I went to law school in California in the 70's. It's an incredibly beautiful and varied place. All the more shame, then, that it's become the epicenter of the death spiral of the welfare state. When tax money gets spent -- and spent and spent -- for the exotic schemes of Government Without Limit, the core functions government is supposed to do get left at the side of the road. This is why California can "afford" to spend zillions on high speed rail between -- get this -- Fresno and Corcoran, while it's unable to get or keep felons off the street. Thus, as Victor Davis Hanson writes:
California has built the nation's largest prison system, but there is no room left in either state or county facilities for an increasing number of dangerous felons. The same day last week that I emptied my wallet for gas, my 15-hp ag irrigation pump simply quit during the night. Nocturnal copper-wire thieves had come into the vineyard and yanked out the electrical conduit. That's the third theft of pump wire I've had this year -- and it costs $1,500 each time to repair the damage. I'm told that Mexican national gangs go down to Los Angeles with their stolen copper to sell it to mobile recyclers. No one calls the sheriff any more. Instead, we swap stories about protective wire cages, spikes, cameras, lights, and booby traps.
The whole article (two pages) is worth the read, although it will be hard for those living in the Golden State to stomach how far things have fallen.