Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times



California versus Trumpghanistan

If there is one hobby conservatives relish it is finding something to hate. It is hard to find what they support but easy to find what they oppose; theirs is essentially a negative agenda.

High on their list of obsessive hates is California. I suspect a lot of it is motivated by envy, one of the prime motivators of socialism as well.

Tucker Carlson, who was once a normal conservative, had descended into full-on Trump butt kissing and gone authoritarian. He spits on the graves of Reagan and Goldwater in order to worship the golden ass — okay, he’s more orange than gold.

On his Fox (Fake) News show he whined about California’s “long descent from a middle class utopia, an inspiration to the rest of the world, to the kind of place that Donald Trump wouldn’t immigration from.” Well, as for places Trump doesn’t want immigration from, that pretty much includes the entire world.

Typhus-In this Country!

Carlson went on to mention how Los Angeles is “grappling with an epidemic of typhus — in this country, typhus.” Yep, typhus is not uncommon and spread by fleas on possums, rats and pets. The problem exists in warm states, meaning it has nothing to do with “liberal California.” In fact, Texas is another hotbed of typhus — in this country! — not that Carlson will mention that fact, it doesn’t fit his rant. As for the “epidemic” in Los Angeles County, it was at last report 59 cases.

In comparison the Houston Chronicle reported in July: “The Texas health department reports there were 519 cases of typhus in 2017, more than three times the number in 2010. The uptick represents the fourth consecutive year that the number has increased. Harris County recorded 71 of the cases last year, up from 32 cases in 2016. Galveston County has already reported more cases in 2018, 18, than in all of last year.”

If 59 typhus cases in Los Angeles County is some indication of the decline of the middle class dream in California what do 519 cases in Texas mean? In 2017, while Texas had 519 cases of typhus that awful California, which has a much bigger population (39.5 million vs. 28.3 million), had all of 102 cases. In terms of cases relative to population, California had 2.58 cases per million population, while Texas had 18.3 cases per million. If California is supposedly such a hellhole to Tucker than conservative Texas must be 7.1 times worse, since they have over seven times the infection rate of California.

Beware of Gays, Singles, Childless Couples and don’t forget the Immigrants!

Conservatives love to beat up on California, even if they have to use statistics selectively or just make things up. PJ Media writer Victor Hanson claimed California was in trouble because of disastrous demographics.

California has problems — big ones. It has spent far more than it can afford, racking up huge debts, with generous pension plans for former bureaucrats; it catered to special interest groups and their spending demands. It has a system allowing people to vote new goodies for themselves while declining to pay for them. It is a huge state, with lots of people, and many people per representative. It is a system ripe with perverse incentives and a recipe for disaster.

Where does Hanson place the primary blame for California’s economic woes? Almost immediately, he claims the California of the past is “dead due to the most radical demographic shift of any one state in recent American history.” It’s demographics! It’s the culture war he says, not race — though he specifically mentions Mexican immigrants several times.

It’s not just “the generation of immigrants” who are to blame, but also “a hip, youth, and gay influx to the Bay Area, Silicon Valley, and coastal Los Angeles that saw California as a sort of upscale, metrosexual lifestyle.” He tells us “California now has an enormous number of single-person households, childless couples, and one-child families,” all pariahs to those in what Ayn Rand called the “God-family-tradition swamp.”

Many of Hanson’s purported facts are just not true. He blames Democrats, though it took a bipartisan effort to bankrupt the state. He says Democrats run things because of immigrants, single-person households, childless couples, and one-child families. He made sure you know an “influx” of gay people are included as well.

He wrote: “California now has an enormous number of single-person households, childless couples, and one-child families.” The Census Bureau seems to be misinformed then — perhaps they should get their data directly from Hanson instead of that laborious house-to-house procedure. The 2010 census actually indicates the percentage of one-person households in the entire country is 26.7 percent, but, for California, it is 23.3 percent — well below the national average.

Single-person households make up greater percentages of the population in every single Republican-leaning state you can name, with the exception of Utah.

Actually, California has a relatively high percentage of households headed by married couples: 49.4 percent — above the national average of 48.4 percent. According to Hanson’s claims, however, a large number of those have no children, or just one. That is also false. The average household in the United States has 2.58 members, but in California, the average is 2.90. Californians are less likely to have no children, or just one, than the average American.

In California, 6.7 percent of the population is under the age of 5, while the national average is 6.5 percent. Those under 18 years make up 24.6 percent of the population, whereas, in the rest of the U.S., they are 23.7 percent.

Hanson’s critique is an envy-ridden cultural attack. He claims an “elite” populate the coast enjoying “beautiful weather, the Pacific panorama, the hip culture of recreational light drug use, neat restaurants, fine wines, solar and wind romance, foreign cars and general repugnance at religion, guns, conservatives and traditional anything.” Odd he would say that in an article that is one long “general repugnance” at the bulk of Californians. At least it isn’t as trashy as Mexico, as he reminds us — several times. It should be noted the coastal “elite” in California are the bulk of the state’s population, and that’s only counting people who live in counties directly on the Pacific ocean.

Conservatives love to bash California, which raises the question as to how California compares to Trumpghanistan — those states that gave Trump a plurality of the vote. Trumphghanistan comprises 30 states, even though he was handily beaten in the popular vote by “Crooked Hillary.” So, how does this Trump-cheering region of states do in comparison to California.

Drug Use

Hanson took swipes at California over “drug use,” yet WalletHub found Republican states have bigger drug problems than Democratic states. The site ranked the states regarding “drug use & addition” rates. The worst states had the lowest ranking and the least drug-prone states the highest. California ranked 38 among the states and Washington, DC. Only seven of the Trumpghanistan states had better ratings and 23 of them did much worse. Nine of the Trumpghanistan states were in the top 20 states when it came to illegal drug usage. When it came to Opioid use specifically California ranked 48 near the bottom, surpassed by only two non-Trump states. In other words all the Trumpghanistan states had higher Opioid use rates and the five worst were all Trump states.


How does Trumpghanistan compare to California when it comes to suicide rates? For the nation as a whole the suicide rate is 13.4 per 100,000 people. California’s rate is below average at 10.5. Of the 30 Trumpghanistan states all of them except five are above the national average. The average for Trump voting states was 17.17. Suicide rates in Trumpghanistan are about 70 percent higher than in California.


Trumpians are adamant “law and order” types who love to carry a big stick, preferably one that can put people to death. They insist it’s the only way to deal with crime, along with a large dose of Jesus. Surely this would play out in some way with the homicide rates for the states. It does, just not in ways conservatives would like.

California, according to the Centers for Disease Control, had a homicide rate of 5.3 per 100,000 population. Only nine of the Trumpghanistan states matched that or did better, and many did substantially worse. California was easily less homicidal than Trumpghanistan; 5.3 per 100,000 versus 6.49 per 100,000.

Poverty Rates & Unemployment

When it comes to the official poverty rate both California and Trumghanistan are higher than the national average — 16.5 percent, 15.35 percent and 15.1 percent respectively. Eleven of the Trump-voting states have higher poverty rates. California falls toward the middle of the Trumpghanistan states. Unemployment rates are fairly similar with unemployment levels in the largely rural Trumpghanistan region at 3.82 percent and in California, it’s 4.2 percent.

Median Household Income

How this translates into median household income is important. Using Census data we find Californian households had a median income in 2016 of $67,739. Only one Trumpghanistan state did better while the other 29 did significantly worse. The average median household income for Trumpghanistan was $52,995.

Economic Growth

In terms of economic growth the Trumpghanistan region did relatively poorly. California saw real GDP per capita increase of 2.3 percent from 2016–2017, while the average for Trumpghanistan was a dismal 0.97 percent. To make matters worse, six of the Trumpghanistan states saw real growth rates under 0.5 percent and another five of them saw either no growth at all or shrinkage. Only two of the Trumpghanistan states had real growth rates exceeding California’s. Yet, conservatives continue to claim they do better when it comes to economic growth.

This article was originally posted in The Radical Center.