Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Reading this article and thinking about California water policy on the eve of my next exam on the same, I can't help but ask the following question:

Does a State need to grow in order to better itself?

How many people can - and should - the Golden State accomodate?

It's not that I want to close this most iconic corner of our land of opportunity - in every American Dream is a bit of California Dreamin'. But, you know, there are other cities out there that are really doing their best to be attractive, welcoming, and growth-friendly. Many in the South, the Northwest. I would advice against the arid Western States who can't water their current residents, but people seem to flock there as well.

We seem to be driving business out of the state, but not people, nor are we discouraging migration. Pretty bad combination. What if we kept business here but slowed migration?

My vote is for installing a magic sleet machine on Colorado Boulevard on New Year's Day - but that probably won't happen . . . .


Anonymous said...

This reminds me of a talk given by a former Gov. Jerry Brown staffer (unfortunately I've forgotten who it was).

To paraphrase:
'In the 1960s and 70s we thought CA had too many people, so we stopped building roads to discourage growth. But people kept coming.

In the 1970s and 80s, we thought CA had too many people, so we stopped building houses. But people kept coming.

Now we have all the people, but no roads or houses.'

Conclusion: internal births, the weather, and other factors will keep bringing people to CA (and the rest of the US sun belt), and government can't stop that. It can only manage it, either well or poorly.

Anonymous said...

Government (both fed and state) could regulate at least some of that growth by actually enforcing certian laws - like imposing heavy fines on employers who employ illegals, actually defending the boarder etc. The feds should also continue to revisit their silly modern interpretation of "birth-right" citizenship for illegals who cross the border to birth their children here.

You could also do away with Prop. 13, because then no one would be able to afford to live here - both the cost of ownership and renting would become too high.

These things would help.

Anonymous said...

There are those who profit greatly from packing the rest of us all in, and they do so by getting us to pay for it! There are limits to how much water can be diverted from the mountains to the city. The output from this input is sewage; where can it be recycled without overwhelming the environment as the population continues to explode?
Las Vegas is going to be the scenario of what is going to happen in California, we can get a little leadtime watching what is happening there. Steve Lee

Heather said...

Amen Doug.

Personally, I think it's Baywatch's fault. People all over the world have been watching that show for years (read somewhere that it is most well-known US show?). Who wouldn't want to come here and cavort with Pam Anderson on a sunny warm beach after surviving even a single winter in Buffalo, NY or some such... That's why my mom brought us here... that and SF was the furthest she could get from my Dad and still be in the continental US.

California has long been the state of dreams, the frontier... if we adopt a hunker-down, keep everyone out mentality, it'll eventually corrupt the free-thinking culture that has powered all of our major industries (aerospace, Silly Valley, Hollywood and even ag)... thereby potentially stripping us of our greatest economic advantages, our culture of rebirth and relative social fluidity. The reason CA leads the nation is that we're a scrapy state founded by scrapy people who were turned off by the rigid social and economic conditions of the East coast establishment. We're a state of rejects - and damn proud of it. We have always made lemonade out of lemons.

You can't fight being who you are. All you can do is minimize the negative impact of your challenges and do your best to milke everything you can out of your strengths and opportunities .

Anonymous said...

hb - you're mom brought you hear to cavort on sunny beaches with Pam Anderson?! That's awesome.

Heather said...

Have you ever been in Buffalo, NY in winter? Pam starts looking mighty good after even a few days of that... and in SF our Christmas tree angel was a Ken doll in a Barbie wedding dress with a whip and a halo... the perfect Norman Rockwell childhood.