09/19/2020

Trump and California’s Economy

Defenders of California’s status-quo claim to be proud of California’s economic growth and worry about what Trump will do to that growth. If you are so impolite as to mention that this has been California’s slowest recovery in 70 years, as the following chart shows, you will be told that slow growth is good. It avoids the excesses of previous business cycles.

That’s nonsense. Slow growth is anti-poor and anti-minority. Here’s a simple way to analyze economic policy: Ask how the policy changes the probability of a young person finding a job. If the policy increases their chances, it’s good policy. If it decreases the probability, it’s bad policy.

I go farther than that. To me, deliberately enacting a policy that reduces a young person’s prospects is immoral.

California, and the nation, have lots of policies that reduce young people’s job prospects. So, there are lots of opportunities to increase economic growth. Certainly, it’s possible to present a set of policy proposals that would increase California’s economic growth.

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