The recent implosion of Silicon Valley Bank out of Santa Clara, California was highly symbolic of the greater decline in progress on the west coast of the US. The bank, which also had branch offices in the east, primarily operated out of the far-left corridor of LA, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. SVB was a key hub in California for the proliferation of ESG investment and was deeply involved in ESG and DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) related policies. The bank was intended as a model for “woke-capitalism.”
The corporate world is quietly and quickly attempting to remove ESG terminology from their public websites and reports now that the money is drying up, and the media has tried to deny that ESG had anything to do with the bank crisis in the spring. However, SVB's own internal reports outline quite clearly their ESG goals and projects.
The point? Get woke, go broke.
The way SVB was governed was similar to how California, Oregon and Washington State are governed now – Chasing far-left ideology and dreams of progressive Utopia to the detriment of everything else, including the economy and the security of the citizenry.
It's important to mention that things were not always this way. Pundits are quick to point out that states like California were wealthy and successful under Democrat leadership decades ago. But what these people don't want to talk about is the fact that the Democrat politicians of the past 5-10 years are not the same as the Democrats of previous eras.
ESG was not a core mission for Democrats 20 years ago. DEI was not a core mission for them 20 years ago. And, management of west coast policies was far more balanced in years past with more conservative involvement. One could make the argument that the Dems of today are the inevitable end result of any progressive party, and that full-blown collectivism was always the end game. The point remains that woke Democrats are not your grandfather's Democrats. They are a different breed; a different species with a far more obsessive and aggressive manifesto.
The results? Almost every major city on the coast has been witnessing a population exodus for at least the past three years. Setting aside obscuring factors such as the birth/death ratio as well as illegal immigration, LA County saw over 300,000 citizens leave since 2020. The Bay Area lost 250,000 people. Portland, Oregon is now one of the fastest shrinking cities in America, losing 3% of its population in only two years. Seattle is the only city that is not seeing a migration (at least not yet).
Why is this happening, beyond the nearly three years of pointless pandemic lockdowns and covid mandates? Leftist policies leading to social instability and higher crime are a good place to start (note that most west coast cities still don't provide full reports on crime data to the FBI, and will not until 2025).
California specifically is adhering to Prop 47, which makes all theft under $950 a misdemeanor instead of a felony, and misdemeanors are rarely pursued with any vigor by police departments. Meaning, theft under $950 is essentially welcomed by Democrats. With rising property crime often comes rising violent crime. Perpetrators think that if they can get away with theft, maybe they can also get away with assault, or even murder. Similar woke laws and attempts to “defund” police have created an atmosphere of belligerence – Criminals are emboldened by Democrat politicians.
LA had an 11% spike in crime in 2022. San Francisco has had a nearly 8% increase in violent crime in the past three years, a 20% increase in property crime and 17% increase in homicides. Portland had a 35% increase in burglaries from 2019-2022, and they hit an all time record number of homicides in 2022. Property crime and violent crime hit a 15-year high in Seattle in 2022, with verified criminal shootings rising 125% since 2019. The true numbers will likely be revised much higher when full data is released to the FBI in 2025.
San Francisco in particular has provided a steady supply of violent crime videos on social media. Residents are afraid to leave their homes in many neighborhoods, knowing that the city has no intention of helping solve the problem or cracking down on felons.
Then there's the exploding costs and rising poverty. West coast cities dominate the top of the list of the most expensive places to live in the US. High taxes, rampant inflation and stagnant wages are all contributors. There is a good reason people are leaving these states in droves.
The west coast is not alone in the overall decay that America is experiencing, it is just the most advanced and should be treated as a canary in the coal mine for the rest of the country. Regions managed under far-left leadership are all facing imminent destabilization and this fact needs to be addressed on the national stage. Is the fall of the west coast (and parts of the east coast) a precursor to the fall of the US? If so, the most logical solution would be to take power away from the leftists causing the rot.