The liberal British newspaper The Guardian produced on Sunday Will California become America's first failed state? Paul Harris Sunday 4 October 2009
California may be the eighth largest economy in the world, but its state staff are being paid in IOUs, unemployment is at its highest in 70 years, and teachers are on hunger strike. So what has gone so catastrophically wrong?
Back to the ‘70s! This was the sort of thing one got used to seeing in foreign newspapers in the dark days between the Watergate coup d’état and the Reagan rescue.
While colorful and fact-festooned, this article is quite useless as piece of analysis. It has been carefully written not to offend the fashionable Left, producing this gem:
But amid the crisis there are a few sparks of hope for the future.... Take Anthony "Van" Jones, a man now in the vanguard of the movement to build a future green economy, creating millions of jobs, solving environmental problems and reducing climate change at a stroke. It is a beguiling vision... Obama came to power and Jones got the call from the White House. In just a few years, his ideas had spread from the streets of Oakland to White House policy papers. Jones was later ousted from his role, but his ideas remain...
Yes, that Van Jones (who was otherwise unidentified).
Well might thread commentator jmac43 say:
The author has "overlooked" the millions of illegal aliens that have taken up residence in California that have bankrupted schools, medical facilities, prisons, and social aid networks. If a person wanted to solve California's financial problem all they would need to do is find the cost per illegal alien and multiply it per the number of illegal aliens in California and the resultant figure will wipe out the "Overpowering" debt the state is dealing with. But with the simple answer of deporting all the illegals (President Eisenhower deported 13 million in the 1950s) the politicians are refusing to do to protect American citizens...
The problems in California are ones made by politicians refusing to deal with illegal aliens and not one of citizens not being taxed enough...
While the invasion continues thousands of Americans are leaving California each week to escape the invaders, however the ones leaving are the responsible taxpaying workers which increases the financial drain.
The politicians are on a slippery slope but it is one of their own making.
Paul Harris does have the excuse that he is a foreigner needing to make his way on the East Coast cocktail circuit.
That does not excuse the shockingly dishonest essay Who killed California by Troy Senik, which just appeared in the “Inaugural Issue” of National Affairs, the successor magazine to Irving Kristol’s The Public Interest (the archive of which it carries).
A native of California, Senik
lives in Southern California, where he is writing on national issues and working on a reform agenda to strengthen the California Republican Party… He has referred to his views as neolibertarian, embracing a strong foreign policy but minimal government interference in domestic affairs
The blog Mangan’s instantly identified the problem: Neocons Ask: Who Killed California? Saturday September 26 2009. With disdain Mangan’s quotes:
And fiscal troubles are just the tip of the iceberg. California's percentage of adults without at least a high-school education is the second-highest in the nation (and the fact that 72% of those without diplomas are immigrants only fuels the state's growing problem of social stratification). The Commonwealth Fund has ranked the quality of California's health care lowest of the 50 states. The state has the highest rate of criminal recidivism in the country...
The (italicized) mention of immigrants above is the only place that this issue is touched on in the entire article.
This is in over 6,000 words!
Of course, there is some good wonkery in the essay. Peter Brimelow wearing his Worm in the Apple hat will doubtless be pleased to see three paragraphs – 463 words – devoted to complaining about the California Teachers Union. But significantly the extensive discussion of the various policy-making referendums which shaped the state’s affairs completely ignores Proposition 187, passed with 59% support in 1994 but murdered by Federal Judge Mariana Pfaelzer with the connivance of the state’s political elite.
Proposition 187 would have had a profound impact on the state’s illegal problem. It stipulated
1. All law enforcement agents who suspect that a person who has been arrested is in violation of immigration laws must investigate the detainee's immigration status, and if they find evidence of illegality they must report it to the attorney general of California, and to the federal Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).
2. Local governments are prohibited from doing anything to impair the fulfillment of this requirement.
3. The attorney general must keep records on all such cases and make them available to any other government entity that wishes to inspect them.
4. No one may receive public benefits until they have proven their legal right to reside in the country.
5. If government agents suspected anyone applying for benefits of being illegal immigrants, the agents must report their suspicions in writing to the appropriate enforcement authorities.
6. Emergency medical care is exempted, as required by federal law, but all other medical benefits have the requirements stated above.
7. Primary and secondary education is explicitly included.
Historical causation is intricate. Of course, having a Democratic party owned by certain ethnic minorities deeply saturated in socialist prejudices was going to be a problem. It has been in many US states. But faced with the lethal threat of inundation by economically low quality Hispanics, Californians reacted wisely. They were robbed of the fruits of that wisdom by Neoconservatives, who proceeded to block reconsideration at the State or Federal level for almost a generation.