The Texas Miracle

“How does it feel

To be on your own

Like a complete unknown

Like a rolling stone?”

And they talk about coming together, uniting.

For the past four years Trump and the Republicans have done nothing but denigrate California, attacking its weather, politics, you’d think it’s Hades the way they talk. But now that the Lone Star State is in trouble, it’s somebody else’s fault. The wind. God. Ignoring climate science and allowing the free market to run its energy delivery and…there is no energy! People are dying, never mind being cold, without heat, and isn’t this amazing in the state that made its bones on energy to begin with?

This is what happens when you don’t plan for the future, when you don’t spend any bucks, when you expect no bumps in the road and therefore don’t even plan for them.

Like the average American. Then again, the average American can barely make ends meet. The average American depends on the government as a safety net, in case of the worst case scenario.

But monies spent for preparation of an ill that may never come to pass are seen as wasted. We need the government to run lean, just like the car companies. The same car companies whose plants are now idle because they can’t get enough computer chips. Oh, they could have localized production, but that would have cost more. And they don’t want the inventory and now better prepared foreign manufacturers have scarfed up what little excess production is available in their home countries. Our entire nation is operating on a just-in-time basis. Look in your refrigerator, your cupboards, how long can you go without a trip to the grocery store? You depend on the supermarket being open. Just like you depend on heat in your house. It doesn’t even occur to you that access may be cut off. And if it is, you’re sure someone is at fault and the problem will be rectified instantaneously. But the truth is everybody can’t win in America, everybody can’t come out whole, especially not with the system we’ve got. And if there’s anybody responsible you’ve got to go to stacked arbitration to plead your case. The little guy does not matter, never did, but even less since the evisceration of unions and the adulation of billionaires.

So California is a state run by Democrats. With high taxes and…well, it turns out the Golden State was better prepared for disaster than Texas.

But even more important is living is easier in California.

I used to be addicted to Bob Costas’s 1:30 AM interview show “Later” on NBC. It was Carl Reiner, or another New York transplant, who told the story about being back in NYC with his buddies and marveling how great the city was. So, they all moved back, and then a couple of years later they all returned to California. New York City is the greatest city in the country, if not the world! But I’d rather live in Los Angeles. As do so many others.

As I sit here writing this it’s in excess of seventy degrees and the sky is blue. It was not only a beautiful morning, but a beautiful day. What’s not to like? Weather rarely interferes with your plans, and it never ever snows in Los Angeles or San Francisco, never mind go down to zero. And if you like that kind of weather, if you’re endeared to snow, it’s only a drive away, to the tallest peaks in the continental United States. Living is easier here, without the downward thrust, the jacket of east coast imperialism, of your roots, of where you went to college and how much money you make. Easterners are proud of their hearty stock. But so are Alaskans. I’ve got no problem with you living there, just don’t tell me you’re better than me for doing so, life doesn’t have to be made artificially hard.

Texas… Well, Austin is a hotbed of liberalism, but Houston is on a flood plain and most of the state is flat, dry and hot, what’s so special about that? As far as Florida goes, sure, you can keep your house in bankruptcy, but have you ever been there from May to October? Not only is it hot, IT’S HUMID! A condition we do not have in California, as well as bugs… That mosquito season in New England? California does not have it.

And life is so good in California that so many people moved here that land became ultra-valuable. Now let me get this straight, a single family dwelling is seven figures in Los Angeles, but what’s a block in Manhattan worth? Yes, Los Angeles is a low-rise city, one could argue the land is undervalued! And as a result traffic is terrible, then again it was Detroit auto companies who rid the city of efficient light rail.

Why was housing so expensive in San Francisco? BECAUSE PEOPLE WANTED TO LIVE THERE, THAT’S WHERE THE OPPORTUNITY WAS, and to a great extent still is. Sure, you can work remotely, but never underestimate the power of interaction, collaboration, it’s when you bounce your ideas off others that sparks truly fly, that you come up with new ideas, almost nothing is created in a vacuum.

And why is the entertainment industry based in Los Angeles? Because here you can be free and easy, there’s no barrier to entry, the uneducated person has as much of a chance as a Ph.D. Walk into a record company or movie studio and start touting your blue chip education, no one cares, that’s not what it’s about, they’re not hiring cogs in the wheel, they need creative people, with vision, who can make something out of nothing, which means you must operate unfettered, or relatively so. You’ve got to give people room.

Do I think Gavin Newsom is perfect? No. But he seems to be learning and as for that dinner at the French Laundry, tell me about all those Texans who were Covid deniers, who didn’t even wear masks!

All those people who left California?

Expect them to come back, the business titans anyway. As for the rank and file, once you leave the state you usually can’t afford to come back, that’s how much land prices increase. But if you’re a mover and shaker, you don’t want to be in a backwater, that’s how cities came to be in the first place, they were a concentration of talent and wealth! You can’t go to dinner with your tech buddies in San Antonio or Sarasota, and if you want to make a record in the hinterlands…you can do so, but sans so much infrastructure that can aid you in its creation and marketing.

Not that I expect anything to change vis a vis the denigration of California and the exaltation of Texas and Florida. Disinformation rules. People just deny the truth and make up their own facts, so most people are misinformed. And they’ve never been anywhere else so they don’t know what they’re missing. If you came to L.A. from out of state today you’d probably never go back, you’d be dying to move here. Which is why these problems in the Golden State were created in the first place!

But it’s fine with me if you want to live in a backwater alone where there are few services and corporations rule. Just don’t tell me it’s better, especially when you confront the vagaries of life, the natural disasters that occur in every state these days. Then again, as long as you keep denying climate change it’s gonna get worse. And if you’re waiting for God to save you, you probably believe Hillary Clinton is running a child sex ring in the basement of a pizza parlor, you’re awaiting your instructions from Q, who so far has not been right about anything.

But Californians must bow and pay fealty to the right. We live in a scumbag state that is so oppressive you can’t start a business and can’t make a living. Funny, I don’t see a lack of establishments as I drive down the street. Hell, the more people you’ve got the more business thrives. And every action has a concomitant reaction, but the savvy suss the future out and adjust for it, the ignorant just bury their heads, saying it’s all right now and never think about tomorrow. Even Fleetwood Mac faced the future, adjusted its lineup, but no, things have to stay the same in these southern states to protect people’s FREEDOM!


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