California: The Lindsay Lohan of StatesHere’s the deal-California deserves its very own category at the Darwin Awards. The state has become too useless to survive and astonishingly, it is proud of its idiocy. One can imagine the meetings that take place in the various government halls throughout the state: “We simply must have a Commission for the Study and Improvement of the Eleven Known Auras. We’ll fund it a special tax on Happy Meals.” “But we’ve outlawed Happy Meals.” “Then we’ll increase the taxes on energy consumption.” “All agreed. Motion passed!”
Listen up, California. The other 48 states—your cousin New York excluded—are sick of your bratty arrogance. You're the Lindsay Lohan of states: a prima donna who once showed some talent but is now too wasted to do anything with it.
After enjoying ephemeral highs and spending binges, you suffer crashes that culminate in brief, unsuccessful stints in rehab. This cycle repeats itself every five to 10 years, as the rest of the country looks on with a mixture of horror and amusement. We'd feel sorry for you if you didn't constantly flip us the bird.
Instead, we're making bets on how long it will be before your next meltdown. Oh, wait—you're already melting down.
Meep @ POWIP:California has been a joke for years. It was a joke back in 1980 and ’81 when I lived there. But now the state has gone from being a joke to being a parody of its stereotypical self. California will survive. What’s the alternative? But once the bottom falls out and there is no bailout to prop up an utterly unprepared citizenry, what will they do? Will they adjust or worse, go East? I say we act pre-emptively and build a border fence between them and the rest of us.
California, living up to its reputation as the land of fruits and nuts, has re-elected two retreads, and neither is going to be able to save California from its self-inflicted issues.
Could California pensions implode? You betcha. They are not in the death spiral that Illinois is. Yet. But there has been bad behavior for the past decades, in terms of goosing the benefits at the pinnacle of the market, right before it collapsed.
Even if California as a state can weather it’s bad decisions with respect to retroactive benefit increases and contribution holidays, the municipalities might not do so well. And while there’s no official way a state can go bankrupt and drop its liabilities (though they can definitely default on bonds), municipalities can definitely go bankrupt. And stop paying all sorts of bills. Here’s a separate projection of when the money runs out.