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  1. #1
    SoCalIndependent's Avatar
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    Victor Davis Hanson: Two Californias

    A somewhat long read but an excellent article. Do your best to muddle through.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/ ... son?page=1


    (MOD Edit: Changed the title and fixed the link)

  2. #2
    working4change
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    Re: California's central valley crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalIndependent
    A somewhat long read but an excellent article. Do your best to muddle through.




    http://www.nationalreview.com/articl...n?page=1<br />

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/ ... son?page=1

  3. #3
    SoCalIndependent's Avatar
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    Thanks for the URL assist!

  4. #4
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    Here's the article:

    Two Californias
    Abandoned farms, Third World living conditions, pervasive public assistance -- welcome to the once-thriving Central Valley.

    The last three weeks I have traveled about, taking the pulse of the more forgotten areas of central California. I wanted to witness, even if superficially, what is happening to a state that has the highest sales and income taxes, the most lavish entitlements, the near-worst public schools (based on federal test scores), and the largest number of illegal aliens in the nation, along with an overregulated private sector, a stagnant and shrinking manufacturing base, and an elite environmental ethos that restricts commerce and productivity without curbing consumption.

    During this unscientific experiment, three times a week I rode a bike on a 20-mile trip over various rural roads in southwestern Fresno County. I also drove my car over to the coast to work, on various routes through towns like San Joaquin, Mendota, and Firebaugh. And near my home I have been driving, shopping, and touring by intent the rather segregated and impoverished areas of Caruthers, Fowler, Laton, Orange Cove, Parlier, and Selma. My own farmhouse is now in an area of abject poverty and almost no ethnic diversity; the closest elementary school (my alma mater, two miles away) is 94 percent Hispanic and 1 percent white, and well below federal testing norms in math and English.

    Here are some general observations about what I saw (other than that the rural roads of California are fast turning into rubble, poorly maintained and reverting to what I remember seeing long ago in the rural South). First, remember that these areas are the ground zero, so to speak, of 20 years of illegal immigration. There has been a general depression in farming — to such an extent that the 20- to-100-acre tree and vine farmer, the erstwhile backbone of the old rural California, for all practical purposes has ceased to exist.

    On the western side of the Central Valley, the effects of arbitrary cutoffs in federal irrigation water have idled tens of thousands of acres of prime agricultural land, leaving thousands unemployed. Manufacturing plants in the towns in these areas — which used to make harvesters, hydraulic lifts, trailers, food-processing equipment — have largely shut down; their production has been shipped off overseas or south of the border. Agriculture itself — from almonds to raisins — has increasingly become corporatized and mechanized, cutting by half the number of farm workers needed. So unemployment runs somewhere between 15 and 20 percent.

    Many of the rural trailer-house compounds I saw appear to the naked eye no different from what I have seen in the Third World. There is a Caribbean look to the junked cars, electric wires crisscrossing between various outbuildings, plastic tarps substituting for replacement shingles, lean-tos cobbled together as auxiliary housing, pit bulls unleashed, and geese, goats, and chickens roaming around the yards. The public hears about all sorts of tough California regulations that stymie business — rigid zoning laws, strict building codes, constant inspections — but apparently none of that applies out here.

    It is almost as if the more California regulates, the more it does not regulate. Its public employees prefer to go after misdemeanors in the upscale areas to justify our expensive oversight industry, while ignoring the felonies in the downtrodden areas, which are becoming feral and beyond the ability of any inspector to do anything but feel irrelevant. But in the regulators’ defense, where would one get the money to redo an ad hoc trailer park with a spider web of illegal bare wires?

    Many of the rented-out rural shacks and stationary Winnebagos are on former small farms — the vineyards overgrown with weeds, or torn out with the ground lying fallow. I pass on the cultural consequences to communities from the loss of thousands of small farming families. I don’t think I can remember another time when so many acres in the eastern part of the valley have gone out of production, even though farm prices have recently rebounded. Apparently it is simply not worth the gamble of investing $7,000 to $10,000 an acre in a new orchard or vineyard. What an anomaly — with suddenly soaring farm prices, still we have thousands of acres in the world’s richest agricultural belt, with available water on the east side of the valley and plentiful labor, gone idle or in disuse. Is credit frozen? Are there simply no more farmers? Are the schools so bad as to scare away potential agricultural entrepreneurs? Or are we all terrified by the national debt and uncertain future?

    California coastal elites may worry about the oxygen content of water available to a three-inch smelt in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, but they seem to have no interest in the epidemic dumping of trash, furniture, and often toxic substances throughout California’s rural hinterland. Yesterday, for example, I rode my bike by a stopped van just as the occupants tossed seven plastic bags of raw refuse onto the side of the road. I rode up near their bumper and said in my broken Spanish not to throw garbage onto the public road. But there were three of them, and one of me. So I was lucky to be sworn at only. I note in passing that I would not drive into Mexico and, as a guest, dare to pull over and throw seven bags of trash into the environment of my host.

    In fact, trash piles are commonplace out here — composed of everything from half-empty paint cans and children’s plastic toys to diapers and moldy food. I have never seen a rural sheriff cite a litterer, or witnessed state EPA workers cleaning up these unauthorized wastelands. So I would suggest to Bay Area scientists that the environment is taking a much harder beating down here in central California than it is in the Delta. Perhaps before we cut off more irrigation water to the west side of the valley, we might invest some green dollars into cleaning up the unsightly and sometimes dangerous garbage that now litters the outskirts of our rural communities.

    We hear about the tough small-business regulations that have driven residents out of the state, at the rate of 2,000 to 3,000 a week. But from my unscientific observations these past weeks, it seems rather easy to open a small business in California without any oversight at all, or at least what I might call a “counter business.

  5. #5
    Senior Member TakingBackSoCal's Avatar
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    I have been thru the central valley and he was being real nice about the real way it is. It is Mexico. It is a socialist haven where the only money makers are govt employed!
    You cannot dedicate yourself to America unless you become in every
    respect and with every purpose of your will thoroughly Americans. You
    cannot become thoroughly Americans if you think of yourselves in groups. President Woodrow Wilson

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ratbstard's Avatar
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    I wish there were photos.
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  7. #7
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    This interesting article has been duped 3 times so bringing bttt.
    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at https://eepurl.com/cktGTn

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratbstard
    I wish there were photos.
    I will get some posted when I get a chance... I am working In Clovis Ca,just outside of Fresno.... He was being "very nice" Indeed.... This Is a third world rat-hole

  9. #9
    Senior Member TakingBackSoCal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by topsecret10
    Quote Originally Posted by Ratbstard
    I wish there were photos.
    I will get some posted when I get a chance... I am working In Clovis Ca,just outside of Fresno.... He was being "very nice" Indeed.... This Is a third world rat-hole
    Clovis is and has always been a conservative town. Getting to the 99 is where it gets scary!
    You cannot dedicate yourself to America unless you become in every
    respect and with every purpose of your will thoroughly Americans. You
    cannot become thoroughly Americans if you think of yourselves in groups. President Woodrow Wilson

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TakingBackSoCal
    Quote Originally Posted by topsecret10
    Quote Originally Posted by Ratbstard
    I wish there were photos.
    I will get some posted when I get a chance... I am working In Clovis Ca,just outside of Fresno.... He was being "very nice" Indeed.... This Is a third world rat-hole
    Clovis is and has always been a conservative town. Getting to the 99 is where it gets scary!
    Yep

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