Skip to comments.How Big Government Is Killing California
Posted on 04/28/2012 12:52:34 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
The new USC study pointing to a much-slower population growth rate in California has been greeted by demographers and urban planners as good news, in that it supposedly gives our states leaders a little breathing room to plan better for the future. The rate of growth has slowed to about 1 percent a year, the result of fewer immigrants coming here and so many Californians heading to other states.
The cooling pace means the state, city and county governments and other entities will have more time to prepare for a bigger population than they did in years past, allowing for more effective planning, according to the Los Angeles Times, paraphrasing the studys authors. That could ensure that new roads and parks, for example, are put in areas where they are most needed and where growth is likely to be sustained, they said.
Thats an absurdly optimistic spin. Californias elected officials have been doing as little planning as possible, unless one counts planning to spend tens of billions of dollars the state doesnt have on a high-speed rail line that will partially replicate what the airlines already do now. Our leaders are battling new water-storage facilities and punishing farmers with absurd water restrictions. They impose roadblocks toward building new highway systems and land-use regulations make it nearly impossible to build the homes and businesses necessary to meet the needs of a growing population. One can hardly call that planning.
The state is still growing, but this decline in the rate of growth is symbolic news: The California Dream is over. People dont want to come here even though this is, with little question, the most beautiful state in the union. Americans -- even those who like to mock our state -- ought to think about what this means.
California has always been a magnet -- a land that has called people from across the country and the world. Its a place that was known for its entrepreneurial spirit and open culture. But it has been turned into a regulatory and tax nightmare, a place where those who already have their money can live in their coastal palaces and enjoy the splendor of the landscapes, but where its unnecessarily difficult to move ones way up the economic ladder. The USC study doesnt reveal anything new as much as it confirms trends already apparent.
Four million more people have left California for other states than have come here from other states in the past two decades, according to demographer Joel Kotkin. The population growth has been coming mainly from immigrants and births from people already living here, but now the USC study shows that immigrants are going elsewhere. A cynic might say that Californias liberal elites have ended the states contentious battles over illegal immigration by destroying opportunities here.
Kotkin, an old-time liberal, sees troubling trends. Basically, if you dont own a piece of Facebook or Google and you havent robbed a bank and don't have rich parents, then your chances of being able to buy a house or raise a family in the Bay Area or in most of coastal California is pretty weak, he said in a recent Wall Street Journal interview. The new regime wants to destroy the essential reason why people move to California in order to protect their own lifestyles. He says the state is run for the benefit of the very rich, the very poor, and public employees.
This is not a healthy society. And the demographic changes point to an aging population. Far from reducing the burdens on the state government, this will increase them. State officials are not building to meet future needs, but they have been squandering future dollars on excessive pay and pension packages for public employees. Look for a coming battle between services for lower-income Californians and retirement benefits for the most powerful special interest group in the state, public employees.
Theres no chance the states most serious fiscal issues will be solved or even addressed soon. Earlier this month, Democratic Assembly leaders announced that they have no time to deal with the governors modest pension reform plan. They do have time to deal with hundreds of other bills, most of which range from the silly to the crazy. Whats the chance they will handle any of the other issues restricting Californias economy?
Gov. Jerry Brown points to economic growth in Silicon Valley as evidence of the success of his policies, but that area is an anomaly. The rest of the state is struggling. The anti-business, anti-growth policies pursued by Browns party will not make the situation better. People fleeing California are small business owners, young families, and tax-producers. They also tend to be more Republican, which means that as the exodus grows, so too grow the states tax and political problems. There will be fewer taxpayers and less political competition.
Californias leaders want a slower-growing population. Many Californians, even more conservative ones, will be happy that there will be fewer people and less development. But its disturbing that Californias official policy has been to punish people who want to pursue their dreams here. The states draconian land-use policies involve limiting growth, thus inflating the cost of property near the coast and pushing less-affluent people inland and to other states.
What I find reprehensible beyond belief is that the people pushing [high-density housing] themselves live in single-family homes and often drive very fancy cars, but want everyone else to live like my grandmother did in Brownsville in Brooklyn in the 1920s, Kotkin added, pointing to the smart-growth policies that dominate development decisions across California.
California remains a beautiful place, but it no longer is the destination for entrepreneurs, free-spirits, and dreamers. These are the fruits of modern-day progressive policies. This should be the cause of much sadness.
-- Steven Greenhut is vice president of journalism at the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity.
If you’ve got to explain it to them, then don’t bother.
California has been dead for a long time. This report is old hat.
The rate of growth has slowed to about 1 percent a year, the result of fewer immigrants coming here and so many Californians heading to other states.
Taxpayers are leaving in droves. The new arrivals are “gimmees”.
Here in the bay area, the liberals are constantly crowing that our area is growing faster than the rest of the state jobs wise, mainly because of the tech industry.
What’s funny is that literally everything else, we’re going downhill just like the rest of this screwed up state.
Just walking the streets of San Francisco I see businesses closing up shop, very few restaurants, a rejection of chain restaurants and big box stores...Which are huge job creators, here they are known as devilish.
It’s the “addicted to stupid” mentality of this state — the gas station nearby is $4.60 a gallon, and yet they still vote the same people in over and over again.
Yeah, all those old parks are just in the wrong places. I propose they take up debate about moving Yosemite to the Presidio in San Francisco and moving Sequoia to Griffith Park in LA. It would be nice having those natural wonders closer to our population centers where more people could enjoy them.
And why did they build that vast network of freeways in the remotes parts of rural northeast CA? Nobody uses them. Why didn't the planners consider building them where the people live? I guess we hired some pretty stupid planners.
Ca is still a magnet because it’s a sanctuary state. Let’s see how that works out
These Leftists will stop at nothing to fleece taxpayers. I predict that the CA government will try to find a way to tax out state residents that just attend conferences and business meeting in the state. So if you attend a meeting in CA, the CA IRS will contend that the meeting increased your income that you made in another state and therefore that income should be subjected to tax. If you make a dime off giving a lecture at a conference in CA, I do believe that the CA tax man cometh for as much as they want.
That's because the leeches that are somehow looting the taxpayer are now in the majority
new roads and parks? how about fixing the existing roads and reopening the state parks closed over the past two or so years?
The CA taxman will do what? If I lived in AZ and the CA tax man sent me a bill, that bill would go straight to the trash; are they going to try and cross the border and arrest me-—hardly.
They already do. Look at hotel and motel occupancy fees, "entertainment" taxes, (Taxes on food in restaurants.), taxes on all the places like Disneyland, Sea World, tourist traps like "Cars of the Stars" Universal Studios, taxes on rental cars, taxis and on and on.
If you don't go, and most locals don't, you won't feel the bite. But, ask yourself whether an $80 one day, for one person ticket to Disneyland is all Disney greed, or are state, county and city taxes being passed on to the Griswalds, who are really getting reamed?
It is an interesting question, however, to figure out *how* California is going to economically collapse.
That is, not the bad decisions leading up to it, but the great events themselves in which their government and economy fall apart.
So much for California dreamin'. A marketing success becomes a demographic catastrophe.
The average liberal around here is manifestly concerned about “preserving women’s rights” (the media/hollywood left has brainwashed them into thinking there’s somehow a threat to women’s rights just b/c Republicans tend to think there’s something wrong with infantacide). High gas prices mean nothing now that Bush is no longer in office.
Hypocrites. I don’t know how I stand it here.
The Detroitification of an entire state proceeds apace....
The crats only need to buy 51% of the voting stock to run the place. That mission has been accomplished. Their problem now is greed. Getting to 80% by luring more parasites and government hirelings will just bankrupt them sooner. Their behavior is irrational and self destructive. They need some management advice from their old country ancestors: the mafia.
I don't know how you stand being there either.
How The DNC Killed California is the true title!
This actually sums up the Democratic Party perfectly.
I remember in the Bush years traveling around the Bay Area seeing bumper stickers that read, 'No blood for oil'. Dont see those anymore now that flim flam Bam is The Guru in Chief.
The voters only have a long list of dead beats in the legislature and governor's office to thank for this one....
Let the state starve...and I live here...