SHORT COMMUNICATION 374
The Two Californias
When you consider what makes up the state of California and what goes on there, you come to the realization that there are two Californias. One is for the rich people and the other is for the poor, and you can tell which is which geographically. The western half belongs to the rich, and the eastern half belongs to the poor. All the blade goes to Mother Nature.
Along with the geographic setup California there are the social disconnects, and the social disconnects cause the reality that there are two different kinds life: one for the rich, one for the poor. The disconnects make it clear that the state of California has two different cultures. One culture is very desireable, and the other leaves much to be desired.
California’s income and sales taxes are among the nation’s highest, but the state’s deficit is about $16 billion. More than 2000 upper-income Californians leave the state per week to flee high taxes and costly regulations. California’s taxes higher and its business climate ranks near the bottom of most surveys. Its teachers are among the highest paid in the nation, but its public school students consistently test near the bottom in both math and since. The state’s public employees have generous pensions and benefits, but California’s retirement systems lack billions in funds to pay for them. Californians pay very high gasoline taxes, but the freeways and the city streets have degenerated into potholed and clogged nightmares. It is a very mixed bag of problems faced on a daily basis, because the disconnects are many varied.
The two different cultures are caused by the two different landscapes: coastal and interior. Everyone wants to live in the coastal side because of the ocean, scenery, well maintained freeways and highways, beautiful homes, many businesses, and great restaurants. The interior side leaves much to be desired. There is too much unscenic open space, poorly maintained roads, old houses, old schools, and the fact the interior is a magnet for so many illegals that can’t speak any English and flood the schools. Interior restaurants cannot compare with coastal restaurants. People who better their daily living and education quickly leave for coastal California.
Some people may justifiably conclude that there is no such state, that there is no California. Instead there are two radical different cultures and landscapes with little common and dysfunctional in very different ways. Really, it is not a stretch of the imagination to say that the two cultures from disaster that cannot be called a state or California.