Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Reverse "Grapes of Wrath"

Friday, August 1, 2014

The reverse "Grapes of Wrath"

Suffering in its third year of drought, more than 58 percent of the state is currently in "exceptional drought" stage, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor map. That marks a huge jump from just seven days ago, when about 36 percent of the state was categorized that way.

If the state continues on this path, there may have to be thoughts about moving people out, said Lynn Wilson, academic chair at Kaplan University and who serves on the climate change delegation in the United Nations.

"Civilizations in the past have had to migrate out of areas of drought," Wilson said. "We may have to migrate people out of California."
There is a startling contrast to this notion, given that many Californians trace the arrival of their families to the "Okies," those people from Oklahoma and the Plains state who migrated to California to escape the great drought that reduced their homes to a virtual dust bowl in the 1930's. Few people won't recognize an iconic photograph from that time, the image of a migrant mother caught by Dorothea Lange:

So will we now have "Calis" moving east? And who would be selected to move?

I could see a scenario like this occurring: indeed, the federal government facilitates the movement of Calis by offering financial incentives to do so. This would prompt a migration of what remains of the middle class in California to points east. Why the middle class? Because the rich won't move from their coastal enclaves. They can - and will - pay top dollar to import water. The poor won't leave as well. California is too entrenched in being a State of Entitlement and the poor will stay to continue receiving the benefits of welfare. Besides, someone has to be there to clean the homes of the rich.

Meanwhile, the middle class brings its work ethic and values to other states. In fact, we are already seeing that as businesses pack up their trucks and head to Texas, as the environment in California becomes less friendly to enterprise.

And that is a good thing for states like my own. We have businesses moving in. We need skilled laborers as well as professionals.

So if I am out on I-40, and see a Toyota 4-Runner with California plates, hauling a U-Haul . . . I'll honk and wave. Welcome!

The Digital Hairshirt at 3:55 AM

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