Get a hanky, and read all of VDH’s Two Californias.
I think I know the answer to this paradox. Missing entirely in the above description is the attitude of the host, which by any historical standard can only be termed “indifferent.” California does not care whether one broke the law to arrive here or continues to break it by staying. It asks nothing of the illegal immigrant — no proficiency in English, no acquaintance with American history and values, no proof of income, no record of education or skills. It does provide all the public assistance that it can afford (and more that it borrows for), and apparently waives enforcement of most of California’s burdensome regulations and civic statutes that increasingly have plagued productive citizens to the point of driving them out. How odd that we overregulate those who are citizens and have capital to the point of banishing them from the state, but do not regulate those who are aliens and without capital to the point of encouraging millions more to follow in their footsteps. How odd — to paraphrase what Critias once said of ancient Sparta — that California is at once both the nation’s most unfree and most free state, the most repressed and the wildest.
The “congress-created dustbowl” is plenty obvious from I-5. Hanson’s report from inside the valley is heartbreaking. If this state isn’t dead, it’s awfully close.
Update (and bumped):
At Legal Insurrection William Jacobson says “it can’t last another decade.”
Hanson’s description of modern California would be a fitting updated version of my observations of the Soviet Union in the early 1980s. The analogy is not exact, of course, because the political and economic systems, and the root causes, are so different.
But the result is the same. An increasing inability of the economic system to support the agenda of the first world cities and political elites.