• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • The Politics forum has been nuked. Please do not bring political discussion to the rest of the site, or you will be removed. Thanks.

TIME: Despite its issues, California is still America's future

Status
Not open for further replies.

XiaNaphryz

LATIN, MATRIPEDICABUS, DO YOU SPEAK IT
Nov 5, 2005
52,171
0
0
SF Bay Area
Cover story of this week's Time Magazine. Not like we need further justification of what everyone already knows. ;)



Despite Its Woes, California's Dream Still Lives
By Michael Grunwald Friday, Oct. 23, 2009

California, you may have heard, is an apocalyptic mess of raging wildfires, soaring unemployment, mass foreclosures and political paralysis. It's dysfunctional. It's ungovernable. Its bond rating is barely above junk. It's so broke, it had to hand out IOUs while its leaders debated how many prisoners to release and parks to close. Nevada aired ads mocking California's business climate to lure its entrepreneurs. The media portray California as a noir fantasyland of overcrowded schools, perpetual droughts, celebrity breakdowns, illegal immigration, hellish congestion and general malaise, captured in headlines like "Meltdown on the Ocean" and "California's Wipeout Economy" and "Will California Become America's First Failed State?"

Actually, it won't.

Ignore the California whinery. It's still a dream state. In fact, the pioneering megastate that gave us microchips, freeways, blue jeans, tax revolts, extreme sports, energy efficiency, 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 clean tech. In 2008, California's wipeout economy attracted more venture capital than the rest of the nation combined.
Somehow its supposedly 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.

"Whenever we have a problem, everyone makes a big drama — 'Oh, my God, it's the end. California is over,'" Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger told me. "It's all bogus." Schwarzenegger likes spin and drama too — he's issued warnings about a "financial Armageddon" — and he literally blew smoke in my eyes while we spoke. But his belief in the anything-is-possible dream of California is more than spin; he is, after all, its ultimate embodiment.

California, to borrow a phrase, will be back. It's been stuck in an awful recession — not quite as awful as Nevada's — but it's getting unstuck. It's made nasty cuts to close ugly deficits, but it hasn't had to release prisoners or close parks, and its IOUs are being paid. Its businesses aren't fleeing to Nevada or anywhere else; Jed Kolko, an economist at the Public Policy Institute of California, has shown that fewer than one-tenth of 1% of its jobs leave the state each year. Even California's real problems tend to get magnified by its size. If it were a country, it would be in the G-8. So, yes, California has the most foreclosures and layoffs. With 38 million residents and a $1.8 trillion economy, it also has by far the most homes and jobs.

It can be perilous to generalize about a place this gigantic, an overwhelmingly metropolitan state that leads the nation in agricultural production, a majority-minority state with a white-majority electorate. There are real differences between (crunchy, techy) Northern and (hipster, surfer) Southern California, and especially (richer, denser, bluer) coastal and (poorer, sparser, redder) inland California. But one generalization has held true from the Gold Rush to the human-potential movement to the dotcom boom: California stands for change, for disruption of the status quo. "California is not another American state," concluded Carey McWilliams in his 1949 history California: The Great Exception. "It is a revolution within the states."

Today, it's still the home of the new new thing. It is electric-vehicle start-ups like Tesla, Fisker and Better Place taking on the Big Three, or the local-organic foodies behind California cuisine going after Big Ag. It's Kaiser Permanente, the HMO whose model of salaried doctors in group practice may be the future of health care, or the University of California at Irvine's law school, which opened this semester with free tuition and was instantly more selective than Harvard or Yale. It's SpaceX, the private rocket-launching company, or Kogi, the Korean taco truck that announces its location over Twitter to flash mobs of Angelenos. "The beauty of California is the idea that you can reinvent yourself and do something totally creative," says Kogi's Roy Choi, a former chef at the Beverly Hilton. "It's still the Wild West that way."

California is a state of early adopters — not only in fashion, technology and design but in politics too. Its voters approved huge bonds for stem-cell research, high-speed rail and repairs to aging infrastructure while Washington was dragging its feet; its politicians adopted first-in-the-nation greenhouse-gas regulations, green building codes and efficiency standards for automobiles and appliances that have rearranged the national energy debate. Yes, it was also an early adopter of subprime mortgages — Countrywide, Golden West and IndyMac were all California-based — but life on the frontier has always been risky. "This is the most dynamic place for change on earth," genomic pioneer J. Craig Venter said on a recent tour of his San Diego labs, where researchers are studying ways to convert algae into oil, coal into natural gas and human wastewater into electricity. "That's why we're here." Dressed in shorts, flip-flops and a crazy-loud floral shirt on a typically perfect day, Venter noted that California's quality of life isn't bad either: "It is pretty nice not to have to wear pants."

California has long inspired its own premature obituaries. The 1855 book The Land of Gold dismissed it as "lawless, penniless and powerless." TIME published a woe-is-California issue called "The Endangered Dream" in 1991 after the aerospace industry collapsed. But even with 12% unemployment, California still has an enviably young and productive workforce. And it's still a magnet for dice-rolling dreamers who want to start anew, make money and change the world, with or without pants. "I see my own pattern repeated again and again — people who want to invent the future and aren't afraid to fail," says billionaire Silicon Valley financier Vinod Khosla, an Indian immigrant who helped found Sun Microsystems and recently unveiled a $1.1 billion venture fund for investments in clean technology.

Which just happens to be the next California gold rush.

The New Gold Rush
Tom Dinwoodie is standing on a roof, staring at the future. The roof covers Richmond's grand "daylight factory" overlooking San Francisco Bay, where Ford built Model A's before World War II and then the iconic Rosie the Riveter built jeeps and tanks during the war. Now SunPower Corp. uses it to assemble the world's most efficient solar panels, including a sleek array on its roof. That's where Dinwoodie, SunPower's chief technology officer, likes to go to look across the bay at a collection of hulking tanks in which Chevron stores fossil fuels. If we don't stop global warming, he says, that water will rise. But if solar and other renewables keep growing as fast as they are in California, "we'll turn those tanks into hot tubs."

If you think solar is an eco-fantasy, you probably don't live in California, where rooftop installations have doubled for two years in a row, to 50,000, heading to the state goal of 1 million by 2017. The San Francisco utility Pacific Gas & Electric, which recently bolted the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over climate policy, has 40% of the nation's solar roofs in its territory. SunPower now has more than 5,000 employees. It's building massive power plants for utilities, as well as roof panels for big-box stores, complete subdivisions and individual homes. Prices are plummeting, and competition is fierce, most of it from California firms like BrightSource, Solar City, eSolar, Nanosolar and Solyndra. "The scramble is on, and California is leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the country," says Dinwoodie. "That's true of all energy issues."

When it comes to energy, California is not just ahead of the game; it's playing a different game. Its carbon emissions per capita are less than half the U.S. average. And from 2006 to '08, it attracted $3 of every $5 invested in U.S. clean tech — five times as much as the No. 2 state. It's by far the national leader in green jobs, green patents, supply from renewables and savings from efficiency. It's also leading the way toward electric cars, zero-emission homes, advanced biofuels and a smarter grid
: its electric utilities plan to install smart meters in every California home. It's even launched a belated battle against car-dependent sprawl, with unprecedented rules forcing communities to consider carbon emissions in their land-use plans.

California has been preparing for its clean-energy future for a long time. Starting in the energy crisis of the 1970s, California revamped its electricity markets so that utilities could make more money by helping their customers use less power. It also began enacting groundbreaking efficiency standards for buildings, appliances, pool heaters and almost anything else that needs juice. It just proposed the first standards for flat-screen TVs. As a result, per capita energy use has remained stable in California while soaring 50% nationwide, saving Californians an estimated $56 billion and avoiding the need for 24 new gas-fired power plants. On the supply side, the state has required utilities to provide one-fifth of their power from renewables by 2010, which will jump to one-third by 2020. And California's soup-to-nuts effort to slash emissions — including a cap-and-trade regimen in 2012 — is the blueprint for federal climate legislation.

This public-sector foresight has created alluring opportunities for the most tech-savvy private sector on earth. The venture capitalists behind the high-tech and biotech booms see clean tech as the next big score. The necessary engineers, scientists, accountants, lawyers, marketers and other knowledge workers are already there. "We've already turned industries on their heads, so we assume we can do it again," says Steve Dolezalek, VantagePoint Venture Partners' managing director, who oversaw the firm's software and life-sciences investments before heading its clean-tech group.

The lines between sectors are blurring fast. As its name suggests, eSolar is essentially a software play; its added value is advanced code that positions vast arrays of mirrors to the millimeter to maximize their exposure to sunlight. The company was spawned by IdeaLab, a Pasadena incubator that developed NetZero, Picasa, pay-per-click ads and online car-selling. "We only do ideas that challenge the status quo, and California is the only place we'd do it," says CEO Bill Gross.

Chip-industry veterans are also drifting into solar, as well as LED lighting and green materials, while Cisco, which made the guts of the Internet, is pivoting to make the guts of the digitized grid. San Diego's cluster of more than 500 biotech companies is now the world capital of algae-to-fuel experiments, including a new $600 million joint venture between ExxonMobil and Venter's Synthetic Genomics. Khosla's investments include Calera, a carbon-capturing-cement start-up founded by a Stanford expert in medical cement; Amyris, which has Berkeley malaria researchers working to turn sugar into diesel; and Soladigm, which exploits semiconductor-industry expertise to make energy-efficient windows.

California scores poorly in most "business friendly" ratings, which tend to focus on tax rates and wage levels rather than on, say, worker productivity or creativity. And the state has more than its share of no-no-no types protesting nanotechnology, synthetic biology and even some SunPower solar-energy projects, which could possibly imperil kangaroo rats and fairy shrimp. But the state's business culture fetishizes long-shot ventures and game-changing ideas. Failure is appreciated, not stigmatized, and an entrepreneur without a few busted start-ups on his résumé is almost suspect.

Guido Jouret, who oversees Cisco's emerging technologies, explained this creative destruction when we talked over TelePresence, an ultra-high-definition substitute for the hassle, expense and carbon footprint of business travel. We were 3,000 miles (4,800 km) apart, but I kept forgetting we weren't at the same conference table. One of Steven Spielberg's cinematographers helped Cisco get the illusion of intimacy just right. "California has a very welcoming attitude, but it's a Darwinian society," Jouret said. "Companies come and grow and die, and no one sheds a tear. And there's a real sense that it isn't worth doing if it won't change the world."

California's high-tech community has concluded en masse that the next Google guys are going to be the visionaries who figure out how to harness the sun, build a battery to store the wind or engineer the renewable fuel that won't compete with the food supply. (It could be the actual Google guys, who have launched an aggressive clean-energy initiative.) "Inventing a better gadget isn't enough anymore. We're trying to reshape the way people live," says SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive, a South African who went to California for the world underwater-hockey championships, got caught up in the Internet boom and never left. He built and sold an IT-support company; now he's reshaping its software to monitor solar panels.

The State of Progress
So why all the end-is-nighism? Schwarzenegger thinks California gets slagged nationwide for the same reason the U.S. gets slagged worldwide: it's natural to resent the big kahuna. (He should know; his approval rating has dipped below 30%.) In a poolside interview after hosting a global climate summit in Century City, he suggested that outsiders envy California's immense resources — beaches, mountains and redwoods; Hollywood, Napa and Disneyland; the best in stem-cell research, fruits and vegetables, entertainment and fashion. (He was sporting a suit with a zebra-print lining.) "We're all about the cutting edge," he said. "I mean, come on. California is wild!" He's right about the schadenfreude, and it was fun to hear him say the word. It is easy to gloat when the cool jock with the hot girlfriend wrecks his sweet car, especially if he seems kind of smug. I was reminded of this during Rob Lowe's talk at the summit, when he declared that everyone has an obligation to join the fight against global warming, then continued, "For my part, I'll be doing The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

Then again, California has legitimate problems that inspire legitimate criticism: gangs, sprawl, disturbing dropout rates, water shortages that don't seem to stop farmers from irrigating rice and cotton in the desert, the crazymaking traffic that Hollywood immortalized in Falling Down. It's still sitting on a fault line. Its expensive housing, even after the real estate crash, poses a real obstacle to the dream of upward mobility. So do its public schools and other public services, which have been deteriorating for years — in part because older white voters have been reluctant to subsidize younger minorities.

This gets to the one area where California really is dysfunctional: its budget. Californians generally enjoy government spending more than they enjoy paying for it, which is a national problem, but they've also straitjacketed their politicians with scads of lobbyist-produced ballot initiatives locking in huge outlays for various goodies, as well as the notorious Proposition 13, which has severely restricted local property taxes since 1978. California is also one of only three states that need a two-thirds supermajority to pass a budget or raise taxes, a virtual impossibility in its ultra-partisan legislature. So it relies on a boom-and-bust tax base that even many liberals admit is overreliant on the rich. The state's economy actually grew last year, but its revenues crashed because its top earners had lower incomes and capital gains. That meant sharp cutbacks, especially in education, which in California is unusually dependent on state cash. "We have an incredibly dynamic economy, but we'll still end up in federal receivership if our government can't pay its bills," says historian Kevin Starr, a prolific chronicler of the state.

Fortunately, help may be on the way. Nonpartisan groups like Repair California and California Forward have built momentum for sweeping reforms that could stop the unsustainable chaos — including an end to the two-thirds rule, limits on ballot initiatives and a new system of taxation. Schwarzenegger is pushing for a gargantuan water-sharing agreement that could help prevent the state from running dry. And his potential successors are also formidable go-getters with forward-thinking credentials — including former governor and current attorney general Jerry Brown, golden-boy San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman. Brown, the early front runner, was widely mocked as Governor Moonbeam back in the 1970s, but some of his ideas — including energy efficiency, as well as the emergency-communications satellite that inspired his nickname — no longer seem so flaky.

But the krazy-Kalifornia criticism is likely to continue regardless of the facts on the ground — not just because of envy, but because of ideology as well. The collapse of the Golden State provides an irresistible parable for hippie-lefty vegan politics, the failure of a quasi-Scandinavian progressive experiment symbolized by MoveOn.org, Daily Kos and the Sierra Club; yoga, crystals and medical marijuana; "Hollywood values" and "San Francisco values." California has a tradition of activist government, and public support for the University of California, federal energy labs and the military-aerospace-industrial complex played a huge role in creating Silicon Valley, San Diego's biotech cluster and the state's other private-sector centers of innovation. So it's been a juicy target for right-wingers who consider Schwarzenegger a squishy sellout. If a low-carbon, Big Government, change-obsessed state with high taxes on the wealthy, draconian environmental regulations, a porous border and the nation's most vibrant labor movement were imploding, what would that say about the age of Obama?

Then again, the home state of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan has been a conservative trendsetter as well, leading the backlash against taxes, affirmative action and illegal aliens and enacting the first three-strikes law against career criminals. Its economy is much closer than the nation's to a true model of free-enterprise capitalism, in which government sets rules and enforces a level playing field but declines to pick winners. And what could be more Californian than the conservative megapastor Rick Warren urging his multimedia flock to make a fresh start with a forgiving God?
"A clean slate is possible!" he wrote in his best seller God's Power to Change Your Life. "It's a lot like my son's Etch A Sketch."

In any case, California is not imploding, which ought to be heartening to Americans regardless of ideology or geography. Because America is essentially the land of the Etch A Sketch, and California is America but more so, beckoning dreamers who want to cook Korean tacos or convert fuel tanks into hot tubs. It's progressive more in the literal than in the political sense of the word. And it's where America is going: a greener, more advanced and more global economy; a browner and more metropolitan population; and, yes, some staggering debts and other governance problems that need to be resolved. It's expensive and crowded — because people still want to be there! — and it's recovering from an economic earthquake. But it continues to have a powerful claim on the future. "In the depths of the breakdown, you can see the next narrative," says Mark Muro of the Brookings Institution's metropolitan-policy program. "It's California. The next economy is already in place there, and it's amazing."
 

Megadragon15

Member
Jul 12, 2009
6,123
0
760
I guess it could be true. If and when California becomes the first state to fail, it could forcast the future economic problems for the rest of the US that won't go away without some kind of bailout (which won't come easily or at all).
 

Prez

Member
Mar 28, 2009
9,085
0
805
California, to borrow a phrase, will be back. It's been stuck in an awful recession — not quite as awful as Nevada's — but it's getting unstuck.

Like Schwarzenegger would say: "The worst is ovah"
 

Fun Factor

Formerly FTWer
Jun 18, 2006
6,023
0
0
California, to borrow a phrase, will be back. It's been stuck in an awful recession — not quite as awful as Nevada's — but it's getting unstuck

Nice to know all those "come to Nevada, it's better here" ad's they kept showing were completely bullshit.
 

water_wendi

Water is not wet!
Oct 8, 2006
19,066
0
0
FTWer said:
Nice to know all those "come to Nevada, it's better here" ad's they kept showing were completely bullshit.
Well it would be true if there werent so many Californians out here. ;)
 

avatar299

Banned
Jun 9, 2007
8,902
0
0
That article has to much bullshit, especially regarding business. Most of the tech companies are here because of SV, not California and SV is here because the business climate in California during the 80's and 90's. Even then, you are seeing many of the old California stalwats, technology, real estate and even hollywood branching out from the state. Texas is becoming a hotbed for environmental business and technology enterprises. Many studios and film companies are moving to non-union locations to shoot projects, and they are being tempted by cities like Detroit, Phoenix, Vancouver, to move production elsewhere because of the lower overall cost and that is singlehandedly killing los angeles alone
 

Instigator

Banned
Jul 23, 2004
12,157
0
0
I wouldn't live there.

Overcrowded with power and water shortages and wild fires and earthquakes on top of that?

No thanks.
 

tokkun

Member
Jan 29, 2007
16,092
0
0
Madison, WI
avatar299 said:
Most of the tech companies are here because of SV, not California and SV is here because the business climate in California during the 80's and 90's.

The presence of Berkeley, USC, and Caltech just might have something to do with it too.
 

freddy

Banned
Jun 7, 2007
8,293
0
0
Yea, I can see a nice little island nation developing once they recover from the earthquake and they finally shrug off the protestant religious zealots.
 

monchi-kun

Member
Feb 17, 2005
6,721
0
1,405
web.mac.com
Except California is not doing much to guarantee its own future...the smartest people in "future" California will probably not be a native of the state


http://www.wavenewspapers.com/news/regional/37673589.html

California ranks next to last in states where the adult population has at least a high school education, according to a report released by the California Faculty Association at Cal State Los Angeles.

Ranking 49th out of 50 states is an indication of the state’s deteriorating educational status in recent decades, according to “California at the Edge of a Cliff,” by Thomas G. Mortenson.

Mortenson is an independent analyst living in Iowa and a senior scholar at the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education in Washington, D.C.
As of 2007, California ranked 14th in the nation in terms of college educated members of the workforce over 25 years of age, a drop from eighth place in 1981, according to the report.

“Other states have made greater gains in building a college educated workforce and moved past California,” Mortenson stated. “California is slipping toward educational and economic mediocrity among states on this critical measure of state competitiveness, prosperity and success.”

State tax fund investment in higher education has declined by 40 percent since 1980, according to the report.

California Faculty Association members used the report’s findings to blast Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposed funding cuts to education.

“It is hypocritical for the governor to utter the words ‘we need job creation’ out of one side of his mouth while he cuts higher education funding from the other side of his mouth because you can’t create jobs when you are cutting the very institution that educates people to do those jobs,” said Lillian Taiz, president of the faculty association.

Grappling with a $14.8 billion budget deficit, Schwarzenegger has proposed a combination of sales tax increases, borrowing and major budget cuts, including billions of dollars cut from the state’s education budget. His latest budget proposal would cut the school year by five class days.
 

Zyzyxxz

Member
Sep 3, 2007
12,011
0
1,250
34
Southern California, USA
monchi-kun said:
Except California is not doing much to guarantee its own future...the smartest people in "future" California will probably not be a native of the state


http://www.wavenewspapers.com/news/regional/37673589.html

What I would like to know is, are illegal immigrants counted? Also considering we have such a large immigrant population many are not "U.S." high school educated but have still gone on to be very successful.

I always believe that education is essential to guaranteeing our own future so I'm curious to see how this ranking affects us in the longterm.
 

avatar299

Banned
Jun 9, 2007
8,902
0
0
Zyzyxxz said:
What I would like to know is, are illegal immigrants counted? Also considering we have such a large immigrant population many are not "U.S." high school educated but have still gone on to be very successful.
......racist
 

Zyzyxxz

Member
Sep 3, 2007
12,011
0
1,250
34
Southern California, USA
avatar299 said:
......racist

Oh comon nobody would know this better than a californian immigrant such as myself.

I know that within the large asian community many adults do not have a high school education but may have had one in their native country.

As for mexicans, it's no fucking secret that most of them are uneducated or not enough for American standards (not that our standards are that high). Otherwise why would they be willing to take all the shitty jobs.
 

avatar299

Banned
Jun 9, 2007
8,902
0
0
Zyzyxxz said:
Oh comon nobody would know this better than a californian immigrant such as myself.

I know that within the large asian community many adults do not have a high school education but may have had one in their native country.

As for mexicans, it's no fucking secret that most of them are uneducated or not enough for American standards (not that our standards are that high). Otherwise why would they be willing to take all the shitty jobs.
dude, it was a joke:lol
 

numble

Member
Apr 22, 2007
28,682
0
0
In California, the government does not decide everything a farmer can grow, and does not jail farmers for growing things the government does not want you to grow.
 

Dennis

Banned
Jul 7, 2009
46,535
1
0
That TIME article reeks of desperation - "oh God please let Green Tech save us".

Education - or rather the lack there off - will be the downfall of California when this deficit becomes significant in 10-20 years.

The high-tech workers and engineering PhDs - many of which have foreign roots - are mobile and if they start to leave for better places, California is fucked. Permanently. And these people may soon decide to start leaving because of the crumbling education and medical sector that makes California an unattractive place to raise your kids.
 

Feep

Banned
Sep 14, 2006
14,847
15
1,535
Los Angeles, CA
www.playiridium.com
Instigator said:
I wouldn't live there.

Overcrowded with power and water shortages and wild fires and earthquakes on top of that?

No thanks.
Kinda.

Nope.

Nope.

Nope.

And nope.

At least, not where I live. Valley, bitches!

Also, California is rad. I'll probably live in this state for the rest of my life.
 

Al-ibn Kermit

Junior Member
Jun 23, 2009
6,291
0
0
I live in the middle of the silicon valley but this seems like a shitty article. It's nearly all just speculation, which is probably the goal actually as it makes people get into debate-mode and sells more magazines.
 

Kenichi

Neo Member
Mar 31, 2009
98
0
0
SLO, CA
Feep said:
Kinda.

Nope.

Nope.

Nope.

And nope.

At least, not where I live. Valley, bitches!

Also, California is rad. I'll probably live in this state for the rest of my life.

It's still the valley though....
 

1-D_FTW

Member
Jun 14, 2006
17,069
0
0
I actually thought it was a good article. Sometimes you forget all the reasons California is the best state in the country. It just needs a couple tweaks.
 

Corwood Rep

Member
Jun 11, 2004
7,132
0
0
Teddman said:
No, change the constitution and reform the measure system and legislature. Had Schwarzenegger gotten his way more often, the state would actually be in better fiscal shape.

I liked almost all of his ballot initiatives in the special election. Too bad his gang sucked at PR and especially let all those scummy local politicians avoid the ax of redistricting. Schwarzenegger's doing about as good a job as you really can with California politics being such a foregone conclusion of clusterfuckery.
 
Mar 22, 2009
3,518
0
0
33
San Diego, CA
DennisK4 said:
That TIME article reeks of desperation - "oh God please let Green Tech save us".

Education - or rather the lack there off - will be the downfall of California when this deficit becomes significant in 10-20 years.

The high-tech workers and engineering PhDs - many of which have foreign roots - are mobile and if they start to leave for better places, California is fucked. Permanently. And these people may soon decide to start leaving because of the crumbling education and medical sector that makes California an unattractive place to raise your kids.

So long as we maintain our higher education system we will always be able to replace any number of high-income earners who decide to leave the state. Likewise, we will always maintain a strong business sector. CalTech, UCLA, Berkeley and USC are all here. OSU is one state away (although a Oregon has a strong green energy market as well). It is extremely convenient for tech firms to stay in California so long as we keep churning out the best students in the country; it is extremely convenient for the best students in the country to come to California (or stay in California) so long as we keep funding higher education. These are people without children who are still bent on being in a location that works best for them, personally. We can improve by reforming our highschool system, which is in disarray. But to simply soldier through our current issues, funding community colleges (the most affordable in the nation) and universities (the best collection in the nation) will go more than a long way. And lets be honest, the image of California is a powerful motivator for a lot of people when they're moving, whether it be as a student or professional.

I will say this though, the article glosses over a lot of the issues in this state and actually glamorizes one of them--ballot initiatives.

TIME said:
California is a state of early adopters — not only in fashion, technology and design but in politics too. Its voters approved huge bonds for stem-cell research, high-speed rail and repairs to aging infrastructure while Washington was dragging its feet...

California voters don't pass initiates because they're forward thinking, they pass them because it sounds cool and "hey, why not man". Example: Measure J passed in 2008, and gave bond money to the LA Community College District to invest in rebuilding campuses (there are nine LACC's, and all but one are pretty run down). Let me say first that I fully supported and still do support the idea of Measure J. But I currently work in education lobbying, and in the course of that I go to a lot of the LACC campuses and talk with students and parents about the budget cuts, the fee raises and so on. Overwhelmingly, the first thing these people say is "Why don't we just stop all of the construction?". Because they're bond measures! You can't reallocate that money! Invariably I'll get one of three responses:

1.) An indignant, "Well if I'd known that, I wouldn't have voted for it!"
2.) A blank stare, followed by "Well...why don't they just use the money anyway? That's not right."
3.) "That just goes to show that the government doesn't know what they're doing! Politicians are corrupt!"

It's a joke. These initiatives get put on the ballot and people vote for the coolest sounding things they can find simply because they're there. And then we complain and cry foul when everyone realizes that these things cost real, God-honest, government minted cash money.

Other things pointed out in the article are also shit aspects of our state (Prop 13 capping property taxes, 2/3rds majority, etc). But the serious lack of responsibility taken by California voters is just disturbing and is a massive failure of attempted Democracy. I'm actually hoping to work on political reform in the state soon/when I'm out of college, because it's an untenable situation. It's either that or working towards healing the So. Cal/Nor. Cal divide. We have to come together, my brothers and sisters.
 

glistenm

Banned
Feb 24, 2007
2,618
0
0
Zyzyxxz said:
Oh comon nobody would know this better than a californian immigrant such as myself.

I know that within the large asian community many adults do not have a high school education but may have had one in their native country.

As for mexicans, it's no fucking secret that most of them are uneducated or not enough for American standards (not that our standards are that high). Otherwise why would they be willing to take all the shitty jobs.


......racist
 

Gigglepoo

Member
Jan 6, 2005
36,925
1
0
39
San Francisco
Instigator said:
I wouldn't live there.

Overcrowded with power and water shortages and wild fires and earthquakes on top of that?

No thanks.

You sound like a crazy person. You should be attacking the food. Everything else is just peachy.
 
Jun 16, 2006
1,120
1
0
XiaNaphryz said:
The media portray California as a noir fantasyland of overcrowded schools, perpetual droughts, celebrity breakdowns, illegal immigration, hellish congestion and general malaise, captured in headlines like "Meltdown on the Ocean" and "California's Wipeout Economy"

as a resident of california i have to tell you the media doesnt have to bend the truth at all. this state is that exact sentence. this place is a shithole. if anything this article is a coverup and soon the whole country wll be just as shitty.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.