So far this decade, California has defied economic logic, largely due to the explosive growth of Silicon Valley, as well as the effects of rapid real estate appreciation. Yet, these gains have failed to reverse, and in some ways have even exacerbated, the state’s highest-in-the-nation poverty rate, growing inequality and a mounting outmigration of middle-class families. These facts suggest that it’s time to end the celebration and start focusing on how create a more expansive, less feudal California.
The economies of Southern California’s metropolitan areas grew late last year at their slowest pace since 2010, a series of government indexes show.
Carpinteria-based CKE, which also owns St. Louis-based Hardee’s, is consolidating both offices in Tennessee, which will be home to 120 corporate employees. Of those, 54 are new hires, which was necessary as 51 employees, including 24 working in Carpinteria, opted not to relocate, CKE said.
Without better jobs and affordable homes, people will leave O.C. and economy will be in trouble, Chapman researchers say
Orange County’s future prosperity depends on its ability to attract well-paying jobs, but its efforts are woefully inadequate when compared with those of other regions. . . “We have high housing costs,” Kotkin said. “But we are not generating the jobs to support those costs. As long as we have this real estate-driven economy, we are going to be in trouble. Orange County was once the belle of the ball. That era is over.”
California is on the road to a bifurcated, almost feudal, society, divided by geography, race and class. As is clear from the most recent Internal Revenue Service data, it’s not just the poor and ill-educated, as Brown apologists suggest, but, rather, primarily young families and the middle-aged, who are leaving. What will be left is a state dominated by a growing, but relatively small, upper class, many of them boomers; young singles and a massive, growing, increasingly marginalized “precariat” of low wage, often occasional, workers.
A campaign statement released Wednesday shows the group of teachers, doctors and labor organizations has nearly $14 million on hand for a November initiative to extend Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30 tax increases.
For the better part of a century, Southern California has been seen as the land of surfers, hipsters and youthful innovators. Yet the land of sun and sea is becoming, like its East Coast counterpart Florida, increasingly geriatric.
The sophisticated organizations in many cases use high-tech tactics, hacking into trucking companies to steal their identity. Armed with false shipping papers, they pose as legitimate truckers, driving off with loads of nuts such as almonds, walnuts or pistachios valued at $150,000, and some worth $500,000 each.
California needs energy and water equally, and residents are being asked to cut back on both. The state is leading the nation in setting goals for increasing production of renewable-energy sources but has relied on natural gas for the bulk of its energy production.
Now there is a sense that California’s expansion, its ability to create new communities and industries – outside of a few fields, like media and software – faces insurmountable constraints on water and other resources. . . This mindset has been predominant over the past decade, as the state has invested little in new water storage or delivery systems, essentially doing nothing since the late 1970s, when the population was 16 million less. Like the Roman Empire in its dotage, we seem to have decided to live off the blessings of the past, a sure way, it seems, to guarantee a diminished future.
California’s 76,400 farms recorded $53.5 billion in sales in 2014, the year Gov. Jerry Brown declared the state in a drought emergency and launched what in 2015 became mandatory conservation for cities and towns. The sales figures are the most recent annual ones released by the state agriculture department.
In government-burdened California, any break is welcome. And we got it. The outlook for California’s economy improved against the other states, according to the eighth edition of “Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index,” just out from the American Legislative Exchange Council.
In contrast, California’s new conservatism, often misleadingly called progressivism, seeks to prevent change by discouraging everything – from the construction of new job-generating infrastructure to virtually any kind of family-friendly housing. The resulting ill-effects on the state’s enormous population of poor and near-poor – roughly-one third of households – have been profound, although widely celebrated by the state’s gentry class.
The real losers will be the middle and working classes in Europe, America and East Asia, who will continue to struggle with low growth rates, diminished incomes and reduced prospects for gainful employment. The outlines of this divide, even during relatively good times, are already clearly discernible in California.
The owners of two high-profile Orange County restaurants are taking a stand on rising labor costs by implementing controversial changes that could lead to sticker shock on your next dining bill.