Back in June of 2019, there was an article in The Economist that was titled “Texafornia.” I think you can understand from the title the focus of the piece.
The premise was basically an analysis between what the author called the two mega states, California and Texas, and America’s way forward. His assertion was that our country would follow one of the two paths, California or Texas. And when one does a careful examination of the two States, the two paths are not close; they are indeed quite distinct.
This past week should provide any objective observer the opportunity to assess the two ways forward our America could take.
Consider that last week it was revealed that California has the Nation’s highest state income tax rate, and a 20% poverty rate. One in five Californians live in poverty, albeit that the Golden State has the highest state income tax. So often the progressive socialist left tells us that higher taxes are necessary on the so-called top wage earners. They tell us that is the only way to end income inequality.
The left attempts to make us believe that wealth redistribution is the way forward to economic equality, when all it does is expand economic disparity. California is a sanctuary state for illegal immigrants, providing them a host of free benefits, to include healthcare, paid for by law abiding, legal, California taxpayers, citizens. All of this despair is happening with the highest state income tax rate in our Country.
We should not be amazed, since during the Obama administration when the same rhetoric about “spreading the wealth” by way of higher taxes, increased regulations worked to produced higher levels of unemployment, increased poverty, and higher food stamp recipients.
The economic blueprint of failure for America is California.
However, what is really perplexing is that the failure of California is somehow spreading out of that State, moving eastward. As there are those fleeing the failure of California, like a cancer, it is invading States like Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. It has also moved north into Oregon and Washington State, with sights set on Idaho. And now even in the successful economic State of Texas, where more are coming for the policies of growth, opportunity, and prosperity, the early signs of progressive socialist cancer cells can be found.
This November, in Texas, there will be a ballot initiative resolution on Texas starting a state income tax. Yes, Texas! We have all seen the abject pestilence that has become the homeless situation in California. But just a few months back, the City Council of Austin Texas, the capital of Texas, voted to allow the homeless to erect tents within the Austin city limits. Austin is starting to more resemble San Francisco than Texas, not to mention high municipal taxes and increased house prices.
Last week in California, and continuing to now, the Golden State finds itself in the dark. There has been such mismanagement of their utilities system, not to mention lack of underbrush clearing, that Californians and businesses there are finding themselves enduring forced blackouts.
Consider this: California is facing the scourge of diseases long ago eradicated due to the pestilence they have allowed on their streets. And now, California, is in the dark. But, last week, California did pass legislation to ban hotels from having plastic containers of shampoo, lotion, and conditioner in their rooms. California, and other areas in America led by progressive socialists, are waging and winning the war against plastic straws, those darn pesky things causing such trouble in our society.
Texas has its own electric grid, but if the trend continues with progressive socialism, then the way forward for Texas, and America, could find us all living in the dark.
It was Albert Einstein who gave us a simple explanation, definition, of insanity. He put forth that it is seeking to continue to do the same thing and expect difference results. The case against progressive socialism and its tyranny, its failure, cannot be disputed. Yet, somehow, the incubator of progressive socialism in America, California, is exporting its abhorrent failed policies elsewhere, and now it is on the verge of infecting our Constitutional Republic.
We all need to ask the question, why does anyone flee from the despair of leftist policies, yet bring them to a new, successful place? The people who fled Cuba, Eastern Europe, and other places where socialism, communism, thrived, came to our shores for individual liberty, education freedom, economic opportunity, entrepreneurship, and the ability to pursue their own defined happiness…they fled the philosophy of equality of outcomes. They get it and they are angry that America, their new home, is trending towards that which they fled.
However, we have Americans that are fleeing from the same failures in policy, lack of governance and leadership, but they carry the infectious disease of progressive socialism with them to infect a new host. And right now, they are indeed infecting Texas…and Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Florida.
Last week we witnessed something that should have us all shaking our heads. American businesses and sports organizations caving to Communist China. How interesting that we have young people in Hong Kong standing up to and protesting socialism, communism, seeking the maintain their freedom, liberty. Yet, here in America, we have entities that are afraid of speaking out against a brutal communist regime. But, many of those same entities have no issue condemning our America. Young people are marching in the streets of Hong Kong singing the American National Anthem, carrying the American flag. Young people in America are marching in the streets embracing the very thing being rejected in Hong Kong.
Is this the way forward in America?
There is nothing progressive about the socialist left. And we should never forget that it was Vladimir Lenin who commented, “the goal of socialism is communism”.
The way forward for America must be a reinvigoration of liberty, freedom, and respect for our rule of law. The way forward for America is not the example being evidenced in California, yet that failure is being exported all over our Country, even into Texas.
There is a simple choice before us. We can restore America to be the beacon of individual liberty and freedom. Or we can all be in the dark, like they are in California…and it is hard to find your way forward in the dark.
Allen West is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army. Mr. West is a Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center, supporting its mission to expose and neutralize liberal media bias. Mr. West also writes daily commentary on his personal website theoldschoolpatriot.com.