California is burning away
It's sad to see, but California may be burning itself out of existence. It's hard to see how these cities can recover at a time when public budgets are deeply in the red and taxpayers are fleeing.
This is from Chron:
California has become a warming, burning, epidemic-challenged and expensive state, with many who live in sophisticated cities, idyllic oceanfront towns and windblown mountain communities thinking hard about the viability of a place many have called home forever.
For the first time in a decade, more people left California last year for other states than arrived.
A couple of days ago, I met a young man visiting Texas from California. We spoke for about an hour, and it was like reading the front-page news.
He is self employed and lives with his mom in the San Jose area. He loves the lifestyle but is constantly wondering if he can afford to live there much longer. Then he added that the streets are unsafe, and he is concerned to leave Mom at home by herself.
I understand that he is just one of 40 million who live there. Nevertheless, California has reached a breaking point, as the article points out:
It is an economy, the world's fifth largest, that is built by government policy and private enterprise to favor the skilled in Silicon Valley, Hollywood and the wealthy everywhere else. The rest of California is increasingly a service economy that pays a far larger share of its income in taxes and on housing and food.
Median income in the state is $75,277. The median home price in San Francisco is $1.3 million, nearly twice that of Los Angeles. The state government is doing next to nothing to close the gap.
Doing nothing? What can they do? Taxes are already sky-high. Regulations are killing businesses. And now the wildfires confirm that the state Legislature has been listening to too many environmentalists.
Let's hope it turns around, but I wouldn't bet on it.