Troy Senik writes about the Land of Inequity at the National Review Online.
. . . While the rich and the poor may come together at the ballot box, it is indisputably (and unsurprisingly) the former who end up manning the state’s levers of power. This has given rise to a class of what my Orange County Register colleague (and self-identified “Truman Democrat”) Joel Kotkin refers to as “gentry liberals,” a left-wing governing caste whose public-policy predilections owe more to considerations of taste than of economic necessity.
The unhappy reality of life under the gentry is that the sorts of measures needed to foster economic growth — not to mention affordable middle-class lifestyles — are regarded as gauche in Sacramento. The California of the governing class’s dreams is a place where white-collar workers take public transit through densely packed urban centers, leaving nary a carbon footprint to be found in their wake. That is, a California where rank-and-file citizens have adopted the tastes of the state’s elites — despite the fact that they don’t have the resources to afford them. What it most certainly is not is a California like the one that once beguiled the nation — one with abundant, affordable suburban housing, open roads, middle-class jobs aplenty, and good schools.
It’s harmless enough, of course, for the California cognoscenti to evangelize in behalf of their artisanal lifestyles. It’s another matter entirely to insist that such tastes drive lawmaking. That, however, is precisely what’s happened in the Golden State — and that’s the trend that’s increasingly driving California’s middle class across state lines. . . .
Troy concludes his article
Why is the middle class leaving California? Because California has left the middle class. As the economy faltered, the state raised taxes and continued to let regulation and litigation run riot. As the freeways clogged and housing prices climbed to astronomical levels, environmental activists called for high-speed rail and “sustainable communities.” As the state’s schools saw their performance plummet to national lows, the California Teachers Association — the state’s dominant teachers’ union and foremost opponent of education reform — remained the single biggest financial player in state politics.
Though their interests may be diverse, the impulses of every powerful constituency in California politics converge on the same point: more government. As a result, California has become a place of government of the elites, by the elites, and for the elites. It should be no surprise then that the elites are increasingly the only ones left who can afford it.
Who is Troy Senik? He is the senior editor of Ricochet, a columnist for the Orange County Register, a senior fellow at the Center for Individual Freedom, and the host of a series of podcasts for the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
Every time you read about another School closing, it is another indicator that the middle class is leaving. While there are other demographic issues, mainly declining births and immigration, the middle class are the prime supporter of schools. When they leave the state the schools close.