Saturday, September 12, 2009

Who Killed California?

The test tube known as California should be carefully scrutinized lest we duplicate its example on the national scene. From Troy Senik's article in the new publication, National Affairs:

And fiscal troubles are just the tip of the iceberg. California's percentage of adults without at least a high-school education is the second-highest in the nation (and the fact that 72% of those without diplomas are immigrants only fuels the state's growing problem of social stratification). The Commonwealth Fund has ranked the quality of California's health care lowest of the 50 states. The state has the highest rate of criminal recidivism in the country. It has six of the ten worst cities in the country in air pollution. Los Angeles and San Francisco have some of the most congested roads in the nation, which costs the state's employers billions in lost productivity each year. The state is seriously discussing mandatory water rationing, and has in recent years experienced severe disruptions of its electricity supply. Unemployment is over 11%, and a recent survey of corporate CEOs ranked California the worst state in the country in which to do business. It is losing native-born ­citizens faster than any other state.

To put the effects of these trends in perspective, from 2004 to 2007 more people left California for Texas and Oklahoma than came west from those states to escape the Dust Bowl in the 1930s. California is in the midst of a man-made disaster.

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