Tale of Two Americas

TWO AMERICAS

California used to be THE place to move to in pursuit of the American Dream — now it’s Florida

California is a model for dysfunction, writes Kyle Smith in the New York Post, while Florida is the new destination.

On many critical questions facing our culture, our economy and our society, California and Florida offer radically different answers, Smith writes.

Should new affordable housing be built? California says no, Florida says yes.

Should homeless people be allowed to turn public spaces into tent cities? California says yes, Florida says no.

Should public elementary schools teach critical race theory California says yes, Florida says no.

Should gasoline be $4 a gallon? California says yes, Florida says no.

Should biological males be allowed to dominate girls’ sports? Florida says no. California not only says yes.

TWO AMERICAS
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (left) and California’s Gavin Newsom have two totally different approaches to government.

The truth can be found in the population shift. California’s population in 2020 shrank for the first time ever, by 180,000 people, whereas Florida had the second-highest increase in population, after Texas.

Smith’s column excerpted here:

During the pandemic, California introduced some of the harshest lockdown measures in the country, crashing its economy, while Florida was among the first states to begin reopening, way back in May of 2020, and has been almost entirely open since September.

Florida had the second-fewest coronavirus restrictions; California ranked 45th among the 50 states. Whether lockdowns are effective or not, there is no question they bring economic calamity.

California’s economy is still suffering, its unemployment rate standing at 7.9 percent. Florida’s unemployment is below 5 percent.

Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis and California’s Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, are exact opposites in terms of governing.

Widespread disgust with Newsom’s leadership has led to a recall vote to be held on Sept. 14.

Tightly restricted housing policies, high taxes and punishing, traffic-clogged commutes make California increasingly untenable for average earners as wealthy progressives buttress themselves behind high gates, go to work on glistening corporate campuses.

California has a colossal problem in homelessness, and it is determined to take steps to make it worse.

CALIF HOMELESS

Tent cities have popped up throughout the state, and drugs, violence and public defecation are the new norm.

Crime is out of control in California cities. The decision by San Francisco’s leftist district attorney Chesa Boudin not to prosecute minor crimes is being taken as an engraved invitation by San Francisco shoplifters, and the middle class suffers as favorite retailers such as Walgreens and Target are forced to close their doors.

In San Francisco murders soared 31 percent last year, more than double Florida’s rate, and the city is the nation’s leader in property crime.

Any visitor to Florida will tell you the state looks orderly. Florida municipalities use a variety of measures to discourage loitering on the streets, including arresting for trespassing, effectively putting a lid on homeless squatters.

Maintaining basic order and the rule of law comes first in Florida. A healthy society depends on people feeling secure.

“Florida in 2021 is reminiscent of California in the 1950s,” writes Jacksonville resident Charles C.W. Cooke in National Review, calling it “a place to which ordinary people are flocking in order to take advantage of the nice weather, good economy, open spaces and explosive construction.”

Florida is America’s freest state, according to a Cato Institute survey: No. 1 in fiscal freedom, No. 1 in educational freedom. Cato dubs California one of the least free states and “the most cronyist state in the union,” meaning government and its chosen allies work to milk the public purse for all they can.

Florida earned a grade ‘A’ for providing online access to how it spends its taxpayer dollars, while California got an ‘F’ — the worst-scoring state in America.


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