Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Exodus of the Ignorant

Arg... not again. They’re on the move again. Just as happened in the 1990s, Californians have begun another exodus away from the land they soiled. Why has no one built a wall yet to keep them in? Have we learned nothing?

By way of background for you Easterners, in the 1990s, California ran into a brick wall. Decades of idiocy caught up with the state and their attempt to double down on stupid, surprisingly, only made things worse. Soon they were fleeing the mess they made to Oregon, Nevada, Colorado, Arizona and probably others. Each time they arrived in these pristine lands and immediately set about trying to recreate the mess they had left. Thus, places like Colorado went from “rugged-individualist” and “live and let live” (yet sane) libertarianism to “dude, you don’t have a law to protect ____” dipsh*tism. That’s how Colorado ended up with high taxes, state workers having the right to unionize (something they don’t even have in union states like West Virginia), and a transgender bathroom law which lets perverts hang out in women’s bathrooms so long as they claim they feel more natural there. . . or they’re selling pot.

Well, another two decades of idiocy have made California worse, and so here they come again. . . the next wave. This time Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Washington and Oregon are the targets. Why are they leaving California you ask? Because it’s a basketcase.

California spends most its budget on salaries, retirement and health care for state employees. In every category, it pays its employees way more than any other state. In some cases, it pays more than twice as much for the same positions. The reason for this is that California’s unions, particularly the police and prison guard unions, negotiated automatic pay increases in their contracts in the 1990s, which have kept their incomes growing no matter what. So now, the average worker in California makes $60,317, with the highest paid worker actually earning $822,000. The next highest state is New York, where the average worker earns $55,650. That’s a huge difference. But it’s actually worse than that: California’s average is more than $10,000 higher than the averages in 47 of the other 49 states, and nobody comes close to the top end salaries in California.

Then there’s overtime. Last year, California paid an average of $8,741 per employee in overtime, coming to just about a billion dollars. By comparison, liberal New York paid $5,199 for a total of $415 million. Conservative Georgia paid only $1,378 for a grand total of $12 million. Why does California need all the overtime? Union rules.

California also has a huge unpaid vacation problem. Most states cap the amount of unpaid vacation you can accrue at 30 days or some low dollar amount. New Jersey allows employees to accrue up to $15,000. California has no cap. One employee retired last year and got a check for $608,821 in unpaid leave. This has resulted in a $3.9 billion liability waiting to be paid. Again, union rules.

Then come pensions, a real killer. California’s Highway Patrol convinced the legislature to pass a law which grants the employee 90% of their top salary as a pension after thirty years of service. This has since become the standard pension plan throughout the state and in many cities. This has resulted in an increase in California’s pension obligations from $300 million in the 1990s to $3.7 billion today. It also led directly to the bankruptcy of several cities.

The result of this is a budget that is beyond broken. Services are being cut. School funding has fallen and California now ranks 35th nationally on that – they used to be number one at one point. Taxes are being raised all over the place. The highest income tax bracket in California is now 13.3%. The state sales tax is 7.25% before local taxes are added which can bring it up to 9.25%. The state gas tax is the second highest in the country at 48.6 cents per gallon. And none of this even touches upon crashing home values, soaring property taxes and fees, environmental regulations that have choked off farming and made electricity sporadic, etc.

This is the fault of voters. The voters voted for tax cuts and spending hikes throughout the 1990s and 2000s, which set the current problems into motion. They approved every goodie anyone asked for. Now they are voting for spending hikes and tax hikes on the rich to solve the problem, which is making the problem even worse. The voters also keep sending Democrats to the Sacramento to manage this problem and those Democrats bend over backwards to help the unions get more goodies. And their plan to get bailed out by Washington are a pipe dream.

Essentially, California voters opted for an economic suicide pact and now they are paying for that. . . only, they aren’t paying for it. . . the rest of us are because they are fleeing the mess they made. They are headed to other states where things haven’t been messed up yet, and the first thing these asshats will do is start to wonder why their new states don’t have all the great laws California had which set the crisis into motion.

It has been said that those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it. They should have said, “Those who are intentionally ignorant of history are destined to repeat it repeatedly. . . dude.”

56 comments:

Jocelyn said...

I am trying so hard to leave Krazy Kalifornia for Arizona.

AndrewPrice said...

Jocelyn, I wish you luck. I think California is in for some serious, serious pain. The state is simply structurally unsound at this point and it cannot continue without massive changes. But the voters don't want to accept that, so they keep looking for people (like the rich) they can squeeze to keep from paying the bill.

I suspect California will need to enter bankruptcy to break their union contracts in the next couple years.

AndrewPrice said...

By the way, Jocelyn, when this happened in the 1990s, Coloradans were pretty excited. We figured that the people escaping where the conservatives who had enough of the lunacy. They were supposedly showing up with money and jobs and having learned some hard truths about bad government.

We were very wrong. Within weeks of their arrival, it was clear they were mainly liberals. And they set about remaking Colorado into California's mirror image. They overbuilt like mad and then wanted to use environmental laws to stop everyone else. They wanted more taxes on everyone else so they could get more services. They were big on unions. They were big on social services... just not paying for them. They started to create automatic spending provisions in the budget -- what has made California unmanageable.

It was a mess.

Tennessee Jed said...

there seems to be billions and billions of liberals that come from New York and California to states like Virginia, New York, North Carolina, North Carolina, Colorado, etc. They soil and besmirch the land wherever they go.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, It is frustrating. When they came here, all they talked about was escaping the mess that California had become. And then they turn right around and try to recreate that mess to the letter. They true learned nothing.

Now, if we could guarantee that only conservatives left those states, then I would be thrilled to have them. But I fear this is just another wave of liberals who don't want to stick around to pay the tab.

Mr_Severus_Snape said...

California being in the state its in, it's just a damn shame, really. CA, especially with its beauty, vastness, fertile land, climate, and diverse population, should be the most economically thriving state in the union.

K said...

Some history from a native Californian.

Prior to the Reagan defense build up, California was a red state. Once the defense money came in and the economy started booming, the carpetbagging leftist locusts arrived from the east.

When the Soviet Union went pop, the defense and aerospace industries in California, which were dominated by conservatives, were devastated. There were 250,000 aerospace jobs in Orange County alone lost.

Then idiot Republican (but I repeat myself) Governor Pete Wilson let the government workers unionize. This act guaranteed Democrat domination of California political funding forever.

The final straw was the Mexican colonization - inspired in part by Diane Feinstein who made SF a "sanctuary city". By 1990, the most popular baby name in LA county was Jose and 1/3 of the residents were immigrants of one form or another. As state politics are driven entirely by LA and SF - which became a gay haven for the rest of the country - the rest was a fait accompi.

With the state heading for financial doom, the last gasp attempt to save it was electing crypto-Kennedy Arnold. The man who played brave action figures in the movies but when the chips were down showed his true yellow streak and became a schnitzel eating surrender monkey.

Unfortunately, due to the size of the California population, even a small exodus of locusts can overturn the governments of smaller states in their path.

LL said...

The People's Republik of Kalifornia used to be a donor state, but not so as of this year. Today California receives $1.09 from the Feds for every tax dollar sent in. Colorado receives $.78 for every dollar, which means that while you are doing your part to bail California out, you could still do more.

It's interesting to see the reaction to California license plates on my 4x4 in other states. I have only seen overt hostility toward me twice. Once in Arizona and once in Colorado. In both situations, they must have felt that I was a liberal puke and must therefore be unarmed and frigging helpless. In both cases, they were wrong.

Having said that, most counties in California are RED, not BLUE. It's only the urban hell holes that vote Obama.

I'm not standing up for California or for the public employee unions which figured out that they can "contribute" to the political campaigns of the people who vote their raises legally -- and do so generously. As with casting bread upon the water, it seems to come back and the wicked politicians vote money out of everyone's pocket to satisfy their primary backers. (Atlas Shrugged scenario)

LL said...

As an aside, I know that Governor Jerry Brown has been lobbying the ObamaNation to spend some of the next trillion in stimulus that he's trying to bleed from the treasury (The Fed just prints more without backing) on a California pension bail-out. The problem with that is Illinois is even worse off than California in that regard and they also have their hands out in supplication.

Anthony said...

I think a big part of California's problem is that it is so high on voter ballot initiatives. If one distrusts politicians fine and good. But the ideal action is not to tie their hands with hundreds of initiatives, but to keep an eye on them and punish or reward them when they are up for reelection.

StanH said...

Ewww…California infestations. Here in GA, my son dated a girl from Orange County for several years. There family moved here to “escape” California taxes. Next part of the story, all of these people voted for Barry! Thankfully my son has broken off the relationship on grounds of irredeemable stupidity. Just wow. I wonder how we can get them back to California? Hmmm…I know, a tax break.

EricP said...

Oddly enough, it was then-Gov. Wilson's support of Prop 187, one of the earliest of my re-awakenings as a conservative (liberty wing), which got me in a California state of mind, where I've lived since 1996. Was also my ex-wife, Orange County gal who kicked the rest of my whiny liberal to the curb (absolutely the only nice thing I'll say about her), so I owe the state that much in non-exorbitant, mafia-style taxation. If only I could find a decent enough job in Texas, Arizona, or maybe Tennessee, so my Long Island-bred wife (who likes to remind me they're far, far saner -- and liberty conservative -- politically than the average New Yorker) and I could make the exodus out of this sink-hole.

What a different place I'd like to think it'd be had the Republicans backed Tom McClintock instead of Schwarzenegger.

AndrewPrice said...

Snape, It really is. When I was younger, California was seen as the golden land of opportunity -- a place with perfect weather and an economy that was bigger than all but a couple countries. But all that ground to a halt in the 1990s and it's been a steady retreat every since. It's a real shame. California should be a beacon to the world... not a warning.

AndrewPrice said...

K, That's been my take from the outside as well. Interestingly, the article I read which spurred this was from Bloomberg and they blamed most of this on Gray Davis (Democrat) for his deals with the unions in the 1990s when California ran out of money. They said that in exchange for putting off raises at the time, he agreed to all of the indexing and automatic raises. That is basically what has made California's labor costs raise tenfold in two decades and what means they will continue to rise until someone checks them -- which no one is thinking about.

People may not see a $10,000+ difference between every other state as significant, but it really his when you calculate the number of employees. It adds up amazingly fast and quickly turns into billions each year.

P.S. On the locust idea, that's exactly what happened. Colorado went from 3 million people in 1990 to 7 million today and they were all transplants -- mainly from California (and then New Jersey for some reason).

BevfromNYC said...

Well, the good news is that in anticipation of the influx of stupidity, Texans have kind of idiot-proofed their Legislature. They instituted a mandatory "balanced budget" into their state constitution and the Legislature only meets every two years. AND that motto "Don't Mess With Texas" is very real...

What I always find funny is that the cultural/political elite always demean Texas and Texans as a bunch of rednecks and philastines, but they always come a' running to escape the cultural and political hells that they created for themselves.

AndrewPrice said...

LL, Care to tell us where you hid the bodies? LOL!

Seriously, there is INTENSE hostility to Californians around here because they really did destroy Colorado. They invaded. They were ultra arrogant. They built houses in stupid places -- like up the side of the mountains. This ruined the view at the same time they were lecturing us about not being environmentalist. And then they had the nerve to demand that the rest of us pay to build roads to their houses (those were what burned last year, by the way, because they are too high up to get fire service). They voted for super liberal ideas. They favored higher taxes, unions, bigger and bigger government, etc.

As for the net contribution figures, there is something missing in that -- mortgage and income tax deductions. Those figures are a myth which liberals have been using to hide the real numbers. The rest of us are in effect subsidizing California's housing market and it's government by paying more in federal tax than states like California and New York. I'd like to see what the numbers look like when those are factored in.

AndrewPrice said...

LL, If the Democrats controlled the entire Congress, I would honestly be worried that they would agree to let the Feds absorb all of the states' debts. But I'm not worried about that because I think there is no way the Republicans will agree to allow that.

As for devaluing the dollar, as Bernanke is discovering, you can't devalue the dollar when everybody else is racing to devalue their currency at the same time. Essentially, it's a race where everyone is trying to finish last.

Mr_Severus_Snape said...

Exactly, Mr.LL! That's why I'm afraid to go outside of the Pacific coastal states! I'm sure people outside those states can sense me a mile away that I'm from CA! I make frequent visits to NV, I can sense that I'm not wanted. lol
(I'm sure Southern natives, especially those in VA, feel the same way with the infestation of those bloody North-easterners!)

We're not all that bad, actually. Outside the SF-Bay Area and LA-Hollywood complex, CA is a Moderate to Conservative state. There areas here, where it feels like i'm in a different state!

We techically have the largest number of Republicans than in any other state. We also have 7 of the top 25 most Conservative cities (w/ a population over 100,000). Even more than Texas!
http://govpro.com/content/gov_imp_31439/

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I read a very long history of their initiatives actually it was quite fascinating. It turns out that what happened in California was that the initiative process became something that interest groups learned to master. And that's the problem.

To give you an example.... Colorado also allows initiatives, but you rarely see more than 2-3 per election and they tend to be things that someone came up with on their own. These people write their petition and it takes them several tries to get it on the ballot. Then the courts usually wipe it out and they need to try again. Eventually, it passes or doesn't. This is how you got the tax thing, the gay thing and the pot thing. Those are basically our most famous ones. Besides those, you get minor things every now an then, but that's about it.

In California, the process is different. Groups like unions and business lobbyists realized that they could use the process to get what they wanted. So they poured billions into making hundred and hundreds of these petitions, with issues ranging from environmental regulation to restructuring the tax system to requiring that certain percentages of the budget be used for certain functions. They pushed pension requirements and raises, etc. Basically, they asked the voters to make the decision on everything the government does at every level. Essentially, these people lobbied the people directly for goodies. And the people fell for it. And each one of these helped turn the state into a basketcase because they stripped the government of flexibility and they forced the government to spend or regulate.

rlaWTX said...

Bev, yeah, but they have about ruined Central Texas!

That said, right now WTX has an influx of folks from just about everywhere! (They all need to go home!!! Get off my lawn!) They had better tread carefully if they decide to Blue us...

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, What boggles my mind is the same thing here -- they came to Colorado to escape the consequences of liberalism. They could identify everything that caused the problems they were trying to escape. We knew this because they complained about each of those things -- taxes, unions, stupid liberals. Yet, the first chance they got, they voted to recreate those problems here.

It's mind-boggling.

Mr_Severus_Snape said...

StanH and EricP, them Orange County gals are crazy! Aren't they! They might be crazy, but they sure are fine! lol

LL said...

Andrew - There is intense hatred of Californians everywhere. My grandparents retired to a very small intermountain community in 1964. The locals burned the house that they bought before they moved in. We later learned that the mayor personally lighted the fire. They feared that my grandparents (who were slightly more conservative than I am) were planning to import black people from Los Angeles - post Watts riots.

They still moved there and the community came to understand that my grandparents were not enamored with inner-city types. Thus their fears were groundless.

However, most Californians who leave the People's Republic are indeed a pain in the neck.

Bodies? Dead men tell no tales.

A safer bet for people who want to screw with Californians is to ask them if they are actually FROM California or if they're just living there now - temporarily because of work - until they can get out. If the answer is "no, I'm from rural Arizona" or "define California - do I look like inner city scum", you're more likely to find a soul mate.

tryanmax said...

Thank God I live in flyover country. Just a reminder to any Californians who might be considering a move to Nebraska. It gets very, very cold in the winter. I wore two coats the other day. Brrrr! Stay away!

AndrewPrice said...

Eric, I was amazed at how badly Schwarzenegger failed. I think that was my final hint that California could not be saved. When you reach a point that you can't even slow the rate of growth without the state going insane and the governor cowering in the corner, then you know the end has come.

It's interesting to me that parts of New York are genuinely fairly conservative. It's too bad the Republicans are such a mess out there. I went to school near Albany and you never would have thought of New York as a liberal place if that was all you saw.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Smart move by Texans!

One of the smartest things Colorado did was called TABOR -- which requires voter approval for tax hikes. This hasn't stopped government at all, but it makes it a lot harder for them to just spend money. That has kept things in check generally around here.... so far.

You're right about Texas. It's funny how much liberals hate that state.

AndrewPrice said...

Snape, I get the sense that most of California is quite sane and quite pleasant. The problem really is the major population centers. Strip away LA and SF and you'd have a very Red state. Unfortunately, it's the crazy blues in LA and SF who dominate the state and make all the decisions. And when people flee from the state, those are the people who do the fleeing. It's rare that people flee California from the smaller or more rural areas.

Mr_Severus_Snape said...

I hate to say it, but you guys kinda deserved it... Since the later half the 20th century, the liberals and weirdos from all over the country flocked to CA... lol

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, "Get off my lawn!" LOL!

That happened here too right after the first wave of Californians. They reported to all of their friends (I heard this all the time) "it's great here... Colorado is like California before everything went wrong."

Soon we saw license plates from everywhere -- particularly New Jersey and the Northeast.

Mr_Severus_Snape said...

Yeah, I heard what us Californians did to Colorado. I'm starting to hate Californians, now...

AndrewPrice said...

LL, That's pretty shocking that they would burn someone's house! Still, I've seen that type of behavior in small towns in the East -- they don't like strangers.

In terms of the influx, the problem is exactly what you say: urbanites. When they fled California the first time, they weren't coming from the countryside, they were coming from Oakland and Los Angeles and other big city areas. They were liberals who simply refused to see the connection between the things they had done and the consequences they were fleeing.

I suspect it's the same this time. I doubt anyone is fleeing the countryside. It's probably just more big city types who are worried that the benefits party is coming to an end.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, You're safe. They are looking for scenic and they are looking for smaller cities but still big cities. Basically, they want to move to a different suburb. As Nebraska has no cities and the view is of pigs and corn, you are quite safe my friend. ;P

AndrewPrice said...

Snape, California was definitely a magnet for weirdos. It was basically a victim of its own success. And now we are victims of its failure.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, I will vouch for the no cities bit, but I advise you to learn the difference between a pig and a cow.

Mr_Severus_Snape said...

Later guys!

Here's a video to cheer you, CA haters, up! :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXXi0NkAD7Q

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Yummmmm... cow.

I thought Nebraska was pig country? Like Iowa?

AndrewPrice said...

Later Mr. Snape. That's for the video. And for the record, we don't hate the state... we just don't want anyone leaving it. :)

LINK

BevfromNYC said...

rlaWTX - But every census year, California/New York/etc. lose Congressional Districts and Texas picks them up...
And once those Liberals get a load of the lower taxes and lower cost/higher standard of living they come around to our way of thinking. And if not, Texas had those "concealed carry" laws that keep them in line ;-) (OH, NO! She didn't just say that!)

K said...

Andrew: Grey Davis was an idiot as well, but Pete Wilson was the guy who left him the lever to pull that said "self destruct". It was inevitable that once unionized, government employees get whatever they want by virtue of the recycling of union dues directly into Democrat coffers.

AndrewPrice said...

K, True. What I found interesting in my time out east was that even ultra-union states like West Virginia and Ohio do not allow their public sector employees to unionize. Yet, California does and look at the consequences. Colorado does now too and it's probably only a matter of time before that makes us follow the same path.

An elected official is simply no match for unionized employees. They have no incentive to do anything other than give the unions what they want and hope the bill doesn't come do until the future.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Ours didn't change. :(

tryanmax said...

Andrew, I'm not sure how I'm meant to take that \:-/

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, No insult intended. I really wasn't comparing your state to Iowa... well, ok, I was. I'm sorry. :(

EricP said...

No, Snape, while I wasn't perfect, my OC ex is Satan's daughter. If only I'd paid closer attention to the birth certificate before saying, "I do."

Kit said...

"I saw... its thoughts. I saw what they're planning to do. They're like locusts. They're moving from planet to planet... their whole civilization. After they've consumed every natural resource they move on... and we're next."
-President Thomas Whitmore

Kit said...

"An elected official is simply no match for unionized employees. They have no incentive to do anything other than give the unions what they want and hope the bill doesn't come do until the future."

Scott Walker did a decent job.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Walker did do an excellent job... so far. But one victory in decades of defeats does not disprove the point, it only enhances it. Moreover, we don't know yet if Walker will ultimate win or not. It could be that he will get tossed out and then the next Democrats simply reverses what he did.

The fact of the matter is that there is no rational reason to allow state employees to unionize. And when they do, they end up becoming a menace to the state.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. Nice Independence Day quote.

Kit said...

"P.S. Nice Independence Day quote."

:)

rlaWTX said...

Excellent, Kit!!

Individualist said...

Andrew

California passed laws at the behest of unions validating their increase in pay. subsequently the value of real estate in California skyrocketed.

The problem is that most workers don't understand.

It is not the quantifiable amount of money you are paid that will lead to better incomes.

It is the subjective value of the work you produce.

This can't be set by law.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, The problem with liberals is that they think the law can change reality. If you look at the laws they propose, they really think they can simply legislate: "you will now get what you want." You see this over and over, and it always shocks them when it doesn't work out.

tryanmax said...

Well it would work if it weren't for all those racist, bigot, homophobe Republicans always sabotaging everything.

AndrewPrice said...

I always think of when they tell everyone the audience to clap for Tinkerbell at these moments. Only this time, when Tinkerbell can't really fly because she's not real, the liberals in the audience start looking around to see who's not clapping hard enough and then they try to kill them... so that only people of goodwill are left.

tryanmax said...

That is hilariously dark.

AndrewPrice said...

Yeah, but don't tell me you don't see that happening.

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