That’s Not a Bug, It’s a Feature


Joel Kotkin has a piece over at City Journal about the failure of the California high-speed rail project. Reality has finally set in, and the new governor is pulling the plug on the wasteful endeavor which has been emblematic of the state’s elite class’s mismanagement of their fellow citizens’ subjects’ lives.

Some greens and train enthusiasts, such as the deep-blue Los Angeles Times editorial board, have criticized Newsom’s move, and others remain adamant in their support of the plane-to-train trope. But California, which has embarked on its own Green New Deal of sorts, has seen these results:  high energy and housing costs, and the nation’s highest cost-adjusted poverty rate, and a society that increasingly resembles a feudal social order. Attempts to refashion global climate in one state reflects either a peculiarly Californian hubris or a surfeit of revolutionary zeal.

It was the early warning signs of the attempt by rich Progressives who were certain that they knew better to take over California and make it in their own image that led Mrs. Hoge and me to move out of the state in 1990. Being in the upper 5-% of the income spectrum was clearly going to be insufficient to allow for protection from the coming changes. Indeed, it made us prime targets of upper-middle-class “wealth” to be taxed. We joined the first cohort of economic refugees.

California is now becoming a feudal society with rich Progressives and Democrat politicians at the top, a growing class of serfs at the bottom, and a disappearing middle-class. That’s fine for the folks at the top. For now. But it can’t and won’t be stable, and that instability isn’t a bug. It’s a Real World feature resulting from the Laws of Thermodynamics. What can’t go on forever, won’t go on forever.

California Mugged By Reality


In apparent proof that it is possible to run out of other peoples’ money, California appears to be aborting its high-speed rail project less than a week after the Green New Deal Great Leap Backward™ crowd announced that the whole country would be switching back to trains from air travel over the next 10 years.

I was going to write that none of the Green New Derpsters were available for comment, but that isn’t strictly true. However, the editorial standards here at Hogewash! don’t allow such language.

Oh, and everything is proceeding as I have foreseen.

UPDATE—

Solar Plant May Need Carbon Offset


A solar-powered generating plant in California emits enough CO2 (46,000 ton per year) that it will be required to participate in the state’s cap and trade program. Investors.com reports that the plant which uses mirrors to focus sunlight on boilers atop three towers uses natural gas.

First, it burns natural gas to pre-heat the water at the top of the three towers before the sun comes up. Then, …  it “has auxiliary gas boilers that kick in whenever cloud cover blocks the sun.”
Ivanpah also has a nasty habit of cooking birds that happen to fly too close to the towers — 3,500 of them in its first year …
Somehow these bird deaths don’t seem to upset environmentalists very much.

Read the whole thing.

Obama Keeps a Promise


Most of Barack Obama’s promises come with an expiration date, but he’s keeping one of them.

Betsy McCaughey has a story over at Investors about how the Obama Administration is funneling over 900 million bucks into California’s health care exchange and what much of the cash is being spent on. For example, the Executive Director will be paid $360,000 a year (Governor Brown is paid $165,288), but some really big bucks are going to Democrat constituency groups for “outreach.”

NAACP $600,000
Service Employees International Union $2,000,000
LA County AFL-CIO $1,000,000

In all, $37,000,000 is budgeted for “outreach.” And on top of the outreach contracts, California’s enrollment process is also outsourced to employees of these community organizations, unions, and health clinics. Enrollment “assisters” will be paid $58 for each enrollee they sign up. During the first year, $49 million is budgeted to pay them, but after that, assisters will be paid out of the premiums collected by the exchange.

Well, the President famously said that he would reward his friends and punish his enemies. At least, there’s one campaign promise that he’s keeping.