Is California Becoming A Second World State?

At first, that headline sounds a bit ridiculous. California is our most populous state and has an economy bigger than most countries. Yet, things are starting to change and not in a good way.

Over the weekend, Union Pacific railways said that it was considering routing all traffic out of Los Angeles County because of the large number of rail cars that were being broken into and looted.

Union Pacific said that break-ins had risen 160% in the last year, with roughly 90 of UP’s containers being broken into each day over the last three months. Train robberies reached a peak in October of last year when the number of lootings rose by a whopping 356 percent compared to the same month in 2020. Even when their police force and local law enforcement catch the looters, the District Attorney’s office refuses to prosecute and offenders are often released within 24 hours due to “progressive” bail and enforcement policies (Union Pacific is authorized to have its own police force for the tracks and other railroad property).

This follows news of rampant looting of retail stores in San Francisco and surrounding areas late last year that went on for weeks, with similar prosecution policies by the District Attorney. One national drug store chain announced that it was closing stores in San Francisco because it could not cover the losses.

On top of the rampant looting in the state’s largest cities, the last two years California has endured planned power outages during the summer. The last two summers, California’s power generation has not kept up with demand and there have been scheduled outages in parts of the state in order to ration the power available. Questionable management practices from large utilities, along with California state regulations that have not allowed those utilities to keep pace with maintenance and growth have left the state short of power during peak demand. So the state just spreads the suffering.

Then there is the ‘supply chain’ problem that we have all heard about, and the photos of more than a hundred ships anchored off the port of Los Angeles waiting to unload cargo for days and often weeks. The fact that the cargo is just offshore shows that the main problem is not with getting the goods to the country, the problem is getting it out of the ports of California. It has not helped that California passed a law effective last Jan. 1 that eliminated owner-operator truckers, instantly eliminating a reported 70,000 truckers who previously operated in California. Have we noticed that we did not have the big supply chain problems before last year, not even in 2020 when the pandemic initially hit?

Rising crime and district attorneys that close their eyes in the name of “progressive policing”, regular and growing power outages, and economic strain come on top of the fact that California has the highest income tax rate in the country at over 13%. All that money does not seem to be buying much quality of life. In total, these are all signs of a state that is showing the initial signs of decay.

Not convinced?  Well, hundreds of thousands of people are showing their feelings by moving out of the state. Despite being the largest destination for immigrants coming into the country, the most recent census shows that California’ population declined by roughly 300,000 people in the most recent year.

Far left ‘progressive’ state government policies are taxing people at ever higher rates but are resulting in a declining quality of life. Hopefully the state will learn from its mistakes before the march to decay becomes inexorable.

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