For 30 years, I’ve been helping clients deal with California’s increasingly anti-business attitudes and regulatory excesses. I’ve seen California’s dysfunction up close – something I wouldn’t recommend to the weak or infirm. Seeing California’s legislators and regulators in action has convinced me that the fall of this once-wonderful state is equal parts tragedy and comedy – which is why Crazifornia makes people laugh and cry.
It’s just a happy happenstance that I’m a California native: My U.S. Navy family happened to be stationed near San Francisco when I decided to slide down the birth canal. I was born at a Naval hospital in Oakland that was torn down to make room for a housing development that has since gone bankrupt. We made it there with just 20 minutes to spare, so I barely missed being born on the Oakland Bay Bridge, which has since had to be rebuilt – with a fair bit of Crazifornia scandal built in.
Shortly after I became a native Californian, the Pearce family was off to Washington DC, then Turkey, then Virginia, then Key West, then California again, then Japan. California always felt like home, though. I spent second grade in Carmel, so I remember when California schools were still very good. My dad opened a business in Orange County in the 1970s, and I relocated myself there in 1980, so I remember when California was still at least a little business-friendly.
How things have changed!
Sometimes my incredible wife, an Orange County native, and I think about leaving California – then we realize that I’m unemployable in any state that functions well enough to be worth moving to.