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Victor Davis Hanson
California, Here We Stay « Back to Story

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I really enjoyed this article. As a native son, I could never cut and run to another state. We can only endeavor toward the inevitable recovery from the attempt to transform the Golden State to the Nanny State

California Über Alles
Dammit, I love VDH's enthusiastic optimism. However, not in his lifetime will his 4 prerequisites happen. Who you gonna believe VDH, you nostalgic wishes or History?
I was an immigrant to California (from Canada) in 1995. I left in 2012, having caught the last best years of the Golden State before everything started to collapse. The physical beauty of the state is breathtaking, but its society is breaking down due to apathy, poor character, and fiscal irresponsibility. I love California, I weep for California, and I long to live there again, but I do not share Mr. Hanson's optimism. I literally wept when I left the state, but I could not justify the continual abuse by the union and race-baiting thugs of academia and government. The state will never be what it once was.

I hope I am wrong, but I'm afraid I'm not.
L Woods -- you really need to take (or re-take) Microeconomics 101. You are mistaken in your understanding of the fundamental concepts of Supply, Demand, Quantity Supplied, Quantity Demanded, and Price.

Immigrants sending remittances outside the US does nothing to affect Supply. Also, when the price falls as a result of lower demand (for whatever reason), suppliers will suffer lower profits (or losses), and then reduce Supply to reflect this, thus bringing Prices back up to a level where suppliers they can make a fair (i.e. market-based) profit.

I hope you (or I as a CA taxpayer) didn't pay very much for your education...
L Woods -- you really need to take (or re-take) Microeconomics 101. You are mistaken in your understanding of the fundamental concepts of Supply, Demand, Quantity Supplied, Quantity Demanded, and Price.

Immigrants sending remittances outside the US does nothing to affect Supply. Also, when the price falls as a result of lower demand (for whatever reason), suppliers will suffer lower profits (or losses), and then reduce Supply to reflect this, thus bringing Prices back up to a level where suppliers they can make a fair (i.e. market-based) profit.

I hope you (or I as a CA taxpayer) didn't pay very much for your education...
I was born in California. My family lives in California. But I'm moving to Austin, Texas. It's twice the standard of living at half the price, and the income tax goes from 13.3% to 0%. Good-bye, Democrats. Have fun creating Detroit part 2.
I just love the bikini clad skiers
Mr. Hanson suffers from what a lot of Californians do -- he's lived his entire life in California, so that's the only thing he knows...
Good article overall. However, it should be noted that remittances don't hurt California's economy. When immigrants (legal or otherwise) work in California they produce goods and services in return for which they receive money. If they send that money to other countries, they increase the supply of goods and services in California without increasing the demand for any other goods or services; all else equal this results in a fall the price of those goods and services produced by immigrants and a net welfare gain to Californians. When they send money to foreign countries they increase the demand for goods in those countries without increasing the supply, and this results in an increase in prices and a re-allocation of goods and services. If, in response to the re-allocation of demand from California to, say, Mexico, goods produced in California are then shipped to Mexico, then the only difference between this and the immigrants spending their money on goods in California (some of which were no doubt imported from elsewhere) is that some of the remittance money gets allocated towards resources used to move goods from here to there. Of course, even in this latter case there is a surplus that results from the initial transaction between the employer and the immigrants (if there weren't the immigrants wouldn't be able to find jobs). Thus, in neither case do Californians suffer a net welfare loss.
After forty years in the Golden State I brought my family out. I no longer carry a loaded revolver under the seat of my car.
We can deny all we want, but ethnicity matters. There is a reason why some nations are rich and some have always been poor. Why should we ever allow people in from a poor country. if they could not even advance their own nation, how can they help advance the US? We are seeing this in California with a large Hispanic population. They come from poor nations and bring their poverty with them and then we are shocked, simply shocked when poverty increases. When "there" comes "here", then "here" becomes "there"
Thanks for the article, Dr. Hanson. My mom thanks you, too. It makes me consider coming back home, some day. - Jim Thompson from Hanford, currently practicing medicine and raising a family in VA
I imagine the Colossians and Spartans might have said the same thing in their golden age. Those 'states' are long gone and Greece remains governmentally and aspirationally challenged. Greece and California suffer the sunshine curse--places so pleasant that the earn steep amenity rents. Their residents learn to live off the rents, rather than productivity. I don't think CA is getting out of this one easily or anytime soon. Of course, it's all fine if you purchased a home shortly after prop 13 went through. Easy to live off the rents and work outside the state.

Al the best and Merry Christmas
jessefan in chapel hill December 09, 2012 at 11:13 AM
“{California} is largely composed, today, of seemingly endless square miles of low-density failure.”-Jane Jacobs

Ms. Jacobs was actually talking about Detroit, but it fits here as well
I wish I could feel as optimist as Mr. Hanson. I think we lost California a long time ago. Once the government starts giving people benefits it can never take them back again. If people receiving public subsidies think their benefits might stop, they will riot. (Heck, people riot now if the electricity fails for more than a few hours).

A thought: People in big cities should buy guns to defend their families now, before the riots start.
Hanson has lost his mind in the search for hope
Howard "Jay" Hanson December 06, 2012 at 2:54 PM
Great article, I couldn't agree more! I wonder if we are related????
If only the people of California would heed your advice! They didn't and now we have higher taxes and a super majority. I'm staying for many of the reasons you cited, family being at the top, but it is getting increasingly hard to do so. Hopefully I'll see some light at the end of the tunnel soon.
Excelent article and assessment of today's California. Now, how do we go about implementing these changes? Where and who will be the first to stand up and say "I will". Certainly not our elected officials. They've demonstarted their inabilities...
At least Darrell Stienberg is happy.
Mr. Hanson,

The one party that rules the roost here in CALI has gotten the electorate to self impose a tax increase, and elect a super majority.

Care to update your assumptions post election?
Barry N. Schmidt, D.D.S. November 29, 2012 at 1:00 PM
"The four-part solution for California is clear: don’t raise the state’s crushing taxes any higher; reform public-employee compensation; make use of ample natural resources; and stop the flow of illegal aliens. Just focus on those four areas—as California did so well in the past—and in time, the state will return to its bounty of a few decades ago. Many of us intend to stay and see that it does."

Certainly it's clear. What disturbs me is that liberals continue their incessant claim that Republicans and conservatives in general "live in the past," not bothering to consider that the "past" needs to be restored in those areas that have proven to be successful.

I'm a native Californian, having been born in 1937, and have been saddened by the decline in the State due to the idiotic policies by the entrenched state legislators and those who keep them in office. No wonder so many businesses and fellow Californians are moving out of state. I also feel their hopelessness, and am considering such a move myself. If it weren't for the grandkids......
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I live in Kalifornia because:

I was born here in 1959, in San Fran-psycho, just like both of my parents and my 2 sisters;

I am self-employed and able to scrape together enough living for my single self to keep body and soul together;

I want to be close enough to see the looks on the faces of the Kalifornians when the consequences of their folly catch up with them. I want to hear the wailing and the gnashing of teeth. I want to see them all disappear into the lake of fire...
Now that the Demobcrats have a super majority in Kalifornia, I wonder what MR. Hansen's take on our situation in the Rusty State,
California is now poised to be a permanent Democrat/Leftist, Union dominated state, much like Massachusetts, New York and other failed states.

It won't be as bad as Detroit but Cali. will languish with a permanent unemployment rate above the national average and a dismal economic growth.

Towns and cities will slowly degrade as families move out and the infrastructure falls apart.

The population will probably grow but only because we are attached to a third world country that exports it's fertile underclass.

I hope I am wrong.
I work for a company that was a "California Company" for as long as anyone could remember. In 1978 they built a 1.7 million square ft. HQ in Irvine. By 1999 they downsized and moved to Aliso Viejo.

In 2005 they'd had enough and moved their Corporate HQ to Dallas, TX. In Feb. of 2012 they moved the Government business sector to Greenville, SC. It is just a matter of time before the remnants are moved out of California.

I didn't want to move. I looked for comparable work and the best I could find was at a 20% lower annual salary.

South Carolina is no California and while I will miss my avocado and citrus trees...my money buys more and I enjoy more freedom than in Cali.

My children will be able to find a slot in a university and actually complete a degree
4 years.

As for the issue of illegals, I was born in Cuba and my spouse is from Mexico.

Illegal immigration disproportionately impacts those at the lower end of the economic ladder. The legal immigrant and other minorities are crowded out by illegals willing to work for cash. We know this because our friends who are blue collar LEGAL Mexican immigrants in the Imperial valley have suffered these effects.
Now that the California voters HAVE approved tax increases and secured a super majority for the Dems, I wonder if the author's premise has changed. We're packing our bags and regrettably looking toward Nevada.
Although it is best to never give up hope, this is a pollyanna view of what will happen in California. There is no sign that the liberal/socialist/statist Democrats will make an attempt to reign in the unions who fill there election coffers with so much lucre. It looks as if only falling off the fiscal cliff and exploding at the bottom is in Cali's future. Look for things to get much worse before they get even a little better.
Here I stay, too, for the same reasons and with the same depth of roots, though not resting as easily as I once did, either. I fear Dr. Hanson may be a tad optimistic regarding the effectiveness of the wake-up calls, and the immanence of the awakening. One can hope, though. His assessment of California is truly that of one of the few, the proud, the endangered species, the California native.
The article would seem to be somewhat belied by the actual election results, don't you think?
Thank you, thank you, thank you. My grandparents arrived in Fresno in 1883 and our family has been in the state ever since. You have given us a glimmer of hope.
"The four-part solution for California is clear: don’t raise the state’s crushing taxes any higher; reform public-employee compensation; make use of ample natural resources; and stop the flow of illegal aliens."

Taxes raised, and probably will be raised even more. Check.

Reforms of public employee unions stopped, rolled-back. Check.

No gas and oil exploration, but cap and trade, etc. Check.

The flow of illegals not only is unabated, but they're voting too! Check.

All else in California is simply not that good to overcome all these evils.
We (taxpayers) booked in '95, and in our new state I no longer felt compelled to carry a gun in my car.
That's ture, Hanson knows a lot about the bay area but nothing about Orange County or Riverside, I think he never heard of those places.
That's true takeO range County the high illegal immirgation now means that 50 percent of kids come from families making 40,000 or lower. But finally their birthrates are dropping hispanic immirgants and their coming in less. OC was the few counties to votr Republician in the state it seems that some poorer hispanics and asians left since Obama got 7 points less.
jessefan in chapel hill November 12, 2012 at 11:01 PM
I'm in North Carolina and would like to know when Jerry Brown and his Californians will be knocking on my door with hands extended and palms up?
I need to know as I plan to go fishing on that day.
Mary Lou a)Hoover) Eastwood November 08, 2012 at 8:44 PM
What a great article. Truthful and to the point. Hopefully somhow many will read it and be encouraged to have the courage to help our government fix all the measures for a better tomorrow. Mary Lou (Hoover)Eastwood
I'm wondering whether, given the latest voting/election, you're of the same mind. I'm looking for another place now.
Andrea, as soon as you mentioned "How likely is a Californian with a name like Bernstein or Berkowitz to be a lettuce picker?" I knew it was just a matter of time till you played your card. It took all of 15 minutes.

"We also have to take Jewish power into account..."

If anything, Jews and other "white ethnics" brought intellectual rigor and life into a dead-end and moribund WASP country club Republican party. Rubio and others represent the future, not your dead-end racial supremacy.

Follow your leader. You know what I mean?
Victor, do you still feel this way after the election?
Victor,

You, of all people, should know that things don't always get better - you do sometimes end up with goats grazing in the shadows of the Forum.

The passage of tax-increasing proposition 30, and the election of Democrat super-majorities in the California legislature should convince you of this.

The era of "free stuff" is going to be coming to an end (and more quickly than we think), and you do not want to be in a poor area of California when that happens. When inflation starts to hit, and welfare and EBT cards don't buy so much, things are going to get really, really ugly.

"Hispanic Redwood City, nestled next to tony Atherton and Palo Alto, now has as many illegal aliens per capita as do distant Madera and Tulare."

I grew up in Redwood City. There is a large barrio less than a mile from some of the nicest parts of Atherton. Of course, there is an impermeable barrier between the two, and nothing that happens in the barrio could ever spill over into Atherton.

Anecdote: of the last two people I saw buying stuff with an EBT card (food stamps), the first was buying chocolate truffles, and the second was buying energy drinks. I bet they both voted for Obama.
Professor Hanson's excellent article reminds me of a quote attributed to Genghis Khan about Samarkhand, a city known for it's gardens and aquifers and well known for it's rude people. It goes some thing like this: 'Samarkhand would be a great city if all the water below ground was above it and all the people above it were below!"
Too late. They just voted to raise taxes for "the good of the children. " Or more accurately, the teachers' unions.

Let the state be a canary for the rest of the country. Let them go bankrupt. It's time we get to experience a little schaudenfreude at their little socialism experiment.
Just took your suggestion, axelhose. Wow. Really, just wow. Thank you, I think. ;)
Hanson writes:

"Without influxes of massive numbers of illegal immigrants, California Latinos could soon resemble California Armenians, Japanese, and Portuguese—whose integrated, assimilated, and intermarried ethnics usually earn more than the state’s average per-capita income."

I like Hanson, but this is silly. Transforming an illegal peasant class that exhibits high levels of crime, low levels of intellectual achievement, and all the hallmarks of aggrieved third worlders, into a healthy, productive community, is impossible.

Euro-civilization can only be maintained by Europeans and some Asians (the Japanese being a prime example). Human populations are not "blank slates" that can be refashioned to function in ways that please liberal-minded elites.

Race matters. IQ matters. Reality matters.

Conservatives need to deal with this.

You mean there are limits to prosperity?!?!?
Another great piece by Professor Hanson. I'm not quite as optimistic as he is about our future here, but the scenario he lays out is quite plausible. My concern is that California will fall into the "too big to fail" category and Washington will cave in and give our addicted politicians a big bag of money with no strings attached.

It occurs to me that perhaps the reason we have so many wacky political and social philosophies here is precisely because California is what it is. We have incredibly good weather, unparallelled creature comforts, and access to "industrial-size" quantities of food. Only in this atmosphere would one have the luxury to indulge oneself intellectually with all the abstract notions of "inequality" and "social justice" that the "bluer" residents of the state are so passionate about. (I think guilt over all this bounty drives a lot of these feelings, too).

Another observation-I have rarely seen a native Californian live out the "crass and self-indulgent" extremes of the "California lifestyle" mentioned in the piece. Over the years, I've found that most of this comes from transplants to the state, who have adopted the attitude that they have "got theirs" by moving here, and everyone else who does not live here is some kind of a loser-especially if they are not interested in California.

Only an American conservative could have such boundless faith in discipline. I hope Mr. Hanson is right and gets a chance to demonstrate the truth of it.
Professor VDH,

What the heck has gotten into you. Have you been drinking the water in NYC or something? What's with all the positive talk? Trying a new tack with this new City Journal audience? I hardly recognized thee. I have a young daughter that lives in LA after attending that apparently non-prestigious/elite USC ;-) and I cannot drag her out of there for nothing. Also had a stepson that just graduated from that little college at the end of University Avenue that you spend your weekdays in the middle of. He has missed the bad part of CA, too. You are starting to think like my stepson and daughter. You and my kids are starting to give me hope for the future of your state.

In any case, I really enjoyed this piece despite the change of tone. Keep up the good work.

Wish he would be governor of California...
HOW LONG DO WE HAVE TO WAIT? MY FAMILY, ALSO, SETTLED IN CALIFORNIA A COUPLE OF GENERATIONS AGO, AS DID MY HUSBANDS, AND SO OUR ROOTS ARE HERE. BUT WE BECOME MORE AND MORE DISCOURAGED AS IT BECOMES PAINFULLY OBVIOUS THAT THINGS ARE NOT LIKELY TO CHANGE IN OUR LIFETIME.
Werewife, google this name:
Andrea Freiboden
I have no idea if this is true or not, it just came up in a search of Andrea's name.
Bravo! Illegitimi non carborundum!
Andrea Ostrov Letania ... hmm. Sounds Slavic to me. Possibly Russian. Now where does a Russian get off as a spokeswoman for the problems of "white Americans"? To any proper Anglo-Saxon or Teuton, the Slavs and Russians were closer to Asiatic savages than civilized white Europeans and their American descendants. Speaking of American descendants, just when did your ancestors get here? Was it after 1605? 1776? 1865? Getting a little recent for a claim to be a true daughter of this soil...

Gee, obnoxious blood-and-soil tribalism is a cool game after all, and the whole world can play, not just Nazis! This is fun!
May the Gods of the Copy Book headings move the whole state into the Pacific. Sorry about your family farm!
I was born in California 55 years ago and I'm leaving in May. My kids have already left and the state will lose about $40K annual taxes that we would have paid. High taxes, housing cost, living cost, crime, traffic, etc it's just not worth it anymore. To paraphrase Davy Crockett: California, I'm going to Texas and you can go to Hell.
In the tri-county area of central California, Santa Clara, San Benito and Monterey it is far too late. What started out as a trickle in the 70s has fully blossomed into a an entire population of illegals that have no desire to embrace America or our culture in any way. They are here as any parasite would attach to any host and the La Raza's and myriad of leftist orgs are the modern Nazi Brownshirts.

First Castroville, then Wasonville, Hollister, Gilroy. The productive are fleeing and the vacuum just sucks in more illegals in daily.
Andrea Ostrov Letania November 04, 2012 at 2:22 PM
We also have to take Jewish power into account. Jews control much of the media in this country. Even the conservative movement has been taken over by globalist neocons whose main agenda is to use conservatism for the interests of Israel. With friends like these...

Hollywood is dominated by Jews, and just like the news media it pushes for the cult of 'diversity'. Its movies, TV shows, and music tell white people that they are inherently 'evil and racist' and must embrace 'diversity' in order to be good people. And Jewish professors in colleges have brainwashed entire generations of white kids to hate themselves. This is now a nation where millions of illegals march openly and demand 'rights' while legal citizens are afraid to march lest they be called 'racist'.

Jewish power and control over elite academia and media have created this climate. If Hanson had any guts, he'd point this out. But he's just another toady of neocons. He cares more about Israel than the fate of whites in America.
He doesn't understand that what is being done to whites in America is no different from what was done to Palestinians in Palestine. Massive influx of Jews led to the dispossession of Palestinians. Jews gave us Obama. Jews gave us multiculturalism. Jews push for diversity and more immigration. Jews are Palestinianizing white Americans.
Some Jews seem to be supporting Romney, but Romney is just another neocon toady. Kanye West said Bush doesn't care about black people. The real truth is that guys like Hanson and Romney are afraid to love and care about white people.
This article is just another mindless paean to 'diversity'.
Good article. I would add the enormous negative re-configuration of our once unique community college system and the impact thereof.
Andrea Ostrov Letania November 04, 2012 at 2:14 PM
The simple fact is that the national Democratic party doesn't care if California is a failed state as long as it votes Democratic forever, and it will as it fills up with non-whites, especially Mexicans. And national Democrats don't mind whites leaving California since the exodus will turn neighboring states into blue states. The great irony is that many whites who choose to flee from the statism and diversity of California still remain liberals ideologically(just like Jews who fled communism in Europe still tended to be socialist-minded when they arrived in the US), and so, they spread their liberal germs to states like Colorado and Nevada.

Demography is destiny. Though the elites of Texas tend to be more conservative, the massive rise of Mexican numbers will also doom that state to be 'blue'(by turning brown). Democrats don't care if the economy suffers or the budget blows up. All they wanna do is win politically, and if 'diversity' is the ticket to power, they'll go for it.
Same in France and UK. The leftist governments keep pushing for more diversity. Why? Because it has economic benefits? No. It's because African and Muslim immigrants are likely to support leftist regimes that promise more immigration and more welfare. It's all about power.
The best thing would be to perfect cloning technology and clone a million white folks everyday.
Andrea Ostrov Letania November 04, 2012 at 2:07 PM
"In a state with no majority culture, where it is almost impossible to determine a person’s income by race, dress, accent, or bearing, performance tends to trump reputation or appearance."

You gotta be kidding me. How likely is it for a California black or Mexican to be the head of a Silicon Valley firm? How likely is it for a Vietnamese Californian to be a Hollywood mogul? How likely is a Californian with a name like Bernstein or Berkowitz to be a lettuce picker?
Enjoyed the article Dr. Hanson ( and the optimism ). I share many of your concerns re California. But, like you, I am not going anywhere. I am very grateful for the bounty that both nature and those that came before us have bestowed on our great state, and I won't give up on it.

I live in Laguna Niguel ( about half an hour drive south of Newport Beach along the coast ). As we were coming back from surfing one day ( another advantage of California that I have availed myself of relatively late in life--as surfers go anyway ), my buddy said to me " you know, I have traveled extensively in my business all over the world, and it doesn't get any better anywhere than right here."

Even some of my more left liening acquaintances are starting to understand that the blue social model just doesn't work, and that we are running out of other people's money. Hopefully, more people will begin to see the light and we can keep what is great about California, and fix what is broken.

P.S. Recently read your book "Carnage and Culture." Found it to be very interesting. Really appreciate your insights as well as how you make the ancient battles so vivid and understandable.
Due to the natural advantages this article discusses, and CA still possesses, it should be a vibrant state. It just shows how uncontroled leftism can ruin paradise.
I am a neighbor Dr. Hanson and you have once again have given written expression to what many of us think.
In simple words Mr. Hanson, I stay because California is my home. Its where I was born, its where my father was born as was his father. I can no more abandon California than I can abandon my left arm.

As Californians, weve seen people of all sorts come and go. All of the people who come to California to make their fortune and then leave have come and gone many, many times before. We have no doubt that the current wave of locusts will go too.


I stay because I feel the same sense of patriotism to California that many people feel for the United States( as do I).

This is not a choice Mr. Hanson, this is my home.
Good Luck!

Those are four biggies!
" The engine started and Randy turned away to face the thousand year night "
Last sentence in " Alas Babylon" By Pat Frank.
I agree. Despite the statism, I still consider California to be one of my favorite places in the world and would love to move back. Maybe California can turn around. Hope springs enternal.
-If it does not change for the better within the next five years I am leaving!
-We need two Federal Constitutional Amercements:
1. All government pensions renegotiated.
2. If elected to a position in government,from President to Local School Board, you get no government pension. Within a year of the new law, all that already have one will lose it.
I admire Mr. Hanson's loyalty and optimism. I fear, however, that there is such a thing as a "point of no return." I suspect California is crossing it now. Perhaps it did so already--when it selected Jerry Brown over Meg Whitman.

Here in Texas we're following a different trajectory.And when the point comes when we are asked to sacrifice to help pay for Californian's economic and cultural madness, we may decide to pass.
I'm glad some good people are staying.

Not owning any agricultural land in California, though, we were finished with my native state, despite the fine weather and other amenities, and left for good, a few years back. I only have so many years to live, and I wasn't going to live that way any more.

I left the LA area almost 30 years ago to go to college, yet I can still find my way around there easily, though not quickly. The roads and freeways are the same, with few changes or upgrades, despite the massive growth along and around them. And they were barely adequate. Perhaps, in theory, one can drive from the Sierra to the beach in a short time, but the reality for most Californians is that they spend two hours on the road, daily, commuting, despite living only miles from work. The reality of environmental obsessions and trendy policies is that it had led to daily misery for the average person in the state.

The culture in cities and towns is no longer laid-back or flaky, as I remember it when I was a child. It's become aggressive, angry and rude. Daily life has become unpleasant, even at the beach where I mostly lived for over 40 years. "Laid back" is just BS we sell the tourists, any more.

I hope that those who stay there, can experience California as a great place, again. But I was not going to spend the best years of my life, waiting.

Here's to your success.
VDH would be the perfect candidate to found a new party in CA, and run for Gov. on a platform of fiscal sanity and repairing the state's reputation.

As an Illinoisan who admires CA's beauty and vibrancy from afar (and when we visit), it seems to me a worthwhile project to wrest CA from the death grip of the idiocracy currently destroying the state.

IMO, conventional politics cannot do this alone. It will require financial help from outside CA, AND a new political party to break the 'left/right' debate format.

Such a party would allow for needed triangulation of the standard debating points between left and right (which the Republicans seem to have lost over a decade ago).

This would make for a more robust discussion of the issues, and allow for a wider attack on the public employee strangle hold on the state.
Having been born and raised in the San Fernando Valley in the 50's and 60's, I can appreciate the things that once made California great. But I moved out of the state in 1970 and barely recognize it today. The only thing that has improved in the last 40 years is the smog situation. I think you understate the growing problems in California, never mentioning the crushing automobile traffic in southern California and glossing over the fiscal ruin that lurks. The state is famous for its riots and it's easy to see more on the horizon when reality comes in the form of decaying infrastructure, reduced services and reduced opportunity. Oldtimers will hang on to what they have, but those looking for places without the built-in problems and crushing taxes of California will continue to look elsewhere. Retirees like myself will still come to visit and enjoy the incredible weather and scenery for a couple weeks at a time, but moving back into the state is out of the question. I hope you are correct in your upbeat assessment of the state's prospects, but those voting with their feet apparently think otherwise.
I refugeed out to Nevada in January 1999 and am very glad that I did, a 5th generation Californian who saw no reason to stay and a lot of reasons to leave.
But it seems that California refuses to let me go. Or at least has refused to cease trying to tax me.
The criminal thugocracy that is the California income tax system has twice attempted to bill me for income they simply make up and "assume" I have earned in the state since I left in 1999.
Somebody should be in prison for this exercise in both attempted extortion and gross abuse of the power of the state.
One minute on the IRS or Social Security computers would have shown that I was earning my income in Nevada, not the mouldering Golden State.
But no, they had to harass my senior citizen parents for money that the state arrogated the authority to itself to assume I had earned. This just because I had a California security guard card.
Definitely criminal, since they went directly to harassment without the slightest pretense at due diligence.
I cross the Golden Curtain only because I still have family in the state. But ever reside there again? I would consider it only after the criminals in the state income tax offices have been prosecuted and served some serious felony time.
You have all the resources you need to recover,
except time. Sudden changes break things, and the
coming world economic collapse will break all the
debtor states, not just California.
I hope Vic lives to be a Hundred Thirty so he can see if Sacramento can actually change because I don't see enough rebellion in the state to acheive any of those goals he listed in a reasonable time frame.
Mr. Hanson, there is another, more practical and less romantic reason that many people don't leave California:

Their mortgages are underwater.
"The four-part solution for California is clear ... and stop the flow of illegal aliens."

If only. Victor Davis Hanson knows tons about California, but there is a lot of general ignorance out there. Although areas like Hollywood and Berkeley have been on the Left for a long time, California was not so many decades ago a pretty conservative state. I grew up in the suburbs of L.A. when it had a conservative mayor. Many families had moved there for military and automotive jobs from the Midwest and the South. Hence there were clear California majorities that repeatedly voted into office such flaming liberals as Nixon and Reagan.

In fact there are still some very large geographic areas of California that are firmly 'red,' amassed together larger than some states.

The problem is not that Californians have not been opposed to illegal in-migration-- and Dr. Hanson has nicely itemized some of their efforts--but that they have been thwarted at every turn.

What Californians have been up against has been a federally supported third-world invasion of the United States, and California has had the deadly geographic luck to be right at the front door of that onslaught, for decades.

Obviously as the state has become more third-word, its politicians have moved farther to the Left to satisfy that services-hungry clientele. Add to that the mushrooming third-world demographic electing increasing numbers of their own, and the current condition of California really isn't all that mysterious.

America absolutely must get its borders under control, but even if that happens soon by some political miracle, differential birthrates--yes, even if whites start having more kids--will make California ever more third-world, but only in the vanguard of what all of the United States will soon, in world history terms, become.

Regardless of high taxes, excessive government regulation, Democratic unions and other serious problems, California, and then the rest of the U.S., will begin to look more and more like South Africa, with whites taking refuge in wealthier high-walled enclaves, guarded by private security firms devoted to trying to keep out the savage 'random' violence of the Third World, temporarily.

Only some sort of national political, hopefully peaceful voter revolution, involving repatriation, could turn all of this around. More likely there will eventually be in the United States a white successionist movement on the county level, preferably also peaceful.

This devastating third-world invasion has been going on for many decades, directly against the will of the majority of American voters, a majority confirmed by poll after poll, in every state of the union, including California.
California is the worst ranked state for tax administration – another anti-business factor.
http://www.sacbee.com/static/weblogs/capitolalertlatest/2010/03/cal-rated-worst.html

California now has the 2nd lowest bond rating of any state – Basket case Illinois just beat us out for the lowest spot. We didn’t improve our rating – Illinois just got worse.
http://www.calwhine.com/great-news-california-no-longer-has-worst-credit-rating/1554/

California has the 6th highest (worst) state per capita debt. Not counted is local government debt. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/24/states-debt-combined-may-exceed-4-trillion_n_1029162.html
The American Tort Reform Association ranks CA the worst state “judicial hellhole” – extremely anti-business.
But the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ranks CA higher – “only” the 4th worst state (up from 7th worst in 2008).
http://tinyurl.com/CA-worst-judicial-state and http://www.instituteforlegalreform.com/states/california

CA tickets are incredibly high. Red-light camera ticket $480. Next highest state is $250. Most are around $100.
http://reason.org/blog/show/red-light-cameras-and-the-enigmatic

California is tied with 3 other states (Hawaii, Texas[!] and Florida) for having by far the least competitive property & casualty insurance markets. http://heartland.org/policy-documents/heartland-institute-releases-new-property-casualty-insurance-report-card

California has a nasty anti-small business $800 minimum corporate income tax, even if no profit is earned, and even for many nonprofits. Next highest state is Oregon at $150. A few others under $100, with most at zero.
http://tinyurl.com/CA-800-tax

California small businesses failed in 2011 at a rate 69% higher than the national average -- the worst state in the nation.
http://money.cnn.com/2011/05/19/smallbusiness/small_business_state_failure_rates/index.htm (based on Dunn & Bradstreet study)

America’s top 650 CEO’s rank California “the worst state in which to do business” for the 8th straight year (May, 2012). http://chiefexecutive.net/best-worst-states-for-business-2012 (It’s worth reading the short article, and especially the part about California.)
CA has the 3rd highest state unemployment rate. (September, 2012) – 10.2%. National unemployment rate 7.8%. National unemployment rate not including CA is only 7.5%, making the CA unemployment rate 36.5% higher than the average of the other 49 states. http://www.bls.gov/web/laus/laumstrk.htm

Using the more accurate U-6 measure of unemployment (includes involuntary part-time workers), CA is the 2nd worst at 20.3% vs. national 15.3%. National U-6 not including CA is 14.6%, making CA’s U-6 38.9% higher than the other 49 states. http://www.bls.gov/lau/stalt.htm

CA needlessly licenses more occupations than any state – 177. Second worst state is Connecticut at 155. The average for the states is 92. http://cssrc.us/publications.aspx?id=7707

California’s 2013 “business tax climate” still ranks 3rd worst in the nation – behind New Jersey and New York state.
http://taxfoundation.org/article/2013-state-business-tax-climate-index

CA public school teachers the highest paid in the nation. CA students rank 48th in math achievement, 49th in reading.
http://www.lao.ca.gov/reports/2011/calfacts/calfacts_010511.aspx page 36

1 in 5 in Los Angeles County receiving public aid. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-welfare22-2009feb22,0,4377048.story

California has 12% of the nation’s population, but 33% of the country’s TANF (“Temporary” Assistance for Needy Families) welfare recipients – more than the next 7 states combined. Unlike other states, this “temporary” assistance becomes much more permanent in CA. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/jul/28/welfare-capital-of-the-us/?print&page=all

California prison guards highest paid in the nation. http://www.caltax.org/caltaxletter/2008/101708_fraud1.htm
California has the 2nd worst state income tax in the nation. 9.3% tax bracket starts at $48,029 for people filing as individuals. 10.3% tax starts at $1,000,000.

Governor Brown has put on the ballot a prop to change the “millionaires’ tax” to 13.3%, starting at $500,000 – including capital gains.

If approved, CA will be by far #1 in income tax rates. We will be 21% higher than the 2nd highest state (Hawaii), 34% higher than the 3rd highest state (Oregon), and a heck of a lot higher than all the rest – including 7 states with zero state income tax. http://taxfoundation.org/sites/taxfoundation.org/files/docs/ff2012.pdf Tables #11 & 13

CA has the highest state sales tax rate in the nation. 7.25% (does not include local sales taxes).
http://taxfoundation.org/article/state-and-local-sales-tax-rates-january-1-2012

CA corporate income tax rate (8.84%) is the highest west of the Mississippi (our economic competitors) except for Alaska.
http://taxfoundation.org/article/2013-state-business-tax-climate-index Table #1 – we are 6th highest nationwide.

CA has the 2nd highest gas tax in the nation at 68.9 cents/gallon (October, 2012). National average is 49.3 cents.
http://www.api.org/statistics/fueltaxes/ (also CA has the nation’s 2nd highest diesel tax – 77.1 cents/gallon. National average 54.5 cents)

California in 2009 ranked 15th highest in per capita property taxes (including commercial) – the only major tax where we are not in the worst ten states. But CA property taxes per owner-occupied home were the 10th highest in the nation in 2009.
http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/251.html and http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/1913.html (2009 latest year available)

CA has now instituted the highest “cap and trade” tax in the nation – indeed, the ONLY such U.S. tax. One study estimates the annual cost at $3,857 per household by 2020. Even proponents concede that it will have zero impact on global warming.
http://tinyurl.com/WSJ-CA-cap-and-trade
CA is great if you are worth over $20M or if you're on food stamps. I was born & raised in CA and left this year for Oregon. I literally would not move back for any amount of money. Even the elocution of the average McDonald's worker here is astounding!
Good luck with all that. I'm a huge fan of yours, Dr. Hanson, but I think a train wreck is inevitable, followed by chaos.
the following was written by:

Wolf Richter has 20 years of C-level operations and finance experience, including turnaround situations and startups. He lived in five foreign countries and in fascinating places like Tokyo, Paris, New York, and Wichita Falls, TX. Traveled to 100 countries on all continents, much of it overland. Currently in San Francisco.

seems like you have some things in common
if it gets much worse economy wise here is what you can expect:

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault made it official: the government would requisition vacant buildings regardless of who owned them, including office buildings. It would then convert them to apartments and make them available to the homeless and the “badly housed.”

As a first step, he asked for “an inventory of available buildings.” That list should be on his desk in “a few weeks,” he said. He was in a rush to identify these properties “so that we can undertake at least several operations in January and February 2013.”

A desperate move to halt the collapse of his numbers. And another broadside at investors.

It’s getting tough for him and President François Hollande. As France sinks deeper into its economic mire, people are losing patience: those who still have confidence in Hollande plunged to 36%, the lowest level of any president six months after taking office (the data go back to 1981). Among workers: 31%—a catastrophe for a Socialist. Among shop keepers, artisans, business owners, and CEOs: 21%. They'd walked out on him. [they’d already stirred up the pot: A Capitalist Revolt in Socialist France].

And Prime Minister Ayrault hit 34%. Among his predecessors, only Édith Cresson in 1991 and Alain Juppé in 1995 were lower. Both were sacked, Cresson 11 months into her term, and Juppé two years into his. Only 19% of the shop keepers, artisans, business owners, and CEOs had any confidence in him—despite his “gaffe” that he would be open to discussing the 35-hour workweek to bring down the cost of labor, which was followed by furious backpedalling from the entire Socialist power structure. Among workers, his confidence level dwindled to 29%. An untenable position. He should be polishing his resume.

Instead, he’d requisition buildings.

With his announcement, he backed Housing minister Cécile Duflot. She’d already pointed at the “seriousness of the situation” and declared—as the first major cold wave imposed additional risks on the homeless—that she’d study the possibility of requisitioning vacant buildings for the purpose of converting them into housing for the homeless and the “badly housed.”

To preempt the conservative opposition from having public conniptions, she dragged their former standard-bearer Jacques Chirac out of the closet. Back in 1995 when he was still mayor of Paris, he requisitioned, “as everyone remembers,” about 1,000 offices and apartments.

Requisitioning buildings and apartments is a tactic for all sides of the political spectrum. The law that authorized it was passed in 1945 to deal with the post-World War II housing crunch. And during the 1960s, over 100,000 requisition orders were issued.

Advocacy groups such as Jeudi Noir (Black Thursday) and Droit au Logement (Right to Housing) have been pressuring the government to do something about the “housing crisis.” To make a public point, they chose a famous symbol as backdrop for their press conference: 1a, Place des Vosges—a building of 1500 sq. meters (16,000 sq. ft.) that has been vacant since 1965.

I used to live not far from there and walked through the Place de Vosges a lot, always wondering why someone would allow such a valuable property to remain empty. At the time, it was visibly going to heck. Yet it’s in an awesome location, facing the garden in the middle of the square, with galleries and cafés on two sides, and no traffic—an immense luxury in Paris. Members of Jeudi Noir squatted that building for a year until they were removed in 2010, a highly mediatized affair.

Instead of doing his utmost to encourage private sector construction, Prime Minister Ayrault has jumped on the bandwagon of the squatters, sending shivers down the spines of those who invest in real estate development and construction. With perfect timing: just when France desperately needs that business to pick up speed—not only to create sorely needed housing units, but also to create jobs [Worse than the Infamous Lehman September: France’s Private Sector Gets Kicked off a Cliff].

Unemployment is over 10%, youth unemployment over 25%. In disadvantaged areas, such as a number of volatile suburbs, unemployment is far higher. For example, in Clichy-sous-Bois, an eastern suburb of Paris, unemployment is 22%, and youth unemployment is astronomical. The pressure in these areas is rising. They’ve blown up before. Jobs would relieve some of it. But requisitioning buildings and scaring investors won’t.

To counter ugly economic trends that started while Nicolas Sarkozy was still president, the government has re-unearthed the catchword “competitiveness”—entailing the cherished and untouchable 35-hour workweek, equally untouchable wages, and sky-high employer-paid payroll charges. An explosive mix. And it just blew up.
What hasn't been addressed is the many Mexicans, liberals, and others that crave California becoming part of the new nation Aztlan, that professes to seek the expulsion of whites, blacks, Asians and others that do not crave the unusual values based on this racism.
Those who run California currently (Steinberg, Brown, Nunez, et al) have little interest in retaining the gentile White middle class, outside of picking their pockets as long as possible. Uneducated 3rd world village peasants pay much less attention to graft and corruption. See: Bell, Cudahy, etc. Given the endless 10 billion+ budget deficits how else can the "come on in and get some goodies!" approach be explained? The fact they will support the ruling Democrat/Union thugocracy if given the right (or opportunity) to vote is just gravy.

I'd recommend looking at many of the names of who runs CA, LA, and SF. Pay attention to which groups are highly over-represented in the grand scam (both D and heading the Unions). It's quite telling. And I don't give a crap if that makes me a racist to some. I'd say it makes me a realist.

As for Dr. Hanson's hopes for the future, I hope it comes to pass. However the level of brainwashing that has occurred in the public schools will require a mighty breakdown of the system to wake these people up. I know some. Their deeply held smug arrogance of the superiority of Marxist California dogma will not be relinquished without significant suffering which can be directly attributable to the Dems....and as we know, the Times and Chron have little enthusiasm for leftist mea culpa.
AND yet your state will vote overwhelmingly for Barack Obama--a liberal so far left that even Democrats in my state cringe!
Sounds good, when do you pan to start your four-part solution?
"Many of us intend to stay and see that it does." Sucker
I am a new arrival to the state (only came here in 2000 and I came here legally;) but I feel fully identified with the following sentence "in a state with no majority culture, where it is almost impossible to determine a person’s income by race, dress, accent, or bearing, performance tends to trump reputation or appearance ... In California, one earns respect more from what one does than from what one has done."
I fell in love with this California state of mind very quickly. Many times I have thought about moving to a different state but all those many times I have been stopped from doing so because the attraction I feel to this mindset which is quite unique. If only we could get rid of liberal politicians, boy this place would be like paradise!
@lukuj: "So all the articles I have read about the record number of California's fleeing are wrong?" No. Total misreading of Hanson's argument. Try again.
We moved 2 years ago to Western North Carolina. What a relief to be able to live in a place without rationalizing why I stay.

California has jumped the shark and will continue to decline. I'm afraid Victor, you're living in the past and rationalizing to yourself. Good luck trying to get your 4-point solution implemented.
I've been here 22 years. Grew up in Illinois. Born in NY. Nice trifecta, I know.

I do get paranoid that in the not so distant future, people will ask: Really? CA residents used to be able to freely leave the state and take their money with them...because at some point the state will apply a tax/fee on those leaving...a tax so big that most of us will have to stay, or leave it all behind. I'm certain many will say this is far fetched and unconstitutional, but so much of our lives are ruled in unconstitutional ways already. The logic will be that a person lived here X number of years, made X amount of $, so they now owe X.

It's half my life (all adult)...what is it really like living elsewhere? Are values wildly different? I'm Catholic, a sole proprietor and considered a right winger around here (but, I'm far from it - more likely libertarian, definitely Tea Party mindset, though).

Help, someone. Without the snark. Cause I'm seriously wondering.
LOL. And again, lol.
This dream of yours may come to pass some day, but not in my lifetime.
So all the articles I have read about the record number of California's fleeing are wrong? And all the Californian's I run into in the Houston area and throughout Texas are all lying to me about having left California for someplace where they aren't taxed and regulated to death? And the people I talk to when in California to visit my son who is trapped there who tell me they wish they could afford to leave are all lying too? Who knew!
what cali has in tons is sand which is lucky for the author and his ilk to bury their collective heads in. The one thing that cali lacks is plan to get out of the mess their in. Of course they are libs , so their first inclination is a bailout from the feds.
Stand and fight, my friends. Stand and fight.
"At some point, the state's southern border will be closed" ... I am afraid that "point" will always be over the horizon, or around the next corner. I believe you are channeling Mark Twain on the topic of second marriages here.

I wish California well, it's vital to the rest of our country.
I understand how it is. I live in Michigan, easily the most beautiful state in the Midwest. And yet, it is a union-controlled hellhole economically. I stay because my roots are here and there is always that hope things will turn around.
Dreams Mr. Hanson, Dreams. Yes, it could be...but, the chances are slim and none and none just left town. The thing that made California prosper was it's intellectual property as evidenced by its people. That is certainly no longer the case...far too many have left.
California's main problems are unions and electing politicians like Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer and Gov Brown. Until Californians are willing to address those problems than there is no need to have a discussion since it is waste of hot air.
California the Golden State should now be renamed the Golden Goose State that is being killed by deficits, never ending tax increases, immigration policy that is run by anarchists, unyielding public employee unions, overwhelming environmental regulation, and an anti-business climate. Unfortunately, the citizens who produced jobs are leaving the state and the majority of hard left liberals is growing more and more every day.California politicians had there way they would build a bridge to Athens
I wish Hanson's optimism was well-founded. Unfortunately, I find optimism for the California economy to be wishful thinking.

California seems to have passed a tipping point that allows public employees, government dependents, and the green lobby to control voting and continue the slow-motion destruction of the California economy.

All of the WRONG solutions will be tried before Hanson's four-part solution becomes a viable option. In other words, decades more of decline.

Don't forget, any mention of illeg.. er.. undocumented perfect angels in any kind of rational discussion of economics and assimilative culture means Mr. Hanson is just waiting for his KKK sheets before committing genocide against all brown people. Or so we've been told by the L.A. Times...
God help you if you are a divorced parent -- particularly a father -- because the State of California Family Court effectively forbids you from leaving the state... lest all of your earnings be surrendered to your former spouse.

http://piqscore.com/2012/06/underwriting-the-nuclear-family-meltdown/

Because alimony and child support calculations are based on 1) custodial timeshare and 2) income (or, if you are unemployed, your earnings POTENTIAL), you are effectively put into indentured servitude... and required to support your former spouse "in the manner he/she is accustomed," without regard to your actual financial condition.

A women who takes time off work to have a baby, while her husband continues as the breadwinner, is sacrosanct: she will given 100% custody and assigned an earnings requirement of $0. The father, on the other hand, will be required to pay 75% of earnings to her... and, if they've been married for 10 years or more, can be ordered to pay her alimony FOR LIFE.
Well, Victor, no real arguments with anything you say -- I grew up very close to where you did, and can relate to the positives as well as the negatives. However, I left 20 years ago for the Midwest, and I have no desire to move back. Life's better elsewhere. I am shocked at what I see when I go back and visit family -- things have really gone south in the last couple of decades. No thanks.
I stay for no other reason than being chained to the oars of life here in Kalifornia. Cannot leave without suffering catastrophic economic losses. Will hang on only long enough for the rest of the world to turn around and Kali to sink further. When the two curves cross color me and mine gone. People get the government they deserve and Kalifornians are getting it hard. ciao kiss kiss!
I would like to say I'm optimistic that the Golden State can be restored to its former glory. But I'm not. I came here when my parents moved here from Massacusettes in 1967. At that time, I became a Califonia snob and told people that there was no intelligent life east of Lake Tahoe. Soon after graduating from one of the state colleges, I realized that there is no intelligent life west of Lake Tahoe either.

We have too many tax eaters to change what we've become. They won't do the work, they don't have the ambition, and they don't have the brains. I'm lucky because I've worked hard and saved all my life. I can probably get by in the time I have remaining to me. But the kids in my neighborhood are likely nothing more than a food source to the public sector and the illegals.

If you don't believe me, ask yourself why Senator Feinstein won't even debate her opponent in this election? Because the state is in the bag. Neither Obama nor Romney waste their time coming here to speak to voters (Obabam's money visits don't count) because they both know the score here is settled. Game over.
Thought you'd find this interesting
Today’s Los Angeles Times website adds yet another example of why Americans suspect many, if not most, cerebral elevators in California don’t reach the top floor. Harry Binswanger (yes, that’s his real name) starts his Times’ article bemoaning the shrinking middle class (he means those folks who actually pay California taxes) – but then ends up revealing the cure for the loss of middle class jobs is promptly increasing the minimum wage – through government mandate of course. Now the cud chewers writing for the LA Times generally believe some form of government mandate is the sure cure for most of what presently ails us but such twisted logic emanating from a full grown adult is a little scary. Chicken McNuggets assembly engineers at McDonald’s or roof repair nailing specialists won’t rapidly ascend to middle class tax brackets by raising the minimum wage another buck or buck and a half. Otherwise, if it were that simple, why not raise the minimum wage to $25.00 per hour in one massive swoop and be done with it?

But logic isn’t at issue here, the real issue is feeling good about ourselves by offering our sympathy to those who staff our state’s many drive-up windows. And what about the major financial problems facing our state? Well, the LA Times considers this issue to be a major financial problem as do most of their loyal readers. Wallowing in our emotional hot tubs is how Californians consistently deal with reality. And no one would mistake us for hard headed Yankees or intuitively shrewd Texans, we’re simple, contented dwellers within a Magic Kingdom who believe everything will work out alright, the sun will continue to shine and Darth Vader isn’t a real person, or at least most of us believe he probably isn’t.
Mark Brennan--

Please provide us proof of your statement
that illegal aliens get no entitlements
and pay lots of taxes.

The illegal alien loving LA Times had a story
where illegal aliens cost LA County 300
million a year in medical care alone.
If that's not an entitlement, what is?
Thank you for your words of encouragement for native Californians.
Here's another good reason for staying in California: so that those of us who don't live there (and who have absolutely no desire to ever live there) can continue to read about all of the absurdities that arise and exist every day in California, thereby allowing us to be that much more thankful for the insanities we don't have to live with. Thank you, Californians, for letting the rest of us see just how good we have it (at least, that is, compared to all of you).
It appears we shall have to go into the Valley before we emerge into the sun lit highlands...
after reading you column again, it occurs to me that your ancestors moved to calif from somewhere.

why did they not stay 'there' and 'fight it out' (or wait it out).
looks like you remember the "psychic income" of gov browns earlier time in office.

there are areas of your state that you cannot go to or through on pain of death for looking like you do and acting like you act.

do you think the current federal admin would protect you against some kind of african land redistribution paying you in "CALag" bonds? I mean, it was "their" land first, right? your great-greats took it from the indigenous poor pitiful people.

I read all your columns i can find, sure would miss you! please don't dinosaur out!
You're ridiculously optimistic. This state is going down the toilet and the majority of residents seem more than willing to help it along.

My prediction is the state will truly collapse after a few years. Only then will it be possible to salvage it.
How can anyone take comfort in a $16 billion annual budget shortfall? That's billion, folks.
The "bads" of California far outweigh the "goods". California needs to drill offshore and their budget problems would be solved. The state does have great growing conditions but simply grows too many nuts and I am not talking about the kind that grow on trees.
I left California in '93 because the place was just getting to hard to understand. The peace, love and "whatever turns you on" feel of the place was replaced by drive bys and people refusing to assimilate or even to try to integrate into the "melting pot". The author has many reasons to stay in California. Let's be clear, the act is made easier, by what appears to be wealth created in previous generations. I would still be in California if I possessed the wealth to hang out in my cabin in the mountains instead of be jostled at the mall by people speaking Mandarin.
Reasonable; VDH is right that California has vast resources and the possiblity to make a come back IF we don't squander all our opportunities.
Concerning your intent to "... stay and see that it does," individual efforts are futile. Career politicians have long figured out that "it's the mob" that gets them elected and catering to that mob keeps them in office. I like California (particularly the San Diego area) but I will not suffer the taxes you pay as a price for same (hence the reason most of us will be tourists). Anyone who does opt to stay should simply "drop 'their' shields and accept assimilation" (reference the Borg from Star Trek's Next Generation) as there are now interests (politicians, unions, etc) who have no intention of changing things for the better of the whole (and will resort to any and all means to keep things status quo). There's only one way to fix things now and I'd bet cash money that most do not have the stomach for another revolution. So if you're intent on staying, I'd highly recommend you position yourself with the current administration to ensure you're one of the "beautiful people" to whom the rules don't apply (no personal sarcasm intended). Notice how many of those with money/power are doing same (they see the writing on the wall).
Lots of humbug in this bitter column: "illegal aliens, on whom it spends an estimated $10 billion annually in entitlements." Actually, they take almost no entitlements, pay in large amounts of taxes, and never draw Medicare or social security, like the columnist.
"increasingly adopted a highly politicized and therapeutic curriculum." Well, no. Actually, state support of higher education has dropped like a rock, in part because people like the columnist no longer believe in educating the youth. It was good enough for him, but not for today's students.
The columnists ancestors came to California, exploited it, and got rich. Now he wants to slam the door after him.
The Mexicans here are so stupid, and violent.

They've wrecked the whole place.
VDH does it again! Spot on. We're staying too, ready to make it happen again here in California. Love the solution to illegal immigration--a prosperous Mexico!
Thank you for using the legal term, "illegal alien" rather than the euphemism "undocumented immigrant". I'm sick of them. I'm sick of California catering to the lawless foreigner and sticking it to the law-abiding. Love the weather, hate the lawlessness.

I wish I were as optimistic as you.
I wish you well. I spent three years teaching in beautiful Mendocino county in my youth and I still remember it as one of the best times in my life.
California politics have always been dysfunctional.

In 1856 California's honest citizens tried the experiment of hanging Democrats, to see if that would help.

But eventually they ran out of rope, without making a dent.

Want another excellent reason Californians stay? High taxes. Counterintuitive you say? Not according to Michael Hiltzik in his story published October 29th on the Los Angeles Times’ website. Based on a Stanford University study sponsored by California’s Board of Equalization member Betty Yee (BOE governs taxes), California’s millionaires prefer paying high taxes and have no intention of leaving the state. What’s amusing about this revelation is that in California a “millionaire” is soon to be defined as someone earning over $250,000 annually – and that also nicely sums up California’s educational reputation in regard to math skills.

To read Hiltzik’s story is to imagine millionaires around the United States flocking to California in order to be heavily taxed. And how long before millionaires in foreign lands hear the same message and decide to take the next flight out bound for the Golden State?

What’s the editorial position of the LA Times? “Go Obama and May the Force Be With Jerry Brown” would briefly describe their politics but is this author any closer to the mark in his musings? As a long time Californian, I’d agree with Hanson on the amazing climate and attractive geography, on the rest of his claims not so much.

California’s culture is an attraction? Possibly, if you would consider a crowded airport terminal as having a unique culture. Because California is exactly like an airport terminal during peak travel hours – a group of strangers with very little in common busily pursuing their own agendas and unable, as well as uninterested, in forming a common consensus on any issue. For native born Californians, heritage may be important but the truth is most Californians are from somewhere else – transplants hailing from everywhere on the planet, Indiana to the former Soviet Union. Bumper stickers on cars bearing the single word “Native” differentiate those few native born sons and daughters from the rest of us Californians – but that and $4.00 will buy you a latte at Starbucks and nothing more.

California’s machine politics reminiscent of the Democrat’s Tammany Hall or Daly’s Chicago has the state in complete political lockdown. The peasants do revolt from time to time and summarily reject new tax hikes but our politicians have more revenue raising tricks up their sleeves than David Copperfield. Taxes will keep rising, the state will incur more and more debt, the politicians and their friends will continue to thrive. But despite all that, the state remains exceptionally beautiful – and California would be the best of all places to live if it wasn’t for the people and the earthquakes, and precisely in that order.