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'California Dreaming' or California leaving?


Last updated 3/28/2019 at 5:39pm

In December 1965, the Mamas and Papas’ “California Dreaming” debuted on the radio across the country. The song quickly became the anthem song for a new generation and captured the imagination of millions of Americans who dreamed of living in California. Young working families from all over the country as well as from Canada, Europe and Mexico migrated to the Golden State, inspired by the promise of business-friendly opportunities, affordable housing, great weather, low taxes and an unmatched quality of life. Overnight the expansive avocado and citrus groves across the state were giving way to an explosion of suburban sprawl transformed by the massive influx in the state’s population growth.

Back then, the forward-looking state politicians invested heavily in the educational systems, and they made massive investments in roads and highways and in transportation and water infrastructure. We had a thriving diversity of industries flourishing throughout the state, and our schools were always ranked in the Top 10 in the nation. Hundreds of thousands of working families were living the “American/Californian Dream” with home ownership and family incomes outpacing the rest of the country. California’s explosive growth and endless job opportunities were so phenomenal during the 50s and 60s that this period is often called “California’s Golden Years.”

Sadly, today California is a mere shadow of what it once was with our schools ranked 46th in the nation. Our state income, sales and gasoline taxes are among the highest in the country. We now have the largest homeless and undocumented alien population. Our roads and highways are in total disrepair, and the state’s water infrastructure is crumbling. Once the envy of the nation, our state is now deeply in debt with one of the highest state poverty levels, and the quality of life is no longer aspirational. Now thousands of working families are leaving California because the state’s taxes are too high, the cost of living is too expensive, affordable housing doesn’t exist and because our schools are failing our children. And the “California Dreaming” that captured the imagination of so many Americans has sadly been replaced by thousands of middle-class Californian’s leaving the state.

So, what has happened since the Golden Age of the 1960s? In the last 20 years in particular, the state has been “grossly mismanaged.” To accuse the lawmakers in the state of “governing maleficence” is perhaps too charitable. But whatever you want to call the actions of the ruling class in Sacramento, one thing is for sure. They are willfully failing in their governance, and they are directly responsible for the spiraling demise of the state. In all but two years of the last 20 years, the Democrats have been in control of the state Senate, the state Assembly and the governor’s office. Yes, I know Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was governor for six years, but after his signature propositions were soundly defeated, he spent the last four years in office governing like a Democratic Party loyalist. He seemed to completely forget that he was elected as a Republican.

So I know what you’re thinking, what needs to be done to turn the state around? First and foremost, we need to drop our party affiliations and begin to rebuild the state for “the greater good of all Californians.” California is not lost, unless we continue to support and vote for the incumbent ruling class. I place most of the blame and shame for the condition of the state squarely on the shoulders of the Democrats where it belongs; however, what is needed is a new political class that forges alliances based on the cultural and economic needs of the “working class” and with respect to the hopes and dreams of all Californians. A new political Renaissance is needed to get us out of the malaise we find ourselves in today, and so we can return to the inspirational state that once gave birth to so many “California Dreams.”

Dave Maynard


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