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NYT Pushing California “Comeback” Over Heads of Poor, Jobless


Over at the New York Times, where the California Comeback tune is sung louder than anywhere outside Jerry Brown’s office, Timothy Egan has written a heartfelt paean to what he sees as the Golden State’s bright future. Egan boasts that, despite “California-hating naysayers” predicting a Greek style collapse, California in fact “is dreaming once again”:

All of it together — the rerouted rivers, the train moving at the speed of Superman, taxing the rich and welcoming a Latino majority — is a road not taken by any other state. You can laugh at the sunbaked barbarians, even wish them ill. But you should not fail to see in their fledgling renaissance another chapter in the American experiment, no less daring than the Golden Gate Bridge or the castle that Hearst erected at continent’s edge.

Fittingly, the same day Egan’s hymn was published, the California State Auditor reported the state’s net worth – its assets minus its liabilities – at negative $127.2 billion. Also reported were $167.9 billion in long-term obligations, not including $60 billion in unfunded liabilities for retiree health care, or those for state employees’ future pensions. These are not just “bills.” These are benefits for public employees and services for the poor that won’t be delivered as promised.

California’s public school system, both one of the most expensive and one of the poorest performing in the country, is not improving. The state’s prison system is both so overcrowded and underfunded that the US Supreme Court deemed conditions “cruel and unusual punishment.” And despite 9.8 percent unemployment (tied for highest in the country), tax, regulatory, and zoning policies make blue-collar job creation in manufacturing and real estate development next to impossible.

Egan and other turquoise dreamers seem to look at tenured teachers, happy prison guards, and fleeced one-percenters and believe conditions are promising enough to move on to romantic dreams of the future. Over the heads of undereducated kids, the chronically unemployed, and the poor, they see a high-speed train zooming along the sparkling coast. This is not how progressives used to think.

[California image courtesy of]

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  • ojfl

    One things that seems to escape these people is that according to the Census Bureau the policies in California are still making people leave the state. Over the past ten years it is the first time the state has not increased its Congressional contingent because of lack of population growth, even with the influx of immigrants.

  • bigfire

    The mainstream media is hyping California. What else can they do? Hype Illinois that’s also about to go bankrupt?

  • From California Dream to California Nightmare? Almost certainly if present trends continue. And as California goes so goes the nation. Time to take off those PC glasses and take a hard look. Realism is the first disideratum of moral responsibility in this world.

  • Thank you for continuing to point out that the Emperor (an all-inclusive term for Jerry Brown and his MSM boosters) has no clothes. The rosy forecasts following last November’s tax grab are already receding in the rear-view mirror.

  • Why did this happen? Myself and all of my family has been forced out of California. My friends who remain haven’t been able to find work for years.

    It’s weird that the people who practice class discrimination most energetically in this country are liberals.

  • Wow, that Times article is like something from the North Korean newspapers.

  • mbecker908

    At one time California was the “Golden State.” Thanks to Democrats and spineless Republicans it’s morphed into the “Pyrite State.”

  • wolfie773

    Based on the article’s comments, I’d say a number of people share the author’s delusions.

  • Marty Keller

    What’s curious to me is the acquiescence of Californians to the magical thinking. Group fear reaction, perhaps? On the other hand, we’ve always believed ourselves to be exempt from the financial and social laws the beset the commoners (dot-com bubble, anyone?). It’s too bad the state GOP committed hara-kiri; now we’re forced to wait for the Democrats to split.

  • lifeonabudget

    Just wait till they come to the Feds for a bail out. All of us who had no say in the ” the rerouted rivers, the train moving at the speed of Superman, taxing the rich and welcoming a Latino majority ” will be stuck paying for it.

  • Ken G

    This may not be how “progressives used to think,” but the “haves” in California are perfectly happy with the idea of a three-class state consisting of the wealthy, their managers (gov’t), and the serving class. They don’t care if there’s a “real” middle class anymore, the middle class in California will be government workers and union officials.

    • section9

      Instead of the New Deal, it’s the New Serfdom.

    • Caiden

      Of course, liberals are just communists, they want themselves to have all the power and everyone else to dependent to try and remove them. Look at blacks, they devolved back to a slave race to the Democrats for welfare, foodstamps, and section 8 housing, that’s what they’ll do to all the other races if they get their way.

  • section9

    The odd thing is, now that they have Krugman cheerleading the “achievement” of tax increases, increased regulation and rent-seeking for Jerry Brown’s constituent groups, there’s no incentive at all for anyone in the Ruling Party to dial down the looting.
    It’s a bullet train to a Helot State; only the Helots keep voting to keep themselves in chains.

  • And today the city of Stockton, CA declared bankruptcy. Ahh yes, the good old days are back.

  • Gmama

    Well I feel badly for the people of California who didn’t vote Democrats in. However, I wish when they moved to red states they would realize that California has no jobs, high taxes, an overpaid public employees union and too much regulation because of Democrat policies and corruption. Unfortunately they move to other states and turn them blue, repeating the cycle.

    • Caiden

      Liberals are like a disease, when they kill the host body they try and infect another one, I’ve heard this from many places that has had an influx of liberals, they try and put the same destructive policies in place despite having seen it fail with their own eyes.
      I figure thinks won’t get better until the Democrats bankrupt the nation and most liberals are killed by rampaging blacks upset their EBT cards don’t work.

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