The poor underbelly of California prosperity

Hoover Institute:
Consider the following statistics:

  • California ranks 49th in the country in housing affordability and 49th in new home construction. Only about 30 percent households can afford the median priced home, while 25 percent of the country’s homeless are in California
  • Over half of California renters pay rents that are considered to be unaffordable relative to their income.
  • Nearly 40 percent of Californians live at or near poverty levels, and nearly one third of the country’s welfare recipients live in California.
  • California has the country’s 6th highest tax burden and ranks 40th in inflation-adjusted, after-tax income
  • California public K–12 schools rank 41st in the country, despite substantially higher spending on schools.
  • California’s public infrastructure receives a grade of D+ by the American Society of Civil Engineers, reflecting insufficient government capital investments.
  • California has unreliable water supplies that severely impact the quality of life during drought periods, which raise business costs and introduce uncertainty in business planning.
  • Average California residential electricity prices are among the highest in the country and are roughly twice as high as those in Texas, which not only has more wind and solar generation capacity than California but also has implemented vigorous competition in the retail electricity market.
  • California’s nearly 14 million Medi-Cal recipients would represent the nation’s 5th largest state

Poorly-designed economic policies have either created or significantly contributed to these problems....
For many in California "affordable housing" is a camping tent.  This is leading to significant sanitation problems in several areas.  I last visited California a couple of years ago and took some rural roads from the San Francisco Bay Area to Los Angelos.  I was surprised at how poor parts of the state were.  Their ridiculous building restrictions have made housing out of reach for what was once a prosperous middle class.  In the cities, restrictions mean people are paying exorbitant amounts for old houses and then having to spend huge amounts to make them habitable.

Their reliance on alternative energy has made it unaffordable for many.  It is frightfully expensive and inefficient.  They have to rely on fossil fuel for back up and when their solar plants are producing, they are unable to scale to meet demand which leaves the state paying other states to take excess capacity.  California is a case study in the foolishness of the Green New Deal.

BTW, California pot sales are not producing the revenue windfall the politicians expected.  The state will also lose potentially billions in the bankruptcy of its largest utility after the devastating forest fires which many think resulted from its refusal to properly manage its forests.


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