Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Neo-feudalism in California

Great essay on the amazing sociological transformation going on in California.

The elites and the party that represents their interests (the Democrats) are creating a modern feudal society, with a patina of billionaire oligarchs perched atop a mass of people just scraping by.

It's the perfect denouement of liberal politics, which has always been about power for the aristocracy achieved by keeping the proles under to boot with bread and circuses.

Neo-feudalism in the Golden State, and not a Republican in sight. 

22 comments:

  1. Why are you complaining? Getting rich is good, so surely getting filthy rich should be even better.

    At least the technology billionaires got rich producing products people wanted (even Bill Gates). At least they produced useful products, unlike the investment bank and hedge fund billionaires Matt Taibbi highlighted in his recently published book 'the Divide', who don't do any good. And precipitated the global financial crisis of 2008, which wiped out at least 3 trillion dollars and made many less well off than they were over 5 years earlier.

    Agreed, the Democrats don't have a good record. Nor do the Republicans. American politicians generally function to get campaign donations, not to represent their electors. They're more concerned about how their voting on legislation will affect their donors rather than the voters.

    They have to do so - will the 2016 election be the 2 billion dollar one?

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  2. It's ironic to see a CATO guy diss billionaires. Guess he doesn't like their political views.

    The article contains a mix of factual information (the stats) and silly historical parallels. The parallel with feudalism is particularly stupid. Everyone in California is free to pick up their belongings and move to a better place. There are no vassals who forcefully keep the people in the Golden State. If Texas is doing so well, why aren't Californians moving there?

    And calling Google and Apple owners oligarchs? That's just unbelievable. These guys made it to the top because they had the best ideas and products, not because they were in cahoots with the government. Capitalism rewards innovation, and these companies are the best examples of that.

    Cry me a river, conservatives.

    Hoo

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    1. Commissar Boggs, Ministry of TruthApril 22, 2014 at 7:23 AM

      Toots: "If Texas is doing so well, why aren't Californians moving there?"

      They are.

      About 100,000 more people moved away from California in 2011 than relocated to the Golden State, according to the latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau...

      The Census Bureau calculates that the most popular destination is Texas (58,992)

      --- NBC Los Angeles

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    2. 100 thousand out of 38 million. That's one quarter of one percent. Some exodus.

      Hoo

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    3. Commissar Boggs, Ministry of TruthApril 22, 2014 at 8:10 AM

      That's 100 thousand net, Toots. You understand "net"?

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    4. Yeah, I understand net, Gramps.

      It still makes the net outflow one quarter of one percent of the population.

      Do you understand fractions, Gramps?

      Hoo

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    5. Commissar Boggs, Ministry of TruthApril 22, 2014 at 8:15 AM

      Net outflow, majority to Texas.

      "If Texas is doing so well, why aren't Californians moving there?"

      They are.

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    6. It goes both ways, actually. In 2012, 62,000 Californians moved to Texas, while 43,000 people went the other way.

      California's net migration in 2012 was positive, about +88,000 people. The net domestic migration was −44,000, whereas the net international migration was +132,000.

      Hoo

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  3. Commissar Boggs, Ministry of TruthApril 22, 2014 at 7:10 AM

    California is an interesting place, that's for sure. There was a time when CA was a place of dreams. Now, were it not for immigration, most of it illegal, CA's population would be declining. Kotkin is not the only guy who forsees a society of wealthy oligarchs served by armies of Spanish-speaking housekeepers, yard men, and pool boys.

    I don't know how well the current economic structure formally fits with feudalism per se, but the crony capitalism is simply stunning. In fact, Elon Musk may be the world's greatest crony capitalist. Musk has managed to fashion a web of government payouts based on what would otherwise be a struggling electric car business that simply staggers the imagination. And Hollywood has done a fine job, too. Between lobbyist-powered federal and state tax exemptions and absurd intellectual property laws, Hollywood magnates have amassed vast wealth. In a rational world, why should the property rights to the image of a cartoon mouse or an insipid television comedy extend decades farther than the property rights to the idea of, say, an advanced prosthetic hand, a blockbuster drug, or an innovative fabrication technique for semiconductors?

    Weird.

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  4. Bizarro world, Gramps.

    Elon Musk is a great innovator. Here is what GM CEO said about him: "All the geniuses here at General Motors kept saying lithium-ion technology is 10 years away, and Toyota agreed with us – and boom, along comes Tesla. So I said, 'How come some tiny little California startup, run by guys who know nothing about the car business, can do this, and we can't?' That was the crowbar that helped break up the log jam."

    Tesla cars are amazing, by the way.

    Hoo

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    1. Commissar Boggs, Ministry of TruthApril 22, 2014 at 7:33 AM

      Toots: "Tesla cars are amazing"

      They sure are. The DOE loans, federal tax subsidies, state tax subsidies, electric car clean air credits, etc have been an amazing feat of political engineering.

      And quoting Lutz, one of the guys who led GM into bankruptcy, doesn't exactly burnish the Tesla.

      On the other hand, the Tesla's a nice enough luxury car if you don't need to drive very far in cold weather. It has its niche.

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    2. The federal and state governments have an incentive to support innovative technologies. Kudos to them for helping Tesla.

      Hoo

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    3. Commissar Boggs, Ministry of TruthApril 22, 2014 at 8:04 AM

      What's the "incentive" for federal and state governments. Foregoing tax revenue? I have some pretty nifty ideas about how they might accomplish that. :-)

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    4. Gramps, if you think the primary goal of the feddle gummint is collecting tax revenue, you are more stupid than I give you credit for.

      Hoo

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    5. Commissar Boggs, Ministry of TruthApril 22, 2014 at 8:13 AM

      I don't recall mentioning the "primary goal" of anything. You're obviously more delusional than I gave you credit for.

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    6. Then what was the "foregoing tax revenues" throwaway line about? You made it sound like tax revenues were the most important thing. Am I reading too much into your babbling?

      Hoo

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    7. Commissar Boggs, Ministry of TruthApril 22, 2014 at 9:04 AM

      Toots: "what was the 'foregoing tax revenues' throwaway line about"

      Foregoing tax revenue.

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    8. Apropos of nothing?

      Hoo

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    9. Commissar Boggs, Ministry of TruthApril 22, 2014 at 9:23 AM

      Get somebody else to spoon feed you, Toots. Bye.

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    10. Nah, Gramps. You just blurted out some stupid shit and now pretend it's a deep thought. Fooling no one except your buddies in the nursing home.

      Hoo

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  5. Egnor, California is the natural end product of socialist-Marxist policy: create a two-class society with themselves seating on top as oppressive overlords and keep everyone else at the bottom. The stream of illegals pouring in over the border was deliberately done in order to artificially boost votes for progressive (read: atheist) candidates and drive the state into insolvency sooner. That's really all there is to it. Everything these people touch gets ruined.

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    1. Yep. The truth about socialism is pretty easy to see, if one just looks. It is all about power for elites.

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