Can a state with America's highest poverty rate be considered a "progressive model"?

 California is suffering the worst homelessness crisis since the Great Depression.

Democrats promote California as a model for America.

But can a state with the highest rates of poverty, inequality, and homelessness really be called a model?

The California Democratic Convention is over and the Party — which has enjoyed unchecked power for most of the last decade — is unified around two big ideas

First, the biggest problem facing California is President Trump and the Republican Party;

Second, Democrats in California are a model for the Party nationally.

     But as Democrats inside the San Diego Convention Center this weekend denounced Republicans as heartless, just a few blocks away were 3,200 homeless people suffering hunger, violence, and the worst hepatitis-C outbreak in decades. 

     As Democrats promoted California as a model for America, within walking distance were homeless encampments that resemble scenes out of dystopian films like “Blade Runner,” “Children of Men” & “Elysium.”

And a stone's throw from where Democrats were “Celebrating Women Who Dare to Run,” a homeless woman was just seconds from being crushed to death in a trash compactor after workers scooped up her tent without realizing she was in it.

As a lifelong Democrat, I find the notion that a state with the highest rates of poverty and inequality & homelessness should be a model for America to be offensive — not just to progressive values but also to the truth itself. 

Have we really become so wealthy that we've stopped caring about the least among us?

Have we really become so smug and self-assured in our social media bubbles that we are unwilling to face the facts about the impact of our Party's policies on the poor and working class?

Are we really so blind to the transparently cynical effort by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom other Machine Democrats to distract attention from the disastrous impact of their policies — including the worst homelessness crisis since the Great Depression — by blaming Trump & Republicans?

California’s extreme homelessness is a direct result of our housing crisis which is a direct result of Democratic party policies & interest groups — namely NIMBY interest groups like Sierra Club and NRDC & a small number of unions, which block needed reforms.

Democrats have ruled California outright since 2011 during which time they maintained and expanded exclusionary housing policies that resulted in skyrocketing rents and a decline in new housing permits in places that most need it like San Francisco.

Now, Democrats are coronating as governor a person, Gavin Newsom, who feigns concern even though he himself helped create the housing and homelessness crisis. He did so first as Mayor of San Francisco and then as Lt. Governor. And Newsom is deep in the pockets of the NIMBY and union interest groups which are blocking desperately needed reforms.

Can the Democratic Party's charade promoting California as a "progressive model" last?

Maybe for awhile: narcissism is potent force these days. But eventually younger and poorer Democrats will realize that tribalism doesn't pay the rent.

On June 5 there will be an "open primary" which means anyone can vote for anyone. That means we have 100 days to get the word out to reform Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike.

We don't have to accept continued domination by an exploitative and deceptive Machine. We can unite around a broadly-supported agenda of shared prosperity and abundant housing. We can unite against endemic corruption. And we can unite around fair-minded reform of our parasitical system of taxation.

As a lifelong Democrat, progressive, and environmentalist, I invite Republicans & independents, libertarians & socialists, to join with me in our fight against feudal aristocracy.

We must not let our state descend into the dystopia depicted in Hollywood movies.

I hope you will consider a donation to support our campaign to fight for a California for All.


Michael Shellenberger