By Natural Philosopher Mike Prestwood

California, A Great Place to Live!

By Mike Prestwood

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California is a popular target for Republicans. Why? Because California is a good example of successful governing by Democrats. Very successful. Yes, it’s a bit expensive in places, and too expensive for some. 

First, let’s discuss the CA economy. In 2018, CA was the 5th largest economy in the world! Up from 10th when a Republican Schwarzenegger ran the state and took it from 8th to 10th. Arnold Schwarzenegger  left office with the largest deficits ever. Ugh, I hate this fact because I’m a huge Arnold fan, but the truth matters. 

Let’s take a look at some of the Republican attacks…

CA has the highest % of people living in poverty.

Agreed. But, that’s ONLY true when you factor in income levels to determine poverty. CA is more expensive than most other states; otherwise, we’re 17th. That’s a very important detail frequently left out of this discussion. Why? Because we are not #1 in poverty and one of the most expensive, we’re 17th but if you factor in cost of living, we’ve clearly got work to do.

Bottom line for me is I believe Democrats will solve this issue better than Republicans. Why? A cornerstone policy of Republicans is to oppose equity balancing policies like social safety nets, unions, and wages. Heck, they don’t even want a Federal minimum wage.

Corporations Leaving CA

The main reason corporations leave is to save money on labor. They can pay people less in other states and lower their per unit cost. That’s a valid concern. It’s the same reason the Great American Chocolate bar, Hersheys, is not made in Mexico, profits.

As for fees, I struggle to find a valid premise for businesses leaving. My business is a C Corp, and yes, it costs $850 to incorporate in CA per year compared to $50 in some other states so statistically it’s 83% cheaper to incorporate in other states, but that’s still a top limit of $800/year difference? Also, you have to be incorporated in CA to do business here, so, even if you leave CA, you still have to incorporate in CA. So, if you’re a business and you want to do business in the 5th largest economy in the world, you have to incorporate here.

Some cite “regulations” as a problem, but fail to discuss the issue intelligently. It’s a big subject, but regulations are neither good nor bad. Every regulation can and should be debated. In general, I’d rather not let companies dump chemicals in rivers and such. So, I’m good with regulations. The bottom line for me on regulations is that I vote for Democrats every time because they belief Global Warming is a threat, support the environment WAY more than Republicans, and push alternative fuel sources.

CA has the highest gas taxes.

The fact is that CA gas taxes are high, but not the highest. Pennsylvania’s gas tax rate is highest at 58.7 cents per gallon, followed by California (55.22 cpg) and Washington (49.4 cpg). Long term, I support moving away from petroleum-based fuels. So, my position, for the sake of the future, is all states should double or triple their gas taxes. Most disagree with me so that’s why we haven’t done it, and great minds can agree to disagree in a democratic republic.

By the way, one of my favorite CA benefits is the ability to recycle a mattress for free. That’s why we don’t have as many mattresses on the sides of the roads as other states. That’s just one example of many benefits found in California. If California is too expensive for you, there’s nothing wrong with moving to the Republican run red-state of your choice. You’ll still benefit from CA’s money as the Democratic run blue states subsidize the Republican run red states.

CA, High income tax rates.

Fair enough. CA does have high income taxes, and I’d like to see that lowered. However, I very much trust Democrats over Republicans on income taxes. Republicans still believe in trickle down economics. That was an interesting experiment in the 1980s when “buy American” was still something. But, give corporations or rich people more money, they invest it in foreign markets. Not here. The economic spread between the rich, and middle class has never been larger. That’s a problem. Republicans believe in slave-like labor. No minimum wages, let the rich run the world the way they want. Democrats are for closing the rich-middle class economic gap.

But, I think a fairer look is to look at the total tax burden. Our total tax burden is 9.57% which is 10th. Still too high, but sometimes it’s a good idea to look at the whole picture.

CA High Homeless Rate

When have we EVER seen more homeless people?

Agreed. We rank 3rd in the nation and we need to work on that. I think Dems are better on the homeless issue. Why? Republicans generally don’t believe in safety nets. They frequently say things like, “you’re homeless because of your poor choices throughout your life.” Which is true, but not helpful.

By Mike Prestwood
Natural Philosopher

Mike’s throwback title simply means he writes about philosophy, science and history with a focus on exploring boundaries and intersections. While his focus is on our rational ideas about empirical observations, he does enjoy dabbling in the irrational. His exploration of the empirical led him to develop his Idea of Ideas which allows him to understand what is empirical, rational, and irrational as well as to easily understand what is empirically true, rational true, and irrationally false.

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4 Minutes with Mike Prestwood: Weekly Wisdom Builder
May 26, 2024 Edition
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