Friday, January 21

The Left has destroyed lovely California

One of my favorite bloggers is Richard Fernandez ("Wretchard") of Belmont Club. I think you'd enjoy his work. Here's an edited version of his latest.

Victor Davis Hanson tries to make sense of why California’s left, after having ruined the state, is still waiting around for a handout. Why don’t they learn and mend their ways?

He likens the Left in California to the leftist groups of Greece who refuse to believe the party--generous government handouts for all--is over. After all, it's been going full blast for as long as anyone can remember. So it can’t be over.

the Greeks are furious at “them.” Furious in the sense that everyone must be blamed for the financial crisis except themselves. So they riot to insist that their government keep borrowing money so they can maintain a lifestyle that they have not earned.

Similarly, in California the 'elites' made it almost impossible to drill for oil or gas, they shut down the nuclear power industry, strangled the mining and timber industries, cut off water to farmers in the [highly irrigated farms of the] Central Valley, diverted revenues from fixing roads and bridges to redistributive entitlements, and praised the new multicultural state that would welcome in half the nation’s 11-15 million illegal aliens. At some point the top businessmen and entrepreneurs began to leave at the rate of 3,000 a week.

Yes, we are proud that we have changed the attitude, lifestyle, and demography of the state, made it “green,”and have the highest paid public employees and the most generous welfare system—and do not have to soil our hands with nasty things like farming, oil production, or nuclear power. And now we are broke. Our infrastructure is crumbling and an embarrassment. So of course, like the Greeks, we are mad at somebody other than ourselves. Californians are desperate for a “them” fix. But who is them? “Them” either left, is leaving, or has been shut down.

Dr. Hanson’s observations about the Left’s [child-like reasoning--'we can shut down all productive activity and still live very well'] are probably true. But what does he hope to achieve by stating them? Does he hope the Left will come to their senses?

[Certainly] that’s the logical thing to do. But history shows that logic doesn’t always prevail. Doomed societies never come to their senses. That’s why they were doomed. Their feedback loop was permanently disconnected.

Arguing with the Left is futile. Historically, people caught in a collapsing society could only hope to flee with their lives. Bertolt Brecht observed that failing systems only knew how to double down. When the ATM stops dispensing money and people press the keys harder, conversation is really at an end.

In California’s case, the Left’s response to the crises it has created is simply more of the same: more open borders, more Green industry, more regulation. That’ll fix it.

No, they won’t listen. No amount of experience by others will help them. Just as certain types of people keep trying the same thing while hoping for different results, the Left will press on despite ghastly, horrible failures, and just press the keys harder.

The whole point of socialism is precisely that it’s built on somebody else’s money. If it were built with their money it would be capitalism.
Ah, the Left has almost destroyed beautiful, otherwise-blessed California. Just a few more years and they'll have finished the job.


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