Gov. Candidate Blames 'Progressive' Policies for Making Calif. a Poverty-Stricken Racist Dystopia
California's primary elections Tuesday underscored the Golden State's liberal drift, but one of the candidates who lost the race for governor powerfully diagnosed "progressive" policies as the root of California's snobbish inequality. He compared the state to the dystopian nightmare of "Elysium," a 2013 film about a highly stratified society where the poor struggle to live on planet Earth while the rich enjoy a lavish life off planet.
"This is the story about a real-world 'Elysium' — a state which has the highest levels of poverty & inequality in the country but whose residents have convinced themselves that they are behaving ethically, protecting the environment, and fighting racism," Mike Shellenberger, an environmental activist who ran for governor, tweeted.
When he lost the governor primary to Democrat Gavin Newsom, Shellenberger mocked the liberal candidate with a perfect encapsulation of what the Democratic Party in California stands for. "The people! United! Will maintain a deeply unfair & dysfunctional system for Millennials, renters, & working people!" he mockingly tweeted.
Thanks to Democrat policies, "life in California today differs in degree, not in kind, from [Elysium's] dystopian vision," the former candidate wrote in a powerful Forbes column.
Perhaps this explains why a full 46 percent of Bay Area residents said they want to move out of the area within the next few years.
Shellenberger noted that California is number one in poverty and inequality in the United States. Homeless encampments have popped up across the state. In Silicon Valley, 132 people died on the street in 2016 — up from 85 in 2015. In San Diego, 117 people died, up from 56. San Diego city workers nearly killed a homeless person by putting her in a trash compactor last year.
All this while affluent progressives "condemn the cruelty of the Trump administration toward the poor." The former candidate admitted that California workers earn more than their counterparts nationally, but that does not make up for the extremely high mortgage payments and rent. In 2012, 56 percent of Californians could afford a middle-class home, but in the third quarter of last year, just 28 percent could.
It gets worse. From the 1930s to the 1970s, black families remained poorer than their white counterparts because they rented homes, rather than owning them. "Environmentalism is used to justify de facto racial segregation in California’s housing. Environmental lawsuits are a major reason for longer delays and higher costs of new housing," Shellenberger added.