Ed Driscoll

The Middle Class Abandons California

“The Middle Class is Leaving California Because California Has Left the Middle Class,” Troy Senik writes at Ricochet:

That’s the conclusion of my piece in the latest issue of National Review, which you can now peruse online, assuming you’ve got an hour to kill (it’s a testament to the state of play in California that an essay this long left an awful lot of material on the cutting room floor).

Here’s the gist of the argument: complaints about the travails of California’s economy tend to focus on the deleterious effect that big government is having on business, which is, to be sure, a very real development. That meme, however, often obscures the fact that the group leaving California in the largest numbers is the middle class. These are not unrelated phenomena.

It should come as no surprise that the exodus of business and the wealthy has an outsized effect on labor markets, with jobs being increasingly hard to come by in the Golden State. Compounding this problem, however, is the fact that the liberal gentry that governs California has imposed its tastes as a matter of public policy.

As Fred Siegel wrote at the start of his new book, The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class, “The best short credo of liberalism came from the pen of the once canonical left-wing literary historian Vernon Parrington in the late 1920s. ‘Rid society of the dictatorship of the middle class,’” a motto that Sacramento has internalized to a man.

And speaking of Sacramento: “CA Dems block expulsion of legislator convicted of 8 felonies,” Ed Morrissey writes today:

Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. That adage has more application than usual in California, where Democrats hold all of the statewide offices and supermajorities in the legislature. They can enact any policies they want, with only the judicial branch offering belated checks on their power. And when I say belated, that’s literally the case with state Senator Rod Wright, whom a jury found guilty in January of committing eight felonies regarding his residency and eligibility for the office he held.

Normally, politicians who get that kind of a verdict have the decency to resign. If not, the body in which they serve would almost assuredly eject them — but not California Democrats:

Senate Democrats on Thursday blocked a move to expel their Democratic colleague Sen. Rod Wright by sending a Republican proposal to the Rules Committee, where it could permanently stall.

Sen. Steve Knight, a Republican from Palmdale, introduced a resolution to expel Wright from the Senate because a jury found him guilty of eight felonies last month for lying about living in the district he represents.

“This will be precedent-setting,” Knight said as debate on his measure was being quashed on a 21-13, mostly party-line vote.

Democrats insist that Wright does not need to resign until after sentencing, because the judge could overturn the verdict. That’s a possibility, but it’s rare. Judges almost always abide by the verdicts of juries in criminal cases, especially because they have the opportunity themselves to dismiss charges if they determine that the state has not met its burden of substantiating the charges for a jury to find a defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

If you’ve ever wondered what Detroit or Cook County would have been like with much better weather, look no further than the once-Golden state.

Related: “After Ban Struck Down, Hundreds of Californians Apply For Concealed Carry Permits,” perhaps because they suspect the window to receive them will be brief — “California Seeks to Invalidate 9th Circuit Win for Conceal-Carry Guns Rights.”

I missed the memo — when did the Constitution become increasingly void, the closer one gets to the Pacific Ocean?