Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Do We Want to Become Another California?
"Progressers" say California is an apocalyptic mess of soaring unemployment, mass foreclosures and political paralysis. It's dysfunctional. It's ungovernable. It's the poster child for general malaise. And they blame it all on voting. More specifically, on the ballot initiative process which California made famous.
And they suggest that if you use ballot initiatives to improve your government, you might wind-up just like Californians. Well how bad would that be?
This week's cover story in Time Magazine says California gave us microchips, freeways, blue jeans, tax revolts, extreme sports, energy efficiency [CA's per capita energy consumption index has gone down steadily for the last 40 years while the U.S. overall has gone up], health clubs, Google searches, Craigslist, iPhones, and the Hollywood vision of success is still the cutting edge of the American future—economically, environmentally, demographically, culturally, and maybe politically.
It's the greenest and most diverse state, the most globalized in general and most Asia-oriented in particular at a time when the world is heading in all those directions. It's also an unparalleled engine of innovation, the mecca of high tech, biotech, and now cleantech. In 2008, California's wipeout economy attracted more venture capital than the rest of the nation combined. Somehow its hostile business climate has nurtured Google, Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Facebook, Twitter, Disney, Cisco, Intel, eBay, YouTube, MySpace, The Gap, and countless other companies that drive the way we live. That's exactly the kind of "Progress" we need.
Of course it's just a coincidence that California also has no modern streetcars. The only places in America that do are Tacoma, Seattle, and Portland (bow to the northwest when you say that).
Vote YES ON ISSUE 9. It will make us more like California.