At some point we Californians should ask ourselves, how we inherited a state with near perfect weather, the world’s richest agriculture, plentiful timber, minerals, and oil, two great ports at Los Angeles and Oakland, a natural tourist industry from Carmel to Yosemite, industries such as Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and aerospace—and serially managed to turn all of that into the nation’s largest penal system, periodic near bankruptcy, and sky-high taxes.
This point though could be made about any community. There is no country on earth that is not voluntarily in poverty. If you choose to have an anti-wealth creating atmosphere, then you will be poor. If you choose a wealth-creating meta-context in your society, then you will have wealth.
The rise of the wealthy East Asian nations, with almost none of the natural resources that bless the State of California, demonstrate that there really is no excuse.