Saturday, January 05, 2013

Blue Utopia: As California Goes, So Goes The Country?

Let's hope not.

The problems in Blue Utopian society will be similar to the unintended consequence of protecting the Delta Smelt in the Central Valley. The Blues labeled this tiny fish, previously known as “bait,” as an endangered species. The Endangered Species Act was created to protect the American Bald Eagle but now extends protection for the Delta Smelt, forcing water to be diverted from the farms of the Central Valley to the Pacific Ocean. The Delta Stewardship Council shows the water cutoffs had no effect on the smelt population. But it did a devastating effect on another endangered species: the California family. When 300,000 acres went fallow, 37,000 jobs were lost. Unemployment has reached 40% in some areas of the Central Valley. Food lines have appeared in the world's most fertile agricultural valley. Farmworkers were forced to accept bags of carrots grown in China. Orchards that existed for decades died without water. The Central Valley now needs food stamps to feed its residents.   
The Blues are excited to impose their vision of Utopia on California. I, for one, will not be here to see it. My home goes on the market next month. My company has already re-located to another state. My children have already moved away seeking a future more promising than anticipated here in California. It is ironic because that is why I left my parents in Cleveland, Ohio to come to California four decades ago. I will be sad to leave my home and friendships acquired over decades. But I realize our leaders will neither notice, and if they did, they would not care.  
As the tax revenues continue to fall (as they always do when rates increase), the Blues will rail against the remaining 1%, claiming that if only “they” would pay their fair share, things would be perfect. They will raise rates, fees, costs, and penalties again on the business class, and will do so as long as they hold power. 
But there is a problem in Blue Utopia. Short term, the state may be supported by the occasional Internet or Housing Bubble, but the money will finally run out.  When it does, maybe they will ask us to come back to the Golden State. They will promise to lower rates and turn the water back on. But it is already too late for the dead orchards of the Central Valley. And it will soon be too late for all but a handful of entrepreneurs of California.


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