Choosing to Fail

California was once an Industrial Power. Today it’s a net importer of Electricity.

What industry remains, is fleeing.

California has the agricultural base to feed the world. Those fields stand idle and dry for the sake of a small fish.

These are some of the fruits of California’s Greens.


“Green” Energy Bias Killing California

By Walter Russel Mead | ViaMedia

California’s dysfunctional alliance between suburban greens urban machines has killed what could and should have been a boom, writes Joel Kotkin at The Daily Beast. As part of a large piece about the political danger to the Democrats that comes from fighting the transformational “brown jobs” boom, Kotkin points out that Californians are turning their backs on a bonanza.


What bonanza? An oil boom for one.


Nowhere is the element of choice inherent in energy policy more evident than in California, home to five of the nation’s twelve largest oil fields and energy reserves equal to those of Nigeria, the world’s tenth-largest producer. As high-paying energy jobs swell payrolls in the Great Plains, the Intermountain West and parts of the Gulf, the Golden State has double-digit unemployment, a collapsed inland economy and a series of bankrupt municipalities. Amidst a great national energy boom, California’s energy production has remained stunted even as the state’s draconian “renewable” energy mandates are slated to drive up its already high electricity rates. The state’s high cost of energy has impacted industry:  despite its vast human and natural resources, the Golden State, with 12 percent of the nation’s population received barely 2 percent of the country’s manufacturing expansions last year.


Yep, the world’s tenth largest proven reserves sitting mostly idle during a Depression.


As economic forecaster Bill Watkins recently told an audience in hard-hit Santa Maria: “If you were in Texas, you’d be rich.”

Productivity and potential spurned. These are the fruits of the greens.

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  • retired.military

    Obama counts this as a win.

  • jim_m

    Hey, if they wanted jobs they’d move to Texas!

  • 914

    For the first time in my life, I am proud to not live in Kalifornia!

    Barack! Your fired!

  • MunDane68

    The backlash to this is going to be savage and brutal. When the state goes bankrupt, and it will, make no mistake about it, it is going to be ‘hard choices’ time for Congress and the State legislature. California still sends out more in taxes to DC than it gets back, but when the operating shortfall becomes so great that they decide to keep federal taxes to prop up the latest cause celebre from the Greens, what will happen.

    As it is, farmers have left farms because they can’t grow things on them, industry leaves because they can’t depend on water or power being there when needed. (For example, Apple wanted to build the iPhone in the Bay area, couldn’t because the Delta Smelt has priority over industry for the water.) Movies now get shot overseas instead of Hollywood lots.

    SO, when the state holds those federal taxes back to prop up the state, I really do wonder what will happen.

    • jim_m

      The state can’t hold back taxes from the federal government since the IRS collects them directly. Cali’s economy is failing and the left is pushing it off the cliff as fast as they can. The dems recognize that the party is nearly over and they are trying to make sure they get every last dollar out of the public before it ends.

      Even so, I seriously doubt that Cali voters will have the good sense to vote out the dems. They are getting exactly what they want. They want a post industrial society with no utilization of natural resources. They expect that the Federal government will support them and bail them out. I figure they have about a 60% chance of being right even if Romney wins (100% if 0bama wins).

      0bama will give them anything they want because he believes that the government should be the sole support of everyone no matter what the cost. Romney and congress will simply cave to the MSM pressure.

      • herddog505

        jim_mI seriously doubt that Cali voters will have the good sense to vote out the dems. They are getting exactly what they want. They want a post industrial society with no utilization of natural resources. They expect that the Federal government will support them and bail them out.

        I agree. The core problem is that too many people have no idea where the money comes from, and so honestly believe that Uncle Sugar has so much that he can (and should) bail them out at any time.

        • Too many people don’t have any idea where the stuff they use daily comes from. You open a tap, and clean water comes out! You plug a laptop into the wall, and power flows! It always does, therefore it always will. Food magically appears on store shelves, irrespective of minor things like actually growing it or processing it.

          Our education system’s failed bigtime.

          • Evil Otto

            I’m not sure that there’s anything that can be done educationally about this, at least using the current system. The best way of teaching that such things are not magic would be by depriving people of those things for a while.

            Bill Whittle had an awesome video (I’m being redundant, because Bill Whittle is made of awesome) about this:

          • I’ve been a Whittle fan for a long time now. His essay ‘The Web Of Trust’ is a must-read.

        • MunDane68

          Not income tax, but a whole host of other taxes that are not collected by the IRS directly, but administered by the state, for example, port duties on the goods coming in at Long Beach and Oakland,

          And I agree California will never vote out the Dems, mostly because the districts are drawn to be non-competitive, even with the citizen commission, as the Dems snuck a ringer in.

  • GarandFan

    Hey! You guys are just jealous ’cause Jerry is gonna have a Bullet Train! Of course we haven’t figured out how we’ll power it, seeing as we import most of our electricity. But never fear, Jerry says he’s got “overseas investors” lining up to build his dream. And there will be so many riders, the train “will pay for itself”.

    • I’ve been looking at that…

      Taking the ‘Big Dig’ in Boston as a model – they started with an estimated cost of $2 billion. It ended up over $24 billion.

      The estimated cost of the California HSR is currently (depending on who you talk to) from $64 billion to $100 billion.

      IF the thing ever gets built, with inflation and such I’m estimating north of $1.2 trillion.

      Let’s not put into the equation that ticket prices will have to be insanely high to even cover operating costs, much less pay back the investors. Or that every town on the line between LA and SF that this thing runs through will be wanting a stop. (Which will really damp down the speeds.) Or that this doesn’t provide anything (aside from a passenger rail line) between SF and LA.

      Currently a round trip on AmTrak will run about $120. By air- $128. If the proposed pricing isn’t below $128 for a round trip – unless you’ve got a massive fear of flying you’re not going to see a lot of people opting for this over air travel. (Think there won’t be TSA at the stations? You’re dreaming…)

      Here’s the real question that doesn’t seem to have been asked…

      If there was any sort of demand for a passenger rail line between LA and SF beyond what AmTrak provides, wouldn’t there be some commercial rail line looking to do it, (since they’re already running the freight lines) and make a profit?

      Just because something is a neat idea (and HSR is a very neat idea in my opinion) doesn’t make it a practical one. The economics on HSR in the US suck like a commercial high-speed vacuum pump on steroids – there’s no conceivable way to do it and not lose billions upon billions. Whoever backs it will see their money disappear. If they’re incredibly lucky, there might be some rail laid before the whole thing goes belly up.

      The transcontinental railroad worked because it was better than anything before it. (Pony Express, which was fast but lousy for hauling freight, and wagon trains which were slow but could haul freight.) California’s HSR will have to go up against trucks, planes, and cars – none of which it’s got a decided advantage over. There’s not a whole lot of time-critical freight that isn’t cheaper to send by air, and planes haul folks to and fro far faster on a more frequent schedule than any train system could handle. (And cars just go more places.)

      As I said – I like the idea. But just because I like it doesn’t mean it’d work. Financially, it’s a flippin’ disaster. And seeing California’s already killing itself, this would be a real stake through their economy. (Not to mention we’re looking at 20-30 years before it’s finished…)

      • GarandFan

        The whole thing has been a scam since day one. Don’t like the cost numbers – we’ll make ’em better. Don’t like the ridership numbers – because the original ones had EVERYONE in the state riding 3 times a week – we’ll make another set of numbers.

        Investors? The only person who sees investors is Moonbeam.

        The only congestion on freeways is in the major metro areas (yeah, go figure). You get north of LA it’s smooth sailing to San Francisco or Sacramento.

        We’re “saving” a fish that has NO value. Farmers are cutting down orchards and leaving fields fallow. No water.

        San Onofre is down. They installed new generators built in Japan. The tubes are eroding at an alarming rate. Plant has been shut down since around the first of the year. 1.2 megawatts is GONE right now. The greenies aren’t interested in a fix. They want it shut down.

        Gonna replace it with “solar” and “wind”. Which don’t operate 24/7.

        But the fools in this state will vote the same liberal idiots back into office this fall. The Democratic Party is counting on it.

        The legislature has authorized the sale of the bonds to finance this fiasco. The lawsuits have just begun.

  • retired.military

    “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” – Barrack Obama 2012

    • Vagabond661

      Those roads and bridges – you didn’t build that. My taxes made that happen,

      • Exactly which Federal Employees paid with “your” tax dollars undertook those civil engineering projects?

        • Vagabond661

          Did I say federal employees? I think not.

          • We already knew that you think not.

            The issue is who built the infrastructure. The Federal Government didn’t even pay the majority of the funds used to build our national infrastructure, especially after FDR.

    • jim_m

      Sorry Mr President, the federal government didn’t build those roads and bridges either. You paid private contractors to do it for you, you ignorant ass.

  • It’s not just the greens killing California, it’s the reds.

    • There are no “Greens”, there are only Watermelons.

      • Well, they are seedy and often make me want to spit!

        • As in a thin skin of green on the outside hiding a pink to red fruit.

          • I know, I was just expanding the metaphor a tad.

  • why use hawai’s seal for a kalifornia story? oh it was outsoarsed !