The Gold(en) State Rules

Alamo Square, San Francisco, California

The rulings from the somewhat less than Supreme Court last week have many of us on the west coast wondering just what the hell makes all you people back in the east so fucking concerned with what other people do in the privacy of their own lives.

We really do shake our heads and wonder about the rest of you. Is it the weather? Too hot, too cold, too unpredictable? Just what makes you more concerned about what the rest of us are doing that you have to attack us for doing it?

Here in California we create, while you seem hell bent on destroying. But please allow me to add a few more facts about the Golden State that might make you consider doing things our way.

  • We are the fifth largest economy in the world
  • Speaking of fifth largest, we are the fifth largest producer of food in THE WORLD. We account for nearly 15% of the US total agricultural output. It takes the next three states combined to equal our output.
  • Our biggest trading partners aren’t other states in the union, but other countries. For crying out loud, we sell more rice to Asian countries than some of them produce themselves.
  • We produce 90% of the wine and 100% of the commercial artichokes in the US. Not terribly important to some, but I always like to throw those stats in when talking about food production. By the way, contrary to popular belief, agriculture is our number one statewide industry.
  • We have the high tech industry. OK, that’s a blessing/curse but the fact is the American Dream of starting a business in a garage and ultimately growing it to be a world leader is so common a story here we don’t even have time to think about it.
  • Let’s not forget Hollywood. Pre-pandemic it slipped half a trillion dollars into the US economy or 3.2% of the total for good and services in the nation. Not too bad for just making things up and getting people to pay for it.
  • We send nearly $250 Billion in tax revenue to the feds. That’s nearly three times our closest rival (New York). Do we get all that money back from the Feds? Oh no, we see our dollars instead sent to places like West Virginia (Senator Manchin) and Kentucky (Senator McConnell) and Maine (Senator Collins). By the way, all three of those states are in the top ten states whose budget are the most heavily funded by Federal money aka California.

I throw these stats out by way of asking this question: If we are so overwhelmingly important to the economy and culture of the nation as a whole, why don’t other states want to be more like us?

Maybe because in order to do that a lot of those states would have to give up the fantasy that Democrats aren’t good for business OR labor or that Democrats want to take away all your guns or that Democrats want to indoctrinate your children into the “heresy” of multiculturalism. In other words, all the things that the conservative opinion sites (they are not news sites) cum propaganda outlets want you to believe about California.

Here’s a clue, take a look at those stats above. They didn’t happen by accident. We worked hard to achieve them. They happened because forward looking legislators, even some Republicans, set up an economic environment where individuals and businesses can thrive. We couldn’t be half of what we actually are if things were as bad as Fox News wants you to believe.

Look I will tell you it takes a lot of work to do what we do here. And when there is lots to do you don’t have time for a lot of the things the rest of you spend too much time with. Idle brains are the devil’s playthings to paraphrase. Get off your knees in church or your NFL Sunday Ticket loving ass off the couch. Get educated, get skilled, create something, and maybe your life will improve and you won’t have to worry about someone coming from Mexico to take your job.

About spirituality, many people here are religious in one way or another. I’m not. Either way though, the vast majority of Californians look at religion or spirituality as a personal, private matter, not appropriate for the public sector.

Consequently we don’t worry about how other people live their lives.

Abortion will be legal and safe in California, always. The LGBTQ community will always be respected and included. The color of your skin or who your parents are will not be a hinderance to your getting ahead in our world. And oh yeah, by the way later this month I’ll be getting a $700 check from the state to help defray the greedflation of the oil companies. That comes out of our $100 Billion surplus.

The bottom line is we don’t care who you are, we just care what you can do.

I’ve said before I think government should be a benevolent parent making sure everyone has a fair shake. Now if I were a little less benevolent I’d have California say in a stern bad daddy voice “I produce most of your food, it’s my money you use to fund your state programs, you basically can’t survive without what I provide so if you don’t shape up and start acting like civilized human beings you can take your Proud Boys and your Puritan Posse and your anti-abortion theocrats and get the hell out of my house”.

But I’m more benevolent than that.

Though I am willing to say “We’re the Golden State and he who has the gold makes the rules”.

Forget the mid 60’s misogyny, dig the harmonies, and appreciate the intricacies of the work of the Wrecking Crew. What could be more California than that? Oh yeah, technically it’s the Beach Boys

Shapiro Out

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