[p2p-research] Post-Depression first: Americans get more money from government than they give back | csmonitor.com

J. Andrew Rogers reality.miner at gmail.com
Wed Nov 25 18:47:03 CET 2009

On Wed, Nov 25, 2009 at 5:40 AM, Ryan Lanham <rlanham1963 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Calling California conservative doesn't quite fit.  Eureka?  La Jolla?
> Santa Barbara?  Pasadena?

The problem is using "conservative" as a portmanteau, there are many
different kinds of "conservative". I've lived in La Jolla and
Pasadena, they aren't anything at all like e.g. San Francisco or New
York City in terms of politics.

Californians are socially conservative outside of some relatively
small pockets. This is part of the reason California laws are socially
conservative and attempts to change them routinely fail even in the
most left-wing areas. The proof is in the pudding.

Californians say they are socially liberal because that is a mouth
noise you are expected to make, but their actions scream social
conservative. I see it every day, and I live in the middle of a
well-known semi-urban left-wing Democrat enclave where there isn't a
Republican in sight where socially conservative issues inexplicably
win in elections every time.  I am far more socially liberal than most
of them in practice (which should surprise no one).

> The power in California has always been left.
> Fiscally conservative until late, but left.  It was the classic left US
> state.  There was the Hollywood conservative movement, but that was not
> Californian...it was midwestern.  Reagan was from the Midwest and was about
> as Californian as I am.

California is originally a western state -- it still has open carry of
firearms -- and is therefore originally libertarian in character.
Fiscally conservative, socially liberal insofar as the laws go (though
it has that pesky Spanish common law to contend with).  Very few
people are born in the mountain west, they tend to move there.
Politically, Reagan was not Midwest in the slightest.

Now, California really *does* have a Midwest political character,
actively socially conservative while being fiscally liberal. Quite the

> San Francisco is the hub of the West.  LA is the sickest in the state and
> with good reason...it didn't have a plan.  Indeed it is LA (and the
> right--with their real estate booms) that has done the damage.   If SF is
> medium sized, I hope the rest of America can grow into a medium sized
> prosperity.

San Francisco used to be a decent city, but it has been in decline
since the 1990s. A lot of the younger people that lived in San
Francisco and Santa Cruz moved up to Portland and Seattle.

As for Los Angeles, I agree completely.  That city hasn't been nice as
long as I've been alive. ;-)

> BC is well left of San Francisco.

I view it as being politically very similar, just nicer. San Francisco
as a city is ideologically much more left than what they are allowed
to implement in practice.  Remember, they are beholden to the social
conservatives in the rest of California.

> Oregon has far worse budget conditions than California and Washington is
> close behind.

The difference is that the taxes in Oregon and Washington are much
lower, which gives them headroom. Here are some current tax load
rankings (higher rank means higher tax loads):

Business taxes: California = #3, Oregon = #37, Washington = #42.
Individual taxes: California = #6, Oregon = #26, Washington = #35

See the difference?  Washington and Oregon deliver as much service as
California while requiring less taxes to do it. They have considerably
more economic latitude to raise taxes to the extent their
constitutions allow it.

> The boom in California was San Francisco, obviously.  What great firms has
> LA produced?  San Diego?

Huh?  San Francisco mostly produces great restaurants, not businesses.
 Silicon Valley, where the boom was, is 80 kilometers away.  Los
Angeles? Point taken.  San Diego is one of the centers of the universe
for biomedical technology and some other less flashy areas of
technology that most people don't pay attention to.

> You should move.  People should align where they belong.  California is
> going to lurch left hard.  I'd bet on that.  I suspect your frustration and
> unhappiness is seated in the fact that you sense that move occurring.  Texas
> sounds like a fit.

We've taken to stereotyping in the complete absence of evidence, eh?
I can't stand Texas.

The reality is in violent disagreement with your imagination.  I am in
the process of moving (thankfully) to a place that is more liberal
than Silicon Valley because it suits me -- Seattle. Most of the upside
of San Francisco, but considerably less of a cesspool.

> Yeah, Kansas...liberal.

Kansas is a Midwest state.  These are not western states, completely
different culture.  And having lived on the Kansas/Nebraska border, I
would not wish living there on anyone.

J. Andrew Rogers

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