We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

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.

Victor Hanson Davis, as pointed out by Instapundit.

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.

11 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Ian B

    It’s getting awfully damned crowded in this handbasket.

  • YogSothoth

    s/Hanson Davis/Davis Hanson/

  • Alice

    California is indeed a sad case.

    Perhaps one of the things that CA demonstrates is the power of momentum in economics — the steel mills, shipyards, aircraft plants, automobile factories, computer manufacturing are almost all gone; yet the State flies on, supported by little more than the wind beneath its wings; for a while.

    It used to be said (back when California was cool) that the State was leading the US and the world. Maybe CA’s impending crash will show everyone that the path of de-industrialization & ever more intrusive government is a dead end.

  • Paradise always has a lousy government, because people will live there anyway. Hellholes have to be more circumspect about their policies, since no one is going to live there for the intangibles.

  • Paul

    California is certainly not in decline in the sense that its industries are dying. Agriculture, movies, software, biotech etc are all in fine shape. it is the public sector that is a disaster: anti-business, high tax.

    I don’t actually understand where the money really goes. We have almost the highest income tax in the US, we have almost the highest sales tax. Property tax as a percentage is at the low end but since the houses all cost multiples of elsewhere they are also high. Yet if we want something useful, like a road built, we have to vote for an additional 1/2% of sales tax or something. And then the politicians steal all the money anyway to spend on their own pet public transport projects that nobody uses. We are under policed, schools are crap etc.


  • Alice

    California is certainly not in decline in the sense that its industries are dying.

    No, California is in decline in the sense that most of the industries which made CA what it is today are ALREADY dead. Most of those left are suffering — just look at the number of “Hollywood” movies & TV programs now actually made in Canada.

    I don’t actually understand where the money really goes.

    Good question. A big item that often gets overlooked — pensions. A lot of money for the schools etc actually is paid out in pensions to retired workers. Partly explains why CA spends so much on education and yet has so little to show for it. Partly!

  • Too bad Bush didn’t look at California to see how dangerous Big Government can be.

    Of course, that presupposes that he cares.

    The question is, with $1Trillion dollars a year, or 1/12 of our national production, being wasted on foreign adventures, how long will America ‘just fly on’?

  • There really are no excuses for poverty today, aside from war and natural disaster. The causes of poverty are well known and documented, and the solutions to them are readily known.

  • Kim du Toit

    About ten years ago I was offered a job in San Diego: massive pay, great benefits and a big, solid company with high market share.

    I had to turn it down because we couldn’t afford to buy a house within 70 miles if the place, and I quailed at the thought of a 150-mile/day commute. (I was moving, by the way, from the New York metro area — not known for its realistic real estate prices — and we still couldn’t afford the downpayment. A comparable house in SD to what we had would have cost $800,000.)

    Of course, there were also the taxes (high compared to NJ/NY) and insane gun control restrictions (as bad as NJ/NY).

    The best thing that could happen to CA is The Big One, with the entire coastal plain (about thirty miles across) falling into the ocean.

  • Paul Marks

    Rich Paul managed to turn a posting on the policies of the State of California into yet another attack on the United States.

    What has the war with radical Islam (which started long before the United States even existed) got to do with California State taxes?

    Nothing – nothing at all.

    On California:

    First of all its taxes (State and local) are not the highest in the United States – not if one adds them all up and works them out as a percentage of State income (see the Tax Foundation for the details).

    However, Californian taxes are very high – and they are collected in very perverse ways (Murry Rothbard was mistaken about this – how taxes are structured DOES matter, it is not just a matter of the total weight of taxes,although Rothbard was correct in thinking that the total weight was very important indeed).

    One should also not forget the insane regulations in California – for example on the insurance industry, these regualtions are often even worse than those of other States.

    Sadly people who leave California to go to other States (such as Colordo) seem to be carrying their ultra statist attitudes with them.

    But there are many good Californians.

    For example, the “Jeffersonian Republican” McClintock keeps almost being elected to various high offices, in spite of being outspent 20 to 1 by .com big government people.

    “The word in that is “almost” Paul”.

    Sadly true.

  • Nick E


    This pretty much hits the nail on the head in describing the political and economic reality out here in CA. It really is a wonderful place to live, and being here can be very, very good for one’s career. It’s certainly not dying economically in the way that many other parts of the States are. But the state government and public services are beyond hopeless, and the future doesn’t look good. And the tax environment does make entrepreneurship challenging, to say the least. Personally, I have no plans to leave. But then I have no problem with working as hard as I need to afford the cost of living.