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California – The Canary in the Coal Mine

I was born in the Golden State. California was the jewel of the nation. It was the greatest state. The state the rest of the nation wanted to be. Now California is the poster child of failed social-progressive policies. Our debt is over $428 billion. We have close to 5 million Californians on food stamps. We have the seventh worse unemployment rate in the country and our labor force participation rate is even worse. Our schools are among the lowest scoring in the nation. Only Illinois has a higher sales tax and only Oregon has a higher state income tax. We pay more than any other state for gasoline. We let thousands of acres of fertile farmland revert to desert over a bait fish. We’re building a train to nowhere at the cost of tens of billions of dollars. Even while state officials are waiving environmental impact studies for their bullet train construction of reservoirs and aqueducts are delayed. Offshore drilling, which could provide desperately needed income and jobs, is denied. Truly, California is the canary in the coal mine for everything that’s wrong with social-progressive policies.

Take the global warming issue, for example. Governor Brown and the Democrats in power in California are all in that global warming is manmade. In Los Angeles the city council decided that rather than improving city streets for cars they would expand bus and bike lanes and reduce lanes for cars. That won’t exactly boost the tourist industry. Yet California leaders are convinced that going green is for our own good. Never mind that if every carbon emission in California magically disappeared it would have a minimal global effect, they are willing to trash Californian’s economy to shrink our carbon footprint.

Proposed Senate Bill 350 for instance, if passed, would mandate a 50% reduction in gasoline usage by restricting our freedom to drive. With higher gas prices at the pump, combined with fines for driving too much, SB350 would incidentally increase the cost of everything transported by trucks or trains in California, and absolutely drive yet more business out of state. But that doesn’t matter to the social-progressives in power. Decisions like these along with ever more intrusive regulations, straight up taxes, and taxes masquerading as “fees” have made California one of the least business friendly states in the country.

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Social-progressive policies are basically anti-freedom. The quasi-socialists in our country are convinced they know better than you how you should live your life. From little things like how big a soda you can buy to more intrusive things like letting your children go unattended to a neighborhood park our right to live our own lives as we see fit is being subverted. If I don’t want to wear a helmet to ride a bike, I shouldn’t have to. If I don’t want to buckle up when driving why should I be fined? Kids can’t run a lemonade stand these days because they don’t have the required permits. Where does it end? This is not the land of the free anymore.

California is firmly in the grasp of some of the most liberal social-progressives in the country. We have more sanctuary cities than any other state, including major cities like Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco. California’s hates capitalism. Capitalism once made California rich, but if you kill the goose that lays the golden eggs you have one fine meal but no more eggs. Our leaders have done everything they could to stop private businesses from prospering. The problem is while businesses and people can flee California, what happens when the whole country copies California’s policies? California is leading the way on our country’s road to ruin

The President and the Democrats in Congress are certainly trying to create a Western European style socialist country. We’ve seen the failure of such policies in real time. Are we to eventually become another Greece? On a smaller scale we are seeing the same kinds of policies failing in cities like Detroit and Baltimore. Does California really have to crash and burn before people realize that spending more money than you take in doesn’t work?

Judging from the caliber of leaders we elect, it appears that California may well become the canary in a coal mine, but by then it might be too late.

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About Nicholas Wishek


  1. That’ quite an analogy…..and unfortunately, almost too true. I am afraid that if California should crash and burn the rest of the Country would simply drag out the marshmellows. I grew up in San Diego, and also lived in the LA area. It’s been some years since I was there, but little has changed since the 70’s days of ‘if it feels good, do it and worry later.” Yes, global climate change is man made UP. High school science classes even in Calif teach that (or did) With Moombeam for governor not much will change.

    Read this a.m that 5 million from Calif now live in Texas where there is no personal income tax.

    • I’m afraid you’re probably right. I hadn’t heard about how many ex-Californians now live in Texas, but I’m not only not surprised, I know a few who do. The canary analogy isn’t quite apt. With all the other failed social-progressive type failures already out there piling up dead birds people should have figured it out by now. California is more like the lead lemming racing the other states to the cliff.

  2. I can remember a time when.There was actual manufacturing in San Francisco, I actually worked at a large forge/machine shop in the city in the 60’s. Now the property is a storage facility.
    Herb.Caen used to call F. ‘The city that knows how’ now the city is pretty much a liberal joke with good restaurants.

    • Yes, I remember once-upon-a-time Boeing and Locheed had plants in California, too. As for San Francisco, it sure is a freaky place to visit anymore – but the food is good even if scoring a soda is tough.

  3. As long as all the canaries stay in California, we should be good with all their nonsense.

    • Yeah, except for birds more or less trapped here. Remember, the canary didn’t usually make it out. LOL