Social justice, the Central Valley and CA Dems

June 11, 2013

By Chris Reed

socialjusticeThe Associated Press points out a basic fact about California that our media rarely note:

“California’s San Joaquin Valley is one of the richest agricultural regions in the world, with Fresno County farmers receiving a record $6.8 billion in revenues last year. But the region also consistently ranks among the nation’s most impoverished. Sometimes called ‘Appalachia of the West,’ it’s where families, especially Hispanic immigrants and their children, live year after year in destitution.

“This divide causes concern because of what it may foretell as the nation’s Hispanic population explodes and the U.S. moves toward becoming a majority minority nation. Census data show that non-Hispanic whites will cease to be a majority somewhere about the year 2043. The shift is largely driven by high birth rates among Hispanics as well as by declines in the aging white population.

“Already there are a record number of Hispanics living below the poverty line nationwide, and the number of Hispanic children in poverty exceeds that of any other racial or ethnic group. Largely less educated, Hispanic workers are concentrated in relatively low-skill occupations, earning less than the average for all U.S. workers.

“‘America’s communities have become divided between economic winners and losers,’ said Daniel Lichter, a Cornell University sociologist and past president of the Population Association of America. ‘Increasingly, Hispanics begin life’s race at a decided disadvantage, raising the specter of new Hispanic ghettos and increasing isolation.'”

Might this have something to do with the government-driven high cost of living? With a public education system designed to protect the interests of adult employees, not struggling students? With environmental policies more concerned about snail darters than about getting water to agricultural fields to they can employ destitute farm workers?

Bingo, bingo and bingo.

CA ruling class devoted to promoting class inequality

Joel Kotkin has been writing about this dichotomy for years:

“Even before the economic downturn, California was moving toward greater class inequality, but the Great Recession exacerbated the trend. From 2007 to 2010, according to a recent study by the liberal-leaning Public Policy Institute of California, income among families in the 10th percentile of earners plunged 21 percent. Nationwide, the figure was 14 percent. In the much wealthier 90th percentile of California earners, income fell far less sharply: 5 percent, only slightly more than the national 4 percent drop. Further, by 2010, the families in the 90th percentile had incomes 12 times higher than the incomes of families in the 10th—the highest ratio ever recorded in the state, and significantly higher than the national ratio.

“It’s also worth noting that in 2010, the California 10th-percentile families were earning less than their counterparts in the rest of the United States—$15,000 versus $16,300—even though California’s cost of living was substantially higher. A more familiar statistic signaling California’s problems is its unemployment rate, which is now the nation’s second-highest, right after Nevada’s. Of the eight American metropolitan areas where the joblessness rate exceeds 15 percent, seven are in California, and most of them have substantial minority and working-class populations. …

“Yet while the working and middle classes struggle, California’s most elite entrepreneurs and venture capitalists are thriving as never before. …

“One reason for California’s widening class divide is that, for a decade or longer, the state’s progressives have fostered a tax environment that slows job creation, particularly for the middle and working classes. …

“Still more troubling to California employers is the state’s regulatory environment. California labor laws, a recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce study revealed, are among the most complex in the nation. …. In addition to these measures, California has imposed some of the most draconian environmental laws in the country … .”

The Central Valley’s ‘manmade drought’

What does this mindset yield? For one region, catastrophe:

“The man-made drought in California is no secret. Burdensome environmental regulations restricting water pumping in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta have contributed to hundreds of thousands of acres of fertile farmland going fallow in recent years.

“During California’s 2007-2009 drought, the Democratic majority and the Obama administration stood on the sidelines while farmers were forced to forgo planting, joblessness rose and families stood in food lines. “

Read more about the “man-made drought” here.


Write a comment
  1. Steve Mehlman
    Steve Mehlman 11 June, 2013, 11:55

    Chris would have us believe that the reason for poverty in the valley is government. The rich growers and farmers who kept their workers at poverty level wages with no health care and deplorable living conditions for years have nothing to do with it. LOL.

    I guess he never heard of Cesar Chavez.

    Reply this comment
  2. Mark
    Mark 11 June, 2013, 13:19

    Right on cue, Steve Mehlman spews out the Democrat Talking Points, starting with labeling *all* growers and farmers as “rich” and then claiming that *all* of them “kept their workers at poverty level wages…etc”, without a shred of evidence or reference to any research on the subject.

    So tell us, Steve, why are you so happy that the environmentalists have cut off the water to the Central Growing Region and farms are going to fallow? Is it because the so-called “rich” farmers are now poor and/or bankrupt?

    Steve personifies the liberal mindset: don’t try to help the workers become better so they can improve their lives and increase their own wealth. No, no. Punish the “rich” people. Take away what they have and throw them into the street because they deserve it.

    It doesn’t matter how many workers are now unemployed and how many farmers are now broke. The people cost is irrelevant. What’s important is that the “rich” people were punished. Who else it hurts and how many people suffer as a result doesn’t matter. Punishment is all that’s important to a liberal.

    That’s why California is in the economic shape it’s in. Too many liberals hell-bent on punishing everyone they think is a little better off than someone else. Only when everyone is equally poor and equally punished will the libs be happy. And that’s got to stop if California is going to survive.

    Reply this comment
  3. OddThat
    OddThat 11 June, 2013, 15:05

    Sometimes I just have to wonder if the Central Valley hasn’t been “targeted” by the CA Democrats. It is well known that the Central Valley is the most conservative part of CA. That includes the Hispanics. We get ignored while San Francisco gets new electric busses and while LA gets a state of the art school and they suck Mono Lake dry.

    Reply this comment
  4. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog Author 11 June, 2013, 17:43

    Steve: Cesar Chavez opposed illegal immigration because it drove down the wages of his farm workers. Given how you cite Chavez, is that what you support?

    Here’s what Chavez testified before the U.S. Congress in 1979:

    “For so many years we have been involved in agricultural strikes; organizing almost 30 years as a worker, as an organizer, and as president of the union–and for all these almost 30 years it is apparent that when the farm workers strike and their strike is successful, the employers go to Mexico and have unlimited, unrestricted use of illegal alien strikebreakers to break the strike. And, for over 30 years, the Immigration and Naturalization Service has looked the other way and assisted in the strikebreaking.

    “I do not remember one single instance in 30 years where the Immigration service has removed strikebreakers…. The employers use professional smugglers to recruit and transport human contraband across the Mexican border for the specific act of strikebreaking….

    “We have observed all these years the Immigration Service has a policy as it has been related to us, that they will not take sides in any agricultural labor dispute…. They have not taken sides means permitting the growers to have unrestricted use of illegal aliens as strikebreakers, and if that isn’t taking sides, I don’t know what taking sides means.”


    — John Seiler

    Reply this comment
  5. Hondo
    Hondo 12 June, 2013, 07:50

    One of Ronald Reagan’s grave mistakes was to encourage illegal immigration in an effort to destroy Cesar Chavez’s union. The reason Kalifornia’s central valley is in such a grip is partly because Rino’s like Reagan and the two Bushes refused to secure our border, caving into the demands of farm owners for cheap labor. This immigration mess is not just the Democrats fault.
    Bush #2 hoped by allowing unlimited Mexican immigration of dirt poor uneducated illegals, the hispanics in Amerika would vote Rino. It was a profound mistake. The dems countered by hurling idiotic amounts of welfare at them in payment for their votes and it worked. Now, the mass influx of new, ‘undocumented democrats’ has flooded the demographics and is guaranteeing an unchalanged democratic Kalifronia-like majority nation wide for decades to come.
    Reagan and the two Bushes have destroyed the Republican party.
    And the country.

    Reply this comment
  6. Hondo
    Hondo 12 June, 2013, 07:57

    Let me add this. It is not the ‘hipanics’ that have destroyed the country. It is the welfare state that bought the votes and destroyed the once proud and stable hispanic family, that has bankrupted the state and the country.

    Reply this comment
  7. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 12 June, 2013, 08:51

    When people like Hondo start calling Ronald Reagan a “RINO,” you know the modern Republican party has evolved into the party of complete nutjobs. It wasn’t Reagan or even the Bushes that destroyed the Republican party, it was nutjobs like Hondo.

    Reply this comment
  8. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 12 June, 2013, 16:31

    Your right….carpetbagger Hondo should be professionally evaluated…he is an extreme poster…..scary……white coat?

    Reply this comment
  9. Steve Mehlman
    Steve Mehlman 13 June, 2013, 08:54

    Nice try, John. But you ignore the big picture.

    The reason we need immigration reform is not about the borders. If you want to close the borders, I can live with that, even though it refutes everything the Statue of Liberty represents.

    The real issue is what to do with the 11 million undocumented people and their families who are already here. The anti-reform people seem to only have three possible solutions: 1) Throw the lot of them in jail, 2) Bus them all to the border and dump them into Mexico, or 3) Continue to keep them in the shadows by denying them the opportunity to get decent jobs, education and health care. I cannot see how keeping this population poor, uneducated and sick helps our country in any way.

    Which one of these do you choose, John?

    As to Cesar Chavez, you know damn well what he spent his life fighting against. Hint: It wasn’t illegal immigrants, it was the landowners and farm conglomerates that were abusing thousands of farm workers and taking away their basic rights.

    Reply this comment
  10. Steve Mehlman
    Steve Mehlman 13 June, 2013, 08:57

    p.s. Skipping Dog is on target. Doesn’t anyone else see how far out in right field the Reeps have gone when wackos can accuse Ronald Reagan of being a RINO. I guess because he supported No Child Left Behind and the first stimulus package, George W. Bush was a “socialist.” LOL.

    Reply this comment

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