What is wrong with California--Almost everything

Victor Davis Hanson:
There was more of the same old, same old California news recently. Some 62 percent of state roads have been rated poor or mediocre. There were more predications of huge cost overruns and yearly losses on high-speed rail — before the first mile of track has been laid. One-third of Bay Area residents were polled as hoping to leave the area soon.

Such pessimism is daily fare, and for good reason.

The basket of California state taxes — sales, income and gasoline — rates among the highest in the U.S. Yet California roads and K-12 education rank near the bottom.

After years of drought, California has not built a single new reservoir. Instead, scarce fresh aqueduct water is still being diverted to sea. Thousands of rural central California homes, in Dust Bowl fashion, have been abandoned due to a sinking aquifer and dry wells.

One in three American welfare recipients resides in California. Almost a quarter of the state population lives below or near the poverty line. Yet the state’s gas and electricity prices are among the nation’s highest.

One in four state residents was not born in the U.S. Current state-funded pension programs are not sustainable.

California depends on a tiny elite class for about half of its income tax revenue. Yet many of these wealthy taxpayers are fleeing the 40-million-person state, angry over paying 12 percent of their income for lousy public services.

Public health costs have soared as one-third of California residents admitted to state hospitals for any causes suffer from diabetes, a sometimes-lethal disease often predicated on poor diet, lack of exercise and excessive weight.

Nearly half of all traffic accidents in the Los Angeles area are classified as hit-and-run collisions.
...
There is much more.

When I was visiting my daughters in California a few months ago, I found the road into a state park that was so bad it would make a third world country blush.  The park had an admission fee, but no one was there to collect it.

Most of the housing stock is old and cost four or five times or more what a comparable home in Texas would cost.  The building restrictions have driven up the cost of home ownership and that is one reason why people are looking to leave.


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