The Death of the West: CA's Latest Poverty Numbers

Recently released census data indicates that 6 million Californians live below the national poverty line, and one in five are without health insurance (what about Obamacare? Where's my Utopia?!) Cue the one millionth "California Nightmare" headline.
Poverty levels increased for a fourth straight year in California, according to census data released Tuesday.

Nearly six million California residents fell below the national poverty threshold of $22,113 for a family of four in 2010, while one in five lacked health insurance.

The numbers represent a negative trend sweeping the nation as close to 46.2 million Americans reported living in poverty last year -- the fourth year in a row the country has seen an increase in poverty.
Unmentioned in the linked article: in addition to the lousy business/economic climate, California has spent the last decade importing a lot of poverty. Something like 30% of the welfare recipients in the United States live here because the state never really adopted Gingrich-era welfare reform. Then there are the folks who come here from, ah, down there. We are assured that these are all hard working salt of the earth types who do the jobs Americans won't do, but, as VDH has documented, a lot of California's rural poverty now comes with some Spanish lingo thrown in.

Around here, it's enough for people to say "It's Bush's Fault!" But, how true can that be? California has been a left-liberal state since at least the mid-Nineties with the bloated state payroll, unsustainable entitlements, crushing regulatory environment, dimwitted global warming laws, scummy lifestyle crimes, and high speed rail boondoggles to prove it. Sure, we have had a Republican governor for most of the last decade, but he wasn't able to move an ostensibly Republican agenda since 2005, and basically governed as a liberal for the latter half of his time in office. The state legislature hasn't had a Republican majority for as long as I can remember. San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, and Los Angeles have been one-party (guess which one) political jurisdictions for years, if not decades. And, millions of Californians hopped, skipped and jumped to the polls in November 2008 to elect Barack Obama president. Then they compounded their error by returning Jerry Brown - the one guy in state politics who wasn't term limited out of the governor's office despite already having served two terms - to the governor's mansion. A sort of lazy "save the whales" brand of gentry liberalism has been the state's default political setting since the days of the (first) Jerry Brown administration. So, yeah, it's Bush's fault.

No one has been louder in "fighting" poverty than California Democrats. But the result of all their efforts has been (drumroll) more poverty. Did the Evil Rich do this? Did stoopid conservatives? No, we fought against it. Liberals won! And look where we are.

They can blame Bush all they want, but Texas bore the Bush millstone, too, yet it's thriving. That could have happened in California, as well. Sadly, people here chose to rely on government, rather than on themselves.

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