Wednesday, March 07, 2018


I've been seeing a bunch of sites saying some variation of "California has the worst quality of life in the 50 US states, and some conservatives are celebrating," so I went to see the McKinsey/U.S. News & World Report stats this was based on. Turns out in overall ranking Cali's at #32, which seems low to me -- I mean, Connecticut's #24; would you rather spend a weekend in Hartford or San Francisco? -- but chacun à son goût.

Turns out while McKinsey ranks the state #4 for business (something I thought conservatives appreciated), #11 in health care, etc., McKinsey put them last for "quality of life" -- which they say has to do with "air quality, pollution, voter participation, social support and more." Their #1 for quality of life: North Dakota. Well, it takes all kinds, and if you think Minot's where it's at, God go with you.

But rightwing randos take this to mean California's a hellhole and, from their perches in Bumfuck deliver between spurts of tobacco juice jeremiads like "Liberalism Has Finally Gone Too Far in California… State’s Beyond Repair," from Conservative Tribune's William Haupt III:
This progressive state is facing an epic shortage of trained workers and business start-ups.
Haupt provides no citations, natch, but the trained workers thing, which makes no sense in the here-and-now, seems to come from the Public Policy Institute of California's projection that the state is trending toward a shortage of such workers by 2030 --  which is another way of saying that California will have more good jobs than they can fill. (The fact that North Dakota has to recruit workers for fracking is generally considered a plus by conservatives.)  As for the start-ups crack? Not likely.
Imported unskilled labor lured by a lucrative welfare system has turned capitalism into quasi-socialism. New cottage industries have replaced real businesses and economic cleavage between the haves and have-to-depends reeks havoc on the mostly highly taxed state in the U.S. Liberalism has turned all prosperity into poverty.
The weird thing about this cartoon vision, which has become common on the Right, is how it slides from traditional conservative tropes like slurs against Mexicans to a woke-ish pretense of concern for income inequality. Them big cities got big fancy buildings, an' people sleepin' on the street! I sawr it on Law & Order! Most Americans want to address this rich-poor split by taxing the rich, but Haupt blames it on furriners and the evil generosity of liberals toward same.

The longer Haupt's rant runs, the more florid his prose becomes, until:
When they euphonize [?-ed.] Prop 13 next election, this will be the holocaust of methodic genocide. This will pacify every Left Coast progressive vying to emulate the failures of Barack Obama. Just as Jim Jones did, voters will drink a fatal dose of liberal Kool-Aid and embolden the progressive dream of social Darwinism paid for by taxpayers. This will nail the coffin shut on the goose that laid the golden egg, as the few remaining entrepreneurs and tax-paying elites abandon California to escape the calamity of the liberal morgue...
This metaphor melange reminds me of the predictions of doom conservatives made when Bill de Blasio became Mayor of New York in 2013 -- remember? (My favorite derangee then was Daniel Greenfield, who forecast that terrorists would flood the subways with poison gas and, if citizens tried to escape by air, the terrorists would blow their planes out of the sky.) They all looked pretty dumb when de Blasio got reelected while racking up the lowest New York City crime numbers since the 1950s.

And I suspect these criers of doom for Cali will look dumb down the road, too -- hell, they look dumb to me now. But then, I get around a bit; most Americans don't, and many only know what the blowhard in the red hat tells them. And they're highly motivated to believe scary stories like this: They live in Republican states where services are sparse, workers get bait-and-switched, poverty's a crime and being black's an aggravating circumstance, the national parks are being sold off, etc. If you lived somewhere like that, and perhaps dreamed of fancy places like Los Angeles and New York, and some fellow came along and said no, those places are dumps, why some of those people don't even have cars and have to ride in a hole in the ground, plus they're all being killed by Mexicans and the liberal media's covering it up, and look at this picture do you see all the black people -- well, maybe you'd prefer to think those golden places are shit, too, just so's you could stand to live where you're stuck living.

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