The Wall Street Journal 's Opinion and Letters to the Editor had three interesting letters that describe how California the once Great State of Opportunity slowly sank . Enough as it seems as they say if California goes , and so does the Country . Here's what people have to say.
California: Land of Cognitive (and Tax) DissonanceDemographer Joel Kotkin is perhaps the most expert person there is on the woes that are besetting California ("The Weekend Interview with Joel Kotkin: The Great California Exodus" by Allysia Finley, April 21). He hits all the bases—high taxes, overregulation, punitive zoning, green-energy mania, economically destructive environmentalism, public-employee-union domination, idiotic and wasteful public spending projects, and goes on to identify those responsible for so much of the dysfunction—the progressive elite he calls "the new regime"—as the reason young middle-class working families are fleeing the state.Yet, we find out midway through the interview that for all his knowledge, Mr. Kotkin actually voted for Jerry Brown for governor, the leading light of the "new regime," because he found that Mr. Brown was "interesting and thought outside the box." Isn't that vote and Mr. Kotkin's explanation of it the real California problem? We used to think of California as the "Land of the Lotus Eaters." Today, a better description would be the Land of Cognitive Dissonance.Scot McConachieDes Plaines, Ill.Within our own extended family this year we have seen a daughter, and a niece and her family flee California. In the former case, after obtaining her master's degree in education in San Francisco, and seeing no employment opportunities in the bankrupt state, she migrated to Colorado and was employed within three months. Besides the wonderful outdoors environment, she has discovered the joys of lower taxes, lower taxes and lower taxes. In the latter case, our niece, her husband and their two little girls took advantage of job mobility to relocate to Dallas. The math of the move was ever so simple: less expensive, much less expensive, significantly less expensive.These are very bright, well-educated, hard-working young people who expect to build good careers and futures while accumulating modest wealth. They will contribute mightily to the strength of their new home states. They left California because they realized that the state is not run for the benefit of taxpayers like themselves. How many thousands more are joining them? But the thieves (there is no better name for them) who run California are delusional and in denial about this outmigration.
John G. Graboski
Like Joel Kotkin, my parents were Truman Democrats when they moved to California and I began kindergarten in 1944 in Pasadena. My 41-year career in the criminal justice system began with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in 1960, after which I experienced the transformation of California from the Golden State to the sad state it has since fallen into.Mr. Kotkin's experienced assessment of California's problems should serve as an eye-opener to the middle class, dwindling from the unrelenting expansion of government, insane taxes, laws and regulations by the left-wing Democrat majority in the legislature.California Democrats indeed are responsible for California crashing with, of course, the help of clueless voter-assisted economic suicide. Beyond setting the bad national example for taxing and regulating people and business out of the state, California's delusional Democrats are responsible for the state's failed public education money-pit and for inviting freeloaders into the state to take advantage of the overly generous welfare system.Adding insult to injury, California lays out the welcome mat for illegal aliens to burden taxpayers with more welfare, plus education and health care—not to mention raising the cost of crime, incarceration and the gang infestation of neighborhoods.Daniel B. Jeffs
Apple Valley, Calif.
NOTES & COMMENTS:
California's Power Crisis
Dear Fellow Americans,
America has engaged in some finger wagging lately because California doesn't have enough electricity to meet its needs. The rest of the country (including President Bush) seems to be just fine with letting Californians dangle in the breeze without enough power to meet their needs.
This is how it really is:
California ranks 48th in the nation in power consumed per person.
California grows more than half the nation's fruit, nuts, and vegetables. We're keeping them. We need something to eat when the power goes out. We grow 99 percent or more of the nation's almonds, artichokes, dates, figs, kiwi, olives, persimmons, pistachios, prunes, raisins, and walnuts. Hope you won't miss them.
California is the nation's number-one dairy state. We're keeping our dairy products. We'll need plenty of fresh ones since our refrigerators can't be relied upon. Got milk?
We Californians are gonna keep all our high-tech software in-state. Silicon Valley is ours, after all. Without enough electricity, which you're apparently keeping for yourselves, we just plain don't have enough software to spare. Can you say "typewriter"?
We're keeping all our airplanes. California builds a good percentage of the commercial airliners available to fly you people to where you want to go. When yours wear out, you'd better hope Boeing's Washington plant can keep you supplied. There isn't enough electricity here to allow us to export any more planes than we need ourselves. And while we're at it, we're keeping all our high-tech aerospace stuff, too. Oh, yeah, and if you want to make a long-distance call, remember where the satellite components and tracking systems come from. Maybe you could get back in the habit of writing letters.
Want to see a blockbuster movie this weekend? Come to California. We make them here. Since we'll now have to make them with our own electricity, we're keeping them. The labs, printing facilities, editing facilities, and sound facilities are all here.
Want some nice domestic wine? We produce over 17 million gallons per year. We'll need all of it to drown our sorrows when we think about the fact that no matter how many California products we export to make the rest of America's lives better, America can't see its way clear to help us out with a little electricity. You can no longer have any of our wine.
You all complain that we don't build enough power plants. Well, you don't grow enough food, write enough software, make enough movies, build enough airplanes and defense systems, or make enough wine.