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Crazifornia: Tales from the Tarnished State - How California is Destroying Itself and Why it Matters to America Paperback – September 12, 2012

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About the Author

Laer Pearce has been helping businesses and local governments weave their way through California's regulatory jungle for 30 years. Sometimes he would like to leave the state - only to realize that he is unemployable in any state that functions well enough to be worth moving to.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1478357339
  • ISBN-13: 978-1478357339
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,449,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Laer Pearce was lucky enough to be born in California, at a naval hospital in Oakland. It was torn down to make room for a real estate development that went bankrupt. He was almost born on the Oakland Bay Bridge, which was damaged in an earthquake. It took California some 20 years to repair it - with plenty of incompetence and scandal in the mix.

Maybe that's what drove him to write "Crazifornia: Tales from the Tarnished State." More likely, though, it's the 30 years he's spent hacking away at California's regulatory jungle for the businesses and municipal governments his public affairs firm represents.

One of his three daughters has already fled California for saner climes. He and his wife sometimes think about leaving, only to realize he's unemployable in any state that functions well enough to be worth moving to. And anyway, the weather's fabulous.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Bookworm on September 27, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Laer is a wonderful writer with straightforward, prose, a witty sense of humor that doesn't overwhelm the narrative, and a commanding mastery of facts about California's politics, business, education, and public policy. In theory, I should have galloped through Crazifornia in three hours. In fact, it took me three days to read.

Why did I have a problem with this fascinating book? Because, when I started I did not know how deep the Crazifornia rot ran in the state, nor was I aware quite how infectious the insanity is when it comes to the rest of America. To keep up with the deluge of evidence proving that California is indeed crazy, I repeatedly stopped reading so that I could scratch out little notes to myself: "California's all-powerful bureaucrats are an army of Leftist Rube Goldberg's with guns." "This is a perfect example of voter credulity and bureaucratic overreach." "California takes a legislatively created energy crisis and makes it worse with more legislation." The scariest note I wrote was also the shortest: "As California goes, so goes the nation."

Because California had long been blessed with enormous natural resources and a vital, growing population, it had the wealth to keep the impractical Progressive dream going for decades. It could abs0rb the enormous financial and human losses from almost heroic bureaucratic ineptitude (Chapter 5); laws and regulations that suck the life out of both new and established businesses (Chapter 6); ridiculous educational experiments and an all-powerful teachers union that has little interest in student well-being and education (Chapter 7); environmentalism run amok (Chapter 8); and public sector unions and pensions that have managed to go wherever one ends up when "amok" is a distant memory (Chapter 9).
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Lusvardi on September 29, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In 2050, after California was hit with a 6.9 Richter scale earthquake on the Hayward Fault, the City of Vallejo didn't suffer much because it already was a ghost town. California no longer had enough families to populate suburban Vallejo.

The Sacramento Delta, however, nearly instantly became an inland saltwater sea. Most of urban and agricultural California had lost its access to fresh water supplies overnight. California's civilization hadn't collapsed after all; it dissolved.

Democracy didn't collapse, either. That is because democracy had already been replaced long before "the Little Big One" had destroyed much of the state's water and transport infrastructure. Instead unelected regional government committees that had merged cities and suburbs for tax sharing had supplanted it.

In the ruins, however, they found a small paperback book: "Crazifornia! Tales from the Tarnished State: How California is Destroying Itself and Why It Matters to America." The author was Laer Pearce, a former war diplomat in the civil wars in California. The book had predicted the disaster that had just happened.

The above science fiction scenario is where author Laer Pearce takes you at the end of his prophetic book of tales of how California destroyed itself. Now that I have ruined the ending of the book for you, however, I am not going to describe Pearce's many tragi-comic stories that lead up to his catastrophic ending.

Like all classic literature, the book tells tales rather than boring with sophisticated public policy analysis, the dryness of a history book, or the escapism of a novel. Pearce's stories are real life. Why write a novel when real life is more unbelievable than a novel? Pearce was involved as a participant in most of the tales he tells.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By c penn on September 25, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Crazifornia... A great read. Extremely well documented. A complete eye opener. Here is the greatest state in the union on the brink of utter collapse. We have everything going for us yet we are running amuck in debt and state bureaucrats. A must read for anyone concerned with our country as California is so vital to our nations recovery.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Richard Rider on September 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
It's a topic that NEEDED such a book -- a book that delivers a sad tale with humor. After, one HAS to laugh to keep from going crazy in our Left Coast state.

Just to verify his thesis, here's more evidence of the "California problem." MUCH more.

--------------------------

Breaking Bad: California vs. the Other States
by Richard Rider, Chairman, San Diego Tax Fighters
Version 1.824 Revised: 16 September, 2012
Updated version online at: [...]
Email: RRider@san.rr.com
Phone: 858-530-3027
Facebook blog page: [...]

Here's a depressing but documented comparison of California taxes and economic climate with the rest of the states. The news is breaking bad, and getting worse (twice a month, I update crucial data on this fact sheet):

California has the 2nd worst state income tax in the nation. 9.3% tax bracket starts at $48,029 for people filing as individuals. 10.3% tax starts at $1,000,000. Governor Brown has put on the ballot a prop to change the "millionaires' tax" to 13.3%, starting at $500,000 - including capital gains. If approved, CA will be by far #1 in income tax rates. We will be 21% higher than the 2nd highest state (Hawaii), 34% higher than the 3rd highest state (Oregon), and a heck of a lot higher than all the rest - including 7 states with zero state income tax. [...] Tables #11 & 13

CA has the highest state sales tax rate in the nation. 7.25% (does not include local sales taxes).
[...]
CA corporate income tax rate (8.84%) is the highest west of the Mississippi (our economic competitors) except for Alaska.
[...] Table #14 - we are 8th highest nationwide.

CA has the highest gas tax (tied with NY) in the nation at 67.7 cents/gallon (June, 2012).
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