no incentive to work, and there is no where else to go?

  16. Kevin

    Whatever happened to judges throwing frivolous cases out of court?

    • christopherfountain

      That’s the point – California law specifically encourages this kind of frivolous crap.

  17. Pingback: Red County, California: Professional Suit Artist

  18. John Pearley Huffman

    Google “Jarek Molski” for more on this sort of ADA abuse. Compared to Molski, the guy in the CNN report is a total piker.

  19. T. Johnson

    It’s not being born or raised in Calif. that makes one pass laws that encourage this type of behavior. It is the belief that Gov. is the solution and that “new” laws are always better than “old” laws. That “change” is always for the better. What Californians did to California is what Americans are now doing to America.

  20. Jeffersonian

    And what starts in California becomes a trend throughout the nation. Behold the looter society, a round-robin purse snatching contest. We’ll all be poorer and less free as a result, but isn’t that the whole point of leftism anyway?

  21. Darrell

    “Don’t Californicate Colorado” bumperstickers were the rage here over thirty years ago. Unfortunately, it’s happened.

  22. Peg C.

    “What happens to a society when there is no incentive to work, and there is no where else to go?” Sounds like Gaza, North Korea, and Zimbabwe to me.

  23. Chris

    I moved from CA to Austin 3 years ago when we started a family (many reasons: schools, cost of living, culture). There’s a lot of anti-CA sentiment here too, but it’s mostly due to resentment of the resulting home-price inflation, population growth, and dilution of the local culture. I haven’t heard anyone complain that the CA folks are going to bring taxes and regulation. Austin is the state capitol and a college town, so much of the population is predisposed to taxes and regulation anyway.

    The people moving out of CA are mostly go-getters who are willing to make the short-term sacrifice of relocating to enjoy long-term gains. All our short-sighted, self-pitying friends have stayed behind and continue to whine about how hard life is without any concept of why things in CA are so hard.

  24. glenn

    Compounding Californias problems is an educational system that fails dismally to teach reading, English, and basic math, and I’m not sure this is an accident. If you can’t count you can’t manage. Weight of numbers has a lot to do with our decline as well, when there were 17 million people here California was paradise. With 31 or 37 or whatever million it’s getting a little crowded.

  25. tyree

    So, in summation:
    1. Don’t vote for liberal Democrats
    2. Stop illegal immigration
    3. If you vote for Republicans, make sure they are not RINOs. (Republicans in name only)
    4. Do not vote for liberal Judges. Almost all of out attempts to fix these problems are blocked by liberal judges. We just had a judge invalidate many emergency generator permits because there might be a negative environmental impact to a disaster. Remember, judges don’t care what it costs. They just don’t care what their ruling costs.
    5. Amend the Constitution so that the children of illegal immigrants do not automatically become citizens. Make the Federal Government responsible for not enforcing our immigration laws, and stop the “Sanctuary City” disaster.
    6. If you county unions say they want the same benefits as police and fire fighters, politely decline and point out that clerks tend to live longer. Do not just hand out the peoples money under any circumstances.
    7. Don’t blame all Californians, Bruce Hirshensen carried every county except Los Angeles and San Francisco, but he still lost to Diane Fienstein.
    8. Don’t listen to anyone who wants to “save the environment” but isn’t working to stop illegal immigration. The illegals are not setting up tents on the prairie, they are living in overcrowded apartments and driving gas guzzling SUVs.

    That won’t fix everything, but it’s a start.

  26. JorgXMcKie

    Aristotle knew 2500 years or so ago that democracies fail when ‘the mob’ realizes it can use the government to redistribute wealth (accumulated income) from those who build and save to those who consume and tear down.

    Our Founders strove mightily to make it difficult for this to happen, but damming human behavior is like trying to roll back the tides. (Although maybe Obama can do both.)

  27. RKV

    California has the 7th largest economy in the world (if it alone were viewed as a country) so it”s economic failure is not good for our country folks. Nor do most Americans know that California pays more in taxes to the feds than it gets back, so it subsidizes places like New Mexico where the reverse is true. And yes the place has problems of its own making. Meanwhile the feds don’t enforce our borders, which certainly doesn’t help California. Simply put, its in the self-interest of all Americans that California get straightened out, which we will do with or without you. Hope you enjoy getting ass deep in snow today while I go to the beach.

  28. Valjean

    Chris,

    Thanks for that. We moved from CA to WA for the same reasons. To all of you claiming ex-Californians are coming to ruin “your” state, we are at least one example of the opposite: those who *want* responsible government, abhor litigious idiots, and run profitable businesses. That’s *why* we left the sinking ship.

    I lived in CA for 42 of my first 44 years, but I don’t recognize it anymore. For the record, most of us old-timers naturally used to whine that it was the newcomers (legal or not) who ruined things (e.g., most of the Hollywood types I met were actually from NY).

  29. Redman

    For too long in this country, people in wheelchairs couldn’t even get into a post office. I find it much less offensive for a handicapped person to object to things like not being able to use a toilet than I do a racial minority demanding a quota system to compensate for their failure to achieve.

  30. Whitehall

    I, for one, am sticking to my guns! I ain’t leaving California and I’m not going down without a fight.

    There are still many conservatives in the state and, to their credit, the voters often make the right decision at the ballot box. Andrenna Huffington only got 0.63% of the vote when she ran for governor.

    Here in Silicon Valley, visitors have noticed the empty office space in my complex. Fortunately, my company has a big contract to build new nukes in Texas.

    And yes, the government schools are mediocre at everything except liberal indoctrination. My 12 y/o insisted I not eat Kentucky Fried Chicken last night, claiming that they boil their chickens alive! Wonder where she picked up that little story?

  31. MarkJ

    Sooner, not later, California will be populated solely by welfare takers and bearded professors in Berkeley. Then who pays the bills?

    A fearless prediction: no one will pay the bills. The bearded professors will finally put their asserted intelligence to good use and also flee California–before they’re shot by the welfare takers. Once this happens, the welfare takers will shortly thereafter all be washed out to sea after California is hit by a major earthquake, and slides into the ocean, or is inundated by a tsunami.

    Either way, smart investors are already scoping out “future beachfront property” in Phoenix AZ.

  32. mwl

    “What happens to a society when there is no incentive to work, and there is no where else to go?”

    We’ve seen this before. It called itself the Soviet Union. It didn’t end well.

  33. gk1

    Well I hate to point out the ADA regulations are a federal construct foisted on to the American people by Bush 41 in 1992. Its the law of the land. I don’t think anyone considered the immense expense to make the united states 100% accessible. Of course we should want the disabled to be able to live fulfilling lives and have as much access as anyone else. Yet we also need to use common sense and provide protection for business owners against predatory professional ADA hit squads.

    • christopherfountain

      No argument regarding the ADA but California took things a step further (pardon the pun) by allowing private suits to enforce it. That opened the door to nuisance suits because, while business owners would probably comply with an order from the government to fix a defective condition, litigants in California have no incentive to offer that chance – they want to sue and collect the suit’s nuisance value.

  34. cottus

    Well, California is a trend setter. And Americans do love their lawyers so, for that is the Great American Promise – with the right lawyer (for the right money!) You can break any law, screw any enemy, cancel any obligation. People do get the government they deserve. So adios amigos!

    And who will piss on the corpse first? Our compadres to the South, or the followers of the Religion of Peace?

  35. RPD

    It isn’t just a California thing, it Western European Socialism in a nutshell. It is just so seductive to have the government give you free stuff, shorten your work hours, extend your vacations, and generally do all the “good” that ought to be done. In voting for all this “good” few people consider the costs.

    Places like California, Massachusetts, and so on have fallen into the same trap as countries like the UK and France, and it’s eating the economies up.

    The sad thing is that this creeping socialism will continue to creep so long as people can vote themselves stuff from the govt. and politicians are eager to give it to them.

  36. Michiganguy

    “Simply put, its in the self-interest of all Americans that California get straightened out, which we will do with or without you. ”

    (giggle behind hand)

    Yeah, I remember when Michigan people used to talk like that. The Midwest was once the California of its day, and it was all loud and proud too. See you at the bottom, dude, I can see you heading this way already, and you are only picking up speed.

  37. Stubbornly Californian

    California is simply too big. The interests of the people from Crescent City to San Ysidro, from Alturas to Winterhaven can’t be taken into account. We get least common denominator government that eschews decision-making for uneasy compromise that leverages the future to provide for an unsustainable present.

    If California were a company, it would be bankrupt.

    The solution is dissolution: California—like several other states—needs to be dissolved into a number of smaller states so that state government can function effectively. Six or seven states should result from the dissolution: Shasta, Sierra, San Francisco, Atascadero, Mojave, Los Angeles and Mojave.

    Los Angeles and the Bay Area, like New York City, should be their own city-states. They are enormous metropolitan areas of a sort the founders could not have envisioned. As is, they dominate the state to the detriment of the rest of the residents.

    As the population grows, the only way to maintain representative government is to create more, smaller governments that are closely linked to their people. The alternative is the huge, faceless fascism of bureaucracy.

  38. Hubby and I fled California nearly 3 years ago to re-settle in the Midwest. Not nice weather, but the distinct lack of hippies makes it worthwhile.

    Real estate agents in our area have said Californians are making up a big part of their sales these days…

  39. Stubbornly Californian

    Our compadres to the South

    Will be gone in the next 5-10 years. Mexico is falling apart from its own mis-governance. The U.S. will have to bail it out economically and provide security guarantees, i.e., occupy it.

  40. willis

    “Simply put, its in the self-interest of all Americans that California get straightened out, which we will do with or without you.”

    No it isn’t, your gross national product will simply become the gross national product of other states. It’ll be a cold day at the beach when you straighten out anything. It was your perverted mindset that got you into this mess to start with and nothing is on the horizon to change that mindset.

  41. Chris,
    I’m with Valjean….
    Thanks for the defense of people who are leaving California to build better, productive lives elsewhere. I moved to CO to give my family a better life overall. I love it here. The people here are very welcoming to people who exhibit common sense.

    We are ANOTHER example of hard working people who are willing to make short term sacrifices to enjoy the long-term gains of lower taxes, better schools, cleaner environments and just being around “normal” people again. (Subjective term, I know, but when you’ve been locked in with the inmates for twenty years, EVERYONE outside the wall tends to look better.)

    Look at this way. Most of the people I know who were leaving CA want to help their new home states establish a beachhead against the loonies that we left behind. In no way shape or form do I want to move away from CA only to have the same problems re-surface here. Basic form of economic and social war-fare…pick the best defensive spot and dig in. California is NOT the high ground.

  42. Roy

    Doesn’t the California Republican party have to take some of the blame.

    Except for Arnold’s election – under highly unusual conditions – the state’s Republicans cannot win a state wide election due to their abortion position.

    A fact the Democrats use to divide and rule.

    Roe V Wade is not going to be changed. We Republicans need to accept this and move on.

  43. HaloJones-Fan

    There’s a bit of a fun interaction in San Francisco…restaurants on the North Beach aren’t permitted to modify the sidewalks going into their buildings, which means that it’s legally impossible for them to be ADA-compliant!

  44. JMH

    WA is already a mess, and got started down that road without any help from expat Californians. But I think both states had the same fundamental problem – each state’s Republican Party became functionally incompetent, usually unable to win elections and always unable to get anything accomplished if they did. So the Democrats – mostly from the big-city political machines, SF and LA in CA, Seattle in WA – were able to run things without any real opposition, which meant not only stupid policies but corrupt ones. Both states had prosperous economies that allowed the mismanagement to continue. Now all that’s changed and both are in for trouble. I wish that I could say the trouble will force a reckoning, but that didn’t seem to happen in the Rust Belt, so I’m not optimistic for the Hippie-Belt.

    And Valjean’s right about the New Yorkers. I was born and raised in CA, and most of the people who epitomized the negative CA stereotypes were east-coast transplants or their kids. The hippies came from God-only-knows-where. But they were just symptoms, they didn’t cause the problem. Federal Eco-crusades destroyed the timber, fishing and mining industries, and illegal immigration converted farm hands from native-born folks (often with Mexican or old Californios ancestry) who had an interest in the future of the state into migrants looking for a paycheck and a night in town once a week.

    The result was a disconnect from reality and a shift to nanny-state Democrat rule. Surprise, nothing good comes from that. If you live in a different state and don’t want this to happen to you, don’t bitch about Californication. Study what happened, how a state populated by can-do individuals and blessed with as much natural bounty as any place on earth could fall apart like this.

  45. JMS

    Just ask Nevadans how much they like Californians?

  46. kattest123

    A large part of the problem isn’t so much regular citizens or nanny-style laws as it is elected officials who frequently act more like paid agents of the Mexicangovernment than U.S. elected officials. Or, certain governors who want to help banks profit from money that was earned illegally:

    http://24ahead.com/bank-on-california-illegal

  47. Brian

    There is no saving CA. Even at this time the leadershipship still thinks they have an income problem rather than a spending problem. The people in that state tried to solve the illegal problem with Prop 187 and were promptly overruled by a Judge who said their voice didn’t matter. The writing was on the wall then.

  48. ginsocal

    I left once, for Idaho, and came back due to family issues. We can’t wait to get out again, this time permanently. This place has become a Third-world country. I have gone days at a time without hearing a single word of English.

    To it’s credit, the state has tried to reign in the ADA lawsuit abuse, with the most egregious attorney being disbarred. Yet there is no shortage of stories of small businesses going under due to ADA lawsuit idiocy.

  49. Some Guy

    You know, speaking as a Republican who opposed him at the time, I blame Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

    1. George H.W. Bush signed the law that gave professional plaintiffs like these attorneys’ fees for even minor violations that cause no harm.

    2. George W. Bush’s Adminsitration amended the ADAAG , which is the “building code” for accessibility. By amending the ADAAG, Bush doubled its size and complexity. No one even noticed that he applied the ADA to EMPLOYEE WORK AREAS for the first time. Don’t think it’s fair to blame the President for selling you out? He sent a personal representative to OMB meetings on the rulemaking and approved it himself.

    Long story short from this conservative, the Bush family sold you out, small business.

  50. tyree

    Christopher Fountain is right. The lawsuit industry does not give the property owner a chance to get a screwdriver and lower (or raise) the paper towel dispenser. The business and property owners just get screwed. Americans do NOT love their lawyers. American politicians do. Heck, to many politicians are lawyers, that is one reason they think the answer to everything is more laws.

  51. Doug Collins

    Darn California Okies.

  52. martin

    Another California Nightmare:

    U.S. military report warns ‘sudden collapse’ of Mexico is possible

    http://www.elpasotimes.com/newupdated/ci_11444354

  53. Mark

    Heh. People may be leaving CA faster than ever before, but the whining in other states about them moving in next door has been around for much, much longer. It’s about as annoying as the whining within California by those who want to blame San Francisco or the illegal immigrants for all of their problems.

    A victim mentality doesn’t become you, whoever you are. You’re adults, learn to live with others and constructively address your problems instead of expecting a degree of continuity in, and control over life that you simply aren’t guaranteed (by man or God).

  54. Cee

    Said person sued my company – we reached a compromise but it is such a joke. The wisdom of our high courts, 9th District, allows such abuse, so I say every handicapped person should do the same, abuse the law, and then the 9th would look foolish and maybe change might happen.

  55. possum1027

    That is a pretty crummy way to make a living

  56. Seerak

    California is in such bad shape that they may give IOUs to those expecting income tax refunds this year.

    That, at least, is relatively easy to defeat: just apply your 2008 refund to your 2009 tax payments, and then use the DE 4 form to keep more of your paycheck.

  57. nearlynormalized

    More power to him. Make a law, stand by it or else the man in the wheelchair will work it for what is printed and deemed law. Way to go, get it right or pay up.

  58. comatus

    “Hope you enjoy getting ass deep in snow today while I go to the beach.”

    Well aren’t you a regular one-man Chamber of Commerce. I will enjoy that snow today. It’s deer season, and we can shoot dinner here–with a lead bullet. In the snow. Ass-deep, on a good day. With no mudslides. And the deer don’t even sue.

    At my beach, you can drink the water. Water–you know, that stuff you pipe in from Colorado? I have enough to grow a crop, water a lawn, rust a car. You have whatever the federales can steal you. We’re gonna fix that. And oil, and electricity? Oh baby. Things are about to change.

    Your “seventh-largest economy in the world” ties you with Italy. I like the Italians! But I don’t need them. We make our own wine, so I sure as hell do not need you. Once the Chinese finish their canal, they won’t need you either. Face it, you’re a hobby.

    Tell you what. You keep your “subsidy.” The rest of us will manage to take care of those big, bad New Mexicans who are hurting you so badly. If you had ham, you could have ham and eggs–if you had eggs.

  59. Paul in NJ

    NOwhere is safe. New Jersey is doing its damndest to emulate California. We’re bankrupt financially, ethically, and politically (boo-yah, Illinois: We’re Number One!). The only job growth in the past several years has been in the public sector: half a million new jobs and growing. Private sector employment? Flat… and falling.

    See you on the other side.

  60. 1SG

    Washington State has been overrun by Californians trying to escape a failing state for the past decade. In WA’s more populous areas (Puget Sound) it’s practically three CA escapees to every one indigenous Washingtonian (and this is the same region that drives the elections.) Every one of these folks that I’ve met left CA because of the cost of living and the crime and have done nothing but bring their stupid politics that created the mess to begin with right up into our formerly nice State, making WA just as unbearable as what they fled from to begin with…stupid fools! Now if they’d all just pack up and go to their “utopian” Cuba so we could be rid of them once and for all.

  61. Maybe we should be blaming lawyers for microgovernment? But on the other hand, that dude has the right to be angry that he’s basically a second-class citizen in these kinds of places.

  62. Michael In Seattle

    The problem comes down to a joke taken literally: “Republicans view Democrats as the Stupid Party, and Democrats view the Republicans as the Evil Party”.

    Watching the implosion of California from our view from the precipice of Washington, we’re reminded that we *have* to vote Democrat, no matter how idiotic. Why? Because, well, we *can’t* vote for the Republicans, not matter what they stand for. After all, they’re Republicans! And the corrupt Democrats continue to drown us in feel-good rhetoric and identity politics.

    It is the pervasiveness of this delusional partisanship that has doomed California, turned Oregon (well, ok. The Willamette valley, dragging the rest of the State along kicking and screaming) into a delusional eco-hippy one party state, and threatens Washington with insolvency.

    What’s sad is the citizenry see it happening, and clamor for solutions. Just not from the evil Republicans. Anything but that.

    Sometimes you get what you ask for. This would be one of those times.

  63. TheAbstractor

    Nobody seems willing to admit the obvious, though a brave few are at least dancing around the issue.

    American democracy–as structured–is falling apart. Our electorate doesn’t vote for rationally, voting for politicians who don’t act ethically. A revolution is needed to stop these unjust confiscations of our property and unjust infringement of our rights. And by the looks of it, it won’t happen through the ballot box and legislative debate alone. Hopefully such a revolution can be effected peacefully, but if bullets do start flying, it wouldn’t be as if there aren’t alot of people who deserve to be hit by them.

    As a general rule, this country has a political upheaval every 70-80 years. First the Revolution, then the Civil War, then the Depression/WWII, now this. We shouldn’t shy away from this crisis, but embrace it and the lessons it will teach those who would subjugate us.

  64. smellytourist

    You have no proof he’s treated as a “second-class” citizen. Just because someone doesn’t have a towell rack low enough for you, doesn’t mean they think you’re second class.

    http://www.smellytourist.wordpress.com
    (STINKING UP WASHINGTON)

  65. Micha Elyi

    Who was it who said that if you tipped America up on its side all the loose screws and nuts would end up in California? What most people miss is that those loose bits come from other states. (Duh.)

    California was a fine, conservative Republican state until the Great Depression and World War II knocked America on its side. Dust bowl refugees from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and elsewhere plus other unemployed losers from the rest of America fled to California and brought their soak-the-rich Democrat politics with them. WWII demobilization allowed many who were originally from points east of the Golden State to park their larded parts here and stay, rather than return home. During WWII and through the Cold War, more people who couldn’t earn a job in their home state migrated here to take up a spot in the defense industries built up by California’s native innovators.

    The migrants brought soft-core socialism to California, one can look back at the data and see the trend was already strong in the 1950s and before that decade was out, this state was saddled with a Democrat governor who gleefully ran up this state’s debt on a building spree. Democrats took over the state’s legislature and have had an almost unbroken grip on it for half a decade since. Reagan’s election in 1966 was not a reversal of that trend; it was more of a rear-guard action that did not hold. The trend toward Democrat spend now, pay never utopianism and fad politics continued with Proposition 13 being little more than a pause.

    Those folks moving out of California today that people in other states resent for carrying the left-liberal political parasitism back home? They’re your own kind, kiddies, and they’re coming back home to roost.

  66. this isn’t about ideology — socialism or capitalism. i’m a native Californian, and I’m damned angry at all the self-serving asshats who make irrational demands on the commons. from agribusinesses (claiming their own entitlements while stealing natural resources from smaller farms through political gaming, not to mention using illegal immigrants for labor), to minority rights activists (giving unregistered children of illegal immigrants who do not pay taxes a free education, giving all of them healthcare, and even driving licenses), to unions (everything from teachers to firefighters), to high tech and regular industry/manufacturing who shirk their tax obligations…and yet we have some of the highest sales, income and property taxes in the land, coupled with the highest prices for basic commodities. our elected officials are beholden to these special interests. the majority of the population have no clue as to what is going on. letters to congressmen, editorials in newspapers, demonstrations — none of them work. if you take a position against, you’re a commie, a racist, or even a capitalist pig. there is no ideological position that can stand its ground without contadicting itself on one issue or another. the commons is ruined. civil society has abrogated its civic responsibilities. politicians have abrogated their responsibility to legislate rationally. and we have too many spoilers and moochers who try to subvert any viable solution for their own personal ends.

    and most of the people here are not even native californians! they are transplants from other states. so all of you who have said otherwise fail to understand the demographic problem — what you are likely seeing move into your neighborhoods are not native californians, but transplants who just came from California.

    personally, my wife and i are thinking of moving to Washington state or Oregon — what choice do we have? we are responsible citizens who don’t expect any entitlements. we have never in our lives taken an unemployment check, even though we have both been out of work in the past. we pay our taxes. we vote for fiscal prudence. we also recognize that managing the commons is important — so we vote for the funding of parks, natural resource protection areas, etc. we believe in the privelege of a good education — but recognize that the teachers unions have completely destroyed our schools with their incompetence and inflated sense of entitlements.

    i could go on. the issues are legion. they are complex. they often are interconnected. they always are convoluted by a body politic that is the product of our failed educational institutions — from the governors down to the mayors, from the legislature to the town councils, from corporate leaders to taco stand owners, and from parents to children — they simply don’t know how to think in responsible fiscal and civic terms.

    we’re done as a state. it is only a matter of time. i really, really do not hope that this is what is happening in other states, and to the country as a whole.

  67. just read Elyi’s comments…and agree on everything but one point — Elyi, take a look at what republican businessmen have done to this state. it’s not just the “democrats”. it’s everyone. they all had their hand in the cookie jar. and in some cases they colluded together when it suited their interests. this republicans-are-better thinking (and the other side as well) is what distracts us from real problem solving. ideology won’t fix our problems. rational thinking, justified by what we can afford, along with a healthy respect for (and necessarily, an understanding of) the importance of the commons is our only hope of arriving at a comprehensive problem solving process.

  68. Good subject. Money Magazine listed the top 10 worst real estate markets for 2009 and California has 8 out of 10.

  69. petdefense

    You have a point and the handicapped filing claims is not illegal. But of course that’s not how CA went in the toilet. Combo of factors spelling doomsday were on horizon for years. And (not related but WTH),HSUS is taking $$ w/people thinking they save pets.No, most of their legislation is aimed at anti-pet laws as lawsuits prove. They spent $52,000,000 for lawsuits,litigation,media,political lobbying in 07. $400,000+ soliciting churches/congregation tactics. Kids are a target too, as HSUS is the ‘political’ Peta, w/o all the stunts.They closed their Sacto office now. Beware of donating to humane society usa. They mislead the public well.

  70. tyree

    nerotype said, “that dude has the right to be angry that he’s basically a second-class citizen in these kinds of places”

    NO.

    Read up on what we have written. He is not even close to being a second class citizen. The people who do this quite often never visit the business in question. They file a lawsuit that cannot be dismissed without the services of a $5000 lawyer. One of the victims of these guys had to sell his wife’s jewelry to pay the judgment. Another guy claimed he couldn’t reach the “take a number please” machine. The business knew this and had an employee on hand to hand out numbers to everyone, but the guy sued. Security video showed no one in the store that day in a wheel chair, so whoever visited the store wasn’t even handicapped. Enduring a towel dispenser set an inch or so out of the code doesn’t make you “second class citizen”, it means a screwdriver needs to be used to reset the dispenser. The Handicapped code in California was enforced before the legislature finished writing it, so there are thousands of “legal” handicapped installations that don’t meet the code as it was formally adopted. First they force the property owner to make tens of thousands of dollars of changes to their property and then they encourage them to get sued if anything doesn’t fit the lawyers interpretation of the code. One lawyer in Irvine made $2 million dollars suing businesses under this law, and as far as anyone can tell, none of that money went to a handicapped person.

  71. tyree

    The Abstrator said, “American democracy–as structured–is falling apart.”

    When your vote is canceled by illegal immigrants, when judges overturn the peoples initiatives, when politicians support the “rights” of non-citizens over the well being of the state Democracy is in big trouble.

  72. deanadya

    nuclear testing?? 😦

  73. We left California (an Angelino by birth) 23 years ago because of the declining way of life and now it has bottomed out. Sadly, the escapees are heading to Colorado and inflicting the same kind of damage here. The state has already changed from R to D and the policies that naturally follow are alive and well here. Where to next?

  74. drunkenhopfrog

    Ayn Rand and Dr. Seuss mentioned together is about the most appropriate blog comment I have ever seen. Greenspan’s Rand-esque self policing free market turned up Greenspan Eggs and Rand Ham. Well done… even if unintentional.

    • christopherfountain

      Go back and read Thidwick – I suspect that Dr. Seuss didn’t do so often enough himself.

  75. Jinkies!

    Our family moved to CO from CA in the 70s and brought our solid Reagan conservative values with us. My dad’s business partner at the time was horrified by the deterioration of the Los Angeles school district where his daughter attended school and he chose Colorado as a good place to raise his family. He convinced my dad to bring us. My parents are now watching with dismay as the state goes blue (liberals used to be confined to Aspen and Boulder) with the new generation of Californians moving in. These newcomers just don’t get that they are sowing the seeds of a repeat of the decline that they are fleeing.

    I now live in Austin, TX which used to be the lone liberal hang out but Houston and Dallas are starting to get inundated with California libs who don’t go native once they get here. The one CA transplant I do like is our new police chief but, in general, the push to the left seems to be a depressingly irresistible force.

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