California’s Descent to Socialism

Excerpt from an article that first appeared in the OC Register.

California is widely celebrated as the fount of technical, cultural and political innovation. Now we seem primed to outdo even ourselves, creating a new kind of socialism that, in the end, more resembles feudalism than social democracy. Read more

The California economy’s surface strength hides looming weakness

Excerpt from an article that first appeared in the OC Register.

If you listen to California’s many boosters, things have never been so good. And, to be sure, since 2011, the state appears to have gained its economic footing, and outperformed many of its rivals.

Some, such as Los Angeles Magazine and Bloomberg, claim that it is California — not the bumbling Trump regime — that is “making America great again.” California, with 2 percent job growth in 2016, gained jobs more rapidly than most states. The growth rate was about equal to Texas and Colorado, but behind such growth centers as Florida, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Utah and the District of Columbia.

Bay Area: Still the tower of power

Over the past few years, the Bay Area has grown faster in terms of jobs than anywhere in the nation. But this year, according to the annual survey of the nation’s 70 largest job markets that I do with Pepperdine University public policy professor Michael Shires for Forbes, there is a discernible slowing in the region. For the first time this decade, San Francisco lost its No. 1 slot to Dallas, which, like most other fastest-growing metros, boasts lower costs and taxes, and has created more middle-class jobs than its California rivals.

The San Francisco area, which includes suburban San Mateo, remains vibrant. More troubling may be the weakening of the adjacent San Jose/Silicon Valley economy, which dropped six places to eighth — respectable, but not the kind of superstar performance we have seen over the past several years.

This partly reflects an inevitable slowdown in information job growth. As the startup economy has stalled, and the big players have consolidated their dominance, sector growth has dropped from near double digits to well under half that. Perhaps more telling has been a shift in domestic migration, which was positive in San Francisco earlier in the decade, but has now turned sharply negative. These are clear signs of a boom that is cooling off.

Southern California: Stuck in second gear

Southern California continues to lag. San Diego managed only a mediocre 29th-place finish. That’s better than Orange County, which managed an even less impressive 37th, and Los Angeles, by far the state’s largest job market, which reached only 40th place.

In Southern California, many seem to mistake high housing prices for economic vigor…. Read the rest of the article at OC Register.

Fading Promise: Millennial Prospects in the Golden State

Cover of Fading Promise ReportMany of California’s problems are self-inflicted, the result of misguided policies that have tended to inflate land prices and drive up the cost of all kinds of housing. Since housing is the largest household expenditure, this pushes up the cost of living.

California still has the landmass and the appeal to power opportunity for the next generation. It is up to us to reverse the course and restore The California Dream for the next generation.

Read the full report here
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Are Millennials Getting Priced Out of California?

This article appeared in CBS Sacramento.

by Drew Bollea

Millennials want what their parents have. They want to eventually have kids, a good job, and to own a home, but attaining that future is becoming more and more challenging in California, that’s according to Joel Kotkin, an RC Hobbs Presidential Fellow in urban futures at Chapman University. Read more

California’s Reactionary Housing Policy Burns Millennials

This article appeared in The American Interest.

The Golden State’s soaring home prices—exacerbated by NIMBY zoning restrictions, development plans that prioritize “density,” and arbitrary environmental rules—are exacting a catastrophic social and economic toll on the rising generation of young people looking to start families and lay down roots. So argues a bracing recent report from Joel Kotkin’s Center for Demographics and Policy at Chapman University. Read more

California Squashes Its Young

This article appeared in City Journal.

In this era of anti-Trump resistance, many progressives see California as a model of enlightenment. The Golden State’s post-2010 recovery has won plaudits in the progressive press from the New York Times’s Paul Krugman, among others. Read more

California’s War on the Emerging Generation

This article appeared in the OC Register.

It should be the obligation of older citizens to try to improve the prospects for their successors. But, here in California, as seen in a new report issued by the Chapman Center for Demographics and Policy, we seem to have adopted an agenda designed to make things tougher for them. Read more

California’s Tribal Politics

To my fellow residents, and particularly fellow taxpayers of California, I have a special message: Your concerns don’t matter much anymore. Rather than a functioning democracy, California has become a one-party state dominated by a series of tribes whose special priorities are sacrosanct, however much they might hurt the rest of us. Read more

Leaving California? After Slowing, the Trend Intensifies

by Joel Kotkin and Wendell Cox

Given its iconic hold on the American imagination, the idea that more Americans are leaving California than coming breaches our own sense of uniqueness and promise. Read more

The Other California: a Flyover State Within a State

California may never secede, or divide into different states, but it has effectively split into entities that could not be more different. On one side is the much-celebrated, post-industrial, coastal California, beneficiary of both the Tech Boom 2.0 and a relentlessly inflating property market. Read more