California - prophet on the burning shore

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Excellent essay from Victor Davis Hanson:
Jerry Brown, a Modern Sisyphus
California�s new governor, Jerry Brown, must rapidly close a $25 billion budgetary shortfall. Right now it seems almost a hopeless task, since the state�s disastrous budget is merely a symptom, not the cause, of California�s much larger problems.

Take unemployment. It currently runs at 12.6 percent in California, the second-highest in the nation. Take livability. A recent Forbes magazine survey listing the 20 most miserable cities in the nation ranked four California municipalities in the top five.

Take education. California public schools test near rock bottom in national math and science scores. Take the business climate. A recent survey conducted among CEOs ranked California dead last for jobs and business growth.

Take taxes. California has the highest gasoline tax in the nation, and its combined sales-tax and local and state income-tax rates are among the nation�s steepest. California incarcerates the highest number of prisoners in the nation. It costs nearly $50,000 per year to house each one, near the highest per capita cost in the country.

I could go on, but you get the picture: The newly inaugurated Brown has problems well beyond a massive budget shortfall.

Perhaps the state�s problems are not of its own making but arise from a deficit of natural riches? Hardly. California has the most fertile soil and the climate most conducive to farming in the country. Tourists flock to see the beauty of Yosemite, Death Valley, and a 1,000-mile coastline. San Diego and San Francisco Bay are among the most naturally endowed harbors in the world. The state is rich in gas, oil, minerals, and timber. It has the largest population in the nation at 37 million residents.
A litany of problems to solve. I would not want to be in Jerry Brown's shoes right now...

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on February 12, 2011 8:37 PM.

Just wow - New York state taxes was the previous entry in this blog.

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