Why thousands of us are fleeing San Francisco

Summary: It is the Leftist capital of America. Seldom has such a wonderful region been so mismanaged, becoming increasingly like the dystopian future shown in Blade Runner.

San Francisco
Lost in the fog.

California is a Leftist-run state and San Francisco is its premier city – a vision of what Leftists might bring to America. News stories describe why, such as “Diseased Streets“, the latest coverage of the long destruction of a city by the Left.

“An NBC Bay Area Investigation reveals a dangerous concoction of drug needles, garbage, and feces lining the streets of downtown San Francisco. The Investigative Unit surveyed more than 150 blocks, including some of the city’s top tourist destinations, and discovered conditions that are now being compared to some of the worst slums in the world.”

Decades of underfunded infrastructure have left the region’s keuy systems, such as transportation, hopelessly overloaded. Open borders to illegal migrants and lavish social services (attracting poor migrants from other states and elsewhere) have exacerbated that problem. The immigrants do not generate sufficient tax revenue to pay for the services and capital expenditures needed to support them. These have made life in the Bay Area increasingly dystopian.

Combine that with the brutal taxes and high cost for almost everything, and you get middle class flight: “San Francisco Bay Area Experiences Mass Exodus Of Residents” by Len Ramirez at CBS. Lots of evidence, such Mark Perry’s research showing “a shortage of U-Haul trucks and sky-high prices for scarce outbound trucks.” Or the flood of donations to Goodwill and other charities, as people strip down to move out of State. Our local Goodwill has an industrial-scale donation intake, and often becomes overloaded and restricts what they will accept.

Poor migrants flood in to replace us. Time will tell if that is a good trade for the Bay Area.

Seldom has such a potentially great region been so politically mismanaged by its people. But don’t worry about the rich. Life remains pleasant in their enclaves!

What will sink San Francisco and California? And the eventual solution.

What will sink the San Francisco Bay Area? Two things. First, eventually people leaving will crash its mad real estate prices. Tipping points in the supply-demand balance always surprise people with their rapid and large effects. Second, it will be the big victim of the coming stock market crash. The timing of crashes cannot be predicted, but they are often inevitable.

Compare California’s public debt load to that of other States (2010, but probably roughly unchanged).

The solution: default. That means bankruptcy for cities. States can just default, as 17 States have done so in the past. And countless nations have done in the past millennia. See Prepare for the bankrupt government pension plans!

Now for the bad news

California State government has mobilized to fight “toxic masculinity.” Of less interest to its bien pensant leftist legislature, it has a toxic mixture of high government debt at all levels and grossly underfunded pensions.

To see how far underwater its pension systems are, read these reports.  “Retirement System Sustainability Study and Findings by the League of California Cities, January 2018. See their other publications about this crisis. More broadly, “California’s Total State and Local Debt Totals $1.3 Trillion” by Bill Fletcher and Marc Joffe at the California Policy Center. Technically, the headline is wrong. They refer to liabilities, not just debt.

Several States have combinations of high debt and underfunded plans (either one by itself is survivable). For more about this see these reports.

For More Information

For a broad and provocative look at California’s problems, see “California in Danger: Why the Dream is Dying and How We Can Save It” by Michael Shellenberger at Environmental Progress. Like any such big picture analysis, you will not agree with all of his observations. But he makes some telling points.

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49 thoughts on “Why thousands of us are fleeing San Francisco

    1. SoHaMa,

      Can you explain this cartoon for us? What does the second box, a guy inserting a rod into the spikes of his bike, represent?

      I assume you mean that conservatives sabotage California, blame “commies”, and ask for the “free market” to “save them.” How does this correspond to modern California’s history?

    2. SoHaMa,

      FYI – This was in the spam filter (it works well, but not perfectly). I retrieved it, and edited it to show the cartoon (rather than showing just the link).

    1. Newton,

      (1) “San Franciso welcomes your departure”

      As I said, “Time will tell if that is a good trade for the Bay Area.” I suggest that you try less arrogance about the outcome.

      (2) “not like Blade Runner.”

      Keep those eyes closed, so that you don’t see reality.

      • Staggering inequality, 6th the highest in the nation.
      • One of highest (perhaps the highest) poverty rate – taking into account the cost of living, per the Census’ Supplemental Poverty Measures.
      • As the articles cited show, dystopian levels of feces and needles (many infected with awful diseases) on the streets and in the parks.
      • Large numbers of aggressive (often mentally disturbed) people in the streets.
      • Third worst traffic congestion.

      I could go on, but why burst your bubble?

    1. R Newton,

      “San Francisco needs fixing, not an exodus.”

      The problem with San Francisco is the people. They like the government they elected.

      America has been shaped by internal migrations, guaranteed by the Constitution. It’s one of the great checks on these situations, where people in a region go a bit nuts (as is their right).

    2. Newton,

      A follow-up to your comment: “San Francisco needs fixing. not an exodus.”

      America has a long history of like-minded people gathering together to create their version of a city-on-a-hill. That was the origin of the Plymouth Colony and the Salt Lake City. Gays “colonized” Provincetown MA and San Francisco CA. Leftists have done so in the SF Bay Area.

      There is a benefit to this, beyond free association being people’s right. Their actions demonstrate who they are. Utah showed that Mormon’s were not disciples of Satan. San Francisco and Provincetown proved that gays are people, not fiends from hell. Now we get to see how leftists’ govern. The Bay Area and California are test-beds of modern leftist thought (as were the Soviet Union, Mao’s China, and Venezuela). We can learn much.

      As Justice Brandeis wrote in his opinion to New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann (1932).

      “To stay experimentation in things social and economic is a grave responsibility. Denial of the right to experiment may be fraught with serious consequences to the nation. It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous State may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.”

      He was outvoted in 1932. But, as in many of those court battles in the 1930s, the minority opinion eventually became majority opinions in America.

  1. As a native Californian, I mourn for my state. I finally left more than 20 years ago, and the change was evident back then.

    I grew up knowing that California was the best state in the nation, the best run with the best economy. When I went to college at the end of the Reagan era, it was the envy of the country.

    It was already changing by then. The massive influx of immigrants, illegal and legal, was changing the state. In the 80s, assimilation was the key and we integrated immigrants well, but assimilation stopped being the goal in the 90s.

    Ex., in 1994, I helped my friend take his students on a field trip to the beach. He taught a bilingual 3rd grade class in Orange County. His students were very fluent in English, but the identity push was on and they were in Spanish speaking classes all day long.

    That struck me as so odd. In the 70s and 80s, we integrated immigrants quickly in my schools, immersing them in English and mainstreaming them. I recently looked at my 1st grade year book and 25% were Hispanic, but we never thought of them as such. They were just fellow Californians.

    Anyway, I still have friends and family in California. They are talking about leaving, as well. My father finally gave up after 80 years. He is very happy he did.

    California is a model today of poor governance, the exact opposite of what it was 30 years ago….. Blade Runner world seems like the future…..

    1. Gaiur,

      (1) My experience is similar to yours, with overlapping time horizons. I moved here from NYC in 1987. Worked on Wall St, lived in Greenwich – during the bad years. NYC was a dump. The subways, Metro North trains, and terminals had not been updated since the 1930s. Grand Central’s windows still had the blackout paint put on during WWII. Organized crime was everywhere (I have stories that blow the socks off California businesspeople).

      San Francisco was wonderland. The people were relaxed. The school excellent. Things worked. But conditions were already deteriorating, and the pace of decline accelerating.

      Now we tell people we’re leaving and an astonishing number say either they plan to leave or are considering it. There is a line of people at the Goodwill drop-off lane. I ask people in line with me why they’re donating; over half say they are moving out of State.

      The tipping point lies ahead. A large fraction of property owners have big (or massive, or even larger) gains on their homes. Lots of retired people who bought homes for $15 – $50 thousand that are worth $600 thousand to one million today (a million buys a nice 1500 – 2000 sq ft home in much of the Bay Area, but no McMansion). When the supply exceeds demand, prices will fall. Then people will start to sell, to cash out while they can. Positive feedback results, as selling sparks more selling.

      This is why asset prices usually fall faster than they rise.

      (2) “California is a model today of poor governance, the exact opposite of what it was 30 years ago”

      Thirty years ago California had a mixed Dem-GOP government. Now it, and esp the big cities, are mostly solid leftist. Like monkeys in the control room of a nuclear power plant, they spin the dials and push buttons — with no understanding of what they are doing. Confident that no testing or experimenting needed for their theories.

      Just like communism in the past, and their experiments with gender policy today. Hubris will earn its natural reward. Consider it a learning experience for America.

  2. I visited San Francisco twice some years back when I went out there to see old friends. Call me naive, I had no idea that housing could cost so much. They did the same work I do, and each of them made far more money, and they were still house poor renting a very modest place. One of my trips was cut short when I landed flat on my back in the ER with a fever of 104, and I got to find out what medical care costs out there. I got a phone call from my insurance company over that one, but they eventually paid. I remember walking around thinking it was a beautiful city, and it would be a great place to live, if only.

    The homeless situation seems to have gotten a lot worse since I was there, and it wasn’t good then. I have vivid memories of walking back to the Powell Street Bart Station after dark and realizing that after dark, these people stop begging and start demanding. The woman I was with was walking along within snatching distance of dark alleys I couldn’t see into, looking neither to the left nor to the right, utterly oblivious to what was going on around her and what could happen. (We got a reminder of that next day when a woman at the convention came in looking like she had gone three round with Iron Mike Tyson.) I was the only person I met who had any street sense whatsoever, or any idea of how to be alert and avoid trouble.

    That walk back to Powell Street has become, for me, a kind of metaphor. People walking along, completely oblivious to obvious dangers around them.

    1. The Man,

      “That walk back to Powell Street has become, for me, a kind of metaphor. People walking along, completely oblivious to obvious dangers around them.”

      Bay Area people are oblivious in another sense. The area has great natural advantages, and generations of work by its people have built a great region. But they are oblivious to the changes that can wash much of that away. Not the physical changes — it is well-prepared for natural disasters. But changes resulting from th leftist ideology that rules them.

      The first news story I remember when we moved here (1987) was a contremps in Oakland’s City government. They had an elaborate waste recycling system, with many color-coded waste receptacles. They discovered that they were all dumped into the same trash bins. I found this odd. Oakland was a horror show, beset with serious problems. Why was this a visible priority? Experience taught me that Leftists’ think like that.

      It leads to bad government. The coming debt and pension crisis at Democrat-run state and local governments will prove that even to oblivious Americans.

      That will leave us in the hands of the Republicans, who have the simple goal of exploiting us for the benefit of the 1%. Or perhaps we will learn from painful experience and change.

    1. Park,

      As I said in the post (did you read it?):

      “Poor migrants flood in to replace us. Time will tell if that is a good trade for the Bay Area.”

    2. Feeriker,

      “Korean, no? Part of the invading army.”

      Probably yes to the first, certainly no to the second.

      (1) Korea has not been a large source of immigrants to the US. They total ~3% of the total during 1965-2015, and were 2.4% of the total in 2016.

      (2) People often debate about “immigrants” as if they were a unitary entity or uniform group. They are not. Different groups come in legally vs. illegally, assimilate at different speeds, and make different levels of contributions to the US. Koreans mostly arrive legally and have become especially productive citizens.

  3. You left out the recent report that you are still poor even if you have a six figure income! From the Sacramento Bee:

    A six-figure income might seem impressive in some parts of the country, but in the San Francisco Bay Area it’s practically pocket change, according to a new federal report.

    An annual report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development classifies a family of four living in San Francisco, San Mateo or Marin counties that earns less than $117,400 annually as “low income.” Low-income families are eligible for federal housing assistance. The report adds that families of four earning less than $73,300 a year in those counties are classed as “very low income.”

    People often ask me why I moved overseas for work (I’m in tech) rather than live in the Bay Area. Let’s see… up to your eyeballs in junkies and the homeless, disgusting naked old people sitting on bus benches, and you get to pay over a million for a postage stamp of a house. I’ll pass, thanks.

    1. Rando,

      Thanks for flagging that story. I added the opening text from it to your comment.

      These articles focus on the cost of housing, rightly so. But almost everything is more expensive here. Water, electricity, taxes, and many goods and services. The high costs are one reason why businesses and people are fleeing.

      But people forget that the high real estate prices are unstable. The damage to the local economy will be immense if (when) they crash.

  4. Michael Shellenberger (mostly an environmentalist at odds with the left) recently published an essay in Forbes summed a lot of it: “Number One In Poverty, California Isn’t Our Most Progressive State — It’s Our Most Racist One.

    He said that California was governed for 4 categories of groups (and even not that well at all for many in them):

    • public service unions,
    • the poor,
    • immigrants,
    • the very rich.

    And damn everybody else. Do Californians present here confirm?

    1. Tancrede,

      Thanks for flagging that report. I’ll add it to this post. As a 30-year resident of the SF Bay Area, he nails it!

      Although Schellenberger does not use the term, he justifies labeling California’s Leftist policies as “racist” on solidly leftist terms: disparate impact. Their policies hit the poor, hence people of color, more so than affluent classes (largely white).

      The Left’s defense will be their usually one: close their eyes, ears, and minds — while screaming racist – fascist – Trump.

      Interesting times ahead as the Left and Right clash. Only one can win. Those of us in the middle seem likely to be crushed between them. Unless we decide to wake (become “woke”) and act.

      Note: I added a full citation to your post.

    2. Yes. Just look at the comments here on this thread. Read through the website of Xavier Bacerra and see who he represents. The very rich are the plutocrats running our agribusinesses and tech sector and are well-represented. The other constituencies you mentioned have amazing representation. Like the comments here on this thread, the rest of us can go to hell.

      What’s amazing is how dishonest even local bureaucrats at the county and city level are about what they’re doing with public money and the true level of crime. I’d say a third of the shootings and home invasions are reported through the local press which sees its mission as whining about Trump.

      The state is full of a bunch of people with their heads in the sand about everything. The Land of the Fruits, Nuts, and Flakes indeed.

  5. Wife’s friend lives there and told her the other night he was stuck by a needle. He’s been living there for a year and wants to get out.

    San Fran is a waste and run by idiots. Next it will be Seattle and then Portland. I’m starting to believe its intentional.

    1. Gute,

      “I’m starting to believe its intentional.”

      Of course it is intentional. The people running the SF Bay Area are well-educated; many are brilliant. But what is their intention?

      Based on my 30 years experience here, these people live in a bubble based on ideological dreams. Epistemic closure, a defining characteristic of both Left and Right in America. Thru the miracle of modern communication tech, each side can talk almost exclusively to their own kind.

      Remember the early days of algorithmic pricing of used books on Amazon. Two algos would get into a bidding war with each other, so that an old paperback would have sellers asking for thousands of dollars. Something similar happens in political communities, when their members slow over time disconnect from reality. I can give many examples, as can anyone who reads the extremes on the internet. But this is an eyewitness account.

      A very smart woman — MBA from a major university, high IQ, mid-30s, upper middle class — told us that Governor Schwarzenegger would probably use the California National Guard to establish a fascist dictatorship. In her circles nobody would crash her bubble by saying she was nuts. Rule One is that ideologically conforming dreams must be treated respectively. Both Left and Right have created “safe spaces” for each other. The result nurtures madness.

      People from those safe spaces visit the FM website comments section and have a bad time here. They don’t know how to respond when their illogic and misinformation are challenged. Usually they respond with schoolyard insults and flee.

      This is modern America. We are a gift to our rulers. Passive, easily mislead, fragmented.

  6. Of all of the nasty, disgusting, and deplorable things listed here about my hometown, none are false.
    I do sorely lament the sorry state of things here.

    – Everyone agrees the government is ineffective and wasteful, possibly among the highest per-capita municipal budgets in the world, with questionable results at best.
    – The streets are filthy and a civic embarrassment.
    – The public infrastructure exceeded its original design capacity sometime around the Clinton presidency, and most of it hasn’t been significantly upgraded since Nixon.
    – The housing market has long-since left for Crazytown.

    But yet the economy is still booming. The middle class are leaving, but they’re being easily replaced by high-income yuppies. The large public debt is real, but doesn’t seem especially unusual or immediately catastrophic.
    Conservatives love to ridicule the many ridiculously high dollar figures that come out of the Bay Area specifically and California in general, but they often fail to take them in the context of the relatively high population, or to make comparisons with similar international and domestic peers.

    Bottom line, the population is still growing, and it’s the highest it’s ever been according to the census.

    I’m reminded of the joke:
    “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded”

    1. Todd,

      (1) “But yet the economy is still booming.”

      That’s only somewhat true. San Francisco’s economy is booming because of companies printing stock certificates, not profits (ie, cash flows into the region), and its super-charged real estate business. Neither are sustainable. This is obvious but people prefer not to see it. Just as with every previous bubble in history. See some details here.

      Plus the artificial boom generated by the regional and state underfunded pension plans. Also not sustainable.

      (2) “The middle class are leaving, but they’re being easily replaced by high-income yuppies.”

      What is your evidence for that? Most of the inflow are much poorer than those leaving. The rising poverty rate also contracts your theory.

      (3) “but they often fail to take them in the context of the relatively high population”

      Population is not a relevant factor in assessing asset prices or credit ratios. These valuation methods have been well established for many generations. You can wave your hands to your hearts content, but they will again prove to be definitive.

      (4) “or to make comparisons with similar international and domestic peers.”

      False. Such comparisons are very common. Perhaps you just avoid seeing them.

  7. Todd, you’re describing the components of an economic bubble.

    In short you’re saying that San Francisco enjoys the benefits of immense, unsustainable trends while simultaneously suffering from regrettable shortcomings characterized by deep-seated inertia. “High-income yuppies” go to where the job opportunities and social prestige are, so the self-inflated hype will keep San Francisco humming for some time. But as the middle class gradually evaporates and living conditions worsen, SF’s halcyon days will end. I doubt the Huns will trample in to make an extravagant end of things. In retrospect, historians might find that a shame. It would’ve been something worth recording.

    Now Larry recuses himself from making predictions but this one is relatively simple. SF is not exempt from history and every economic/commercial center eventually loses its importance due to a whole slew of factors: competition, the loci of its main business shifting, demographic changes, etc. Let’s use Rome as a cursory example. Honestly, the comparison itself doesn’t work on a superficial level: SF is not nearly important enough to the U.S. Nevertheless they do show notable similarities.

    Neither city was self-sufficient in palpable goods. The terrain around Rome couldn’t sustain its population and it relied on imported foodstuffs to maintain its growth. Even at its imperial apex it had to literally conquer Egypt and burn Carthage to the ground to compensate. SF’s corresponding issue is manpower for its various industries. It attracts software engineers and their ilk like flies to honey; it doesn’t train them. Its industries aren’t connected to the Bay Area by necessity as much as convenience. By the same token your yuppies arrive with a weak sense of communal solidarity. SF is their home in a paltry sense, so they lack the personal investment and incentive to advocate change. The government will only offer weak retorts as long the population increases and the economy grows. Then there are the deplorable parallels you brought up: civic apathy, wasteful spending, crumbling infrastructure unaddressed in the post-Augustus eras, skyrocketing property rates, a widening chasm between the rich and poor. These spawned and reinforced each other, especially with the vicious backstabbing and revolts over the throne.

    All of this seems moot now. But as a socialist who normally treats conservative moaning with slight disdain, I can only say “prepare for unforeseen consequences”.

    1. NEET,

      (1) “The terrain around Rome couldn’t sustain its population and it relied on imported foodstuffs to maintain its growth.”

      That’s an insightful analogy. San Francisco depends on an influx of investment capital to keep many of its key industries afloat (eg, tech, biotech, Tesla, and esp real estate). Without those, it will suffer a rapid contraction. The popping of bubbles is almost always traumatic, the pain varying by the magnitude of this bubble. These things are difficult to determine in advance, either in size or timing. But this could be big big big.

      (2) “Now Larry recuses himself from making predictions …”

      That’s a powerful observation, since I seldom describe how the FM website works. I sometimes make predictions, most often to provide a clear vision of an unknown and unknowable future. On rare occasions I make real predictions. I track those on three pages.

      1. Forecasts for America & the World (waiting for results).
      2. Predictions – the successes.
      3. Smackdowns – the failures.

      What makes the FM website different from almost everything else is the third of those: listing the misses. Predictions are only serious if you track the fails.

  8. “Bay Area people are oblivious in another sense. The area has great natural advantages, and generations of work by its people have built a great region. But they are oblivious to the changes that can wash much of that away. Not the physical changes — it is well-prepared for natural disasters. But changes resulting from the leftist ideology that rules them.”

    Another of my vivid memories of the Bay Area is walking into a bookstore (I cannot now remember the name of it), and it turned out to be a Communist bookstore. Reagan had been out of office for a long, long time, but to these people…it was like the Contra war was yesterday. The shelves were groaning beneath the weight of books about the struggle for dialectical materialism among the peasant women of Nicaragua. It was like stepping into another time. The last time I got that same feeling of stepping into the past was at Appomattox. They’ve actually preserved it, and you can stand on the front porch of the MacLean house, and you almost expect to see men in blue and gray.

    As for Oakland…dear God. I saw the place from the window of a BART train. There was graffiti the size of the buildings it was on for the Shining Path, the FMLN, and other guerilla movements besides. I had left the USA.

    1. You are more right than you know. We have global training for our technical sales personnel and some have commented that they don’t feel like theyre in the US until they leave the Bay Area when coming from SFO. But by all means let’s keep squandering the best years of our best red state youth in Iraq and Afghanistan when the territory of the US proper isn’t even secure. AMLO is going to ramp Mexican nationalism in CA, I predict. We’ll have to revisit my prediction in 18 months and see how I did.

    2. PRCD,

      To take your comments one step further: it seems likely that the Democrats will field in 2020 a candidate advocating massive social restructuring of America. Open borders and massive efforts to change our gender structure (ie, open war on men and boys). If this person wins, you will see real polarization. Not the soft stuff of today.

      Remember my prison analogy. You can’t exist alone in prison (other than the “country club” ones). You can join the Blacks, the PR’s, the Hispanics — or the white Nationalist Nazis. As a white guy, what do you do? This might be our future unless we mobilize soon.

    3. The Man,

      You are on to something. Not much written for the American public about the People’s Republics of the Bay Area. It’s the entrance ramp for America for the Highway to Hell. We might take it in 2020.

    4. Larry,
      For starters, I’m going to move around like-minded people. We should also pray for our nation and the church which seems to be in a stupor.

      I expect it’ll be like the Latin American experience but there are too many Protestants here for things to end up the same. Maybe we’ll see an American version of the Suidlanders. Things have to be done at a local level and that is why Americans have so many problems: we’re Bowling Alone in our private lives. We are too armed for them to load us into camps. They’ll chip away at the second amendment therefore. And the first. They really want to control what we think.

      I expect capital flight will become a thing as it now will be in Mexico. AMLO ran 8 years ago and rich Mexicans were planning on leaving Mexico. I intend to experiment with stable coins.

      Be comforted knowing that suffering is from God too haha.

    5. PRCD,

      Opening America’s borders will put us on the same track as Europe. It is a singularity. We cannot see what lies beyond that point, other than know that the experience of passing through it will be painful beyond our ability to even imagine.

      I very much doubt we will follow the patterns of Latin America.

  9. The average American uses 100 gallons of water per person, per day.
    Californians are getting cut to 50 gallons of water per person, per day.

    I would leave for that reason alone.
    If millions of people feel like I do house prices are about to collapse.

  10. Larry,
    As a Californian, open borders have been a reality as long as I’ve been alive. If things continue as they have, the Cartels and street gang vassals will continue to grow in power in CA. The Chinese will eventually figure out they’ve been left holding the bag and there will be tension between them and the LatAms. The remaining whites will be to the left of Jerry Brown and will continue to feel great about being taxed to pay for immigrants and pensioners.

    I suppose the Left could ramp all this up by a factor of ten, in which case we’ll have no-kidding domestic conflict like they have in Mexico. 100,000 people have died in the drug wars over the past 10 years down there. You might find some of Samuel Culper’s podcasts interesting.

    Pray always and don’t lose heart. The period leading up to the modern nation-state was grim indeed. But our wealth hasn’t stiffened our moral fiber

    1. PRCD,

      “As a Californian, open borders have been a reality as long as I’ve been alive.”

      It’s not binary, open or closed. Magnitudes matter. Disband ICE and open the doors, esp with encouragement from the Mexican govt, and you will see what massive migration looks like.

      It will be an irreversible moment in our history. I doubt you or I will like what follows.

  11. and waiting in the wings: seattle and portland. they are in the early stages of just the same process.

    1. Jay,

      That’s an important point. Mass, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Oregon, and Washington are other laboratories of the Left. We will learn much from their wreckage in the next two decades.

  12. Larry,
    Like Bill Lind says, it’ll be an invitation to 4GW on a much larger scale. The Left loves breaking things and then offering their solution. It’ll look like the 14th century described by Barbara Tuchman in “A Distant Mirror.”

    I was reading more about Mexicos elections last night. Another guy elected governor of one of the states is a footballer. A new female senator grew up in Seattle and returned to Mexico to start a militia and was jailed for 3 years before being released without charges. Another lived in Canada a long time. Over on James LaFond’s blog someone posted about how Mexicans are committing mass train robberies. The coastal elites think the Latin Americans are these jovial servants who want nothing more than a better life plus they’re Catholics just like the Irish and Italians. The reality is Mexico and its government are a perfect representation of its people many of whom work for the cartels. They like a lot more chaos than we’re used to, but we’ll have to get used to it.

    It’ll be interesting to see how much violence will result from AMLO s election since the politicians are all affiliated with one cartel or another. I remember in the early Aughts when e PAN was voted out, it resulted in the violence over drug trafficking routes that continues to this day. Some 100,000 have died in the violence and no one is safe.

  13. San Francisco’s problem is that because of Silicon Valley -where low density is making housing even more affordable, people have flocked to it. The city has small area and too much demand from those flocking to take advantage to Silicon Valley jobs.

    With demographic change underway, there will be no utopia for either the left or the right.

    You want to see a state that is going to have a major infrastructure bomb. None other than red Texas.
    See:
    :http://bigjollypolitics.com/temporary-trailer-becomes-voting-residence-rent-voter-service/
    “Temporary Trailer” becomes a voting residence through “Rent-A-Voter” service

    http://www.houstonpress.com/news/how-a-few-rent-a-voters-in-a-vacant-lot-lead-to-millions-in-bonds-for-taxpayers-8223400
    How a Few Rent-A-Voters in a Vacant Lot Lead to Millions in Bonds for Taxpayers

    http://www.texaswatchdog.org/2011/02/growing-governments-how-special-districts-spread-across-Texas-power-to-tax/1297796531.story
    Growing governments: How ‘special districts’ spread across Texas with limited oversight and accountability — but with plenty of power to tax
    http://watchdog.org/252328/special-districts/
    Special districts — with power to tax — grow like weeds in Texas

    https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2018/1/9/the-fatal-flaw-in-your-towns-development-pattern

    The Fatal Flaw in Your Town’s Development Pattern

    1. Winston,

      (1) Yes, Texas politics is corrupt. As it has been since the first days of the Texas Republic. Those articles do not show that Texas is going to have an “infrastructure bomb”, whatever that it.

      (2) “San Francisco’s problem is that because of Silicon Valley -where low density is making housing even more affordable, people have flocked to it. The city has small area and too much demand from those flocking to take advantage to Silicon Valley jobs.”

      That’s quite false, in several ways. Look at a map. Silicon Valley is not San Francisco. San Jose and the East Bay have ample open space. But generations of neglecting to build transportation infrastructure AND poor public policy (not encouraging high rise/high density construction) have created the housing shortage. There is no high density center. If there was, people have little ability to get there from surrounding suburbs.

  14. Aren’t the Houston floods the standard example of red state bad planning and pro-growth ideology?

    Good planning that is pro-growth is theoretically possible (see the New Urbanism movement), but only seems to have happened in “red” states in resort-ish areas where there are lots of “cultural creatives” and ex-urbanites?

  15. The original, conventional definition of “Leftism” (Marxist working class struggle against either the merchant-corporate class or the ancient regime) is largely irrelevant. The current use of the term needs to be unpacked to be relevant to understanding these issues in California and other “blue” states.

    Here is one small offering that might be of use in understanding part of the cognitive and social underpinnings of “cultural leftism/marxism” (postmodern identity politics, etc.)

    From David Chapman, trained in AI researcher at MIT, who is also a non-dogmatic Buddhist.

    https://meaningness.com/metablog/stem-fluidity-bridge

    Postmodernism is “stuck” at Kegan stage 4.5: it rejects the “absolutisms” of modern-rational technocratic eternalism, but has not yet reached a fully “fluid/holistic” stage 5 form of culture:

    https://meaningness.com/images/mn/developmental%20landscape_999x383.png

    (Kegan Stage 5 is the level of consciousness and culture at which real solutions in “blue” states become possible.)

    Please note the linked sections on that web site that explain “eternalism” and the waves of “atomizing” post-60s subcultures.

    Also note that “identity politics” is a rejection of class struggle, as required by the relationship of “cultural leftism” to the corporate-state oligarchy.

    1. Pierce,

      (1) “The original, conventional definition of “Leftism” (Marxist working class struggle against either the merchant-corporate class or the ancient regime) is largely irrelevant. ”

      (a) That’s not the original definition. The Left-Right political spectrum comes from how representatives of the French National assembly first seated themselves in 1789. That is, it is a one dimension spectrum. That is still used today, although the characteristics of “left” and “right” have changed greatly.

      (b) The class struggle continues today, with income inequality growing and social mobility shrinking. It’s just not trendy to see it, because doing so would force either abject surrender or work & risk to resist. Much more fun to reduce that cognitive dissonance by playing intellectual games. Which is one reason the 1% are winning.

      (2) “Also note that “identity politics” is a rejection of class struggle …”

      Identity politics is part of the class struggle. As the Romans said, dīvide et imperā. Divide and rule. The New Deal alliance of progressives and populalists reminded the 1% about the importance of keeping the rest of us fragmented. It’s working great, as it did for the Roman 1%!

  16. 1. The Left/Right seating reflected class divisions, which is the thing that matters.

    excerpt:

    “The Legislative Assembly was driven by two opposing groups. The members of the first group were conservative members of the bourgeoisie (wealthy middle class in the Third Estate) that favored a constitutional monarchy, represented by the Feuillants, who felt that the revolution had already achieved its goal.[23]

    The other group was the democratic faction, for whom the king could no longer be trusted, represented by the new members of the Jacobin Club[24] that claimed that more revolutionary measures were necessary.[25][note 1]”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Legislative_Assembly_(France)#Political_groups

    Comment: the democratic (leftist-revolutionary) faction contained the peasant classes.

    2. Class struggle means struggle of the lower classes (who usually have less power) against the upper classes (who usually have more power).

    There had been many peasant rebellions before the 1700s, but in the 1700s they took on a different character due to enlightenment ideas and the spread of rationalism and agentic values (individual achievement).

    3. the wealthy upper classes (historically allied with the clerics, religious classes) use class DOMINANCE against the “struggle” of the lower classes for freedom from such dominance.

    In the case of the New deal, the corporate-state was certainly willing to adopt any “leftists” (progressives/populists) it could find that wanted to sell out their ideals in order to get personal power and/or to gain incremental reforms, such as the legalization of labor unions.

    Historically, most USA populists were rural, traditional-religious, and working class and not “leftist” in the sense of being radical revolutionaries or urban progressives.

    As Richard Rorty stated in his prediction (similar to Christopher Lasch’s) of the rise of a Trump-like figure, it was the abandonment of the working classes by the professional classes, including NY Wall Street types, desperate to hold on to the trailing edge of the rainbow globalist bandwagon, that was the real cause of the “fragmentation”, as driven by the system of state-corporate oligarchy (inverted totalitarianism).

    Postmodern Identity politics is the attempt of the urban “leftist” elements of the professional classes to restore the appearance of morality, even if it is fake morality (coupled with incompetent public administration).

    Wesley Yang has brilliantly deconstructed identity politics, white privilege theory, the concept of microaggressions, etc.

    Again, the only “answer” is reaching Kegan stage 5 (which will require a post-capitalist economy, such as the P2P Foundation has described), not some vague notion of regression to stage 4 neolib-oligarchic dominance and the glory days of individual achievement.

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