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California is not all right


Despite stubbornly high inflation and record-high credit card debt, the economy added 2.7 million jobs last year while unemployment hovered just below 4%. But not all states did as well. California, the gem of Democratic uniparty governance, added just 154,000 jobs, and joblessness stagnated above 5%.

While states such as Florida and Texas grew their workforce by 3.4% and 3.3%, respectively, California’s grew by just 0.87%. All this was while the state budget deficit ballooned to a record $73 billion as revenues from personal income tax collection dropped by 25%.

Why is California’s economy sputtering while the rest of the nation moves ahead?

The simplest answer is that California’s population is shrinking. After more than 100 years of steady growth, California is exporting more people than it is importing. The state continues to have golden sunshine, natural beauty, and warm winters, but bad policy decisions by Democratic politicians who run the state mean people simply don’t want to live there anymore.

The biggest reason people are leaving is the cost of housing. On the coast where the best jobs are, California has some of the most expensive housing in the nation. To afford a median-priced home in San Francisco, a household needs to make $400,000 a year. Actual households in San Francisco make just one-third of that: $136,000.

California’s housing crisis is due to excessive environmental regulation, which makes it impossible to build new homes. While California built just fewer than 120,000 new homes in 2020, Texas built more than 260,000.

California also suffers from high energy costs, as intended by the controlling Democratic Party. State regulations and taxes produce the highest gas prices in America and some of the highest electricity rates. High gas prices make everything more expensive, as most goods are delivered by truck, and high electricity prices make manufacturing in the state next to impossible.

California sells itself on television as a great place to drive into the sunset, but the Bureau of Transportation Statistics has found that it has some of the nation’s worst roads. Nothing reveals California’s deranged infrastructure priorities more clearly than the billions of dollars it has spent on a high-speed train project since 2008 that remains unfinished without even a single mile of track. Meanwhile, California is letting the freeways fall into disrepair. They once made the state a prime destination for millions of people, but now California prefers to splurge billions of dollars on infrastructure that no one wants and doesn’t work.

Other than the unaffordable housing, high energy costs, and crumbling infrastructure, California has the nation’s largest homeless population. Many live in filthy open-air drug markets funded by theft and welfare. Whole neighborhoods of big cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles have become unlivable, and businesses are abandoning them.

California is mostly beautiful, and many millionaires and billionaires choose the good life there. And there will always be immigrants available to mow their lawns, cook their dinners, clean their houses, and look after their children. But it is a gated life to which the general public is not admitted. For the middle class, the California dream is dead. Until there is a change of leadership in Sacramento, it will stay dead.

Continue Reading at The Washington Examiner.

Washington Examiner

Political news and commentary about Congress, the president and the federal government from the Washington Examiner.

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