After the lament I subjected you to yesterday, how about something short and sweet?
California is thriving. Read this little article. I could not have said it better myself :-):
How is the Golden State succeeding now? Let me count the ways:
- Schools are getting more funding than they have in twenty years – long overdue;
- The high speed rail project, while slowed and perhaps over budget, is on track for completion and that will reduce traffic snarls and emissions;
- Property taxes remain stable — unlike NJ, where the middle class is being clobbered by them;
- The energy grid is being overhauled and updated, and we have not yet seen a spike in utilities;
- Undocumented workers are being given a role as non-citizens, with restricted privileges, but advantages they have sought that will redound to the benefit of the corporations dependent on their labor and they will pay taxes;
- We have a revamped fire fighting system that has successfully controlled wild fires that used to spread out of control;
- Taxes were raised only slightly for the wealthiest (and there are lots of them here) Californians, but not for 98% of us;
- The state is collecting outstanding taxes aggressively and scaling back corporate welfare;
- The minimum wage is being raised gradually and modestly to help give a boost to hard workers and an infusion of their revenues into the local economies as they spend their extra money all over the state.
- We now have a billion dollar reserve. No more Governator selling our landmark public buildings, fooling around in the Mansion, squandering our treasury on bad deals, giving breaks to his cronies. Now we have smart fiscal management that only comes with seasoned administrators like Governor Brown.
- California is one of three states that have set up non-partisan redistricting commissions to prevent gerrymandering and return the election process to the people;
- Lastly and most importantly. I want you to hear me nay-sayers: Covered California (the ACA here) is a big success. For the past year, I have been receiving e-mails and updates, links and incentives, explanations and offers of personal assistance signing up. And you know what? I have done just that and saved 20% on my previous premium, right out of the gate.
By the way, how are the rich folks doing here? Well, my MIL is still taking her luxury trip to Italy, one BIL just bought a brand new Lexus SUV, another BIL/SIL are sending their oldest daughter to an Ivy League school on their own nickel and just returned from their family vacation in the Galapagos. From where I sit, they aren’t suffering.
This brand of success could be spread across this country. America would be like this, if other states would just make it happen as the voters and leaders of this state have done.
So when the Golden State conspicuously succeeds, California bashers find themselves at a loss.
Why the transformation, so palpable we can feel it? Well, after the disastrous years of profligate Governor Ahnold, we have hard working, experienced, tough yet compassionate Jesuit Governor Brown. Whenever the Browns are at the helm, this state flourishes.
Here is another reason. The voters of this state keep re-electing two effective women Senators who fight for us every day. Smartly routing the feckless Carly Fiorina, Barbara Boxer is an exemplary champion for California. By the way, any time I write to her, I get a personal e-mail in response. We also have a Democratic legislature in Sacramento so things get done. We don’t have shenanigans like recalls and filibusters, there is little voter suppression (even though, as I blogged previously, Santa Clarita is a hotbed of Tea Partiers and we do have people trying to pull these maneuvers here. I have done an end run around them by voting by mail, certified), what little there was took place under the Schwartzenegger regime.
Brown won’t get much credit for all the conservative things he’s done. How many on the right have praised the very steep cuts in spending in recent years? … Brown is strongly and wisely urging fellow Democrats to show spending restraint.
Yet one more reason: Californians are motivated to put this state back on track and to distance themselves from the failed practices of the past thirty years under Republican domination, at the national level. [To the extent that Bill Clinton capitulated as a centrist to the wrong-headed Reagan-worshippers and Newt Gingrich, I will temporarily include him. He can be redeemed when Hilary becomes President and he serves her progressive agenda.]
Read this article by Nader (I am not a Nader fan by any means and I will never forgive him for splitting our vote in 2000 – but the man is a genius at pinpointing faults):
Nationally, progressive are wimps. And they are making us all pay a price. As good as I think Harry Reid is at some things, when he debated that wing nut in Nevada during the last election, I was fairly itching to reach through the screen, push him aside and take her on myself, I know I would have done a better job! (At least the guy won).
In this state, progressives dominate the landscape and they have drive. No one is going to derail the momentum now. So, I don’t want to hear one word from some non-Californians about how these are all a bunch of maryjane-toking hippies, tangled in four-ways, slithering around on the beach.
And if I can talk this way (a Yankee in Bear’s clothing) then just imagine how the natives are feeling.
Speaking of riling Mama Bears! We are wiping the lipstick right off that smug snout.
(In an upcoming post, I will do a little write-up on what to see when you come to SoCal, and will throw in a little NoCal too, I have also lived up north).
Images: Sodahead.com,SanFrancisco.CBSlocal.com,SportsIllustrated.cnn.com, Commons.Wikimedia.org,En.Wikipedia.org