California Democrats are quick to brag about how progressive California is—citing gas bans, the billions of dollars going to public schools, and the emphasis on green energy as proof that their policies are working. In order to claim this, the Democrats have to sidestep the vast homelessness, the lack of electricity, the rising food and living cost, the wildfires, and the masses of people leaving each year.
A third-generation Californian myself, I truly love this state. The easy access to the mountains, desert, and beaches is unmatched. The people are friendly, and the entire state has a carefree spirit that is leftover from its surfing heyday. But each year, as I get older, I see the failed policies that have left this state hurting. Homelessness in particular is rampant and is becoming objectively dangerous.
The Homelessness Policy Research Institute states that roughly 27% of the entire American homeless population lives in California, and that homelessness as a whole has risen by 22% in the past decade. Lax policing and increased drug use have contributed to the influx in homelessness. A LA Times reporter found that 76% of those living on the street had a mental illness, struggled with addiction, and/or had a physical disability. Each Californian has had to grapple with the obvious homelessness epidemic. The dream would be to have each person safely housed and getting the care they need, but the current policy of “just throw more money at it” is not solving anything.
Personal safety is one reason native Californians are leaving their homes in droves. Many are settling for brighter pastures in Idaho, Arizona, and Washington. 2019 marked the seventh year in a row where more people fled the state than embraced it. This unprecedented issue has caused rent to plummet, communities to lose businesses, and California to lose a congressional seat. Many Californians, including myself, are citing school choice, lower cost of living, and lower taxes for small businesses as reasons they are leaving their native state. While in full swing before the pandemic, the “Recall Gavin Newsom” campaign has only picked up momentum during the COVID-19 pandemic. His authoritative policies kill the already struggling small businesses.
Now faced with another historic drought coupled with record-breaking wildfires, the state’s agriculture industry is under constant strain. The poor infrastructure has left California thirsty. Many farmers are not able to buy water at all, so thousands of acres of prime farmland is fallow. The California farming industry is one of the most productive industries in the state, but it is often abused by the elites in Sacramento. Decades of crippling regulations, droughts, and increasing costs of farming have left the agriculture industry struggling to make ends meet. The drought California is now facing is slated to increase food costs drastically. The previous drought in California forced consumers to buy fresh vegetables and poultry at a 4.8% premium compared to previous years. This has an immediate effect on low-income families, as poultry is one of the cheapest sources of protein and more acceptable by most religious faiths. Getting access to fresh fruits and vegetables is becoming even more of a struggle for less affluent families.
It’s easy to say that you are banning gas cars, are going to fix the homeless crisis, and solve one of the most complicated agricultural problems in the world. But if the policies set up by Democrats were truly going to work, surely they would have worked by now. Jerry Brown was governor for 16 years, if his Democrat policies were truly working, the state would not be in the disarray that is quietly overlooked by Sacramento’s elites.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.