Californians – Are You Getting the Message?

August 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Fools of Finance

california_disasterI don’t intend to pick on Californians but news of yet another uncontrolled wildfire (this time in the north) causes me to again pose this question: Why do you live there?

Your state has received numerous signals in recent years that the economic path set by your government leads to failure. One-fourth to one-third of your public economic resources are wasted on people who don’t even belong in this country. Bloat, taxes, cuts, more taxes, more cuts, it never ends. The recurrent natural disasters (with the “big one” yet to come) are like a slap in the face. Accept them as a further incentive to find a better future for yourselves.

How much more hard truth is needed to spur you into decisive action? Do you want to define your own economic destiny? Or do you enjoy having it imposed on you by others? Elections aren’t changing things – you just lurch from one set of incompetents to the next. The party affiliation makes little difference. Unfortunately for us, you send some of them to Washington, to spread the “tax and spend” mentality. Please don’t do that anymore. We watch your state and (I hope) vow to never let it happen here.

Stuck in place Californians – you are the Tough Money Love “fools of finance” for this week. I am afraid that you will be winning this award often.

Photo credit: Caneles

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28 Responses to “Californians – Are You Getting the Message?”
  1. Rick Beagle says:


    I suggest that you learn to Google and get your facts straight before you babble nonsense like this again. What award do you think you deserve for perpetuating stereotypes, fears, and misconceptions?

    Here are a few links to help you out:
    Illegal Aliens: Assessing Estimates of Financial Burden on California.

    Who Killed California’s Economy.

    Economic impact of illegal immigrants in the United States.
    I love this quote:
    “The IRS estimates that about 6 million unauthorized immigrants file individual income tax returns each year.[12] Research reviewed by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office indicates that between 50 percent and 75 percent of unauthorized immigrants pay federal, state, and local taxes.[12] Undocumented workers are estimated to pay in about $7 billion per year into Social Security.[13]”

    Oh and a perennial favorite — if only they had voted red eh?
    The California Energy Crisis: Myths and Facts.

    I was going to link a few geography lessons so that you could rethink your definition of the “BIG ONE” and how exactly that would affect the entire state, but bleh, suffice is to say, you understanding of scale is seriously flawed.

    Rick Beagle

  2. kitty says:

    OK, since I don’t live in California and don’t follow California’s economy, I cannot form much of an opinion about their problems.

    I can, however, guess an answer to this question “Why do you live there?”:
    – because they have a job there, and the type of job they do isn’t available elsewhere. Lots of tech jobs, for example, in Sillicon Valley; I don’t quite see the same number of the same type of jobs available elsewhere. There are other people who just happened to get an offer from a California employer but not from anywhere else – be it a high tech company in Sillicon Valley, a university professor position in Stanford, acting job in LA or a position in San Francisco opera or ballet.
    – because the weather is nice.
    – because they’d be bored out of their minds in Ohio.
    – because they feel that benefits of living there (whichever they are, I can’t really find all of them) are worth the problems.

    The first one is really the most important one. It really annoys me when people say “just move to…”. As if anybody in any field can find a job they like to do in every state.

  3. TMN says:

    Seriously, this thing used to be entertaining because you’d actually find some real dim bulbs to laugh at. Now you’re reduced to incoherent, unsubstantiated rambling about illegal immigrants and natural disasters that are somehow caused by voting liberal. It’s just sad.

    You want a sign? Atlanta has seen a recent spike in incidents where a group of masked men burst out of an unmarked van and shoot someone dead where they stand so they can take their wallet. It’s a f*cking 3rd world country down there. Go, conservativism! I’ll take Berkley and some temporary budget problems any day, thank you.

  4. Rick: You cannot seriously contend that the significant illegal population in California does not create a burden on taxpayers. If they are paying taxes, it must be because they are being employed illegally. According to your logic, the solution to California’s budget problems would be to completely open the southern border and accept all comers, each of whom – again according to your logic – would provide a net gain to California’s economy. That’s brilliant. I wonder why Arnold didn’t think of that.

    Kitty: If the smart people leave – and they should – the employers will leave as well. That’s already happening.

    TMN: My post is about dim bulbs – the folks who have options yet remain in places where life is an increasing burden. I said nothing about liberal voting but thank you for suggesting that it has played a role in the destruction of the California economy. As for it being temporary, perhaps you would enjoy reading this article from January 2003 Sound familiar?

    BTW – I do not recommend Atlanta as a destination, although if you lived there your home would be less likely to be consumed by a wildfire.

  5. MasterPo says:

    TML – I agree 100% with this article. Well said. Often thought the same thing.

    I live in NY and have thought the same thing about here too. If I had the chance to leave I would in an instant.

  6. Rick Beagle says:

    Mr. Tough,

    You presume that I support illegal immigration or dismiss the impact on the economy of California because I called you out on some of your factual deficiencies?! Here is a thought, why don’t you resist the urge to join your republican brethren and quit just randomly making stuff up? That’s right, instead of promoting the talking points of lunatics, you actually use that brain of yours to do a little research?

    Way to fail Tough.
    You should be ashamed of yourself.

    Rick Beagle

  7. Terry Pratt says:


    I agree, and would go so far as to say that people in NY (especially downstate) have even less reason to live there.

    p.s. You have a question waiting for you in the More Wealth Redistribution Pain item.

  8. Rick Beagle says:

    I had an epiphany of sorts today.
    It occurred to me that folks on this site have forgotten about yin yang. The conservatives would deride the views of liberals while living their lives in a country envisioned by liberals. And just because they have forgotten to dream, they seek to dismiss the ideas of hope as infantile, fanciful, and lacking the pragmatic understanding of life and finances that only they understand.
    Yin is not more important than yang, regardless of how much you huff and puff.

    California is an amazing place when allowed to accept itself for what it is. It is a crazy state with a mix that stun and stymies everyone who does not live there, but over the long term it has always been a huge boon to our country, economically, socially, politically and everything else of value. It is an amazing place, and it has some truly amazing people.

    Rick Beagle

  9. MasterPo says:


    You must be joking!(?)

    A country envisioned by liberals?!

    If you knew anything of American history there is no possible way you can say that with a straight face the Founding Fathers were liberals (as we know it today). The Decleration of Independence and Constitution drip with Conservative values and principles, the core of which is the *minimal* invasion of government into the lives of the citizenry.

  10. kitty says:

    ” If I had the chance to leave I would in an instant.”

    Master Po — this is the key here: if I had the chance to leave. Meaning that you don’t have a chance i.e. you have reasons why you don’t. So do a lot of people. BTW — I also live in NY, and not only do I have a job that I like, but I also like it here. Why should I move? I work for a Fortune 500 company, in research. Having worked for the same corporation for 25 years, I get 25 paid vacation days plus 3 personal choice holidays, flexible hours and unlimited number of sick days (haven’t taken those in years but it’s nice to know it’s available), and can work from home whenever I please. I also have nice salary. Now, they can fire me at any time, of course, but there is no reason I’d give it all up voluntarily. Plus all other corporations I may consider working for are on the coasts too.

    Saying “you leave and the job will follow” would only work if everyone just picks up and leaves and all people with same skills go to exactly the same place, and then the employer just decides to move the job immediately and to exactly the same place. Yes, right, this is practical.

    @Terry Pratt – I live in downstate NY (Northern Westchester county). Not only it is a very pretty place, there are advantages in commuting distance to Manhattan. I went to the Metropolitan Opera a few times last year, for example. If you don’t care for opera or ballet, there is Broadway or other entertainment – a lot more of it in NYC then elsewhere. Travelling is also more convenient from NYC especially if you go to Europe or the Caribbean.

  11. MasterPo says:


    I didn’t think I gave the impression that if I and others leave the jobs will follow. If I did, I didn’t mean to.

    Though there is some truth to that: If enough skilled people leave NY then companies will relocate too in order to find a better labor force (as well as avoid the higher costs amd taxes of NY).

    But back to the topic, it isn’t just work that keeps me here. I won’t go into it in a public forum but suffice to say there are some personal reasons. That could change (though in some respect I hope not) and if it does then I’m outta here!

  12. Rick Beagle says:

    “If you knew anything of American history there is no possible way you can say that with a straight face the Founding Fathers were liberals (as we know it today). The Decleration of Independence and Constitution drip with Conservative values and principles, the core of which is the *minimal* invasion of government into the lives of the citizenry.”

    You don’t really believe that do you? Seriously, you are not truly that clueless are you? This is a joke right?
    Rick Beagle

  13. MasterPo says:


    Congradulations. You have left me speechless with your answer.


  14. cjbr549 says:

    The people in California who live in areas that are prone to wildfires, earthquakes and/or mudslides know there are risks. The same a people in Oklahoma know there are risks from tornadoes or people on the gulf coast with hurricanes or people in the upper Midwest with ice storms. As for our politics, would Illinois be any better? Perhaps New Jersey? If I owned New Jersey and Hell, I would rent out New Jersey and live in Hell. So maybe that’s whey people stay in California. I like it because I have a good job, live in a small town without too many problems like traffic and crime and it’s a fairly easy drive to be to some very interesting places. I’m not even a left wing fanatic like Mr. Beagle and I like it here.

  15. Rick Beagle says:

    Left winged fanatic? Thanks, I think….


    I bet you don’t know how much money California pays in taxes to the Federal government? According to 2005 statistics, California received $.78 back for every $1 in federal taxes paid. That’s right, California provided a surplus to the government! NY received $.79 and NJ $.61 back for every dollar they paid into the federal government! These are the three states that seem to get the most grief, so they are listed.

    How about those bastions of fiscal purity, South Carolina and North Carolina? $1.35 and $1.08 respectively.

    But California is full of “fiscal” loonies in a year that most considered on the brink of a Depression? Considering what they have had to weather (pun totally intended), I think they have done quite well.

    If you are looking for fiscal morons, how about we talk about the states that have to be propped up by the federal government to actually function?

    Data pulled from here.

    Masterpo, crunch them numbers and run them against “red” states…. yeah, fiscal conservatives my butt, and yeah, I know you said that they had lost their way (kind of an understatement)….

    Rick Beagle

    That doesn’t seem particularly accurate or fair.
    But what do I know?

  16. Rick Beagle says:

    ugh, ignore the two line that came after my name…. a simple editing error… sorry for the confusion

  17. MasterPo says:


    So what does your 8/17 reply have to do with the fantasy that the Founding Fathers envisioned a liberal (as defined in modern times) nation?

    Can you give an example of a liberal agenda expoused in the Decleration of Independence or the Constitution?

  18. Rick Beagle says:

    Your stupidity constantly amazes me…. bill of rights – ACLU. The ACLU is by far the biggest supporter of the constitution and our bill of rights than any other legal organization in our country – BAR NONE (pun totally intended). Separation of state and religion is something the liberals have espoused for years. Keeping government out of a womans right to choose, is also a big thing for us. All men are created equal comes to mind…. Free speech is pretty dang important. And those are just the easy ones off the top of my head. How in the hell would you every think or choose to believe that we don’t support the words of the founding liberals? We just want to keep those positive changes coming….

    Now answer me a question, why aren’t you bothered that NY citizens have to support the deadbeat “conservative” states? I will gladly give a pass to Alaska and Hawaii due to their special needs, but why in the heck are you okay funding a string of incompetent leaders (that SC governor’s booty calls were on your dime)? Everyone on this site keeps saying what a bunch of fiscal fools liberal and Democrats are, but over the last twenty years, neither at the state nor national level does this claim seem to have any merit? And what about those wars? Mind explaining to me how invading Iraq was justified fiscally, or morally? Where is your outrage at those money pits?

    Pfft, like all conservatives, you are stuck with sound bites and misconceptions. The truth does not seem to reflect what Faux news has been spouting. But please, liberals are not without their flaws, but bashing them while sitting on the biggest pile of republican made crap is delusional at best, and more importantly not productive.

    Kitty is an independent, and I would like to be one too. But at the moment, the current crop of rethugs cause a deep sense of fear and revulsion. How you can identify with them is beyond me.

    Rick Beagle

  19. Rick Beagle says:

    Your stupidity constantly amazes me…. ”

    It’s probably too late to say this, but that did not come out in the manner in which it was meant. Please read that in a snarky tone rather than an attempt by me to be offensive. I think you are nuts, but stupid… no. 😉

  20. MasterPo says:

    That’s odd. I don’t recall reading the ACLU was contained in the Constitution or the Decleration of Independence? BTW, ask your precious ACLU about how often they have risen to defend the 2nd Ammendment. Very very rarely.

    My question to you was to show me something in either document that proves the Founding Fathers wanted a liberal society. Once again you dodged the question. Typical.

    ps- So now defense of the American people is to be based on a cost/benefit analysis? Wow. You really value your life, your family’s life, your neighbors and friends so cheaply?

    pps- What was the cost/benefit of fighting WW2? Can you give me a link to that analysis report?

    pps- No offense taken.

  21. Rick Beagle says:

    “I don’t recall reading the ACLU was contained in the Constitution or the Decleration of Independence?”

    Huh? As for the ACLU defending the second amendment, what does that have to do with anything? You asked if liberals supported the constitution and the declaration of independence, and I showed that we do. And besides, the NRA is all over the second amendment.

    You accuse me of dodging the question? Quit changing the question every comment and then stating that I somehow dodged it.

    “My question to you was to show me something in either document that proves the Founding Fathers wanted a liberal society. ”

    And you can find something that says they wanted us to live in a conservative society? ROFL. I don’t know if you were tired when you wrote this, but come on, what the heck are you trying to prove? Are you trying to justify your displeasure with liberals by pretending they would dislike the current crop? Who knows what they would think? All we know is that they were VERY liberal for their time. They bucked the whole bow down to the crown trend and decided to try something better… very liberating and very liberal (actually they were radicals).

    “Defense of American people is to be based on a cost/benefit analysis?”

    Being a Navy vet myself, I find the whole idea of invading a country in order to enrich powerful defense and oil companies odious. No reason has been presented that even remotely justifies the cost in money and blood for the invasion of Iraq. The fact that we took resources from an enemy that actually had attacked us and allowed them to flourish makes the whole affair even more disgusting.
    You okay sending our money and children over to Iraq so that Haliburton and Exxon can make a few more bucks? How about GE?

    WW2… seems like they attacked us in WW2. Remind me again, when did Iraq attack us? Oh that’s right, they didn’t. But Bin Laden did didnt he? Good thing we used our resources to capture him and bring him to justice! Oh wait…..

    And you didnt give me a response to my state financial question. Do you think its right that you should have to be taxed more and more every year to support dead beat states who then lower their own state taxes to lure more businesses? I guess that’s the Rethug idea of spreading the wealth? And you have to love it when sites like this applaud their “business friendly attitude” and ignore the fact that the people in NY, CA, and NJ are all propping their state government up. If they weren’t getting a little on the side from you and I, I wonder what the tax policy would be? Any anger for those deadbeats? You enjoy subsidizing them so they can encourage businesses from your state to move into theirs?

    Personally, I find it disgusting.
    Rick Beagle

  22. MasterPo says:

    So the ACLU only protects *some* of our civil liberties? Oh great. I feel sooooo much better now. But the point was I asked you to show me a liberal agenda in the Constitution and/or Dec. of Ind. and you came back with the ACLU. How nice. Guess that sums it up.

    The whole Constitution is DRIPPING with Conservative values: The rights of the people to be free from government control and intervention, the restrictions on government actions on the people and not the other way around, etc. You can’t tell me by the modern definition of “liberal” these are liberal values! I don’t see welfare, food stamps, the right to a house/job/education/healthcare/etc listed anywhere, etc.

    And as for the war on terrorism, I have deep respect for vets even idiot ones so I won’t say what I’m thinking.

  23. Rick Beagle says:

    The NRA only protects one liberty, but I don’t see you crying to them. Please what a load of crap. If I reread my post, and yours, my comment listed a number of liberal initiatives that support the constitution, and assorted documents. You asked, I answered….

    The whole constitution is dripping with conservative values? ROFL. What planet are you on?

    All men are created equal, unless you are homosexual.

    Freedom of Religion if you are Christian

    The whole search and seizure thing is okay if you look like a terrorist.

    Free from government control and intervention unless you want an abortion.

    Freedom of speech, unless it interferes with your corporate goons who then hire armed people to parade in front of an event to dissuade dissent.

    Off the top of my head, making up nonsense to justify the invasion of another country so that corporate cronies can make a few extra bucks I can’t seem to find.

    Did you happen to see where the President and his administration were using terrorist threat levels to manipulate public opinion. Again, not quite sure where that is in the constitution?

    And the list goes on.
    You sure do talk up a good game but your party’s action seem to indicate a rather abusive relationship with the constitution.

    There is a part of the constitution that talks about the welfare of the people, you must have missed it, and all of the items listed have been extremely helpful and profitable. Want to guess how many people used those services to get through a tough time and then went on to become very productive members of our society? Want to guess what the percentage is for people who are permanently on social services? Seems like those statistics don’t support you or your party’s vision.

    You have nothing Rethug, every POS comment you make I can refute with hard facts, but all you seem to have is the koolaid. Oh but you love those rich white people don’t you? Can’t stand anyone else, but you will bend over backwards for a rich white man…. Here is a news flash for you, the rich white dudes don’t give a snot about you either, you are just a dumb buffoon in their circus being used to promote views against your own self interest.

    You respect Vets? Liar. Why would anyone who respects vets support the criminals who sent them to die for no reason other than a big payday for their corporate friends?

    The liberals are trying to do something noble with healthcare, and for over thirty years you folks have ignored the arguments, created mass panic, and allowed the insurance industry obscene profits at the expense of our people. And just when I thought you guys couldn’t sink any lower, you start bringing armed weapons to these events. Repugnant.

    Barnie Frank’s is right, talking to right trash is like talking to furniture. You folks have nothing, but self righteous indignation and sound bites.

    Rick Beagle

  24. Rick Beagle says:

    Oh, and you still haven’t answered my question Mr. ImAFiscalConservative. Where is your outrage over having to chip in a few bucks so the governor of SC could make a booty call in Argentina? Oh I know, you were just helping out a “C street” brother in need…. Personally, I think it’s shameful, and the fact that the SC people don’t show him the door, revolting.

    Oh and here is another video showing that world class healthcare you were touting earlier:

    And of course this lovely quote:
    “That point couldn’t have been made clearer than by the man standing in line to get free care at Remote Area Medical’s recent health care “expedition” at the Wise County, Virginia, fairgrounds, who told a reporter he was dead set against President Obama’s reform proposal.”

  25. MasterPo says:

    I don’t know where to even begin to reply to that tirade, so I’m going to enjoy my weekend instead.

  26. Shadox says:

    Dude, we like it here. California rocks. I wouldn’t live anywhere else in the union (well, maybe Colorado and Hawaii), but that’s probably it.

    • California rocks? Are you referring to the frequent tremors? It also burns frequently and taxes heavily. But everyone has his own ideas of what is desirable. Fortunately, I lived in California in my youth and learned then that there were so many better options.

  27. Terry Pratt says:

    MasterPo said:

    “If you knew anything of American history there is no possible way you can say that with a straight face the Founding Fathers were liberals (as we know it today). The Decleration of Independence and Constitution drip with Conservative values and principles, the core of which is the *minimal* invasion of government into the lives of the citizenry.”

    Fortunately, at least *I* know something of American history You are correct that our country was founded on Conservative values.

    It is no accident that property owners were protected by the Founding Fathers when they drafted the Constitution, and renters be damned – and denied the vote, to boot.

    That part really warms the cockles of my heart, how about yours?

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