Bill Maher has a fabulous tirade on California in his latest Real Time. Sadly it applies to much of America as well, and the parts it doesn't apply to will be within the fold soon:
"No one can govern this state, because it is illegal to do it. We govern by ballot initiative, and we only right two kinds of those:
Spend money on things I like, and
Don't raise my taxes
We vote "yes" on gain, "no" on pain. This is why America's founders wanted a representative democracy, because they knew if they gave the average guy a chance, he'd vote for a fantasy world with no taxes, free beer, and vagina trees. And you know California used to be like the rest of America, following the instructions, and The Constitution and everything, but then we chucked that.
And now our state is governed by special interest people standing in front of the supermarket, with clipboards, asking "would you sign this petition to make earthquakes illegal? They're really starting to bother me, and Proposition 14C which mandates two weeks' paid leave for hangovers, and universal teeth whitening paid for by farts?"
So California, which, I hate to tell you everybody, is usually a little ahead of the rest of America, will probably go bankrupt. It's sad that we'll be closing the schools, but you'll want to be keeping the kids at home anyways, because we're also closing the prisons and we're letting all the rapists out. Truth is, even a real super hero couldn't get us out of the mess we're in now."
The rest of America will follow if we don't lose the penchant for wanting things we aren't willing to pay for.