Amid many economic failures in 2022, two of the biggest were Democrat-dominated Hollywood and the marijuana industry. Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of Americans voted with their feet by fleeing Democrat-controlled areas to states with Republican governance.
Americans moved out of all four of the biggest liberal states: California, New York, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. Their population declines were the greatest in the country, while conservative states such Texas and Florida boomed by attracting Americans to move there.
So many people left California, New York, and Illinois since Joe Biden took office that each state would have lost yet another seat in the House of Representatives (and another Electoral College vote) in addition to the seat that each state lost in the 2020 Census. Democrat-controlled Minnesota would also lose a seat, while the states picking up those four seats would be Arizona, Florida, Idaho, and Texas.
The liberal media lost $540 billion in market value in 2022. The Dow Jones Media Titans index, which includes 30 of the world’s largest media companies including Disney, crashed by 40% in value, far more than other industries.
Hollywood’s end-of-year extravaganza, the big-budget “Babylon” movie about itself, was a sickening display of depravity that bombed at the box office. Even liberal critics expressed dismay at how low this movie sank.
Streaming services, which were supposed to be the next wonderful thing, likewise posted losses this past year. As Netflix turned to promoting perversity, millions of Americans turned it off.
The Wall Street Journal estimates that more than 100 million Netflix viewers are freeloading off of someone else’s password, totaling nearly half of its worldwide subscriber base. Reed Hastings, the billionaire Netflix CEO who showers liberal causes with his largesse, saw the value of Netflix stock decline by more than 50% in the past year.
An even bigger drop in value has occurred in the marijuana industry, which is euphemistically called cannabis to avoid negative connotations with the harmful weed. After voters were fooled into legalizing pot in many states, the black market has overwhelmed law enforcement and illegal drug sales are rampant now.
Legalizing the drug did not curtail the illegal traffic as pot promoters promised. Just the opposite: after making cannabis legal in nearly half the states, unlawful drug activity has only increased.
Oklahoma, where a 2018 ballot initiative legalized only medical marijuana, has become the largest exporter of pot and other drugs to other states, which is prohibited by federal law. With an estimated 7,000 marijuana growers dotting the rural landscape, the putrid smells, chemicals, bright lights, and excessive water use have transformed the Sooner State into a dystopia.
A gangland-style murder at a 10-acre marijuana farm shocked the state in November, with many questions unanswered about how six Chinese nationals got into that business. Court documents filed earlier this month allege that the Chinese-born suspect demanded the return of $300,000 he had invested in the pot operation before he started shooting.
Despite such rampant criminality, the cannabis industry is undeterred as it promotes a March ballot initiative there to legalize recreational use of the harmful drug. The once-conservative state, which features one of the highest concentrations of churches in the country, is being transformed by this destructive experiment.
Illegal sales of marijuana have caused the bottom to drop out of prices on lawful sales, resulting in billions of dollars in losses to investors. The price of marijuana in Michigan has dropped by 75%, and similar declines in its value have occurred in California as illegal pot-growing continues to dominate the market.
California and Oregon are unlawfully exporting their excess marijuana to other states, including Michigan and New York. More than two-thirds of cannabis sales are estimated to be illegal in California and elsewhere.
Three out of four midwestern states rejected legalizing marijuana there in November, and pot-producers’ hopes for federal legislation to end the banking ban on the pot industry went up in smoke when it was not included in the recent omnibus bill. Federal legislation in favor of cannabis seems less likely in the new Congress, where Republicans hold a slim majority in the House.
Legalizing pot has been disastrous to the desert southwest, where it has accelerated a dire water shortage that will soon result in deep cuts in what can be taken from the Colorado River. California and Colorado opened the door to rampant marijuana grows that steal immense amounts from the only source of water for 40 million Americans.
This month a drought emergency was declared for Southern California, as the Biden Administration failed to broker a new deal for how the Colorado River’s unprecedented low water level will be shared across the region. Now the feds threaten to impose rationing on water use by the southwestern United States.
John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work.