VDH: How California’s Paradise Become Our Purgatory.

What happened to the once-beautiful California paradise?

Millions of productive but frustrated, overtaxed, and underserved middle-class residents have fled to low-crime, low-tax, and well-served red states in disgust

In turn, millions of illegal migrants have swarmed the state, given its sanctuary-city policies, refusal to enforce the law, and generous entitlements.

Meanwhile, a tiny coastal elite, empowered by $9 trillion in Silicon Valley market capitalization, fiddled while their state burned.

California became a medieval society of plutocratic barons, subsidized peasants, and a shrinking and fleeing middle class. It is now home to a few rich estates, subsidized apartments, and unaffordable middle-class houses.

California suffers from poorly ranked public schools—but brags about its prestigious private academies. Its highways are lethal—but it hosts the most private jets in the nation.

The fantasies of a protected enclave of Gavin Newsom, Nancy Pelosi, and the masters of the Silicon Valley universe have become the abject nightmares of everyone else.

In sum, a privileged Bay Area elite inherited a California paradise and turned it into purgatory.

In 1984, the book The Odyssey File was published to promote the film 2010: The Year We Make Contact. It assembled the emails, then still a newfangled method of communication, that were sent back and forth from science fiction novelist Arthur C. Clarke, living in Sri Lanka, and Hollywood director Peter Hyams, as they hashed out the film’s screenplay. Hyams’ January 3, 1984 missive to Clarke was as follows (extra-wide ellipses in original):

This is the day after the Rose Bowl . . . Which has nothing to do with roses or fine china. It is a football game and a parade . . . Attended by more than one million people. The weather was glorious . . . Which is a calamity. Every winter . . . When the rest of the nation is in sub-zero weather . . . God plays one of his little practical jokes on California. The day the Rose Bowl is televised . . . The sky is clear blue . . .  And the temperature is in the seventies. (yesterday it was in the eighties.) Naturally the rest of America takes one look at this, and decides to move out here. Most Californians pray for lousy weather . . . To keep this place from becoming overcrowded.

Alas, that’s not as big of a concern for Californians these days.