Reports and Data
To date, there are two common errors when thinking about Orange County’s future. One maintains that Orange County, rejecting the dispersed model suggested by its origins, ought to mimic Los Angeles (which, in turn, thinks IT should be mimicking San Francisco or New York) and become more “city like” — code for high density housing, mass transit and a centralized downtown. Although this strategy works in older, downtown-centric “legacy cities”, it has proven far less successful elsewhere. This is most evident in neighboring Los Angeles, OC’s closest relative. The determined drive there to become “city-like” may have benefitted some, such as developers and beneficiaries of public contracts, but has demonstrably failed to improve economic conditions across the metropolis
Researchers looked at three key California climate and clean energy policies: 1) cap and trade, which established a market designed to reduce carbon emissions from major polluters; 2) the renewables portfolio standard (RPS), which calls for California to get 33 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, growing to 50 percent by 2030; and 3) energy efficiency programs run by investor-owned utilities and overseen by the Public Utilities Commission.
The evidence in this report suggests that Californian children have higher rates of income mobility because of their parents’ and their own characteristics, not because growing up in California results in more mobility. On average, growing up in California results in somewhat lower adult earnings for children compared to living elsewhere in the United States. . . According to the Chetty and Hendren estimates, had these children grown up somewhere else, they would have experienced slightly greater upward income mobility. . . While growing up in California results in lower future earnings for low–income children on average, there is a great deal of variation in these outcomes at a local level. Within California, growing up in a particular county can increase or decrease a child’s future annual income by a couple of thousand dollars.
The tech sector and professional services of the United States are world class; they draw skilled workers from every country, akin to professional European football teams. The same could be said of top universities in the United States. But the rest of the economy — especially the U.S. healthcare and education sectors — are not world class, and the country’s top universities serve just a tiny fraction of the U.S. adult population. These sectors — as well as housing — have racked up tremendous expenses for consumers, businesses and taxpayers but provided relatively little value in return, as this report will describe in detail. As a result, the great strengths of the United States are offset by great weaknesses.
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Nov. 17, 2017 / Andrew Khouri

Nov. 17, 2017 / The Editorial Board