In prior posts, I have mentioned that California is the symbol of the decline of America and the West. I put it ahead of Detroit despite Detroit's claim of being the Paris of the West only to become the Mogadishu of the West. Detroit has a lot of the pieces to the decline of the west puzzle yet Detroit is overly reliant on post-Great Society black dysfunction for it's city's story and lacks the crucial self-inflicted problem of immigration. As opposed to Detroit, California still calls to people, because who in their right mind would waste one night in Detroit? Being roughly a nation on its own, California is a mini-USA or mini-Europe.
The Golden Coast
1. Agricultural powerhouse.
2. Mediterranean climate.
3. Oil wealth.
4. Excellent ports.
5. Manufacturing and engineering expertise.
6. Extensive coastline.
7. Natural landscape riches.
8. Mineral deposits.
9. Technological leap frog effect before mass concentration of population.
10. Ability to entice and capture ambitious Americans decade after decade.
Expand that out to the lower 48, and that is America in a nutshell. California shows us the way.
1. Extended social safety net - Stuff the beast so that there was a need to shake down the productive economy to pay for social programs.
2. Reformed divorce laws with rich alimony - Destroy the social fabric.
3. Immigration - All forms. The dangerous flip was when it switched from move there for economic benefits to move there for government benefits.
4. Public sector unions - Their benefits, their sway in elections, their immortality.
5. Voter referendums that allow for direct democracy (unless it is against gay marriage).
6. Hollowing out of the productive sectors of the economy (therefore the middle class) through over-regulation, environmental protections, California SDI, outsourcing and labor substitution of day laborers. Bet that $10 minimum wage will help.
7. Subsidizing an extensive public college education system (to this day) despite lower return on investment.
8. Hollywood warping culture.
9. Hypersexualization of everyone.
California's demise has everything that people of the west who can see and care notice. The US federal government is poised to follow California despite the giant canary in the coal mine on our west coast.
Update: Flavia's Then and Now on Los Angeles.