Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Traffic is the Price California Pays for Socialism

Last winter I had bought a motorcycle in Sarasota, Florida and decided to drive it across the country to San Diego, leaving it in Las Vegas until the spring months came wherein I would be able to drive it back home to Minnesota.  It was a very nice road trip with stops in Phoenix, Sedona, and Puerto Penasco, but as I crossed over from the Salton Sea on Highway 78 to Del Mar I was introduced to an experience I underestimated...

Californian traffic.

Not that I didn't know Californian traffic would be bad, but rather it was how the entire population is held hostage by it and just what a controlling and invasive role it plays in people's daily lives.

The people I stayed with in Del Mar didn't bother leaving their house until it was late in the evening, at one time "risking it" to go to a beach during the noon hour.

Another place I stayed near Huntington Beach, my host was delayed by 2 hours simply because of "traffic," but did not seem angered, angsted, or bothered by it, simply dismissing it as "well, traffic."
I could go on with examples, but it became immediately clear, especially when driving in it, just what a determining and influential role traffic played in everyday Californians' lives.  They weren't necessarily controlled by it, but it was definitely the primary determining factor in how they were going to lead their lives that day.

This then got me thinking, and it wasn't until I was sitting in (you guessed it) traffic near San Bernardino, did I realize what I was witnessing.

Traffic was the true price Californians were paying for the socialism they all loved and voted in.  And upon thinking about it further, I realized just what a heavy price it was.

First, understand that Californians already pay the most in taxes in nearly every form and facet.  Sales tax, gas tax, income tax, fees, tolls, you name it.  Additionally, with more regulation than anywhere else in the country, they pay more for housing, transportation, insurance, and other living expenses, paying essentially a "regulation tax" which further erodes their purchasing power.  When you point out this insanity, trying to explain to them that $3,000 for a San Francisco one bedroom apartment is insane, they are quick to explain the ingenious solution Californians have come up with to deal with these rapish-levels of taxation. They simply dismiss it all away and say, "You can't beat the weather!" (Though Bay area residents usually claim "The restaurants are great!"))  Regardless, the point is Californians DO pay a financial price for the socialist state economy they've instituted.

The second point, however, is that the financial price they pay is merely the explicit cost for this Californian socialism.  The real price they pay comes from the fact the government they voted in puts socialism ahead of the REAL, TRADITIONAL duties of government, and those duties are to provide public goods that benefit every one.

Defense.  Legal systems. Cops.  AND ROADS.

And when given the choice Californians at the state and local levels would rather cut gibmedats checks to their parasites than build roads so their producers can get to work.

This has resulted in the traffic jams that choke California AND every major city.  People will contend it's population growth, but population growth would indicate a linear relationship with economic growth, and thus, taxes that could go to afford more roads.  The truth is socialist local governments, be it the state of California, or the City of Chicago, CHOOSE to spend their money bribing single moms, welfare parasites, liberal arts students, and other sorts of socialists with government goodies to win their votes than provide the adequate highway systems that would be needed to get the engine of our economy (that would be the workers) quickly and efficiently to work.  The result is the sheer amount of time we all waste in leftist socialist "utopias" in commutes and in traffic.

Urban Californians think nothing of spending 2 hours a day in traffic.  That's 12.5% of their waking hours, and a full 25% of their free time wasted paying for the parasites of their socialist utopia.  New Yorkers, I'm sure, are too busy patting themselves on the back for living in New York to notice their commute is taking a toll on their marriage back at home which is about to lead to divorce next week.  And Chicagoans, while bragging about their Metra and El systems, are perfectly fine paying more in taxes so some stranger at the state-funded daycare or some unnecessary "student reserve assistant teacher" at an after school program can raise and spend more time with their kids than they the parents themselves do.  But you see, it's all worth it because of California's weather, Chicago's culture, and those great restaurants in New York.

When you add it all up, increasing amounts of producers' lives are being sucked up by the inadequate transportation systems because money that would have otherwise been earmarked for roads and highways is going to fund the parasites of these leftists' socialist utopias.  Instead of 65% of the state and local budgets going to pay for the parasites of society, imagine if it had gone for roads instead.  It's not that there would be no traffic or even (if you dare to dream) no such thing as a commute (though those are indeed benefits).  It's the amount of your ever-dwindling free time you'd be able to spend on yourself, your spouse, your hobbies, your children, and your life.

I'm absolutely sure that authentic, 100% organic Pakistani restaurant is worth your $4,000 a month rent in San Francisco.

I'm absolutely sure that museum in NYC is worth the divorce papers that are about to be delivered to you in 20 minutes.

And I'm sure the "Los Angeles weather" is totally worth missing out on your kids' childhood as you pump them full of ritalin and they blow their brains out at 17.

Besides, you provided free health care to all the bums, free child care to all the single mom hoot rats, and free education for all the illegal aliens.  And we all know that's infinitely more important than your life.
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Kevin said...

Good point Captain. I was about to hop on 680 but I think I will postpone going to work for a while. What I do is buy the assets inflated by Socialism before they go up in value. If you can't do that and you dont qualify for the freebies, then it bites.


Kevin said...

Good point Captain. I was about to hop on 680 but I think I will postpone going to work for a while. What I do is buy the assets inflated by Socialism before they go up in value. If you can't do that and you dont qualify for the freebies, then it bites.


swiftfoxmark2 said...

I live in the DC area where the traffic is pretty horrendous. I avoided most of the traffic by living close to where I work, but eventually I may have to endure grueling commutes.

I've thought about moving further out and just putting up with the traffic, but the rent is the same there as it is here.

Sadly, local governments here have no desire to build more bridges into DC or build additional roads to accommodate the increased traffic. Instead, they extend lanes on existing roads and the latest thing they've done is build "HOT" Lanes, which are HOV-only toll roads.

Which is a whole other mess.

taminator013 said...

I pretty much totally agree with you except for a minor quibble about the gasoline tax. PA, where I live, is the highest in the nation and going up by another $.08 in the coming year. CA comes in at #5...............

Anonymous said...

I have always said that if environmentalists and liberals were so concerned about the planet the first thing they would do is get illegals booted out of California. In one day that would instantly remove millions of cars from the roads, which would be great for everyone. I hate L.A. traffic, I hate travelling South of Bakersfield, but sometimes it becomes an unavoidable necessity. The last time I made a trip down there I hit L.A. around 3 am, on purpose, just to avoid the traffic. I ended up in town about four hours before I needed to, but I just wasted time until my appointment. My trip home, which should have taken 4 hours, took around six. Yes, socialism is definitely the driving force behind the traffic issues, but it doesn't matter. Unless somehow a non-liberal gets in control of the state and starts to do away with stupid laws we are forever stuck. Well, most of us, I am planning on leaving the state as soon as my youngest gets out of high school and gets a decent job (which wont be long now).

Anonymous said...

Your analogy is spot on. Make sure to add that with all socialism, some are more equal than others. This applies to motorcycles too. In Cali they can lane split, thus negating the traffic issues. When I was living in blue hell known as California my commute would be 20-25 minutes where as the car people's commutes were 1.2-2 hours, one way. I was "better" than the other progs in that with a bike I could go where I wanted, when I wanted. And, as with socialism, the car people hated me for it. More than one occasion I was targeted by cars simply because I could get to where I wanted to get to faster than them. Their mentality was if they had to wait, so did I. It was only fair.
May they continue to reap what they sow.

Anonymous said...

How exactly would ample money fix the problem of LA traffic?

You would have to spend billions to use imminent domain to purchase some of the most expensive real estate for just small developments. So-cal expanded with cheap libertarian housing construction policies, and it's still a complete mess. I understand that socialism will bring the leeches to further crowd the freeways, but a lot of the morning commute are tax paying workers.

Mr. Bee said...

A group of conservatives would have a field day in the LA and SF areas by hanging banners from the overpasses reading "Enjoying the Traffic? Thank A Democrat!"

Tucanae Services said...

It explains why Californias don't have schedules. As soon as you do your schedule is blasted to atoms by 'traffic'.

Anonymous said...


CALIFORNIA wants to become a separate nation so let them do so

then bury nuclear weapons along their borders and detonate

the new beach fronts be welcomed


Lewis Long said...

I live in San Francisco and a lot of this makes perfect sense. Some is exaggerated but the overall sentiment still rings true. The problem is depending on your occupation(I work in IT) if you are working in an office you are limited to larger cities for any kind of decent paying job. It may as well be one with nice weather vs NYC, DC, Chicago etc. The only way to beat the system is to work from home either freelancing or working remotely for a company. The former means that while you might not be commuting you will be putting in all those extra hours chasing leads and marketing yourself. The latter is difficult to land and even more difficult to find something high paying due to all the extra competition(plenty of people would love to work from home). You can also work as a consultant and spend 6 months working at some high paying SV company, get a short term lease, live a minimalist lifestyle and save all you can and then spend the next 6 months doing whatever the hell you want. Also, a lot of Cali tech companies are pretty flexible with when your come in/leave and working from home so you can mitigate the traffic issue.

If you have a family California makes less sense unless you earn close to $200k which isn't that unusual for management level positions in the Bay Area. Otherwise I'd take a pay cut and move somewhere like Raleigh, Colorado Springs, Salt Lake City or maybe Phoenix. CoL is more reasonable weather isn't too terrible and salaries are still decent. Traffic will still suck anywhere that has job opportunities though, just not as bad as California. For now though I'm pretty happy living here.

Myamoto Usagi said...

Add more to the reasons I want to leave California.

I'm further from San Diego than I'm from LA. LA takes me 3+ hours to get into the beaches, where as SD I can do in 90 minutes, two hours max. At least SD is less pretentious than the egomaniacal LA.

And don't get me started on taxes. If I could choose where they would go, it would avoid these "sanctuary cities," and these SJW-generating universities and go to help homeless/mentally ill vets or something else worthwhile.

Myamoto Usagi said...

Add more to the reasons I want to leave California.

I'm further from San Diego than I'm from LA. LA takes me 3+ hours to get into the beaches, where as SD I can do in 90 minutes, two hours max. At least SD is less pretentious than the egomaniacal LA.

And don't get me started on taxes. If I could choose where they would go, it would avoid these "sanctuary cities," and these SJW-generating universities and go to help homeless/mentally ill vets or something else worthwhile.

Peregrine John said...

I am (at the moment) a Californian, and I vouch for every word of this.

Bob Smith said...

It's far worse than "the cost of socialism". Local and state governments in California deliberately under provide roads both as an inducement to fund their overpriced and usually useless train and bus systems and because they hate cars and are trying to get people to stop driving them.

Here in South Florida the traffic planners openly brag in the newspapers about how they're using traffic lights to deliberately slow down cars and create congestion. They're quite fond of 3-way lights (where first the northbound and then the southbound traffic moves through and intersection, but not both at the same time). They spend millions reconfiguring freeway off ramps to install expensive new traffic signals to stop traffic, where before freeway traffic would merge without the need for signals.

Anonymous said...

Cappy, stop exposing this kind of shit or those socialist morons will start getting ideas about leaving their little utopia and bringing it our way. They shit in their bed and they can sleep in it. We don't need them anywhere else.

jon spencer said...

A few years ago I had to go to Sunnyvale Ca. to pick someone up and return them back here to the U.P..
Landed in SFO on a Saturday night a little after 11:00pm local, got the rental car and I was crossing the Golden Gate Bridge around midnight.
The traffic on the bridge was backed up.
Got up early Sunday morning and was headed back to SFO from Sunnyvale around 4:00am, very light traffic.
Have not been back since.
Don't miss it.

Anonymous said...

I'm hoping to escape California within 5 years...matter of fact just sold my house at a nice profit and will just rent until I leave. How is this for the use of taxpayer money in LA?


City and county officials in Los Angeles on Monday unveiled a $10 million fund to provide legal services to immigrants facing deportation. They say they want the fund to be set up before Donald Trump becomes president....

Robert of Ottawa said...

I can attest to the freedom I had when I could walk to work in 15 minutes, or drive in 5. Now I communte 30 minutes in the AM and 45 in the PM, but only because I have shifted my day 2 hours; otherwise its 45 ans 75. And that's in little old Ottawa - where, of course, the car is considered evil and subsidized housing good.

Anonymous said...

Living in the D.C region the traffic is just as bad as LA, mostly, with average commutes more than an hour both ways, and not unusual for many to spend 1.5 to 2 each day. Think about it; that's an insane amount of waste to include contributing to bad health, divorce, unfulfilled needs ad nauseaum. I see more an more vacant office buildings, perhaps indications of a shift off centralized workforce. My last gig: over 70% of folks were remote. That didn't have any impact on job performance that I could tell. Only a few Federal agencies have moved to more remote work, the USPTO being one of the early adopters. Most knowledge-based workers can do their jobs with a high-speed access, software, remotely. hard to say what D.C. would look like now if the Feds were not here. Mostly, it would look like run-down strip mall America, a few decent employers,pockets of wealth.

Leading a sovereign life is paramount to happiness in all of its facets.