The Leaded State

Stockton, Mammoth Lakes, and San Bernardino. Three cities in California that now walk the hall of shame for bankruptcy protection.

This is just the beginning for California, as it is one of twenty-five forced-union states that is feeling the pain of its tax, spend, and waste mentality. All self-inflicted to benefit a few while maintaining loyalty from those continuing to struggle.


In the 1990’s, recall that California’s economy peaked at one-eighth of America’s total GDP. It was a haven for business expansion. I can personally attest to this as I was a “front-end” developer within the industry that drove the boom: the tech sector. It was a time when one, through hard work and dedication, could partake in the closest thing to business utopia. Innovation was the norm. The man with the skills in his respective tech field could leverage amazing rates of pay, stock options, benefits, and work schedules. Knowledge was king, execution created power, and that power transferred in handsome salaries and perks. Work life was amazing, exciting, electric!

Along with over zealous venture capital expenditures, the state legislature of California helped “burst” the tech bubble. Many believe California’s economy spiraled due to wild, spur-of-the-moment, investments into sham tech start-ups. Not completely the case. Not even close.

The main reason for the bust was a greedy, job-killing, state legislator that began over regulating and implementing invasive taxes upon the very businesses that were the nexus of wealth creation.


Exuberant promises in city pensions, absurd cost of living adjustments (COLA) for state union workers, massive transportation budgetary fraud schemes, state legislature pay hikes, enormous increase in public teacher’s pensions, expanding EPA regulations, and the beginning of incredible, over zealous, pork barrel politics in the agricultural and construction industry brought California’s economy to its knees.. The commonly accepted theory of wasted capital on silly tech start-ups bursting the bubble is absolutely, unequivocally false. California’s state legislature, along with many of its local governing bodies, were the reason for its economic downfall.


With three cities filing for bankruptcy protection and a growing ideology of tax, spend, and waste, the state of California is only in the beginning of its fiscal death spiral. For as long as the state legislature holds tight to its union ties, drives up its corporate tax rates, follows the EPA’s absurd regulations lock-step, and fiscally placated to millions of unproductive human fodder, we will witness the continued destruction of an economy that was once a demanding powerhouse.

As a native Californian, I find it incredibly sad and absolutely unnecessary. For now, the greed of the non-producers have won.

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