California, beware: Good looks alone just won’t cut it

Ooooh, California. You've seen him around. The original, inimitable BMOC.

How he does it, we don't know, but boy does he make us stop and stare. Those effortless good looks, those confident eyes fixed straight ahead with the occasional side glance in your direction, if you're lucky. He's dreamy, alright—the quintessence of cool. Slick, sought after, smooth.

Ever the envy of his peers, he wastes no time with the pursuits of "lesser" men. If it's worth doing, he thought of it first, on the natural. Never having to develop the personality of his more…err…geographically challenged peers, who need such things to compete in the national scene. Why bother? What others must work for, California possesses naturally in spades. He can afford to slack off a little, ride the wave of his youth.

California, you turn heads with your gorgeous weather, your rich agricultural soil, your intellectual capital, your elite universities…. the creative classes flock to you, businesses bend over backwards to be with you. And so you bask in it all, never looking in the rear-view mirror for competition.

But what a mistake! California now finds himself at his high-school reunion, alongside classmates he wouldn't have given a second glance in his glory days. Those who might not have had his natural advantage, but who pushed ahead with the scrappy fortitude and motivation of the little guy.

The up-and-comers who once stared in wide-mouthed awe at the sidelines are now leaders in their own right. They almost pity their former hometown hero, once giant, now limping along, living in the past. Sadly, California does not realize his days of effortless wins have extinguished.

"We're gaining on you, California," they say.

California still haughtily reassures himself, "I'm a natural leader, I have nothing to worry about. They're just jealous. "They'll never leave me"

But they have already left, hitting the road for greener pastures. You were once such a beauty, yet you are in danger of squandering your gifts. With a tax burden 4th highest in the nation, your roads and highways neglected to the point of Third World measures, can you blame them?

Toyota has moved their Prius manufacturing plant to Mississippi, though they sell most of their vehicles on your turf! Even your production companies, such a defining cultural icon are jumping ship for states offering tax incentives to relocate. Nevada monopolizes on your folly, advertising your obscene cost of doing business on their Las Vegas billboards.

California, you need to get out more! It's time to grow up, take a look around. They may not have your West-Coast appeal, but they have something that you do not: they have to try!

But now, so do you. Years of hard living and hubris have taken their toll. It's time to think outside the box. Take a lesson from your less-blessed neighbors, who have had to work for what they have. Remember the way they used to stare? They wanted to buy what you were selling. But they will leave you, California. Your looks may bring them in, but you can't get by on beauty alone.

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