by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Has California become premodern?
Millions of fed-up middle-class taxpayers have fled the state. Their presence as a stabilizing influence is sorely missed. About one-third of the nation’s welfare recipients live in California. Millions of poor newcomers require enormously expensive state health, housing, education, legal, and law-enforcement services.
California is now a one-party state. Democrats have supermajorities in both houses of the legislature. Only seven of the state’s 53 congressional seats are held by Republicans. The result is that there is no credible check on a mostly coastal majority.
Huge global wealth in high-tech, finance, trade, and academia poured into the coastal corridor, creating a new nobility with unprecedented riches. Unfortunately, the new aristocracy adopted mindsets antithetical to the general welfare of Californians living outside their coastal enclaves. The nobodies have struggled to buy high-priced gas, pay exorbitant power bills, and deal with shoddy infrastructure — all of which resulted from the policies of the distant somebodies.
California’s three most powerful politicians — House speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Dianne Feinstein and Governor Gavin Newsom — are all multimillionaires. Their lives, homes, and privileges bear no resemblance to those of other Californians living with the consequences of their misguided policies and agendas.
The state’s elite took revolving-door entries and exits for granted. They assumed that California was so naturally rich, beautiful, and well-endowed that there would always be thousands of newcomers who would queue up for the weather, the shore, the mountains, and the hip culture.
Yet California is nearing the logical limits of progressive adventurism in policy and politics.