If one came from Mars and examined the policies of the California legislature, courts, state-wide officials and governor, one would conclude that it is designed to destroy the emerging Mexican-American middle class (if we can even use such a sloppy term for vastly increasing numbers of so-called mixed marriages and families).
The cause ultimately is that California is overrepresented by those in Bay Area zip-codes and underrepresented by those from Sacramento to Bakersfield. The former are idealists, the latter pragmatists. The consequences of the ideas of the one fall in reality on the other. In extremis, we require more a man who can put on a roof or pour cement than we do a Facebook auditor who censors what he is told by his monopoly employer. Examine the following:
California, after Hawaii, has the most expensive gas and electricity prices in the country.
Why? The state sits on top of billions of cubic feet of untapped natural gas. It could double its oil output. Its gas taxes are the highest in the nation; its highways among the very worst. What is the purpose behind punishing hard-working families with charging them exorbitant rates for turning on their air-conditioning (Bakersfield and Fresno do not have tolerable summer-time temperatures like San Francisco or the coast in general), or charging them an extra $1-a-gallon as they drive trucks and trailers to do landscaping, carpentry, and general construction.
Who created this green mania? Mostly coastal elites whose chief experience with Hispanics is as employers of domestic help, gardening, cooking, nannying, and cleaning, mostly in the sense of hiring resident aliens, both legal and illegal.
Mastery of language, spoken and oral, history, math, science, and engineering are the keys to upward mobility, and most second- and third-generation Hispanics want an opportunity for competitive schools. Most don’t have the money, generally, to spend $50,000 to put their children in Sacred Heart, the Menlo School, etc. The new work agendas and therapeutic indoctrination in public schools, in a zero-sum sense, takes precious hours per week out of the curriculum that we know can hone the skills of minority communities. Who issues these directives? White elites who have no experience with, or desire to live among, work among, and school among, the Other?
When thousands from Central America and southern Mexico cross illegally into the United States, the majorities are not diverse, do not speak English, do not have capital and are not legal. In other words, they inevitably seek public assistance in almost every aspect of their lives, thereby recalibrating those services away from poorer citizens in dire need of health, education, legal, housing, and food assistance. And illegal immigrants naturally gravitate to Spanish-speaking communities, where the white liberal myth of ethnic solidarity does not exist. More often, gang members prey on American citizens of Mexican descent, often in the racist fashion that they no longer speak Spanish, act white, or believe they are “better” than others. The grandchildren of Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Diane Feinstein will not school with those who do not speak English, in schools that are unsafe and forced to offer remediation classes that are not pathways to college.
Sanctuary Cities and Biden’s de facto amnesties send the message that the newly arriving will not be audited, not for prior criminality, not for active COVID-19, not for legal efforts to apply for citizenship. And such new arrivals in Hispanic communities, should some revert to crime, or be infectious, or use false identification at the market, bank, or when pulled over, pose a greater threat to those in Selma, Sanger, and Parlier than in Atherton, Malibu, and Brentwood.
Californians pay the steepest aggregate gas, income, and sales taxes in the nation. Does such revenue make the lives of the middle class easier—safe roads and freeways, reservoirs to store water to keep the state going during droughts, a safe power grid that does not ignite grassfires, schools that allow children to get good jobs and a competitive college education, general safety built on the deterrence that criminals know they will be arrested, convicted if guilty, and sentenced and incarcerated for their crimes?
The answers are unfortunately no. The upper coastal classes and very rich alone have the clout, money, and influence to navigate around these realities—ironic when they were chiefly responsible for creating them.
Sixty million dead trees rotted over the last 4 years after the drought, and proved to be green napalm last year when fires destroyed Sierra Nevada communities and forests. Yet plywood now goes for $80-100 a sheet. Contractors increasingly save even small but precious 2×6 remnants and leftovers. In a state with rich natural resources, we don’t mine, harvest timber, tap our natural gas and oil fully, or allow farms their contracted irrigation water. And to add insult to injury, we hyper-regulate the productive classes, demonize them, and then whine when we can’t get timely granite counters, or that new deck, or that hot tub installed. We are baffled that California housing has soared 30-40 percent in the last 12 months, when labor is short, and building materials scarce, while regulators are plentiful and zero-interest keeps the entire house of cards standing for maybe a year or so more.
In sum, the state is waiting for a middle-class populist who runs on the issues of fairness to the middle classes, appeals to all races and ethnicities on the basis of practical rather than tribal affinities, and renounces cheap virtue signaling. The state is tired of nasal-sounding, Bay-area spoiled adult-children, and privileged ethnic elites who pose as victims of “systemic racism”, and hyper-rich Silicon Valley grandees who lecture the poorer on their privileges while they build 50,000 square-foot homes on their Hawaiian Island estates.
A “California Can Be Great Again” message, spread by a working-class pragmatist, one who feels comfortable with all races and ethnic backgrounds, and who neither panders nor virtue signals, could yet save the state‚ or at least delay our fall by a generation.