Water Pulsing, Insane Policies Keeping California “Back-Woods”

….Correspondence between the National Marine Fisheries Service and Congressman Jeff Denham’s office shows the Bureau of Reclamation wants to flush as much as 15,000 acre feet of water down the Stanislaus River in order to “save” six fish.

In an email Sunny Snider of the federal fish protection agency sent to Denham Chief of Staff Jason Larrabee, it indicated a previous pulse flow in March that significantly raised water levels on the Stanislaus River through Ripon despite being in the middle of a severe drought had moved out 76 percent of  the out-migrating steelhead by March 30.

The email stated that National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) only expects 29 out-migrating steelhead a year and that their plan was to release 30,000 acre feet by the end of April to help them reach the Delta.

That means there are six steelhead left that the Bureau ordered South San Joaquin Irrigation District and Oakdale Irrigation District to release water this week to help on their journey. The 15,000 acre feet of water based on a statewide per capita use average could supply 174,301 Californians with water for a year to the combined populations of Tracy and Santa Barbara. Combined with last month’s pulse flow release, the 30,000 acre feet of water is the equivalent of the combined annual water needs of the cities of Stockton, Lathrop, Ripon, and Escalon…..

(Manteca Bulletin)

(I contacted FOX LA in order to try and get their video up again)

MY FOX LA op-ed:

On March 24th of this year, pursuant to the Endangered Species Act, the federal Government ordered a release of 5 billion gallons of water sent down the Stanislaus River, which eventually emptied into the ocean.

The purpose of this release or “pulse” as it’s called, was to raise the level of the river, so 23 steelhead trout could spawn.

So, in effect, just to allow 23 adult fish to possibly mate, water was wasted that could have supplied 150,000 Californians — for a year.

On April 10th, the Feds sent another 5 billion gallon pulse of water (enough water for another 150,000 Californians) down the Stanislaus, for the purpose of helping six steelhead trout reach the ocean and eventually return upriver to spawn.

It all just seems unbelievable.

In this terrible drought situation California finds itself in, it seems incredible to waste this massive amount of precious water.

It deifies common sense.

Billions of gallons of water being flushed to the sea.

This unfortunately is not the only example….

It’s hard to ask Californians to save water – when government is wasting it so needlessly.

Global Warming Fear Mongering (1988 Flashback: Maldives Edition)

Here is an example of failed predictions that new orgs love to report for their “immediacy” of danger… which makes news “exciting” ~ click to isolate this 1988 prediction:

This seems odd in light of Maldives spending many millions of dollars to build two new airports.

Shouldn’t they be investing in life rafts? Or are Western busy-bodies the only ones really worried about “man-caused” global warming? Here is a Canadian Free Press story:

The Maldives in the Indian Ocean have long been used by global warming alarmists to drive home the dangers of rising sea levels should polar ice sheets keep melting because of man-made global warming. In 2012 former President of the Maldive Islands, Mohammed Nasheed, said, “If carbon emissions continue at the rate they are climbing today, my country will be under water in seven years.”

With such a prediction and recalling how the latest UN IPCC report boosted its estimate of sea level rise, taking into account that CO2 emissions show no signs of abating, you would think the Maldives would be the last place developers would build anything. The Maldives are barely more than a meter above sea level on average. Yet as Pierre Gosselin reports, “The tourist industry does not believe in the downfall of the Maldives. Thirty additional new luxury class hotel complexes are planned for the next 6 to 10 years, not counting the countless smaller homes. Tourism is currently increasing 20% annually. Whatever is really behind all the rising seal level scar stories, huge commercial investors are obviously dismissing them. If anything, these scare stories are providing lots of publicity for the island’s tourism industry. Already more than 1 million tourists are flocking to the islands every year and Nasheed says the island can handle many more.

The developers are on safe ground in spite of Nasheed’s dire warnings. There is a lot of science supporting the tourism industry’s belief that sea level rise is not a problem.

What — in our past — is still worse than today’s “scares” and droughts?

…read more…

Here is a quick synopsis of a really hard time in our countries history:

Compared to today’s stats via “the Palmer index,” while bad… it is not nearly as bad as it has been — nation wide:

Forbes has this excellent article about what responsible governments do… and what California does:

As we all know, the President and others are selling the canard that the current drought is the result of global warming or climate change.  The fact that we had decades- long droughts years before industrialization doesn’t matter to them as they bloviate over a drought of several years.

Simply stated, California government has other priorities – priorities which to them are far more important that ensuring that 38 million people have water. They include:

  • A High Speed Rail project, mired in lawsuits and of uncertain costs – at least $68 billion but perhaps double that amount, and
  • A 2004 $3 billion stem cell bond program ($6 billion with interest) that has produced no approved therapies but has, according to the AP, resulted in “the opening of sleek buildings and gleaming labs at a dozen private and public universities built with matching funds” without any cures in the pipeline.  Of course, now they want more money.

California legislators spend millions more on nonessential items like $2.7 million for a new swimming pool in Calexico near the Mexican border – during a drought.  California is also spending an additional $46.6 million to build up to 54 hydrogen fuel stations to serve a state of 158,648 square miles.  That is one station for every 2,938 square miles.  Hope you don’t get stranded.

Rather than waste money on such projects, which can’t possibly be more important than water, California should look to places like Singapore to learn what a responsible government should be doing. 

Singapore has but 247 square miles.  It is a population of nearly 4.5 million people.  Obviously, it has very little land for such things as reservoirs.   Instead, Singapore relies on 15 reservoirs, desalinated water, water reclamation, and imported water to meet their water needs.   

Singapore obviously made water production a priority for its tiny landmass that is 0.155% of California’s landmass, yet has 8.4% of California’s population.  That is what responsible governments do, and one reason why Singapore has the third highest per-capita GDPs in the world, despite its size and lack of natural resources….


REFUTATION of the ABOVE


(Originally posted December of 2014)

This is meant mainly as a supplement to a Christmas Eve-Eve gathering/discussion I was at. I will make this post  a little different than other posts, as, it will be “minimalist.” This is the third installment of the topics covered, which are polar bears, rising sea levels, CO2, Inconvenient Truth (the movie), nuclear power, warmest year, electric vehicles (EVs)/hybrid cars, and bullet trains.

One of the main “evidences” the students raised was “rising oceans” for global warming being true. These students are basically saying… “Because my professor said” … see for yourself (via Breitbart):

I wanted to draw the people who believe this (rising oceans) attention to a very old photograph compared to a new one to compare La Jolla (California) sea levels from 1871 to Now (REAL CLIMATE SCIENCE):

lajolla18712b

Also, Photographs show no change in Sydney sea level over the last 130 years (REAL CLIMATE SCIENCE):


There has been no change. ~ Real Science


AP’s Seth Borenstein publishes pure propaganda: Climate change has made Earth ‘hotter, weirder…downright wilder’

Borenstein: In the more than two decades since world leaders first got together to try to solve global warming, life on Earth has changed, not just the climate. It’s gotten hotter, more polluted with heat-trapping gases, more crowded and just downright wilder. Global temperature: up six-tenths of a degree. Population: up 1.7 billion people. Sea level: up 3 inches. U.S. extreme weather: up 30 percent. Ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica: down 4.9 trillion tons of ice.  “Simply put, we are rapidly remaking the planet and beginning to suffer the consequences,” says Michael Oppenheimer, of Princeton University. Diplomats from more than 190 nations opened talks Monday at a United Nations global warming conference in Lima, Peru, to pave the way for an international treaty they hope to forge next year.

Climate Depot’s Morano comment: ‘AP’s Borenstein can be trusted to shill for UN’s climate summit in Lima Peru, which I will be attending and speaking at. Borenstein relies on Michael Oppenheimer (who is the UN scientists on the payroll of Hollywood stars) and Climategate’s Michael Mann. Borenstein ignores tide gauges on sea level  showing deceleration of sea level rise and ignores satellite temperatures which show the Earth in an 18 year ‘pause’ or ‘standstill’ of global warming. Borenstein tortues data in order to claim more weather extremes. We are currently at or near historic lows in tornadoes and hurricanes. Even droughts are on long term declines and floods show no trend. We know not to expect more from Borenstein.’ See: ‘Long sad history of AP reporter Seth Borenstein’s woeful global warming reporting’

  1. Sea level claims debunked here:
  2. Extreme weather claims debunked here:
  3. Greenland ice claims debunked here:
  4. Antarctica ice claims debunked here:
  5. Overpopulation claims debunked here

Breitbart makes fun of the idea that loans and insurance could ever be had if these Islands are soon to underwater… unless these banks and insurance companies know that “Climate Change” is more political than science

Great news from the scuba-diving tropical paradise Maldives. They’ve just opened another airport.

This means that the Indian Ocean island nation now has four international airports and seven domestic ones. Quite a lot for a country with a population of less than 400,000. Presumably they have high hopes for their tourist industry as they develop luxury resorts on ever more remote atolls.

[….]

Here’s the World Bank: “Climate change presents a challenge for every island in the Maldives, which all lie on the sea level. Any changes in the climate will greatly affect the Maldivian way of life.”

Here’s the UN Foundation: “Climate change is a serious threat to low lying islands like Maldives whose landmass is close to sea level. The projected rise in sea level over the next century due to climate change is commonly agreed to be about one meter.  The highest point on this island nation is one meter.  Learn more about the existential threat of climate change on this island and learn more about how the country is pressing for global action on climate change.”

And let us never forget the tragically moving, yet cheery-in-the-face-of-disaster underwater cabinet meeting staged by the Maldives government in 2009 to draw international attention to the terrible and imminent threat these poor islands face.

Luckily I have thought up a brilliant solution to this problem. Maybe the lucky Maldives (the thriving tourist paradise) could help the unlucky Maldives (the one about to be drowned by global warming) with money and material aid. Perhaps it could use its vast tourist revenues to mitigate against any problems caused by this terrible “climate change” thing. Perhaps it could use its 11 airports to help evacuate the other Maldives’ climate refugees.

(Gateway Pundit): Seven years ago ABC News warned viewers that New York City will be under water by 2015 due to global warming.

New York City underwater? Gas over $9 a gallon? A carton of milk costs almost $13? Welcome to June 12, 2015. Or at least that was the wildly-inaccurate version of 2015 predicted by ABC News exactly seven years ago. Appearing on Good Morning America in 2008, Bob Woodruff hyped Earth 2100, a special that pushed apocalyptic predictions of the then-futuristic 2015. The segment included supposedly prophetic videos, such as a teenager declaring, “It’s June 8th, 2015.”

“One carton of milk is $12.99.” (On the actual June 8, 2015, a gallon of milk cost, on average, $3.39.) Another clip featured this prediction for the current year: “Gas reached over $9 a gallon.”

The only way food would be soo high is if Obama’s war on affordable energy works it’s course! How come Manhattan property is through the roof!

(Breitbart) In 2006, on NBC’s Today Show, former-Vice President Al Gore predicted that Manhattan would be flooded in “15 to 20 years.” He added, “In fact the World Trade Center Memorial site would be underwater.” Just 3 years ago, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority predicted that within the next ten years, “Irene-like storms of the future would put a third of New York City streets under water and flood many of the tunnels leading into Manhattan in under an hour because of climate change[.]”

By hook or crook, through super storms or glacier melt, Global Cooling Global Warming Climate Change has doomed the Big Apple.

What we have here are two of the most respected environmental voices among the political Left — Gore and the government — warning of dire flooding hitting Manhattan within the next 10 years. And at least according to their activism, the predominantly left-wing, Global Warming believers of Manhattan are listening. Furious about the lack of wealth-distribution that will save the planet and their small island, just 6 months ago, more than 300,000 took to the streets of Manhattan to protest.

And yet, a funny thing is happening in the real world of the free market. Manhattan might be the elite media/entertainment/intellectual hub of the cult of Global Warming, but where the rubber meets the bottom line, the cult obviously doesn’t really believe in its own propaganda. If they did, Manhattan real estate prices would be collapsing, not hitting record highs as they currently are.

If people truly believe an area is going to be flooded as soon as in the next decade, those same people would be selling off their real estate. Not just to escape but to sell before conditions worsened and real estate prices bottomed out further. As the deadline loomed closer, prices would decrease further.

What’s happening, though, is the exact opposite.

The average Manhattan home price is now over $1.7 million. With some apartment prices now breaking nine figures, it’s time to take a look at the booming New York real estate market and explore where middle class families fit into the picture.

At 157 West 57th Street, the most expensive New York home sale was just completed with the penthouse of this new building going for over $100 million.

Howard Lorber, the chairman of Douglas Elliman, the city’s largest residential brokerage, told me that there is no sign of this trend slowing down. He called New York a safe place for people around the world to invest in real estate.

Maybe what’s happening is that Manhattan’s left-wing Global Warming believers are suckering right-wing Climate Deniers into buying doomed real estate at record prices?

there’s more

JO NOVA catches us up with the latest studies involving islans shrinking:

This should end all the Pacific Island climate claims right here. A new study of over 700 islands for decades shows that even though seas are rising faster than any time in the last million years, somehow no islands with people on are shrinking. This means there are no climate change refugees from any vanishing island. Plus it’s more proof that highly adjusted satellite data is recording sea levels on some other planet.

Over the past decades, atoll islands exhibited no widespread sign of physical destabilization in the face of sea-level rise. A reanalysis of available data, which cover 30 Pacific and Indian Ocean atolls including 709 islands, reveals that no atoll lost land area and that 88.6% of islands were either stable or increased in area, while only 11.4% contracted.

Look how closely these researchers are tracking the shores. Below on Tuamoto, French Polynesia, scientists can tell you that islets 12 and 14 (see pic) have disappeared since 1962. So we can track roving blobs of sand about 20 to 30 meters across.

No Habitable Island, None, Got Smaller:

The researchers reckon that 10 hectares is about the smallest island you’d want to plonk a resort on, that’s about that is about ten Rugby fields. Conveniently for us, no island bigger than 10 hectares shrank despite the world adding two thousand coal fired plants and a billion cars.

[….]

See the graph. All the larger islands are staying the same size or growing.

WATTS UP WITH THAT has the abstract and the conclusion of the study. Here is the abstract:

Abstract: Over the past decades, atoll islands exhibited no widespread sign of physical destabilization in the face of sea-level rise. A reanalysis of available data, which cover 30 Pacific and Indian Ocean atolls including 709 islands, reveals that no atoll lost land area and that 88.6% of islands were either stable or increased in area, while only 11.4% contracted. Atoll islands affected by rapid sea-level rise did not show a distinct behavior compared to islands on other atolls. Island behavior correlated with island size, and no island smaller than 10 ha decreased in size. This threshold could be used to define the minimum island size required for human occupancy and to assess atoll countries and territories’ vulnerability to climate change. Beyond emphasizing the major role of climate drivers in causing substantial changes in the configuration of islands, this reanalysis of available data indicates that these drivers explain subregional variations in atoll behavior and within-atoll variations in island and shoreline (lagoon vs. ocean) behavior, following atoll-specific patterns. Increasing human disturbances, especially land reclamation and human structure construction, operated on atoll-to-shoreline spatial scales, explaining marked within-atoll variations in island and shoreline behavior. Collectively, these findings highlight the heterogeneity of atoll situations. Further research needs include addressing geographical gaps (Indian Ocean, Caribbean, north-western Pacific atolls), using standardized protocols to allow comparative analyses of island and shoreline behavior across ocean regions, investigating the role of ecological drivers, and promoting interdisciplinary approaches. Such efforts would assist in anticipating potential future changes in the contributions and interactions of key drivers.

What Responsible Governments Do/What California Isn’t Doing

(See also this video)

Forbes has this excellent article about what responsible governments do… and what California does:

…As we all know, the President and others are selling the canard that the current drought is the result of global warming or climate change.  The fact that we had decades- long droughts years before industrialization doesn’t matter to them as they bloviate over a drought of several years.

Simply stated, California government has other priorities – priorities which to them are far more important that ensuring that 38 million people have water. They include:

  • A High Speed Rail project, mired in lawsuits and of uncertain costs – at least $68 billion but perhaps double that amount, and
  • A 2004 $3 billion stem cell bond program ($6 billion with interest) that has produced no approved therapies but has, according to the AP, resulted in “the opening of sleek buildings and gleaming labs at a dozen private and public universities built with matching funds” without any cures in the pipeline.  Of course, now they want more money.

California legislators spend millions more on nonessential items like $2.7 million for a new swimming pool in Calexico near the Mexican border – during a drought.  California is also spending an additional $46.6 million to build up to 54 hydrogen fuel stations to serve a state of 158,648 square miles.  That is one station for every 2,938 square miles.  Hope you don’t get stranded.

Rather than waste money on such projects, which can’t possibly be more important than water, California should look to places like Singapore to learn what a responsible government should be doing. 

Singapore has but 247 square miles.  It is a population of nearly 4.5 million people.  Obviously, it has very little land for such things as reservoirs.   Instead, Singapore relies on 15 reservoirs, desalinated water, water reclamation, and imported water to meet their water needs.   

Singapore obviously made water production a priority for its tiny landmass that is 0.155% of California’s landmass, yet has 8.4% of California’s population.  That is what responsible governments do, and one reason why Singapore has the third highest per-capita GDPs in the world, despite its size and lack of natural resources….

Bill Allowing Gender Choice (sports and bathrooms) Passes In California, Along Party Lines of Course

Trapped By Gender

The Berkeley City Council recently debated the merits of adding sex-change operations to the city employee medical insurance plan, and tabled the idea for future consideration. Berkeley City employees remain trapped in their gender until further notice. (American Spectator)


Via MoonBat!

It’s official — the former Golden State is now a freak show:

California lawmakers approved a bill Wednesday that would require public K-12 schools to let transgender students choose which restrooms they use and which school teams they join based on their gender identity instead of their chromosomes. …

California’s bill would give students the right “to participate in sex-segregated programs, activities and facilities” based on their self-perception, regardless of their birth gender.

That is, since as we all know liberal ideology trumps physical reality, you are whatever gender you say you are — or if you are a horny teenager with no sense of shame, whatever gender will get you a pass to the girls’ showers.

I mentioned this desire to control nature in the past, but here is yet another example of this lunacy! In May Michael Medved commented on this bill [now law]:

John Yoo, Professor of Law Berkeley, Explains How Jerry Brown Won the Prop 8 Case

Via National Review (see this also):

…So what is the result?  It seems to me that the gay couple still wins, but that Judge Vaughn Walker’s opinion is also wiped away. The gay couple wins because the government never shows up to defend the statute; the plaintiffs win, in essence, a default judgment. But without an opinion, there is no precedent to apply on Proposition 8 throughout the state of California. That leaves the winner, oddly, as Jerry Brown. As governor, Brown could order state and local officers not to enforce Proposition 8 based on the judgment in Perry or even on the reasoning of Windsor. In fact, it appears Brown may have already done so.

So Brown comes out the big winner. He can delay or even nullify an initiative enacted by the people of California simply by refusing to defend it in court — despite the fact that the whole point of an initiative is to pull an end-run around recalcitrant state officials. And if a court strikes down the initiative, Jerry Brown gets to decide whether and how to enforce it in this case. Brown has effectively defied the will of a majority of the people of California.

So, in the future, when this Democratically controlled state has its hands tied by the voters, like Prop 13 did for property taxes in the late 70’s, all the state has to do is have someone bring it to court and then not defend it. Sick.

Lord Jerry Brown Looks To His Serfs To Work on High Speed Rail

An amazing statement (above) from Jerry brown. He views us as serfs, is he our lord?

  • Serfs lived in small communities called manors that were ruled by a local lord or vassal. Most peasants were serfs. They were bound to the manor and could not leave it or marry without the manor lord’s permission. Serfs did all the work on the manor farm: they worked the fields, cared for the livestock, built and maintained the buildings, made the clothing, and cut firewood. Men, women, and children worked side by side. Serfs had small plots of land they could work for themselves; sometimes a serf saved enough money to buy his freedom and became a freeman.

Cost Side:

(WSJ – May 18, 2012) California’s budget deficit has grown by $7 billion in the last four months. Uh oh. The good news in this debacle is that the state’s fiscal woes will make it nearly impossible to complete Governor Jerry Brown’s runaway high-speed rail train. The bad news is that the Governor is going to try anyway.

Transportation experts warn that the 500-mile bullet train from San Francisco to Los Angeles could cost more than $100 billion, though the Governor pegs the price at a mere $68 billion. The state has $12.3 billion in pocket, $9 billion from the state and $3.3 billion from…

HotAir continues:

This weekend the Wall Street Journal reports that our earlier estimation was in error. The financing isn’t “risky” at all… it’s an unmitigated disaster.

The good news in this debacle is that the state’s fiscal woes will make it nearly impossible to complete Governor Jerry Brown’s runaway high-speed rail train. The bad news is that the Governor is going to try anyway.

Transportation experts warn that the 500-mile bullet train from San Francisco to Los Angeles could cost more than $100 billion, though the Governor pegs the price at a mere $68 billion. The state has $12.3 billion in pocket, $9 billion from the state and $3.3 billion from the feds, but Mr. Brown hasn’t a clue where he’ll get the rest. Maybe he’s hoping Facebook will buy the train, though he’ll have a hard time convincing Mark Zuckerberg that it’s worth 100 Instagrams.

As the WSJ article goes on to point out, voters were originally sold on putting up $9B in bonds to fund the project on the promise that it would “only” cost $33B in total and that a combination of federal dollars and private investments would make up the rest. But Washington is facing something of a cash crunch itself, in case you hadn’t heard, and no investment firms want to pony up any money without some assurance of revenue down the road. It’s simply not happening.

…read more…

As HotAir admits:

  • ….I remain a fan of rail travel, partly because I hate flying and partly from a sense of nostalgia I suppose. And I’m still hopeful that projects like this may yet come to fruition in places where they make sense. The Northeast corridor from Boston to Washington, DC still looks like it could support a high speed rail project if it were implemented intelligently. But California has neither the money nor the culture to support it….

The 21st Century `Exodus`

Wall Street Journal (h/t, Reggie Dunlop):

Nearly four million more people have left the Golden State in the last two decades than have come from other states. This is a sharp reversal from the 1980s, when 100,000 more Americans were settling in California each year than were leaving. According to Mr. Kotkin, most of those leaving are between the ages of 5 and 14 or 34 to 45. In other words, young families.

The scruffy-looking urban studies professor at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., has been studying and writing on demographic and geographic trends for 30 years. Part of California’s dysfunction, he says, stems from state and local government restrictions on development. These policies have artificially limited housing supply and put a premium on real estate in coastal regions.

“Basically, if you don’t own a piece of Facebook or Google and you haven’t robbed a bank and don’t have rich parents, then your chances of being able to buy a house or raise a family in the Bay Area or in most of coastal California is pretty weak,” says Mr. Kotkin.

While many middle-class families have moved inland, those regions don’t have the same allure or amenities as the coast. People might as well move to Nevada or Texas, where housing and everything else is cheaper and there’s no income tax.

And things will only get worse in the coming years as Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and his green cadre implement their “smart growth” plans to cram the proletariat into high-density housing. “What I find reprehensible beyond belief is that the people pushing [high-density housing] themselves live in single-family homes and often drive very fancy cars, but want everyone else to live like my grandmother did in Brownsville in Brooklyn in the 1920s,” Mr. Kotkin declares.

“The new regime”—his name for progressive apparatchiks who run California’s government—”wants to destroy the essential reason why people move to California in order to protect their own lifestyles.”

Housing is merely one front of what he calls the “progressive war on the middle class.” Another is the cap-and-trade law AB32, which will raise the cost of energy and drive out manufacturing jobs without making even a dent in global carbon emissions. Then there are the renewable portfolio standards, which mandate that a third of the state’s energy come from renewable sources like wind and the sun by 2020. California’s electricity prices are already 50% higher than the national average.

Oh, and don’t forget the $100 billion bullet train. Mr. Kotkin calls the runaway-cost train “classic California.” “Where [Brown] with the state going bankrupt is even thinking about an expenditure like this is beyond comprehension. When the schools are falling apart, when the roads are falling apart, the bridges are unsafe, the state economy is in free fall. We’re still doing much worse than the rest of the country, we’ve got this growing permanent welfare class, and high-speed rail is going to solve this?”

Mr. Kotkin describes himself as an old-fashioned Truman Democrat. In fact, he voted for Mr. Brown—who previously served as governor, secretary of state and attorney general—because he believed Mr. Brown “was interesting and thought outside the box.”

But “Jerry’s been a big disappointment,” Mr. Kotkin says. “I’ve known Jerry for 35 years, and he’s smart, but he just can’t seem to be a paradigm breaker. And of course, it’s because he really believes in this green stuff.”

In the governor’s dreams, green jobs will replace all of the “tangible jobs” that the state’s losing in agriculture, manufacturing, warehousing and construction. But “green energy doesn’t create enough energy!” Mr. Kotkin exclaims. “And it drives up the price of energy, which then drives out other things.” Notwithstanding all of the subsidies the state lavishes on renewables, green jobs only make up about 2% of California’s private-sector work force—no more than they do in Texas.

[….]

Meanwhile, taxes are harming the private economy. According to the Tax Foundation, California has the 48th-worst business tax climate. Its income tax is steeply progressive. Millionaires pay a top rate of 10.3%, the third-highest in the country. But middle-class workers—those who earn more than $48,000—pay a top rate of 9.3%, which is higher than what millionaires pay in 47 states.

And Democrats want to raise taxes even more. Mind you, the November ballot initiative that Mr. Brown is spearheading would primarily hit those whom Democrats call “millionaires” (i.e., people who make more than $250,000 a year). Some Republicans have warned that it will cause a millionaire march out of the state, but Mr. Kotkin says that “people who are at the very high end of the food chain, they’re still going to be in Napa. They’re still going to be in Silicon Valley. They’re still going to be in West L.A.”

That said, “It’s really going to hit the small business owners and the young family that’s trying to accumulate enough to raise a family, maybe send their kids to private school. It’ll kick them in the teeth.”

A worker in Wichita might not consider those earning $250,000 a year middle class, but “if you’re a guy working for a Silicon Valley company and you’re married and you’re thinking about having your first kid, and your family makes 250-k a year, you can’t buy a closet in the Bay Area,” Mr. Kotkin says. “But for 250-k a year, you can live pretty damn well in Salt Lake City. And you might be able to send your kids to public schools and own a three-bedroom, four-bath house.”

According to Mr. Kotkin, these upwardly mobile families are fleeing in droves. As a result, California is turning into a two-and-a-half-class society. On top are the “entrenched incumbents” who inherited their wealth or came to California early and made their money. Then there’s a shrunken middle class of public employees and, miles below, a permanent welfare class. As it stands today, about 40% of Californians don’t pay any income tax and a quarter are on Medicaid.

It’s “a very scary political dynamic,” he says. “One day somebody’s going to put on the ballot, let’s take every penny over $100,000 a year, and you’ll get it through because there’s no real restraint. What you’ve done by exempting people from paying taxes is that they feel no responsibility. That’s certainly a big part of it.

And the welfare recipients, he emphasizes, “aren’t leaving. Why would they? They get much better benefits in California or New York than if they go to Texas. In Texas the expectation is that people work.”

California used to be more like Texas—a jobs magnet. What happened? For one, says the demographer, Californians are now voting more based on social issues and less on fiscal ones than they did when Ronald Reagan was governor 40 years ago. Environmentalists are also more powerful than they used to be. And Mr. Brown facilitated the public-union takeover of the statehouse by allowing state workers to collectively bargain during his first stint as governor in 1977.

Mr. Kotkin also notes that demographic changes are playing a role. As progressive policies drive out moderate and conservative members of the middle class, California’s politics become even more left-wing. It’s a classic case of natural selection, and increasingly the only ones fit to survive in California are the very rich and those who rely on government spending. In a nutshell, “the state is run for the very rich, the very poor, and the public employees.”

So if California’s no longer the Golden land of opportunity for middle-class dreamers, what is?

Mr. Kotkin lists four “growth corridors”: the Gulf Coast, the Great Plains, the Intermountain West, and the Southeast. All of these regions have lower costs of living, lower taxes, relatively relaxed regulatory environments, and critical natural resources such as oil and natural gas.

Take Salt Lake City. “Almost all of the major tech companies have moved stuff to Salt Lake City.” That includes Twitter, Adobe, eBay and Oracle.

Then there’s Texas, which is on a mission to steal California’s tech hegemony. Apple just announced that it’s building a $304 million campus and adding 3,600 jobs in Austin. Facebook established operations there last year, and eBay plans to add 1,000 new jobs there too.

Even Hollywood is doing more of its filming on the Gulf Coast. “New Orleans is supposedly going to pass New York as the second-largest film center. They have great incentives, and New Orleans is the best bargain for urban living in the United States. It’s got great food, great music, and it’s inexpensive.”

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The California [Taxpayer Funded] Bullet Train vs. Private Business

West Coast Blog has this story about the final cost — so far — of the California boondoggle known as the Bullet Train:

Bullet Train From SF to LA Doesn’t Cost $33.6 Billion Anymore… Try $100 Billion!

Ok, so that headline may sound like Dr Evil from the Austin Powers movies. How many of you actually read it in the Dr Evil voice? But even though it wasn’t Dr Evil speaking the headline, it sure feels like he is controlling the budget for high-speed rail project in California.

The high-speed rail project was approved to build a bullet train, very similar to those in Europe and parts of Asia, to connect San Francisco and Los Angeles. It would cut the traveling time between the two cities from 5-6 hours (by car) down to 2 Hours 40 Minutes. When it was passed 3 years ago, the estimated cost was $33.6 Billion broken down as follows:

$15 Billion – Federal Government
$5 Billion – Local Government
$10 Billion – Private Investors
Remainder – California

But in the last 3 years, the California High-Speed Rail authority has had problems raising money from private investors. Surprise? Not only has the project had trouble finding investors, the estimated date of completion of 2020 has been pushed back to 2033. This delay in time has caused the majority of the cost increases and estimated costs are now expected at $100 Billion. FYI: the entire California state budget is only $86 Billion.

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Take note the almost instantaneous ballooning effect of the total cost via government meddling, here is the L.A. Times giving the most recent total cost update:

As the price tag for California’s bullet train has soared to nearly $100 billion, a central argument for forging ahead with the controversial project is an even loftier figure: the $171 billion that promoters recently estimated will be needed for new roads and airports if no high-speed rail is built….

….The bullet train is aimed at meeting future transportation needs of the state….

Newsflash! People are leaving California, not coming to it!

Another L.A.Times story says this:

…When the first business plan surfaced, it projected a $34-billion cost. By 2009, the estimate had jumped to $43 billion, in part because the authority included future inflation in the estimated cost of building the system over the next decade.

In August, the authority released two planning documents that signaled even higher costs. The cost of building only the first two segments in the Central Valley had jumped in price by as much as 100%, not including future inflation…

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 And HotAir points out the death knell for this type of liberal thinking:

CA auditor warns bullet train project financing “increasingly risky”

Few people probably noticed the absence of “high-speed rail” from Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech last night. The issue took a prominent position in SOTU speeches in 2011, when Obama dedicated five paragraphs to pushing it, and in 2010, when Obama promoted the high-speed rail project in Florida that Governor Rick Scott killed. Last night’s mentions: zero.

Perhaps the White House didn’t have a good answer as to why their pet rail project in California has become so expensive and bloated that the state auditor issued a warning hours before the SOTU began about its financing becoming so “increasingly risky” that state lawmakers should consider whether to proceed (via Andrew Malcolm):

In the latest in a series of cautionary reports by outside agencies and groups, the auditor’s report finds that the California High-Speed Rail Authority has made some progress in addressing planning and fiscal concerns but still has important work to do to ensure that the project can be built as promised.

“The program’s overall financial situation has become increasingly risky, in part because the authority has not provided viable funding alternatives in the event its planned funding does not materialize,” the auditor’s report says.

The authority has secured $12.5 billion for the first leg — from Los Angeles to San Francisco — of what is planned to be an 80-mile network, according to the report says. But it notes the projected cost of that phase has risen to between $98.1 billion and $117.6 billion.

The auditor warns that the state has no clear way to raise the $105 billion in funding necessary to complete the project, but that’s just half of the problem:

“The success or failure of the program” depends on obtaining up to $105 billion in additional funding, which has not been identified, the report says. It also finds that cost estimates for the initial phase do not include operating or maintenance outlays, which the auditor estimates could total $97 billion between 2025 and 2060.

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Smaller or Larger Government? Equality or Prosperity?

For context:

The following comes from a discussion elsewhere on the Web, and should serve as a great reminder to the deleterious effects of larger (more regulatory) government vs. a smaller form of it:

The main point is that one party has people in it that are for small government — people like Ron Paul, Larry Elder, and the late Milton Friedman (a libertarian “god” of sorts). In the other you have people who want to grow government larger, and larger, and larger. California is a microcosm of the effect this has on businesses and regulating people’s lives. However, this drive to regulate people and their lives and to grow government, has, in every case, increased the possibility of government intrusion by force into the lives of ordinary people, which increase the risk (again, this is provable in history) of detention and death.

Which is why most libertarians vote Republican, they want smaller government. A great example is the housing market crisis. Some people are under the impression this was caused due to an easing of regulation. Not true. In fact, it was government-regulating banks to loan to people it would previously not. Why is this? Because the left wants [material] equality, the right wants people to prosper. One offers the most freedom, the other forces one person to pay for another. Here is an a small sampling of 2012 regulations from California that is helping businesses make the choice in moving to other states:

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✦In addition to mandatory insurance coverage, eligible female employees can take four months pregnancy disability leave, under provisions of SB 299.
✦The independent contractor law, SB 459, is worth discussing with a legal or h/r expert, because the rules are so tough and potentially expensive. That $5,000 to $25,000 fine is PER INCIDENT.
✦Employees can take up to 30 business days in a year for donating organs or bone marrow. SB 272 clarifies the law a bit.
✦Company dress codes must accommodate transvestites and cross dressers under AB 887.
✦Companies operating in multiple states must offer the same insurance coverage for same-sec couples and domestic partners as they do married couples in California.
✦Five new laws change workers compensation insurance. Check with your insurance carrier.

(Orange County Register)

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Everything the growth in government touches (which is typically from the left… or, the right embracing the foundational thinking of the left [like Bush working with Kennedy to increase the size and focus of the Dept of Education]). This regulation causes friction between government and regular people. As more and more regulations are added, the increase in the possibility of armed persons coming to your door increases — like this example of natural foods markets being raided: http://biggovernment.com/reasontv/2011/08/04/reason-tv-rawesome-foods-raided-again/

So persons that *REALLY* want to effect the political spectrum and possibly decrease the size of the government the most would want to vote Republican (like Milton Friedman, Larry Elder, and Rand Paul [Ron Paul’s son]). And this decreases the abrasive aspect of government and the regular Joe meeting. Congress — for instance – should meet for 3-months during the year, and do less of this:

“Federal agencies publish an average of over 200 pages of new rulings, regulations, and proposals in the Federal Register each business day. That growth of the federal statute book is one of the clearest measures of the increase of the government control of the citizenry…” James Bovard, Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty (St. Martins Griffen; 1994), 1.

“All forms of the liberal agenda interfere with the rational relationship between human action and the conditions of life by disconnecting outcomes from adaptive behavior. Government welfare programs of all kinds disconnect the receipt of material benefits from productive behavior and voluntary exchange, and from those normal developmental processes that lead to adult competence. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and all other federal and state welfare programs divorce an individual’s material security and emotional well being from his economic and social connections to his community, and replace them with a marriage to government officials. In particular, welfare programs disconnect the individual’s security and well being from two of his most reliable resources: his own initiative in producing and exchanging with others, and his social bonds to members of his family, church, neighborhood or village. The liberal agenda’s takeover of countless individual and community functions, from early education to care of the elderly, has had the effect of alienating the individual from his community and robbing both of their essential mutuality. In the economic sphere, especially, the liberal agenda’s rules have become strikingly irrational. Countless restrictions dictate what the ordinary businessman and professional may or may not do regarding hiring procedures, sales and purchasing, health insurance plans, retirement plans, safety precautions, transportation policies, racial and ethnic quotas, immigration matters, liability rules, and provisions for the handicapped. Endless paperwork adds to the already crushing burden of confiscatory taxation. Licensure requirements needlessly prevent workers from entering new fields in which they are willing to work hard and risk much in order to make life better for themselves and their families. Unnecessary and unjust restrictions in the freedom with which individuals can run their economic lives are the hallmarks of the liberal agenda. But the social pathology of collectivism extends well beyond the economic realm. While children can be happy in dependent relationships with parents, adults cannot be happy in any mature sense in dependent relationships with government welfare programs, no matter how well intentioned or administered. The reasons for this are developed more thoroughly below and occupy a major portion of this book. Stated briefly, however, the large-scale dependency of the adult citizen on governments is always inherently pathological and always profoundly detrimental to…” Lyle H. Rossiter, The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness, p. 71.

Cal Watchdog adds to the idea with the most recent businesses leaving:

Waste Connections, a Folsom-based garbage hauling and landfill company, said last week it is busting a move for Texas. Santa Barbara-based Superconductor Technologies Inc., which develops advanced superconducting wire, also confirmed this week it is leaving for the Lone Star State.

After California’s ongoing budget imbroglio, there is arguably no greater crisis facing our once Golden State than the continuing exodus of homegrown companies like Waste Connections and Superconductor Technologies. Yet, lawmakers in Sacramento are doing next to nothing about it.

In fact, Waste Connections CEO Ron Mittlestaedt actually warned state officials back in August that his company was thinking about relocating to another state. Those officials failed to step up and dissuade the Sacramento region’s largest publicly traded company from leaving.
Higher Taxes

Mittlestaedt echoed the lament of all too many California CEO’s that the state is inhospitable for business. It “has the highest tax rates in the nation,” he told the Sacramento Bee this week, “and they’re going higher.” And California is not only fiscally broke, he said, but also “structurally.”

By that, he was referring to the state’s hostile regulatory environment. As when the Legislature this year neglected to pass a measure that would have made it easier for Waste Connections and other landfill operators to move trash around the state, while doing no harm to the environment.

Superconductor Technologies CEO Jeff Quiram said in a statement that the company’s goal of becoming “a leader in the superconducting wire industry recently reached the inflection point where it was time to make a move.”

Translation: The cost, the hassle of doing business in California has risen to such a level that aspiring companies like STI cannot grow their businesses the way they can in competing states….

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Other posts referencing these issue worth checking out: