Friday, January 13, 2012

Klepto California

Victor Davis Hanson has been having some serious problems in his little rural corner of California.  He wrote earlier on the subject (which we discussed), and as he writes in a number of different venues and the topic must get a reaction, he has come out with an update on the subject (see links below) for the National Review.

He has a lot of very interesting information.  As a data point on the ongoing collapse of rural America it is hard to beat.  As he is a historian by trade, he always brings in some crunchy historical references into the mix:  in this case the Vandals: the Germanic Tribe that finally put the Romans to paid by overrunning their North African bread basket.  While don't disagree with  his analysis as far as it goes, it seems surprisingly shallow given his background.
He notes that the influx of illegal aliens has put a strain on the local economy and that basic services (such as police enforcement) are no longer being offered to the outlying areas.  He notes the slovenly nature of his new neighborhood, with a push toward substandard (third-world really) housing.  The story of the electrified (and vaporized) grapes is priceless.
Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, 21 December 2011 (Hat tip: Small Holding)
I do not (yet) move wrecked Winnebagos and trailers onto my single-family-zoned rural parcel to garner rental cash, as do many of my neighbors. After all, some must not, if the careful zoning work of a century is to survive. When one dog in four is not licensed and vaccinated out here, we have a problem; when four out of four will not be, we should expect a 19th-century crisis. When there are three outdoor privies used daily behind a neighbor’s house, the local environment can still handle the flies, the odor, and the increase in the chance of disease; but if there were to be 100 in a half-mile stretch, civilization itself would break down.
The influx of over 11 million illegal aliens has had a sort of ripple effect that is rarely calibrated. Sixty percent of Hispanic males in California are not graduating from high school. Unemployment in rural California runs about 20 percent. There is less fear now of arrest and incarceration, given the bankruptcy of the state, which, of course, is rarely officially connected even in small part to illegal immigration. Perhaps because illegal immigration poses so many mind-boggling challenges (e.g., probably over $20 billion lost to the state in remittances, the undermining of federal law, the prejudice shown against legal immigration applicants, ethnic favoritism as the engine of amnesty, subterfuge on the part of Mexico, vast costs in entitlements and subsidies), talking about it is futile. So most don’t, in fear of accusations of “racism.”
For those who do not leave the area, silence for now remains the norm.
All very good, I don't disagree at all.  But he ignores the interesting parallel between rural America today, and the urban inner city in the 1960s and 1970s.
That was the time period that manufacturing jobs left the city, and housing laws no longer forced the black middle and upper class to stay in place.  Those who could escape generally did.  This left behind a mix of people who in general were unable to find better alternatives.
The end result was a blighted inner city.  Given that the civil rights movement was running concurrently with some of these changes, it was inevitable that racial issues would be highlighted: and to some degree acted as a smoke screen for the actual underlying causes.
As we discussed a year ago, the same problems are catching up with white rural America in areas where the rural folk are whiter, or Hispanic rural America where Hispanics predominate.
Of course, he also doesn't seem to be very interested in pointing out that the likely supporters of bringing in the initial group of Hispanics were farmers who wanted inexpensive help.  Granted that group of Republicans tends to be from the Wall Street Journal wing of the Republican party, rather than the Nation Review folks, but they are pretty close bedfellows.

In any case the conclusion on this post is going to be pretty much like yesterdays.  Life is getting difficult for a lot of people.  A lot of these people were not expecting these types of difficulties.


Humble wife said...

We moved to NM in 2006. Until that point I had never heard of a Colonia(community along US Mexico border lacking in basic infrastructure). But I know what it is now. When we bought our farm we had a well and had it inspected, put in a septic and brought utilities to the main building.

Not the case for some that live in the canyon I do. They squat about 3 miles away.. One group hauled in two single wide trailers and connected them. They have no electricity and it really looks like part of a city dump. In October they brought in a third and fourth single wide and neither is level but folks live in them. County rules say no single wides older than 2000 can be moved unless hauled off for removal, is here.


russell1200 said...

Whose land is it?

A lot of the Western States have lots of Federal land (Texas excluded because they were their own country before they were a State) that they have little control over.

North Carolina has been arresting people for squating in unsold homes. I have never heard of any locality not taking action as it is generally pretty easy to enforce trespassing laws.