CA-style feudalization is going national

March 16, 2013

By Chris Reed

200px-JohnSteinbeck_TheGrapesOfWrathThe feudalization of California that Joel Kotkin has written about so smartly for years just keeps accelerating. Wealthy coastal professionals and public employees with deep job security and high pay simply don’t care that the high cost of housing and the lack of decent-paying private-sector jobs are driving away middle- and low-income individuals and families by the hundreds of thousands.

Allysia Finley recently wrote about this phenomenon for the Wall Street Journal in a piece headlined “The Reverse Joads of California”:

“During the Great Depression, some 1.3 million Americans — epitomized by the Joad family in John Steinbeck’s ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ — flocked to California from the heartland. To keep out the so-called Okies, the state enacted a law barring indigent migrants (the law was later declared unconstitutional). Los Angeles even set up a border patrol on the city limits. Soon the state may need to build a fence to keep latter-day Joads from leaving.”

Now historian Walter Russell Mead is detailing how this progressive contempt for the less affluent is combining with the brown energy boom in red states to change basic population patterns in the U.S.:

“The US Census Bureau reports that the Great Plains and Texas are experiencing the country’s most rapid population growth. Thanks to the energy boom, strong hiring growth, rising home prices, and other factors, the Northeast and Midwest are bleeding domestic migrants bound for cities like Austin, Orlando, Phoenix, Denver, and Raleigh.”

One in 25 Americans moved to a different county in 2011, the highest figure in several years. It likely would have been far higher had not so many families been rendered immobile by being underwater on their mortgages.

Social justice = protecting public employees, causes of rich liberals

We’re accustomed to California leading the nation and the world, but the growing feudalization in blue states is a perverse example. It underscores a point that can’t be made enough: The party that supposedly cares about social justice instead often uses minorities as props to protect and advance the interests of its affluent liberal professional elites and its secure, well-paid public employees.

That’s bad enough. What’s appalling is how — at least in California — many elected Latinos don’t mind being props for the most powerful Democratic special interests.

The epitome of this phenomenon: Assembly Speaker John Perez. The Los Angeles Democrat’s primary role? Being the enforcer of a diseased education status quo that values teachers infinitely more than students, especially struggling minorities.

4 comments

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  1. JKEYES
    JKEYES 16 March, 2013, 09:04

    This is why we need to Split the State. Let the liberals screw up their own area.just like Colorado.

    Reply this comment
  2. PJ
    PJ 16 March, 2013, 10:10

    Take a ride down the 5 towards The Citadel. Off in the distance you can see a huge building with the letters SEIU 20-feet high on the top floor. It’s visible from all of East L.A. “We own L.A.” it says to me. And I guess most Latinos are fine with that.

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  3. stolson
    stolson 16 March, 2013, 17:24

    RE—The feudalization of California that Joel Kotkin has written about so smartly for years just keeps accelerating. Wealthy coastal professionals and public employees with deep job security and high pay simply don’t care that the high cost of housing and the lack of decent-paying private-sector jobs are driving away middle- and low-income individuals and families by the hundreds of thousands.
    CORRECT. I know a teacher- head of the business law dept in a L,A, community college–making oodles of $$$ who says the public doesn’t pay anything towards her retirement. It is union funded only.
    She expects a hefty retiremant and feels sorry for the suckers on social security. Relatives live on the coast. Awash currently in business from start ups and other ventures. Stay because of the weather and CA. attitude of snobbism and elitism — someone called this the tyranny of the pseudo virtuous! I guess the Inland areas will see the most Caucasians leaving for jobs and escape from high cost of living. I cannot see how the public sector service unions can continue on their path; something will happen to reduce the salaries and pensions, as well as the sheer numbers of them. Brown has kicked the can down the road too long. I don’t see real attempts to bring in business lost.

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  4. us citizen
    us citizen 16 March, 2013, 17:39

    Guess them thar millionairs will have to pay for everything in this state, when the middle class moves out. Hope they enjoy all the gangs, low lifes, and illegals.

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