Beijing Fears COVID-19 Is Turning Point for China, Globalization | RealClearPolitics

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While the world fights the coronavirus pandemic, China is fighting a propaganda war. Beijing’s war aim is simple: shift away from China all blame for the outbreak, the botched initial response, and its early spread into the broader world. At stake is China’s global reputation, as well as the potential of a fundamental shift away from China for trade and manufacturing.

Source: Beijing Fears COVID-19 Is Turning Point for China, Globalization | RealClearPolitics

“More broadly, the pandemic of 2020 has brought doubts about globalization into the mainstream. Decades of open borders, unceasing intercontinental travel, study abroad, just-in-time inventory systems, and the like have created unexpected vulnerabilities in populations and economies thanks to unfettered openness. To worry about such weaknesses is not to adopt a Luddite reactionary stance, but to try and salvage the bases of the post-World War II global economic architecture.  

“Those who assumed that global markets were the optimal economic model and would always work, now have to consider whether globalization is the best system for dealing with pandemics like coronavirus, let alone old-fashioned state power plays like China imposed on Japan back in 2010, when it blocked the export of rare-earth minerals over territorial disputes in the East China Sea. Perhaps the biggest long-term economic effect of coronavirus will be on long-standing assumptions about global supply chains. 

“Because of the way the global economy has developed since 1980, to question globalization today is in large part to question the world’s relationship to China. As Sens. Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton have pointed out, America and the world have a prudential responsibility to reconsider their dependence on China.”

Thoughts on family, fatherhood, work, and home-life… in a post-global age

The Tradwife Movement Reminds Us of the Virtue of Service in Marriage

There seems to be what I see as the beginning of a substantial backlash against many things we have taken for granted in culture and society for the last five or six decades in the Western world, and particularly in America. One of these is the notion that motherhood and homemaking is an inferior, subordinate role that oppresses and demeans women, and that women should therefore eschew it, and join men in the workplace. The rise of the “TradWife” (traditional wife) movement is part of the kickback against this – and one with which, in large measure, I agree.

I was raised by a traditional wife and mother: Ma never worked outside the home during my lifetime, although she did work as an English teacher during the first few years of her marriage to Pa. But not long after my oldest brother was born, she left “outside” work, and returned to the home. And there is no question that I benefited – we all did – from her ability to devote her full time and attention to being a wife, mother, and homemaker. We had clean clothes, a clean house, healthy, delicious homemade meals, baked deserts, and much else, thanks to her not needing to squeeze such things around full-time (or even part-time) work.

I also have no doubt that I was saved from many opportunities to “sin and err” by the fact that I knew she (or if she had to be away, my grandmother) would be there waiting for me when I got home from school! And no matter how far I roamed, through the woods and fields near my house, I never seemed to be out of the range of her call (a resounding “Tooommmmmmmmmm!”), that echoed through the air, come supper time – to the awed amazement of my friends, who were shocked that such a small person (she was all of 5’3″ in height) could call so loudly.

I empathize with the nostalgia for the immediate post-WW II era. Although I was born in 1965, I was in many significant ways a “child of the 1950s”: Ma and Pa were married then, and both my brothers were born in the ’50s (I was a late-comer, and rather a surprise, at the time!). So I get it! My concern about the TradWife movement, however – despite my admiration for many of the women involved, and my agreement with the basic premise that both women and their families are benefited by them being at home with and for those families – is that many or most of them seem to take the 1950s as their template for what a “traditional” wife should be, and do.
Continue reading “Thoughts on family, fatherhood, work, and home-life… in a post-global age”

Empty shelves: a rant on coronavirus and globalism

In which the Anglophilic Anglican goes off on a rare political rant. Rare on video, anyway! I do often rant in writing… *wry smile* My apologies in advance for the length and rambling nature of this!

 

Coronavirus reveals the weakness and danger of the “global economy”

Image result for us reliant on china for drugs

I certainly hope and pray that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic does not end up having the kind of global impact – and especially, is not as damaging and deadly here in the US, and in other Western countries, where cases have so far been few in number – as some doomsayers seem to take perverse pleasure in predicting.

But if nothing else, I hope it does point out the weakness and danger of globalism: both open borders, and the off-shoring of major chunks of our economy, especially manufacturing. Cheap consumer goods (and cheap – not to say exploited – labor) are not the only things that can circulate freely, in such an environment.

Perhaps most sobering is the fact that we are reliant on China – China, the source of the outbreak, and the country hardest-hit by it – for many of our drugs!

As this article from last month points out,

“Everything from antibiotics to chemotherapy drugs, from antidepressants to Alzheimer’s medications to treatments for HIV/AIDS, are frequently produced by Chinese manufacturers. What’s more, the most effective breathing masks and the bulk of other personal protective equipment — key to containing the spread of coronavirus and protecting health care workers — and even the basic syringe are largely made in China.”

Another article notes that “the Food and Drug Administration estimates that at least 80 percent of the active ingredients found in all of America’s medicines come from abroad – primarily China,” and asks us to “imagine if China turned off that spigot.” Or if we are forced to turn it off ourselves, due to issues like coronavirus! A third article points out the hazards of contamination of generic drugs manufactured abroad:

“What’s responsible for the repeated drug safety lapses? The offshoring of the American drug supply to China and, to a lesser extent, India during the past couple of decades.”

It continues,

“China and India now manufacture about 80% of the drugs consumed in the U.S. This figure understates China’s dominance because many of the active ingredients in the Indian manufactured drugs come from China. The U.S. doesn’t even manufacture vital drugs like antibiotics anymore [emphasis added], with the last penicillin factory closing in 2004.”

That is chilling, or should be.

Particularly in the face of the current situation, in which reliable supplies of drugs are critical! But unfortunately, as USA Today notes,

“The coronavirus outbreak is sparking fears of drug shortages in the U.S., largely due to its disruption of pharmaceutical supplies from China and India.  The Food and Drug Administration has warned of shortages in one drug due to the coronavirus, while penicillin shipments to the U.S. from China have dried up [again, emphasis added]. The FDA said it expects the outbreak of COVID-19 to cause ‘potential disruptions to supply or shortages of critical medical products in the U.S.'”

And to make matters worse, as yet another article points out, “the U.S. is woefully unprepared to address even minor disruptions in the supply of these drugs.” This article continues,

“Medicines can be used as a weapon of war against the United States,” Rosemary Gibson, a senior adviser on health care issues at the bioethics-focused Hastings Center and co-author of China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine, told lawmakers last month. “Supplies can be withheld. Medicines can be made with lethal contaminants or sold without any real medicine in them, rendering them ineffective.”

Then there is the whole issue of “just in time” logistics, a primary feature of the modern economy. This may have cost and efficiency advantages when everything’s working smoothly, but it leaves us highly vulnerable to disruptions in overseas sources of manufacture and supply, whether these originate in pandemics like coronavirus, international conflicts, other forms of social or political disruption, rising fuel prices, or other causes.

While the issue is obviously most vital in the fields of pharmaceuticals and medical technology, the reality is that we need to seriously rethink our entire approach to the so-called global economy, starting with a clear-eyed understanding that independence and sovereignty begin with being able to supply our own needs from our own resources and manufacturing capability, here at home.

Anything less leaves us dangerously vulnerable to disruptions abroad.

 

Low unemployment isn’t worth much if the jobs barely pay | The Brookings Institution

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Source: Low unemployment isn’t worth much if the jobs barely pay

I am still struggling, myself, to be honest; but back when I was really struggling, I used to (try to) make this point on a number of occasions, when well-meaning friends and relatives tried to tell me that “any job is better than no job.”

Well, no, it isn’t. If it doesn’t make ends meet, it may be worse than no job at all, b/c it may make you ineligible for public assistance… and you still can’t live on it.

People who have never been abjectly poor have no idea how horrible a position that is to be in, and it is often in many ways the “working poor” who have the worst of it, because they are overlooked by most assistance programs: “oh, they don’t need help, they have a job.” Not necessarily true!

This is also why I am not in complete agreement with Mike Rowe, although I respect what he’s trying to do. It is also why I am distrustful of many conservatives’ faith in “the market” to do the right thing: “the market” is made up of fallible, mortal – and often greedy and selfish – human beings, and these do not always do the right thing.

Yes, there are a good number of jobs out there, looking for workers. That is true. But many (most?) of them do not pay a living wage. In which case, what I wrote above kicks in…

[Note: Although many people do it, taking a second job – and sometimes a third – is not really a viable solution long-term, either. I am leaving aside short-term stints, to get extra money for holiday shopping, a vacation, or maybe to fund an unusual purchase; I am also leaving aside “hustling” to turn one’s sideline into one’s career.

I’m talking about working two or more jobs, consistently, to make ends meet. The more hours you’re working, the fewer you have to a) look for a better job, b) perform ordinary but necessary maintenance / domestic tasks, and c) get the rest and sleep you need in order to perform any job(s) at a high level of efficiency.]

As the linked article points out, two-thirds (64%) of low-wage workers are in their prime working years of 25 to 54; more than half (57%) work full-time year-round, the customary schedule for employment intended to provide financial security; and about half (51%) are primary earners or contribute substantially to family living expenses (FWIW, I am currently in all three of these categories).

We have a problem, here, as a society; and we need to work together, as a society, to find reasonable, workable, and effective solutions. The problem is, we’re largely talking past each other.

The Left wants to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour, which has the effect of increasing automation, and forcing smaller businesses to lay off workers or even close. The neoliberal/libertarian Right says “just get a job” – which as both the article and my comments point out, isn’t necessarily, by itself, a viable solution to poverty.

I’m not sure what the solution is; if I knew, I’d be making tons of money, myself, from appearing on early-morning talk-shows and giving presentations to well-known think-tanks! But I do know we need to find one. If we don’t, the future looks dire, for a lot of people: and therefore, for society as a whole. This is important!

 


N.B. Perhaps this Chesterton quote, and the concept it embodies, may have relevance for us as we struggle toward a solution…

 

Small Beer: Raising a Glass for Freedom | The Imaginative Conservative

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Distributism is the only practical solution to the problem of rampant corporatism and the globalism which is its inevitable consequence. Next time we raise a glass of craft-brewed ale, we should not merely enjoy its flavor, we should also raise a toast to the political and economic freedom that it represents. (essay by Joseph Pearce)

Source: Small Beer: Raising a Glass for Freedom ~ The Imaginative Conservative

It doesn’t take the proverbial rocket-scientist to perceive the perils and pitfalls of socialism. Tens of millions of dead, and untold misery among the living, over the last century provide more than ample reason to view socialism as what it is: a tried-and-failed vision of political economy, a utopian ideal in the worst sense of the word (“utopia” means, literally, “no place” – a vision that is by its very nature impossible to achieve), a shipwreck foundered upon the shoals of its own misunderstanding of human nature.

What is less obvious – especially among many on the conservative side of the political aisle – is that capitalism doesn’t exactly enjoy a shining historical record, either. As a useful ally to Western liberal democracies (back when “liberal” meant something close to its original definition) during the long struggle against totalitarian Communism, being seen as the antithesis to Marxism, capitalism acquired something of a luster that it may not entirely deserve.

While capitalism has not (so far, at least) sent anyone to the gulags, that does not mean its effects have been entirely benign, either.

Continue reading “Small Beer: Raising a Glass for Freedom | The Imaginative Conservative”

We Are Ruled By Mercenaries Who Feel No Long-Term Obligation To The People They Rule | Tucker Carlson

“The goal for America is both simpler and more elusive than mere prosperity. It’s happiness. There are a lot of ingredients in being happy: Dignity. Purpose. Self-control. Independence. Above all, deep relationships with other people. Those are the things that you want for your children.”

Source: Tucker Carlson: We Are Ruled By Mercenaries Who Feel No Long-Term Obligation To The People They Rule | Video | RealClearPolitics

Paleo-conservative commentator Tucker Carlson hits the nail squarely on the head! To his inestimable credit, he steers between the Scylla of socialism, and the Charybdis of mercantile plutocracy to place conservatism in its proper context: protection of family, culture, and society.

“Donald Trump rode a surge of popular discontent all the way to the White House. Does he understand the political revolution he harnessed? Can he reverse the economic and cultural trends that are destroying America? Those are open questions. But they’re less relevant than we think. At some point, Donald Trump will be gone. The rest of us will be too. The country will remain. What kind of country will be it be then? How do we want our grandchildren to live?

“These are the only questions that matter. The answer used to be obvious: the overriding goal for America is more prosperity, meaning cheaper consumer goods. But is that still true? Does anyone still believe that cheaper iPhones, or more Amazon deliveries of plastic garbage from China are going to make us happy? They haven’t so far. A lot of Americans are drowning in stuff. Yet drug addiction and suicide are depopulating large parts of the country. Anyone who thinks the health of a nation can be summed up in GDP is an idiot.”

Amen! There is a world of difference between mere economic standard of living – which has been slipping for decades, anyway – and quality of life. Far too many, on both sides of the political aisle, absolutely fail to realize or appreciate that fact! Economic solvency is essential to life and security. Until one is economically secure, one has difficulty focusing on the higher things, as I have reason to know from my own experience.

FDR, liberal progressive though he was, was absolutely correct when he asserted, in his so-called “economic bill of rights,” that “true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. Necessitous men are not free men,” and called for, among other things,

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad

The right of every family to a decent home

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment.

These ought not, in my opinion, to be arguable. We may argue about how they may best be accomplished; but not, I believe, about the fundamental principles themselves.

Note that FDR starts, not with “entitlements,” but with “a useful and remunerative job,” and the rights to “earn enough,” to “raise and sell [one’s] products,” and “to trade.” Only then does he move on to what is sometimes called the “social safety net,” for those who, for reasons beyond their control, suffer from “old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment.” That is putting things in their proper order!

Note also that (despite the expression “second” or “economic bill of rights”) these were “proposed not to amend the Constitution, but rather as a political challenge, encouraging Congress to draft legislation to achieve these aspirations.”

At any rate, economic security, grounded in fair and equitable employment, and a fair and equitable return on one’s investment – whether capital or labour – is essential for a reasonable quality of life. But prosperity, for its own sake, or as an absolute goal, is not only an illusion, it is an idol. Here’s Tucker Carlson again:

“The goal for America is both simpler and more elusive than mere prosperity. It’s happiness. There are a lot of ingredients in being happy: Dignity. Purpose. Self-control. Independence. Above all, deep relationships with other people. Those are the things that you want for your children. They’re what our leaders should want for us, and would if they cared. But our leaders don’t care. We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule. They’re day traders. Substitute teachers. They’re just passing through. They have no skin in this game, and it shows. They can’t solve our problems. They don’t even bother to understand our problems.”

As a Christian and a traditionalist, I would add a proper relationship with God, and the pursuit of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, to the list of ingredients required to be fully happy! But Carlson, of course, is speaking to a wider audience, and I cannot disagree with anything he says, here.

The problem is that our supposed “elites” are generally made up of neoliberals and neoconservatives who are basically two sides to the same coin. I strongly recommend that you read and/or listen to all of Carlson’s rather epic monologue! But as he accurately points out,

“Both [libertarians – which include many who claim to be either “liberal” or “conservative,” politically and socially – and social conservatives] miss the obvious point: culture and economics are inseparably intertwined. Certain economic systems allow families to thrive. Thriving families make market economies possible. You can’t separate the two…

“[Doing so] is negligence on a massive scale. Both parties ignore the crisis in marriage. Our mindless cultural leaders act like it’s still 1961, and the biggest problem American families face is that sexism is preventing millions of housewives from becoming investment bankers or Facebook executives.”

Yet (as Carlson points out) a culture which set up investment bankers or Facebook executives as the goal for which we ought to be striving is, itself, a big part of the problem! As I say, economic prosperity, pursued for its own sake, is not only an illusion, but idolatry. In contrast, Carlson asks us to consider:

“What kind of country do you want to live in? A fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don’t accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement. A country you might recognize when you’re old. A country that listens to young people who don’t live in Brooklyn. A country where you can make a solid living outside of the big cities. A country where Lewiston, Maine seems almost as important as the west side of Los Angeles. A country where environmentalism means getting outside and picking up the trash. A clean, orderly, stable country that respects itself. And above all, a country where normal people with an average education who grew up no place special can get married, and have happy kids, and repeat unto the generations. A country that actually cares about families, the building block of everything.

Amen!

“What will it take a get a country like that? Leaders who want it.”

Which means, of course, that we the people will have to elect them! And / or, pressure our existing leaders to behave more like the servants of the people they are supposed to be, and less the “mercenaries” of which Carlson speaks.

“For now, those leaders will have to be Republicans. There’s no option at this point. But first, Republican leaders will have to acknowledge that market capitalism is not a religion. [emphasis added] Market capitalism is a tool, like a staple gun or a toaster. You’d have to be a fool to worship it. Our system was created by human beings for the benefit of human beings. We do not exist to serve markets. Just the opposite. Any economic system that weakens and destroys families isn’t worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society.”

Again, amen. Amen and amen!

Read the essay, or listen to / watch the monologue. It’s worth it!

And then, let’s do what we can to work toward that sort of country. We had it once, and therefore we can again.

France’s Meltdown, Macron’s Disdain | Gatestone Institute

  • “The French say, ‘Mr. President, we cannot make ends meet,’ and the President replies, ‘we shall create a High Council [for the climate]’. Can you imagine the disconnect?” — Laurence Saillet, spokesman for the center-right party, The Republicans, November 27, 2018
  • The “yellow jackets” [protestors] now have the support of 77% of the French population [by some reckonings, 84%]. They are demanding Macron’s resignation and an immediate change of government. The movement is now a revolt of millions of people who feel asphyxiated by “confiscatory” taxation, and who do not want to “pay indefinitely” for a government that seems “unable to limit spending”. — Jean-Yves Camus, political scientist.
  • European elections are to be held this Spring, 2019. Polls show that the National Gathering [a.k.a. National Rally, the party of Marine Le Pen] will be in the lead, far ahead of La République En Marche! [The Republic on the Move!], the party created by Macron.

Source: France’s Meltdown, Macron’s Disdain | Gatestone Institute

Europe is struggling, but Europe is also beginning to awaken from its long sleep, or at least, lethargy. This is still more evidence of that awakening. Will it awaken enough, and soon enough?

It’s like watching the Titanic churn toward that iceberg, but you can both see and sense the turning of the rudder and the backing of the screws beginning to bite. Will they turn the bow fast enough, far enough, to prevent a fatal collision? These are tense times, to put it mildly!

“Marine Le Pen, president of the right-of-center National Rally (the former National Front party, and today the main opposition party in France), said, ‘There is a tiny caste that works for itself and there is the vast majority of French people who are abandoned by the government, and feel downgraded, dispossessed.’https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7f/Marine_Le_Pen_%282017-03-24%29_01_cropped.jpg/220px-Marine_Le_Pen_%282017-03-24%29_01_cropped.jpg

“The ‘yellow jackets’ [named for the yellow safety vests worn by the protesters] now have the support of 84% of the French population. They are demanding Macron’s resignation and an immediate change of government. Those who speak on radio and television say that Macron and the government are hopelessly blind and deaf.

“At the moment, the ‘yellow jackets’ have decided to organize a third national protest – today, Saturday, December 1st – with another march to Paris and the Elysée Palace. The revolt in the country is intensifying and shows no sign of slowing down.”

As Dr. Guy Millière, professor at the University of Paris and the author of this piece, points out,

“The ‘populist’ wave is now hitting France; it could well mean the end of Macron’s term as president.”

Au nom du peuple.

The Left Case against Open Borders – American Affairs Journal

The destruction and abandonment of labor politics means that, at present, immigration issues can only play out within the framework of a culture war, fought entirely on moral grounds.

Source: The Left Case against Open Borders – American Affairs Journal

To say that the Left has “painted itself into a corner” on the topic of open borders and mass migration is to say no more than the truth:

“The destruction and abandonment of labor politics means that, at present, immigration issues can only play out within the framework of a culture war, fought entirely on moral grounds. In the heightened emotions of America’s public debate on migration, a simple moral and political dichotomy prevails. It is ‘right-wing’ to be ‘against immigration’ and ‘left-wing’ to be ‘for immigration.’ But the economics of migration tell a different story…

“While no serious political party of the Left is offering concrete proposals for a truly borderless society, by embracing the moral arguments of the open-borders Left and the economic arguments of free market think tanks, the Left has painted itself into a corner. If ‘no human is illegal!,’ as the protest chant goes, the Left is implicitly accepting the moral case for no borders or sovereign nations at all. But what implications will unlimited migration have for projects like universal public health care and education, or a federal jobs guarantee? And how will progressives convincingly explain these goals to the public?”

As this article points out in stark terms, the American Left in general, and the Democratic Party in specific, is going to have to wrestle with the fundamental question that leftist and center-left parties in Europe are already grappling with, namely, what does it want to be when it grows up? What are the core values, and the core constituency, on which it wishes to focus?

Ultimately – and probably sooner rather than later – American Democrats are going to have to choose:

Do they want to be the party of mass migration and open borders, or do they want to be party of a social safety net that assists the disadvantaged (and really, anyone who is not part of the infamous “1%”) and those struggling here at home? They are going to have to choose one or the other, because there is not enough money, and there are not enough resources, to do both.

Lofty ideals and stirring rhetoric aside, we simply cannot “feed the world.” There is too much world out there. So are we going to do what we can to help, while focusing our finite energy, attention, and resources on the plight of our own people? Or are we going to tear down the borders, and lay prostrate at the feet of a wave of economic migration that will diminish if not destroy everything we have built here over the last several centuries, for little if any improvement in their own situation?

The time of choice is drawing near. Indeed, it is already upon us!


N.B.: I am looking at this from the perspective of my own country – the U.S. – and the West in general, but the article also makes the point that mass migration is actually harming rather than helping the migrants’ countries of origin:

“Despite the rhetoric about ‘shithole countries’ or nations ‘not sending their best,’ the toll of the migration brain drain on developing economies has been enormous… Developing countries are struggling to retain their skilled and professional citizens, often trained at great public cost, because the largest and wealthiest economies that dominate the global market have the wealth to snap them up… It is not difficult to see why the political and economic elites of the world’s richest countries would want the world to ‘send their best,’ regardless of the consequences for the rest of the world. But why is the moralizing, pro–open borders Left providing a humanitarian face for this naked self-interest?”

“According to the best analysis of capital flows and global wealth today, globalization is enriching the wealthiest people in the wealthiest countries at the expense of the poorest, not the other way around…. Global wealth inequality is the primary push factor driving mass migration, and the globalization of capital cannot be separated from this matter. There is also the pull factor of exploitative employers in the United States who seek to profit from non-unionized, low-wage workers in sectors like agriculture as well as through the importation of a large white-collar workforce already trained in other countries.”

But what do we hear about this from the Left, traditionally the defenders of workers and the poor, against rapacious capitalists? Nothing. Nada. Crickets.

I have often talked about the unholy alliance between Washington, DC, and Wall Street; an even more unholy and damaging one may be between the corporate capitalists, profiteers, and neo-robber barons, and the supposedly “moral” Left, with its apparent desire to welcome anyone who is not of Western (read: European) origin.

In their desire to pull down what they see as “oppressive” structures of Western civilization, the Left is willing to make common cause with their greatest historic enemy – capital – and sell out their own natural constituency, labor. Want to talk about “collusion”…? There’s your collusion!

In any case, read the article, all of it. Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest! Much that’s worth thinking about in it, although it’s far from comforting.

A generation plans an exodus from California | Orange County Register

Today even some of the state’s determined progressives understand that taking the “California model” national seems implausible when significant numbers of Californians are headed in large numbers to red Texas or purple Las Vegas.

Source: A generation plans an exodus from California – Orange County Register

Some of us do not find it surprising that California is, as this article puts it, continuing to “hemorrhage” people at a high rate: “Since the recovery began in 2010, California’s net domestic out-migration… has almost tripled to 140,000 annually. Over that time, the state has lost half a million” of its residents to out-migration – people leaving the state.

More significant than mere numbers, though, is the demographic those numbers represent:

“The key issue for California, however, lies with the exodus of people around child-bearing years. The largest group leaving the state — some 28 percent — is 35 to 44, the prime ages for families. Another third come from those 26 to 34 and 45 to 54, also often the age of parents.”

Many, in other words – in fact most, almost two-thirds – of those leaving California are those of family-rearing age: that is to say, those who are most important for the future of the state.

There is no question that a lot of this is due to, as the article again points out, the high cost of living there, and particularly the high cost of housing:

“Over 90 percent of the difference in costs between California’s coastal metropolises and the country derives from housing. Coastal California is affordable for roughly 15 percent of residents, down from 30 percent in 2000, and 30 percent in the interior, [down] from nearly 60 percent in 2000. In the country as a whole, affordability hovers at roughly 60 percent.”

It’s hard enough to afford housing here in Maryland (also a coastal state, of course); the situation is much worse in California. But housing costs alone might not tell the whole story; indeed, this article itself hints – cautiously – at the likelihood that California has got its priorities screwed up, and many Californians (or former Californians, or soon-to-be-former Californians) know it.

The author – Joel Kotkin, R.C. Hobbs Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University, and executive director of the Houston-based Center for Opportunity Urbanism – notes that (in the quote with which I opened this),

“Today even some of the state’s determined progressives understand that taking the ‘California model’ national seems implausible when significant numbers of Californians are headed in large numbers to red Texas or purple Las Vegas,”

and continues,

“California’s media and political elites like to bask in the mirror and praise their political correctness. They focus on passing laws about banning straws, the makeup of corporate boards, prohibiting advertising for unenlightened fundamentalist preaching or staging a non-stop, largely ineffective climate change passion play. Yet what our state really needs are leaders interested in addressing more basic issues such as middle-class jobs and affordable single-family housing.”

So long as California’s leadership continues to value political correctness over improving the practical quality of life – indeed, the ability to live in the state at all – of ordinary folks, the more California seems likely to to continue hemorrhage people.

This should be a wake-up call for the “chattering classes” in other (currently) “blue” states. It should be. But will it? Or will they continue to be blinded by an ideological agenda that is at best irrelevant, and often off-putting, to the majority of ordinary people?

True believers will continue to be true believers, no matter what, of course. Ideologues are ideologues because it is their mentality to be so. But there have to be at least some adults in the crowd, don’t there? Don’t there…?