Bust: California named worst-run state in the nation

posted at 4:21 pm on November 29, 2012 by Mary Katharine Ham

First the best-run, according to Wall Street 24/7′s annual ranking: North Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Utah, with Iowa rounding out the Top 5.

They have in common low amounts of debt per capita, low unemployment rates, business-friendly tax structures, and several of them are home to hydraulic fracturing and other energy booms. There’s also a high correlation between a well-run state and a high percentage of residents with high-school diplomas. And one more thing. What is it? Ah, yes, they all have Republican governors. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence. What does a governor have to do with running a state’s affairs, after all?

The worst-run: California, Rhode Island, Illinois, Arizona and New Jersey, making the bottom five home to two Democratic governors, two Republicans, and one Lincoln Chafee.

Let’s hear just why California is at the bottom of the heap:

> Debt per capita: $4,008 (18th highest)
> Budget deficit: 20.7% (17th largest)
> Unemployment: 11.7% (2nd highest)
> Median household income: $57,287 (10th highest)
> Pct. below poverty line: 16.6% (18th highest)

California is 24/7 Wall St.’s “Worst Run State” for the second year in a row. Due to high levels of debt, the state’s S&P credit rating is the worst of all states, while its Moody’s credit rating is the second-worst. Much of California’s fiscal woes involve the economic downturn. Home prices plunged by 33.6% between 2006 and 2011, worse than all states except for three. The state’s foreclosure rate and unemployment rate were the third- and second-highest in the country, respectively. But efforts to get finances on track are moving forward. State voters passed a ballot initiative to raise sales taxes as well as income taxes for people who make at least $250,000 a year. While median income is the 10th-highest in the country, the state also has one of the highest tax burdens on income. According to the Tax Foundation, the state also has the third-worst business tax climate in the country.

Despite its sunny shores and mountain heights, glorious vineyards and gloriouser weather, Hollywood and Silicon Valley, the Golden state has become—how you say?— kind of a crapfest. Since California’s is the righteous path our liberal betters so long for us to take as a nation, let’s do check in and see how it’s working out for them.

The state passed a ballot amendment hiking taxes on the rich in November. California already had the most progressive state tax system in the nation and has been deficit spending out the wazoo throughout the recession. By my Keynesian calculations, the California economy should be booming, its unemployment rate low, its deficit and debt problems solved, and all of its “investments” should be yielding great results for those in need and in public schools.

California’s new “temporary” tax hike on the wealthy is expected to bring in $6 billion a year, according to the LA Times (estimates vary slightly). What is California’s debt?

The task force estimated that the burden of debt totaled at least $167 billion and as much as $335 billion. Its members warned that the off-the-books debts tended to grow over time, so that even if Mr. Brown should succeed in pushing through his tax increase, gaining an additional $50 billion over the next seven years, the wall of debt would still be there, casting its shadow over the state.

Yes, I should say so. California has already pledged the equivalent of the entire tax hike and more to a high-speed train boondoggle. Proponents of tax increases will brag that this hike has come close to fixing California’s annual deficit, but let’s see how much California spends on debt service alone, to get an idea of how far this $6 billion a year will go. The 2012-2013 California state budget projection:

General Fund debt service expenditures will increase by a net of $24.6 million (0.46 percent), to a total of $5.4 billion, as compared to the revised current year estimate…

While General Fund debt service is estimated to increase only slightly in the budget year, General Fund debt service has been a fast‐growing area of the Budget. In 2002‐03 General Fund debt service was $2.1 billion, or 2.9 percent of revenues, versus $5.4 billion, or 5.6 percent of estimated revenues, in 2012‐13. This trend is expected to continue through the end of this decade, with debt service projected to peak at $7.5 billion in 2019‐20

It should also be noted, the promise of maybe closing this year’s deficit is predicated on whether “lawmakers can resist more spending and the economy continues to improve.” I present to you, a supermajority Democratic legislature. Also, this delicious paragraph from the L.A. Times:

The election wasn’t even over Tuesday when state Treasurer Bill Lockyer’s phone started ringing. Activists of all stripes had the same message for him: With voters apparently poised to approve billions of dollars in tax hikes, it was time to spend more money.

“They had to be reminded the money has already been spent,” Lockyer said.

As for the economy, California has the second-highest unemployment rate in the nation, well above 10 percent. Texas— bizarro California, being close in size and population and nearly opposite in political disposition— is a little over 6 percent. As Conn Carroll noted in the Washington Examiner:

There are fewer private-sector jobs in the state (California) today, 11.9 million, then there were in 2000, 12.2 million.

And thanks to liberal welfare requirements, a third of all the nation’s welfare recipients live in California despite the state only containing one-eighth of the national population.

Contrast those numbers with Republican-controlled Texas, where private-sector jobs have grown from 7.8 million in 2000 to 9 million today.

Carroll also notes California poverty is high as is that most important of liberal priorities— income inequality (higher than in Texas)—while test scores remain low:

Meanwhile, California eighth-graders finished ahead of only Mississippi and District of Columbia students on reading and math test scores in 2011.

Texas, on the other hand, showed test scores for eight-graders above California and often above the national average across its white, black, and Hispanic populations in mathematics, reading, and science.

Maybe that’s why everyone’s leaving California, according to a Manhattan Institute study:

Since 1990, domestic migration to California has flipped to a deficit. In the last two decades, the state lost nearly 3.4 million residents through migration to other states. In other words, it lost about four-fifths of what it had gained through domestic migration in the previous 30 years. Foreign immigration filled the gap only partially. Inflows from overseas peaked at 291,191 in 2002 and sank to just 164,445 in 2011. Meanwhile, net domestic out-migration has averaged 225,000 a year over the past ten years.

Which are we going to be? California or Texas?

Don’t blame me. I voted for him.

Lex Luthor

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Utopia is here! Forward!

visions on November 29, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Wyoming!

Jackalope on November 29, 2012 at 4:25 PM

You voted for Gene Hackman? I’d vote for Gene Hackman. What movie is that from?

kim roy on November 29, 2012 at 4:26 PM

There was gold in them thar hills.

hip shot on November 29, 2012 at 4:26 PM

Makes my decision all the better…

right2bright on November 29, 2012 at 4:26 PM

dang…az in the bottom….

cmsinaz on November 29, 2012 at 4:26 PM

Keep Voting Democrat!

Straight ticket!

tom daschle concerned on November 29, 2012 at 4:27 PM

First the best-run, according to Wall Street 24/7′s annual ranking: North Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Utah, with Iowa rounding out the Top 5.

4 of 5 also have Republican Super-Majorities in the State Legislature. (Iowa has a GOP House, Dem Senate).

Norwegian on November 29, 2012 at 4:30 PM

You voted for Gene Hackman? I’d vote for Gene Hackman. What movie is that from?

kim roy on November 29, 2012 at 4:26 PM

Superman (1978). Lex had an interseting plan to solve California’s problems, even if he wasn’t all-in on the “Otisberg” initiative.

jon1979 on November 29, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Still better than anyplace without an ocean if you can afford to live near the water.

It’s all about the zip code. In California it’s advisable to shop according to local schools. Some zip codes are very nice enough and not too too expensive.

Capitalist Hog on November 29, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Hey, there’s nothing wrong with my state that a high speed train and a new retirement program for all won’t solve!

PattyJ on November 29, 2012 at 4:32 PM

California voted overwhelmingly for Obama. Democrats hold a supermajority in California, and now California Republicans cannot stop the California democratic legislature from approving any more additional tax increases on California citizens. Taxpayers and income producers are fleeing California in droves, leaving the state to the one-third of the country’s welfare recipients who reside there, and the one-third of the country’s illegal immigrants who reside there.

California and Obama’s Illinois are perfect social lab experiments on the results of complete democrat rule in this country, and if this country is stupid enough to elect this idiocy, it’s citizens should be made to suffer the consequences.

Cavalry on November 29, 2012 at 4:32 PM

I’m sure it’s just a coincidence. What does a governor have to do with running a state’s affairs, after all?

Heh…….

UltimateBob on November 29, 2012 at 4:33 PM

I call shenanigans! California has almost one-party rule, and everyone knows it’s impossible for Democrats to mess up anything. They’re simply trying to fix what Reagan did when he was governor.

Just ask any liberal college freshman.

Liam on November 29, 2012 at 4:34 PM

Democrats are the epitome of corruption.

darwin on November 29, 2012 at 4:36 PM

The other 49 states aren’t far behind. The Republican Party is following the same path as the Democrats. Every single registered Republican should unregister immediately and send them a message.

dom89031 on November 29, 2012 at 4:36 PM

California is too far gone, let Mexico have it back and be done with it.

Raquel Pinkbullet on November 29, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Let’s see how many of those Hollywood types set up their residence of record in some place like Texas over the next couple of years to dodge the taxes.

michaelo on November 29, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Really, the shirt hits the fan the moment a Blue State with high public employee worker salaries, pension and benefits petitions the federal government for a bail-out, while trying to avoid cutting any of those salaries, pensions or benefits.

When you have a coalition based on envy of the ‘haves’ the way the Democrats do, it’s going to be hard for the Democrats to get their voters in the other 49 states to agree to give good ol’ California a no-restrictions bailout, even if the Dems and the media throw the “too big to fail” threats at them. They’ve been trained to think Uncle Sugar’s money should be theirs, not someone else’s, even if that someone else is a prison guard in Los Angeles County or state bureaucrat in Sacramento. Only the most secure reps in the bluest of Blue States will dare push to give away ‘their’ money to the Golden State, even if ‘they’ are not the ones paying the taxes that the Democrats will be trying to send to California.

jon1979 on November 29, 2012 at 4:39 PM

It’s all their choice. Just do not ask others for help.

The election wasn’t even over Tuesday when state Treasurer Bill Lockyer’s phone started ringing. Activists of all stripes had the same message for him: With voters apparently poised to approve billions of dollars in tax hikes, it was time to spend more money.

“They had to be reminded the money has already been spent,” Lockyer sai

Wanna bet ? They will, without a doubt, start spending more.

Jabberwock on November 29, 2012 at 4:39 PM

Hearing major grumblings of CA based money managers considering the relocation hear to Texas… the true multi-millionaires and billionaires have/are headed for the door…

phreshone on November 29, 2012 at 4:39 PM

California is too far gone, let Mexico have it back and be done with it.

Raquel Pinkbullet on November 29, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Mexico already has it back. Try to get a job here if you’re not bi-lingual.

Se habla espanol? No? Adios gringo.

NapaConservative on November 29, 2012 at 4:39 PM

California is too far gone, let Mexico have it back and be done with it.

Raquel Pinkbullet on November 29, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Not to worry, they are in the process taking it back already.

Archivarix on November 29, 2012 at 4:40 PM

Let’s see how many of those Hollywood types set up their residence of record in some place like Texas over the next couple of years to dodge the taxes.

michaelo on November 29, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Texas should refuse them admittance. They would bring hordes of liberals with them who would all vote democrat no matter what. Texas would soon rival California as the worst run state.

darwin on November 29, 2012 at 4:40 PM

California is too far gone, let Mexico have it back and be done with it.

Raquel Pinkbullet on November 29, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Can we keep Lake Tahoe at least? We can just annex it to Nevada.

UltimateBob on November 29, 2012 at 4:40 PM

YES! We’re #1! In your face, rest of Americs!

Chuck Schick on November 29, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Not to worry, they are in the process taking it back already.

Archivarix on November 29, 2012 at 4:40

PM

Just make LA and San Francisco Mexican territories. Fence them off and require passports to exit into the US.

darwin on November 29, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Superman (1978). Lex had an interseting plan to solve California’s problems, even if he wasn’t all-in on the “Otisberg” initiative.

jon1979 on November 29, 2012 at 4:32 PM

“Otisberg?!”

“It’s a little bitty place.”

Love that scene.

Doughboy on November 29, 2012 at 4:42 PM

California and Obama’s Illinois are perfect social lab experiments on the results of complete democrat rule in this country, and if this country is stupid enough to elect this idiocy, it’s citizens should be made to suffer the consequences.

Cavalry on November 29, 2012 at 4:32 PM

I would not be bothered if we made CA a country and built a fence to keep them in. A big fence. They can keep the 9th circuit court of appeals on their side of the fence.

STL_Vet on November 29, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Time to pack up and move to Nevada. Maybe I can help turn it back to red.

aunursa on November 29, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Percentage of Non-Hispanic White Population

North Dakota – 88.9%
Wyoming – 85.9%
Nebraska – 82.1%
Utah – 80.4%
Iowa – 88.7%

California – 40.1%
Rhode Island – 76.4%
Illinois – 63.7%
Arizona – 57.8%
New Jersey – 59.3%

Kungfoochimp on November 29, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Yeah, but once we have that train from Bakersfield to Modesto, everything will be awesome…. sucks to be red in the Golden State right now.

Chicost84 on November 29, 2012 at 4:44 PM

I think its hilarious Jerry Brown inherited his own public employee union problem. Bet he didn’t see that coming.

DanMan on November 29, 2012 at 4:44 PM

10 businesses a week leaving kalifornia a week in 2011?!?!?!?!?!?!

You AIN’T seen NOTHING yet!

We just got a donk-communist super majority in both legislatures. Add in a little Gov Moonbeam and there is a 95% probability that our negative slope is going to be a vertical line.

The California flag should have a productive taxpayer in the Grizzly’s mouth.

jukin3 on November 29, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Don’t worry… it’ll work on a national level.

~The American Voter

SAMinVA on November 29, 2012 at 4:45 PM

Percentage of Non-Hispanic White Population

North Dakota – 88.9%
Wyoming – 85.9%
Nebraska – 82.1%
Utah – 80.4%
Iowa – 88.7%

California – 40.1%
Rhode Island – 76.4%
Illinois – 63.7%
Arizona – 57.8%
New Jersey – 59.3%

Kungfoochimp on November 29, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Juarez everywhere!

tom daschle concerned on November 29, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Can we keep Lake Tahoe at least? We can just annex it to Nevada.

UltimateBob on November 29, 2012 at 4:40 PM

Liberal zealots from CA have fled to NV already and turned it blue. We need to build an electrical fence around CA to prevent the locusts from turning anymore states in to mirror images of the cesspool known as CA.

Raquel Pinkbullet on November 29, 2012 at 4:46 PM

btw, if you’re moving to Texas bring your snake kits and mosquito jelly. And we don’t drink water here. Only whiskey or maybe sour milk out of a dirty glass.

DanMan on November 29, 2012 at 4:48 PM

Not to worry, they are in the process taking it back already.

Archivarix on November 29, 2012 at 4:40 PM

One is a failed Narco fueled gangland dominated by the drugs, gangs, and violence and the other is Mexico.

At this point Mexico might not want CA back.

Raquel Pinkbullet on November 29, 2012 at 4:48 PM

Superman (1978). Lex had an interseting plan to solve California’s problems, even if he wasn’t all-in on the “Otisberg” initiative.

jon1979 on November 29, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Thank you!

kim roy on November 29, 2012 at 4:51 PM

Can we keep Lake Tahoe at least? We can just annex it to Nevada.

UltimateBob on November 29, 2012 at 4:40 PM

NV is already lost. I suggest giving CA, NV, AZ and NM back to Mexico.

While AZ is a nominal Republican state, it’s fading fast as well.

Norwegian on November 29, 2012 at 4:51 PM

Utopia is here! Forward!
visions on November 29, 2012 at 4:24 PM

I’ve been asking that question for years. We’ve been told that it was because of the “evil white men” that out country was in such bad shape. Now we have more minorities in positions of power than at any point in our history. So, where is our utopian paradise?

bandutski on November 29, 2012 at 4:52 PM

You’d kinda think the burning timbers falling all around them would have some meaningful effect on the majority forever Democrats in Ca. but, no, its inhumane to cut the budget, its political suicide to cut the unions, raise the taxes, more, drive away the rest of the taxpayers, as if there’s that many left now.

The flood away from California is still picking up steam, complete collapse here we come.

Hey, how bout the Obama huh? As Calif. goes so goes this President.

Speakup on November 29, 2012 at 4:54 PM

I’ve been asking that question for years. We’ve been told that it was because of the “evil white men” that out country was in such bad shape. Now we have more minorities in positions of power than at any point in our history. So, where is our utopian paradise?

bandutski on November 29, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Follow the Klieg lights comrade!

tom daschle concerned on November 29, 2012 at 4:54 PM

hmmmm… this a forewarning that LET IT BURN may not work out for us.

faraway on November 29, 2012 at 4:55 PM

Norwegian on November 29, 2012 at 4:51 PM

AZ is not lost. An NV is not lost because of Hispanics it’s lost because of CA libs.

Raquel Pinkbullet on November 29, 2012 at 4:55 PM

Raquel Pinkbullet on November 29, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Same thing going on in Colorado. Lots of people moving from CA to CO.

tommer74 on November 29, 2012 at 4:56 PM

First the best-run, according to Wall Street 24/7′s annual ranking: North Dakota…

Thank you, oil companies, for making my state number one in the nation.

Remind me again why oil companies are evil?

gravityman on November 29, 2012 at 4:56 PM

Liberal zealots from CA have fled to NV already and turned it blue. We need to build an electrical fence around CA to prevent the locusts from turning anymore states in to mirror images of the cesspool known as CA.

Raquel Pinkbullet on November 29, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Wife and I are getting out of Orange County and are considering Texas or Utah once my daughter is out of high school in 2 years. I’m far from a locust and would be bringing my business with and probably hire locally (2-3 people initially)

Don’t discount all people from California. There are many here who are solid taxpaying citizens who only wish to be able to keep what they earn and be left alone to raise their families as they see fit.

Ditkaca on November 29, 2012 at 4:59 PM

And it will get worst, because these fools just voted for more of the same.

Alabama Infidel on November 29, 2012 at 4:59 PM

YES! We’re #1! In your face, rest of Americs!

Chuck Schick on November 29, 2012 at 4:41 PM

ND, Chuck? Whereabouts?

gravityman on November 29, 2012 at 5:00 PM

When you have a coalition based on envy of the ‘haves’ the way the Democrats do, it’s going to be hard for the Democrats to get their voters in the other 49 states to agree to give good ol’ California a no-restrictions bailout, even if the Dems and the media throw the “too big to fail” threats at them. They’ve been trained to think Uncle Sugar’s money should be theirs, not someone else’s, even if that someone else is a prison guard in Los Angeles County or state bureaucrat in Sacramento. Only the most secure reps in the bluest of Blue States will dare push to give away ‘their’ money to the Golden State, even if ‘they’ are not the ones paying the taxes that the Democrats will be trying to send to California.

jon1979 on November 29, 2012 at 4:39 PM

I’ve been thinking about this since I read this yesterday.

I figured out the Fed’s are going to bail them out and no one…I repeat..not one Senator, Congressional Representative, or President will have to take a vote on it.

Not even a executive order.

How?

The Federal Reserve is going to do their dirty work.

California is going to issue Bonds out their *ss and the FED is going to buy them. Simple as pie.

Call it…QEfornication.

WisRich on November 29, 2012 at 5:00 PM

Did we miss the start to the Apocalypse?

faraway on November 29, 2012 at 5:01 PM

s/b I figured out how the Fed’s

WisRich on November 29, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Time to pack up and move to Nevada. Maybe I can help turn it back to red.

aunursa on November 29, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Please do. We need the help.

BullShooterAsInElk on November 29, 2012 at 5:01 PM

OT: Susan Rice’s Enrichment Program
U.N. ambassador has investments in companies doing business with Iran

faraway on November 29, 2012 at 5:03 PM

hmmmm… this a forewarning that LET IT BURN may not work out for us.

faraway on November 29, 2012 at 4:55 PM

Fighting them isn’t going to work, either, and recent history proves that.

Do you have something else in mind?

Liam on November 29, 2012 at 5:03 PM

Ditkaca on November 29, 2012 at 4:59 PM

I am originally from CA. I know there are some good conservatives there too, but sadly the inmates have taken over the asylum in CA. NV used to be a nice conservative state, in the early 2000s. With the influx of libs from CA, Washoe County (Reno) which was RED, has swung blue, and NV is now crumbling too. Not a day goes by that I don’t run in to at least 1 ex-Californian, they are everywhere and they have destroyed NV.

Raquel Pinkbullet on November 29, 2012 at 5:06 PM

California: The Detroit State

Come for the government gravy! Flee from the government’s taxes!

Punchenko on November 29, 2012 at 5:07 PM

Hack-Man!

heh, all kidding aside… Lex Luthor might consider his employees disposable (I don’t think that’s too different from what most politicians think of the citizenry outside their districts) but I believe he also treated them better than your typical politician. I believe not wanting disgruntled employees is on the evil overlord list, and it’s probably also something even Machiavelli also thought necessary for holding power.

Ukiah on November 29, 2012 at 5:07 PM

California: The Detroit State

The problem with Detroit… thinking too small, you need something that’s too big to fail!

Ukiah on November 29, 2012 at 5:08 PM

I’ve traveled to about 40 countries but I live in California. My state has some of the most spectacular beauty of anywhere I’ve seen. I mean, Yosemite Valley, Highway 1, Big Sur, La Jolla, San Francisco, and on and on. Also, the weather here in Southern California is as perfect as is attainable on this planet.

By all rights, this should be a place that people dream of coming to — a paradise on Earth. But the incredible sustained idiocy of its officials has managed to turn it into a toxic dump. Productive people are actually running away from this remarkable place.

Now I’m looking at even higher income taxes (I paid $17,000+ last year for the privilege of living here), the highest sales tax in the nation, and with a Dem supermajority, even the possibility of losing Prop 13, which will drive my property taxes through the roof. I’m fed up.

I’ve lived here all my life but for the first time I’m seriously considering leaving. Sorry about the rant, but I am just dumbfounded at incompetence and greed on so colossal a scale that I’m being driven from a home that I love.

Cicero43 on November 29, 2012 at 5:09 PM

The other 49 states aren’t far behind. The Republican Party is following the same path as the Democrats. Every single registered Republican should unregister immediately and send them a message.

dom89031 on November 29, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Or better yet, we should all just become Democrats! That’ll show ‘em, right?

stefanite on November 29, 2012 at 5:09 PM

btw, if you’re moving to Texas bring your snake kits and mosquito jelly. And we don’t drink water here. Only whiskey or maybe sour milk out of a dirty glass.

DanMan on November 29, 2012 at 4:48 PM

It’s all about the Shiner Bock .

EnglishRogue on November 29, 2012 at 5:09 PM

California: The Detroit State

The problem with Detroit… thinking too small, you need something that’s too big to fail!

Ukiah on November 29, 2012 at 5:08 PM

OK, OK — how about:

California: The Soviet State

Better, yes? :-)

Punchenko on November 29, 2012 at 5:11 PM

dang…az in the bottom….

cmsinaz on November 29, 2012 at 4:26 PM

You can’t be too surprised? I love our state, but man we have some morons running it…

nextgen_repub on November 29, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Raquel Pinkbullet on November 29, 2012 at 4:55 PM

You didn’t pay attention to the redistricting bru-ha-ha in Arizona. We went from having a majority of Pubs in the house from this state to a majority of dems in the upcoming congress. It came by getting so called non partisans on the redistricting committee that were actually died in the wool progressives. So Arizona gained one congressional seat and turned light blue in the process.

chemman on November 29, 2012 at 5:14 PM

I was born in Jersey and have no desire to live there.

There’s something telling about a state that prohibits its own citizens from pumping gas themselves into their own cars.

Kingfisher on November 29, 2012 at 5:14 PM

It’s all about the Shiner Bock .

EnglishRogue on November 29, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Shiner Bock is the real thing. Other beers are pi$$ water.

Kingfisher on November 29, 2012 at 5:16 PM

I’d like to see a national survey where all Americans were asked whether they would rather live in California or any of those so-called “Top 5″ (North Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Utah and Iowa. If those were the choices, I’m guessing the Golden State would poll better than those other five combined.

Drew Lowell on November 29, 2012 at 5:17 PM

Yeah but it’s going to get a lot better before it gets worse……we have a new hybrid brand of socialism that’s never been tried before.

antipc on November 29, 2012 at 5:18 PM

Jerry Brown is taking us to Nirvana on a bullet train!

GarandFan on November 29, 2012 at 5:19 PM

I’d like to see a national survey where all Americans were asked whether they would rather live in California or any of those so-called “Top 5″ (North Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Utah and Iowa. If those were the choices, I’m guessing the Golden State would poll better than those other five combined.

Drew Lowell on November 29, 2012 at 5:17 PM

Sure, California looks really pretty when you’re looking at photos in some travel brochure.

But the reality for businesses and rational people is that it’s a sh!thole.

UltimateBob on November 29, 2012 at 5:21 PM

I’d like to see a national survey where all Americans were asked whether they would rather live in California or any of those so-called “Top 5″ (North Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Utah and Iowa. If those were the choices, I’m guessing the Golden State would poll better than those other five combined.

Drew Lowell on November 29, 2012 at 5:17 PM

Um, no.

http://www.examiner.com/article/hawaii-is-most-favorable-state-california-is-the-least

Kungfoochimp on November 29, 2012 at 5:25 PM

CA doesn’t have anything on the State of ILL…just a head start and more illegal alien vermin. With our 40% budget deficit, we’ll catch up in debt per capita verrrrrrry quickly, now that we’re a one-party state.

Jaibones on November 29, 2012 at 5:26 PM

If those were the choices, I’m guessing the Golden State would poll better than those other five combined.

Drew Lowell on November 29, 2012 at 5:17 PM

That’s because you’re an imbecile. You’d trade no state income tax for a 12% tax, just to live among the rats and gangsters in LA?

Jaibones on November 29, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Tidbits to add, all consistent with the post and the snarky comments.

The biggest foundation of “good middle class” jobs, historically – small and medium-size manufacturing – has been relentlessly hounded into decline here by all the usual nonsense: unscientific “environmental” jihad, liability shake-down industry, taxation, other regulation, and truly massive disability system fraud and abuse.

The “deficit” – hmmm, that’s curious, CA (like most states) is literally not allowed, under its constitution, to run a deficit. It’s also not allowed to issue debt without “the vote of voters” (bonds). Yes, both key restrictions are long dead, in practice. Lawlessness, Category 1.

Lawlessness, Category 2. The border, national sovereignty, etc. You know that drill. Which leads to Lawlessness, Category 3 ….

Prop 187 was a smart, timely attempt by the voters themselves to switch off at least one huge potential magnet for illegal immigrants of the less productive variety (at that time, it was still potential, as the caseload contribution from illegals was really not a huge factor – yet). Passed easily. Overturned – absurdly – by a federal district “court”. The rest of youz may be familiar with this key, somewhat novel form of lawlessness that has ravaged the country: judicial lawlessness from above. You may have heard of this idiot named Roberts, back in DC (though some, hilariously, pretend to believe Roberts is real smart, and playing some 18-dimensions chess, or something).

It is not uncommon for public employee union bigshots in Sacto to boss around Senate and Assembly office staff, or even to openly push around or abuse the elected members, in view of staff and public.

The very phrase “good school” is a fairly recent usage. It simply did not exist, in most parts of CA, just 25 years ago (ask real estate agents active before the last 10 years when they first heard the phrase). The spending, in real dollars, per pupil, is multiples of what it was when educational outcomes were – yes – multiples BETTER than they are now. Yes, yes – there ARE several wheels turning in that machine – cultural decline, mass unassimilated immigration, the collapse of teacher and school authority in the face of decades of insane litigation abuse, etc. – but the financial debacle that is CA “education” is almost entirely an artifact of unionization (well, the collapse of a public service mindset, and its substitution by greed, as a result of unionization).

One anecdote to end my essay and give a flavor of not just how expensive, and failed in conventional terms, is CA “education”, including in many cases “higher education” – but how pernicious and poisonous it has become.

A state university was selected to house/facilitate a private foundation’s international young person/student exchange program, which brings a few dozen exceptional young people from conflict states, or transitional states (Afghanistan, Ukraine, Rwanda, etc.) to the US for a month of exposure to US civil society, civic culture, and “culture” culture. Guy running it is a friend, he does an exceptional job of creating eye-opening experiences for these young folks (one favorite: local Int. Rescue Committee NGO guy – Jewish – explaining to Arab program participants how/why the IRC had done so much to help Somali Muslim refugees settle in one CA city – real-life detonation of all their most treasured bigotries about Jews and the US in one nice little pkg.).

Anyway, for a few summers the state college faculty played some part in teh program. Finally, my friend made sure that the foundation trustee was present at the opening/welcoming talk by the head of the poli sci dept. It was such an offensive, bizarre, inappropriate talk (you can imagine – anti-US, globaloney, blah blah blah), that left the young folks rather shocked and bewildered, that the trustee barred any future contact between the program and certain faculty. These “professors” make $$$ undreamt-of just one generation ago in academia, for social science posts.

Kind of the bankrupting – morally, substantively, and financially – of CA and the US in a nutshell. Sickening.

IceCold on November 29, 2012 at 5:29 PM

It’s all about the Shiner Bock .

EnglishRogue on November 29, 2012 at 5:09 PM

man talk about a weird turn around, when I was in high school in Houston we had to go all the way to Sealy to get Shiner. And in the spring they drained the barrels and made Bock beer available for about a month (March I think). Later in college I was in charge of getting our keg for the BoS party (engineering society beginning of semester) and Shiner was still considered cheap beer although the availability of Bock became more prevelent. So our leather sleeve patched perfessers would come to ours first because we had that exotic dark beer.

Now Shiner is premium and the old head-ache regular is called Shiner Blonde. How did Spoetzel become boutique? Was it because a bunch of lawyers bought it?

DanMan on November 29, 2012 at 5:29 PM

They have in common low amounts of debt per capita, low unemployment rates, business-friendly tax structures, and several of them are home to hydraulic fracturing and other energy booms.

They also have zero major urban centers, and thus none of the social difficulties that come with high population densities. No need for mass transit, no need for large scale infrastructure of any kind, really, outside of highways paid for by the feds and freight rail that’s been there for 100 years.

These states are the best run because they are the emptiest.

ernesto on November 29, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Percentage of Non-Hispanic White Population

North Dakota – 88.9%
Wyoming – 85.9%
Nebraska – 82.1%
Utah – 80.4%
Iowa – 88.7%

California – 40.1%
Rhode Island – 76.4%
Illinois – 63.7%
Arizona – 57.8%
New Jersey – 59.3%

Kungfoochimp on November 29, 2012 at 4:43 PM

I’m not racist but

Capitalist Hog on November 29, 2012 at 5:37 PM

California also wins these contests because of term limits. States are run poorly when they are run by amateurs, especially big states with large urban populations requiring massive infrastructure.

ernesto on November 29, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Yes, Drew (and others), it can be hard to grasp the nature of the problem here, but that’s because people don’t generally understand the concepts of potential, or opportunity cost (well, duh, look at the US electorate).

If CA had the geography, climate, and natural resources of, say, Iowa, it would be in far worse shape, as the inertia of all these wonderful natural endowments would not be there to hold people.

Try this metaphor. CA is one gigantic tourist restaurant, with a spectacular location and view, and unbelievably bad food (even though great sources of food, and great chefs, are located nearby). People come/stay for the view (that is, the part having nothing to do with man or his accomplishments, or follies). But viewed properly, there is gigantic and inexcusable waste (of potential) occurring.

Hollywood has long outsourced most of its actual work (often to Canada) due to the usual – union/liability/insurance/regulation – factors. Silicon Valley is sustained by pure inertia – the talent pool and university programs are there/near (those depts. are NOT the cesspools of social science) – not because any business manager would choose it today, on any conventional grounds.

CA is as bad as it can be, for as long as it can get away with it. A fairly pure study in human stupidity and weakness. If it didn’t have all the tremendous assets that cannot be ruined by clueless authoritarian-leaning “educated” liberal folk, it would have collapsed and reformed long ago.

IceCold on November 29, 2012 at 5:40 PM

I’d like to see a national survey where all Americans were asked whether they would rather live in California or any of those so-called “Top 5″ (North Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Utah and Iowa. If those were the choices, I’m guessing the Golden State would poll better than those other five combined.

Drew Lowell on November 29, 2012 at 5:17 PM

Um, no.

http://www.examiner.com/article/hawaii-is-most-favorable-state-california-is-the-least

Kungfoochimp on November 29, 2012 at 5:25 PM

Apples and oranges (so to speak.) The linked survey ranks all the states based on “favorability” —whatever that means; the article never explains it— NOT on whether people would rather actually live in California than in Utah (which ranked 46th on the list you cited), Nebraska (24th), North Dakota (19th), Wyoming (17th) or Iowa (13th).

Drew Lowell on November 29, 2012 at 5:40 PM

4 of 5 also have Republican Super-Majorities in the State Legislature. (Iowa has a GOP House, Dem Senate).

Norwegian on November 29, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Eh, not quite accurate.
Nebraska has a non-partisan unicameral legislature. Most of the reps are conservative, but do not declare D or R.

weaselyone on November 29, 2012 at 5:40 PM

Kungfoochimp on November 29, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Total population:

North Dakota – 683,932
Wyoming – 568,158
Nebraska – 1,843,000
Utah – 2,817,000
Iowa – 3,062,000

California – 37,690,000
Rhode Island – 1,051,000
Illinois – 12,870,000
Arizona – 6,483,000
New Jersey – 8,821,000

ernesto on November 29, 2012 at 5:43 PM

California also wins these contests because of term limits. States are run poorly when they are run by amateurs, especially big states with large urban populations requiring massive infrastructure.

ernesto on November 29, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Nebraska has term limits on their state representatives. That amateur argument is bull. All experienced politicians have is better relationships with Lobbyists, not that inexperienced politicians are immune.

They only get 2- consecutive 4 year terms. They can run for a 3rd term after sitting out 4 years. They also only get around 11k/year.

The state voters just voted down a pay raise and a 3rd term in November’s Election. They also don’t vote for their own pay raises. Haven’t had one since the 80′s. If inflation adjusted they should be making over 20k a year.

weaselyone on November 29, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Yikes, ernesto, godluvya but you are economically illiterate.

Hong Kong was/is the densest populated urban connurbation in the world. It had/has nothing aside from geography as a port to recommend it. Yet, British civil culture (rule of law) and unspoiled Chinese commercial culture made it a spectacular success, virtually overnight.

You really oughta read the two chapters from PJ O’Rourke’s book (I think it’s “All the Trouble in the World”) titled “From Everything, Nothing: Tanzania” and “From Nothing, Everything: Hong Kong” some time. Even the titles alone are a gigantic clue that the human factor – including public policy – are THE largest determinants of development outcomes.

IceCold on November 29, 2012 at 5:45 PM

California also wins these contests because of term limits. States are run poorly when they are run by amateurs, especially big states with large urban populations requiring massive infrastructure.

ernesto on November 29, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Ummm … what? Is this you trying your hand at tortured logic?

Isn’t it easier just to tell the truth? California has been destroyed by corrupt democrats and their tax and spend into obvilion policies as well as catering to anything that resembles a public sector union.

darwin on November 29, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Shiner Bock is the real thing. Other beers are pi$$ water.

Kingfisher on November 29, 2012 at 5:16 PM

No surprises that a German was involved behind the scenes of Shiner Bock.

But having a square head pulling the strings doesn’t always work… I present you Budweiser as an example . Bleurgh!

EnglishRogue on November 29, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Wut??

BigWyo on November 29, 2012 at 5:49 PM

If I ever have to de-camp from VA then its to WY I will head. I’ve been there a few times, like the people, like the climate and like the wide open spaces.

Just have to get enough space so as not to bother the neighbors with my personal use of it…

ajacksonian on November 29, 2012 at 5:49 PM

Legislative Salaries by State:

Best

North Dakota: $152/day during legislative sessions and $152/day for attending interim committee meetings.
Worst Case: 152*365 = $55,000/year if in sessions or meeting every single day. Much lower since they probably spend less than 200 days in session.

Wyoming: $150/day during session. Members other than leadership receive $300/mo when not in session. See North Dakota. This is piddly.

Nebraska: 12,000/year

Utah: $117/day

Iowa: $25,000/year

Worst
California: $95,291/year

weaselyone on November 29, 2012 at 5:54 PM

That’s because you’re an imbecile. You’d trade no state income tax for a 12% tax, just to live among the rats and gangsters in LA?

Jaibones on November 29, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Before calling someone else an imbecile, please note that of those “Top 5″ states I cited, only one (Wyoming) has no state income tax.

And your chief referents for Los Angeles are “rats and gangsters?” You should totally get out more.

Drew Lowell on November 29, 2012 at 5:54 PM

OK, OK, I gotta run now, but yikes X 10, ernesto!! Sheesh! CA is troubled by “amateur” lawmakers due to term limits!

I’m tempted just to savor the comic value of that idiocy, but I guess I’ll respond.

First, term limits ARE stupid – not because they create amateur legislators who don’t know how to PROPERLY bankrupt a state, or create an non-economic, ridiculous high-speed rail system – but because they are a stupid attempt to get around the need for voters to vote intelligently. All such “rule” based attempts to fix America – including prominently budget rules (Gramm-Rudman-Hollings, pay-go, etc.) are foolish, because they lull people into thinking that ongoing management of public affairs can be governed by rules (BTW, balanced budget amendments are among the most idiotic of these distractions – just see CA for an example of how a clear and hard – and historically typical – bar to deficit spending or borrowing without vote-of-voters has been flouted brazenly, openly, repeatedly, with zero legal or political consequence).

Second – CA is run by the public sector unions, the race-baiting shake-down operations, and the Coastal Clueless (TM) – “educated” right-thinking libs in beautiful spots who have as much understanding of the world beyond their daily business as does a hamster. Term limits are irrelevant. Hell, even the complete gerrymander of the state – a collaborative/corrupt bargaing between the Dems and pathetic GOP, some time back – has made elections sort of irrelevant. There is little connection between the state of the state and the vote (just as, apparently, is becoming the case nationally).

Ernesto I wish you well but dude, really.

IceCold on November 29, 2012 at 5:55 PM

States collapse financially, Feds go in and bail them out, name “Administrator” for area , state dissolved. Feeds become ALL POWERFUL Superstate.

Witness this fully operational Federal Death Star.

“We are five days away from FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORMING the United States of America.”

All without a shot being fired.

The Ruling class runs the show people…..we’re all just lucky serfs.

PappyD61 on November 29, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Apples and oranges (so to speak.) The linked survey ranks all the states based on “favorability” —whatever that means; the article never explains it— NOT on whether people would rather actually live in California than in Utah (which ranked 46th on the list you cited), Nebraska (24th), North Dakota (19th), Wyoming (17th) or Iowa (13th).

Drew Lowell on November 29, 2012 at 5:40 PM

Right. Because love to live in states they view “unfavorably”. The sad part is that California likely topped the list for decades, now it’s at the bottom. Communism is amazing!

Kungfoochimp on November 29, 2012 at 5:56 PM

iPad thingy. :-)

PappyD61 on November 29, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Kungfoochimp on November 29, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Population Density:

1 | New Jersey | 1011 people/mi^2
2 | Rhode Island | 680.5 people/mi^2
3 | California | 230.3 people/mi^2
4 | Illinois | 222.2 people/mi^2
5 | Arizona | 56.87 people/mi^2
6 | Iowa | 54.42 people/mi^2
7 | Utah | 33.18 people/mi^2
8 | Nebraska | 23.82 people/mi^2
9 | North Dakota | 9.674 people/mi^2
10 | Wyoming | 5.809 people/mi^2

ernesto on November 29, 2012 at 5:57 PM

ernesto on November 29, 2012 at 5:43 PM

Yes. Demographics is destiny. Don’t worry. We evil Whites will be out of the way shortly, and you can turn it into Mexico/Zimbabwe/etc. Will you pat yourselves on the back as you survey the rubble?

Kungfoochimp on November 29, 2012 at 5:58 PM

They also have zero major urban centers, and thus none of the social difficulties that come with high population densities. No need for mass transit, no need for large scale infrastructure of any kind, really, outside of highways paid for by the feds and freight rail that’s been there for 100 years.

These states are the best run because they are the emptiest.

ernesto on November 29, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Durp. Yah. Us poor simpletons in Nor’Dakota can’t handle all dem big city learnin’s it takes to run one a dem dare big cities, you betcha.

Hate to burst your bubble, but we actually have them things… errr… whatcha call em?… a bus?… for that mass transit stuff around Bismarck and Fargo.

I grew up in one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country, so I am familiar with cities and their problems. We have the same problems… cuz what’daya know, we do have cities here in North Dakota… as any other city, if perhaps not on as large a scale. We have low income parts of town where you don’t really want to be walking around at night… we have high income weel-to-do areas of town… we have mass transit… and we even have Native American reservations, which are pretty much the North Dakota equivalent of low income hispanic neighborhoods in CA (yes, I’ve seen both… you would be surprised how similar they are and how similarly they are talked about by the local populations).

We even have something CA doesn’t have… GROWTH!… and the headaches that come with attempting to quickly expand an infrastructure around cities that have an influx of people the current infrastructure was never designed to handle (… try to find a house in North Dakota right now, particularly in Bismarck, Dickinson, or Williston… good luck).

gravityman on November 29, 2012 at 6:00 PM

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