The 1960s folk group The Mamas and the Papas used their harmonious voices in the song, “California Dreamin’" — a time when the Golden State was still seen as a destination point by many Americans, attracted by its mild weather, its beautiful beaches, and its dynamic economy.
But now, a January poll by Edelman Intelligence reveals that many of California’s own residents now regard it as “California Nightmare.” Fifty-three percent of 1,500 residents polled have said that they are considering leaving the state. This is in stark contrast to the days of the Great Depression, when hundreds of thousands of Americans from other states, seeking to escape the twin terrors of poverty and the Dust Bowl made their way to California. An estimated one million left Oklahoma alone — thus the name “Okies” came to be applied to many of the migrants. So many “Okies” moved to Bakersfield, it was facetiously referred to as the “third largest town in Oklahoma.”
About 62 percent of those polled said they believe that the best days of California are now over.
What caused such despair? The reasons are multiple. Seventy-two percent polled said that the high “cost and availability of housing is a very serious issue for California.” Heavy-handed environmental regulations are a huge contributing factor to the increased cost of housing, with high property taxes as another. When one just records the responses in the Bay Area, that number rises to 76 percent. Some of these Bay Area residents leave San Francisco, Oakland, and other cities and move to other parts of California, but others opt to simply leave the state.
When one wonders why Texas has become less of a “red,” or Republican state — with the powerful example of the 2018 senatorial election, in which Republican Senator Ted Cruz eked out a victory over Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke by less than three percent — part of the answer is that Texas is a popular destination for these Bay Area emigrants. While they are attempting to escape the heavy taxation of California, particularly the area in and around San Francisco, they often take the liberal politics of the region with them when they move.
And there are other factors that are contributing to the exodus, and the consideration by others of joining the move out of the state. San Francisco has now earned the reputation of the city with piles of human excrement on its streets, with some people even defecating in front of residents' homes. In 2015, there were over 60,000 complaints about this problem reported to police. Drug use is such a problem that free syringes are now made available to drug addicts by the city. Crime is rampant, including car burglaries — an average of 85 a day. Panhandling is ubiquitous.
Of course, as the productive move out, some are moving into the Bay Area, to take advantage of generous benefits offered to the homeless, such as food, shelter, and even $70 a month in cash.
It is not just the Bay Area. In Los Angeles, the “City of Angels” could justifiably be re-named the City of Rats. Across the city, residents have to contend with the exploding population of rodents, even in city offices.
Amazingly, one of the most frequently questions asked on Google by California residents was “Should I move out” of California?
California’s degeneration has coincided with its capture by politicians of the extreme Left. Despite having the world’s fifth-largest economy, trailing only China, Japan, Germany, and the rest of America as a whole, California’s draconian regulations are increasingly having a deleterious effect on that economy. The Republican Party in California is just a shell, and it offers little “conservative” alternatives to the Democratic Party hegemony in the state. In the last election, Democrats captured all six congressional seats in once-solidly Republican Orange County.
This should have been predictable. A Republican governor, Pete Wilson, who served from 1991-1999, issued a warning during his term that the flood of illegal immigrants into the state was going to create huge problems. He spearheaded Proposition 187, which would have prevented illegal aliens from using social services. It passed a popular vote in the state, but was predictably declared unconstitutional by a federal court and his successor, Democrat Grey Davis refused to appeal. Wilson also called for an interpretation of the 14th Amendment that would have not allowed persons born in the country to illegal alien parents from being declared citizens at birth.
Wilson’s predictions have now come to pass, and the state has lurched further and further to the Left with each passing year, enacting laws crippling to the business environment, and favoring progressive social policy.
While California sinks deeper into the sinkhole of liberalism, it should be taken as a warning to the rest of the country. Often, what starts in California soon makes its way to the rest of the country.
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