Government employees

California's Gold Done Gone

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Have I ever told you kids how awesome everything was before I got old?

"Back in the 1960s and 1970s, there was a seemingly endless parade of pop songs about how great life was in California, and millions of young Americans dreamed of moving to the land of sandy beaches and golden sunshine.  But now all of that has changed."

At DailyMarkets.com, Michael Snyder takes a long, strange trip to the contemporary Golden State, which has racked up an astonishing 19 strikes in its current at-bat.

Snyder, whose columns always erupt in entertaining fits of apocalepsy, here overstates the case a bit. The only bad news about governments' slashing of 37,300 jobs (#3 on the list) is that they're not slashing 373,000 jobs. (And of course, when jobs get terminated in government agencies, they and their pension liabilities have a habit of turning up miraculously alive in other agencies.)

But there's plenty of real trouble under the hood. A few of Snyder's 19 reasons people are thinking of loading up the truck and moving back to Lubbock:

#2 The number of people unemployed in the state of California is approximately equivalent to the populations of Nevada, New Hampshire and Vermont combined.

#4 California has the third highest state income tax in the nation: a 9.55% tax bracket at $47,055 and a 10.55% bracket at $1,000,000.

#5 California has the highest state sales tax rate in the nation by far at 8.25%.  Indiana has the next highest at 7%.

#6 Residents of California pay the highest gasoline taxes (over 67 cents per gallon) in the United States.

#7 Even with all of the taxes, the budget deficit for the California state government for the current year is approximately 19 billion dollars.

#9 20 percent of the residents of Los Angeles County are now receiving public aid.

#16 The "lawsuit climate" in California is ranked number 46 out of all 50 states.

#19 Large tent cities have been springing up all over the state of California.  Just check out the following shocking video news report…

Read 'em all, and note that we have located the 20th reason: The governor's wife (a member of the extended Kennedy clan, have we pointed that out?) is renaming the foodstamps program "CalFresh" in order to get more people to use it—because apparently there are still one or two Californians who are not on public assistance.

Always be wary of thinking the government's problems are your problems. Snyder worries a lot about state and local budget cuts, threats to various systems, and so on. These are the solutions to the problem; they're not the problem. To hear Jerry Brown tell it, California's economy was created by its government. To listen to the Republicans who have festooned the Central Valley with signs reading "Congress Created Dust Bowl" (please, people: hyphenate those compound modifiers), the state's agricultural fecundity—which predates both the United States and Spanish California—resulted from government policy. The appeal of California comes from the bounty of nature and a surplus of human ingenuity. Government can deplete both of those resources, but it's unlikely to destroy them.

Unfortunately there may be only one man left who can appreciate the riches of the Golden State, and Huell ain't runnin'…

NEXT: Spurious Anti-Prop. 19 Arguments: Overseas Edition

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  1. I think the beginning of the end was that scary song about a hotel in California, with steely knives, and not being able to leave and all.

    1. That was one of the last things I remembered…

    2. No, the scary part is where Californians -do- leave. We should treat their political culture as an ideological plague and quarantine it.

      1. “headed for the door”, as it were….

      2. sadly, there is some truth to that. They leave Ca for somewhere better and then do everything possible to turn better into the place they left behind.

    3. A few of Snyder’s 19 reasons people are thinking of loading up the truck and moving back to Lubbock:

      Now I sleep a little better at night;
      When I look in the mirror in the morning light,
      The man I see was both wrong and right:
      He’s going home again.

      I guess happiness was Lubbock, Texas in my rear view mirror,
      But now happiness is Lubbock, Texas growing nearer and dearer,
      And the vision is getting clearer in my dreams…

  2. Gee, I wonder what Cal-Fresh thinks about CalFresh.

  3. The governor’s wife (a member of the extended Kennedy clan, have we pointed that out?) is renaming the foodstamps program “CalFresh”

    First the Ipad. Now “Calfresh”. When did sounding like a feminine hygiene product become the way to market things in this country?

    1. This aggression will not stand.

    2. When did sounding like a feminine hygiene product become the way to market things in this country?

      On some summer’s eve…

  4. #4 California has the third highest state income tax in the nation: a 9.55% tax bracket at $47,055 and a 10.55% bracket at $1,000,000.

    #5 California has the highest state sales tax rate in the nation by far at 8.25%. Indiana has the next highest at 7%.

    #6 Residents of California pay the highest gasoline taxes (over 67 cents per gallon) in the United States

    How many times during the California budget crisis has some leftist moron written on an editorial page that “Californians want to be taxes like Libertarians and have a socialist government”? Yeah, that is really being taxed by a libertarian.

    1. Yes, and prop 13 keeps them from raising taxes, even though they somehow keep doing it.

      1. I believe that just applied to property taxes.

        1. It also requires a two-thirds majority to raise other types of taxes, which they can, on occasion, achieve.

  5. I hope every patriotic Californian clicks that second video….

    1. As a non-patriotic non-Californian, I watched it and I’m highly confused. Wiki’ing Howser has done little to clarify things.

      1. Huell is a corny and beloved host for a PBS show called California Gold, where he takes a naive and sincere enthusiasm about any old nugget of Golden State history, culture, geography, whatever. He is a big guy with a bigger microphone, and a high-pitched, heavily accented, Southern drawwwwl. So this video is just awesome.

        1. Haha, ok so this is basically a mashup of Howser making astonished comments appropriate only for someone in the throes of a psychedelic adventure. Got it — and yes, that is awesome.

          Best line: “We can now reveal, and actually touch, the next day.”

      2. It appears he has a show about nice things what ams in California called “California’s Gold”.

        1. That video makes it seem like he’s been indulging in quite a bit of California’s Gold. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

      3. He turns his back to the camera in every single interview….

    2. I did indeed. And my day is better for it.

  6. The second video is a link and not a video. At least for me.

    1. oops it’s the first video, the second was the same as the first but was actually a video and then the last video appeared in the final edit.

      Oh god the editing!

  7. “Back in the 1960s and 1970s, there was a seemingly endless parade of pop songs about how great life was in California, and millions of young Americans dreamed of moving to the land of sandy beaches and golden sunshine[…]

    “[…] and those songs were saying pure bullshit back then, even more so today.”

    1. Oh, I don’t know about that. I get the impression that California was a pretty awesome place to be back in the ’60s and ’70s. Heck, I enjoyed it during my short stay there 20 years after that.

      Perhaps a testament to the long-term dangers of too much easy living.

      1. California is just fucking awesome. The people.. not so much.

        1. California is just a major shithole. The people… not so much.

    2. I grew up in Californicate in the sixties. After the war, Ca was definitely the Promised Land. People were laid back and cool. You could smell orange blossoms for a hundred miles in the winter. We had the best roads in the entire world, taxes were low, and opportunities were abundant.

      Most of that’s gone now and I miss it sometimes.

    3. I grew up on the beach in San Diego in the 60’s. Truly, there could not have been a finer place. But in Jr. High School and High School, not matter where you are, it should feel like the finest place in the world.

  8. “Apocalepsy” is an awesome word.

  9. is renaming the foodstamps program “CalFresh” in order to get more people to use it

    The more people in the program, the more successful it is… blah blah etc. etc…

  10. Washington state sales tax is well above 8.25.

    1. I think local taxes constitute a portion of that. According to The Wikipedia, the state portion is 6.5%.

      1. There are several components to the state sales tax. The combined rate is not lower than 8.25% and can be as high as 10.75%.

        When I was a lad it was 3.75%.

  11. 9.5 % in Seattle, a bit less elsewhere

    1. In LA county, it’s 9.75%

      1. Avalon & El Monte are 10.25%

  12. Jerry brown is going to win, and so is Barbara Boxer. But no matter how the political pendlum swings, you shit you libertoid market worshipers peddle won’t sell, and you’ll still rely on donations from the pathetic asshole who have swallowed the Kool-Aid.

    1. Arf arf arf arf arf arf arf Aroooooooooo!!!

    2. Somebody lock me in a closet with Jerry! I wanna smoke me some meat pole!

  13. You know what California really needs to pull out of this mess?

    ObamaCare.

    Yeah, California’s problem is that it didn’t have ObamaCare and the Bush Tax cuts.

    Oh, and California isn’t doing enough about climate change.

    Do something about those three things, and everything will be fine.

    Screw November, I can’t wait for 2012.

    1. And anal rape. You can never have too much anal rape.

      1. The voice of experience.

  14. “please, people: hyphenate those compound modifiers”

    Lawyers hate hyphenated modifiers and commas.

  15. “please, people: hyphenate those compound modifiers”

    Good lawyers hate hyphenated modifiers and commas.

  16. California certainly isn’t the cool place I grew up in.

    About the time that Jerry Brown shut down every road project in the state is when the decline began.

    1. About the time that Jerry Brown shut down every road project in the state is when the decline began.

      Some of those road projects were started by his father.

        1. Silicon Valley was something though.

          There’s the physical beauty thing too.

          And the wineries.

          It’s hard to believe they could screw something like that up so bad.

          I guess it isn’t like somebody woke up one day in the seventies and decided to destroy Detroit either.

          It just kinda happened that way one day at a time.

  17. I live in LA county, and things are so bad that you can’t go to a bank on the first few business days of the month, as there are always long lines of people waiting to cash their support checks.

  18. Worse, I’m pretty sure Johnny’s (in the picture) was closed down about five years ago.

    1. Downey, right?

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