California versus Saudi Arabia
VDH's tour-de-farce* of California reminded me in some ways of another semi-despotic place on the other side of the world -- Saudi Arabia.
Join me now as we compare and contrast.
California typically enjoys an average yearly rainfall from a mere 2.85 inches around Anza in the inland desert south, to a whopping 65-85 inches in the wetter northern coastal areas.
Saudi Arabia, except for a single small province on the Red Sea, is entirely desert and receives hardly any rainfall at all.
California has two major rivers, the Sacramento and the San Joaquin, and sits at the end of the massive watershed formed by the western slope of the Rocky Mountains.
Wikipedia's article on Saudi Arabia reports that "there are virtually no rivers or lakes in the country."
California is suffering its fourth year of major drought. Saudi Arabia is a drought.
The current population of Saudi Arabia is around 30 million, about the same as California's during its last major drought in the early 1990s. California's population now stands at around 38 million.
Californians got a major warning of things to come during the state's last drought. Saudi Arabians need no such warning.
California has made plans to spend at least $68.4 billion to build a high-speed rail system over the next decade or so, which won't quite connect its major population centers in the north and the south with actual high-speed trains. The high-speed sections of the project will connect cities in California's Central Valley, which are depopulating in part because of a lack of water.
Saudi Arabia's state-owned National Water Company plans to spend $66 billion over the next decade on new desalinization plants and upgrades to existing plants, in order to provide drinking water for its people.
California recently imposed its first-ever water restrictions, forcing reductions in water use of 25%.
Saudi Arabia has no such restrictions.
Saudi Arabia has massive oil reserves, which it uses to manipulate the price and production of oil to its own advantage.
California also has massive oil reserves, much of which lies offshore and untouched, because Californians prefer not to drill there.
Saudi Arabia has a sovereign wealth fund with assets of estimated worth of about a quarter trillion dollars. Those assets are worth about $25,000 per citizen.
California has a "mountain of long-term liabilities" of over $350,000,000,000. Those debts are a burden of about $9,000 per California resident, or $22,000 owed by each Californian with an actual taxpaying job.
Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy based on Islamic sharia law, which forbids drinking alcohol, oppresses women and unbelievers, and protects its borders.
California is a single-party state based on modern progressivism, which forbids smoking tobacco, oppresses the middle class and unbelievers, and protects "the environment."
I'm not saying I prefer Saudi Arabia to California -- not by a longshot. But unlike California's Democrats, at least the Saudi Royal Family makes the toilets flush on time.
RELATED: "Take This State and Shove It"
*Not a typo