Tuesday, January 16, 2018

California, There It Goes!

Tell me that this does not bring a smile to your jaded heart? California, the home of moral preening and celebrity virtue signaling, a place where every illegal immigrant is offered a warm bath of empathy, has become the poorest state in America. Even a gaggle of high tech billionaires cannot raise the misbegotten state above the bottom rung on the wealth index.

Does this tell us what happens when your sanctuary cities and sanctuary state open their arms wide to hordes of illiterate migrants? Writing an op ed in the Los Angeles Times (via Matt Walsh via Maggie’s Farm) KerryJackson has the grim details:

Guess which state has the highest poverty rate in the country? Not Mississippi, New Mexico, or West Virginia, but California, where nearly one out of five residents is poor. That’s according to the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure, which factors in the cost of housing, food, utilities and clothing, and which includes noncash government assistance as a form of income.

Given robust job growth and the prosperity generated by several industries, it’s worth asking why California has fallen behind, especially when the state’s per-capita GDP increased approximately twice as much as the U.S. average over the five years ending in 2016 (12.5%, compared with 6.27%).

Nearly 20% of the residents of the Golden State are poor. And that includes all of the government assistance that the state doles out.

One problem is that California does not make welfare contingent on work.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, some states — principally Wisconsin, Michigan, and Virginia — initiated welfare reform, as did the federal government under President Clinton and a Republican Congress. Tied together by a common thread of strong work requirements, these overhauls were a big success: Welfare rolls plummeted and millions of former aid recipients entered the labor force.

The state and local bureaucracies that implement California’s antipoverty programs, however, resisted pro-work reforms. In fact, California recipients of state aid receive a disproportionately large share of it in no-strings-attached cash disbursements. It’s as though welfare reform passed California by, leaving a dependency trap in place. Immigrants are falling into it: 55% of immigrant families in the state get some kind of means-tested benefits, compared with just 30% of natives.

As you know, Mexican immigrants to America are invariably the best and the brightest the world has ever seen. They are all high school valedictorians, Navy SEALs and high tech entrepreneurs. Thus we find it more than passing strange that 55% of immigrant families are on welfare. Stranger still, more than 40% of California families do not speak English at home.

And also, the hand of big government has made housing unaffordable. Why? Because of land use regulations and environmentalist dictates. Nature remains pristine. The state is suffering a housing shortage… that has caused the price of housing to increase beyond what most people can afford:

Further contributing to the poverty problem is California’s housing crisis. More than four in 10 households spent more than 30% of their income on housing in 2015. A shortage of available units has driven prices ever higher, far above income increases. And that shortage is a direct outgrowth of misguided policies.

“Counties and local governments have imposed restrictive land-use regulations that drove up the price of land and dwellings,” explains analyst Wendell Cox. “Middle-income households have been forced to accept lower standards of living while the less fortunate have been driven into poverty by the high cost of housing.” The California Environmental Quality Act, passed in 1971, is one example; it can add $1 million to the cost of completing a housing development, says Todd Williams, an Oakland attorney who chairs the Wendel Rosen Black & Dean land-use group. CEQA costs have been known to shut down entire homebuilding projects. CEQA reform would help increase housing supply, but there’s no real movement to change the law.

As you might have guessed, environmental regulations have also made energy much more expensive:

Extensive environmental regulations aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions make energy more expensive, also hurting the poor. By some estimates, California energy costs are as much as 50% higher than the national average. Jonathan A. Lesser of Continental Economics, author of a 2015 Manhattan Institute study, “Less Carbon, Higher Prices,” found that “in 2012, nearly 1 million California households faced … energy expenditures exceeding 10% of household income. In certain California counties, the rate of energy poverty was as high as 15% of all households.” A Pacific Research Institute study by Wayne Winegarden found that the rate could exceed 17% of median income in some areas.

And, of course, increases in the minimum wage have thrown many low wage workers out of the job market:

Looking to help poor and low-income residents, California lawmakers recently passed a measure raising the minimum wage from $10 an hour to $15 an hour by 2022 — but a higher minimum wage will do nothing for the 60% of Californians who live in poverty and don’t have jobs. And research indicates that it could cause many who do have jobs to lose them. A Harvard University study found evidence that “higher minimum wages increase overall exit rates for restaurants” in the Bay Area, where more than a dozen cities and counties, including San Francisco, have changed their minimum-wage ordinances in the last five years. “Estimates suggest that a one-dollar increase in the minimum wage leads to a 14% increase in the likelihood of exit for a 3.5-star restaurant (which is the median rating),” the report says. These restaurants are a significant source of employment for low-skilled and entry-level workers.

California, there it goes!

[I am happy to include Lennie's excellent poem, from the comments:

California there I go
Back to the land of ice and snow
Where bowers of flowers
Are dead until spring
But left wing @ssh*les
Dont run everything
A corn fed cutie says dont be late
That's why I wont hesitate
To just get on that interstate
California there I go


Anonymous said...

California there I go
Back to the land of ice and snow
Where bowers of flowers
Are dead until spring
But left wing @ssh*les
Dont run everything
A corn fed cutie says dont be late
That's why I wont hesitate
To just get on that interstate
California there I go

"Not-a-robot" Callmelennie

trigger warning said...

As usual, I'm always delighted when people get what they vote for.

I think the more interesting thing to watch, aside from cute stories about the literal urban s**tholes of San Francisco (Poop Map anyone?) and San Diego (hepatitis, anyone?), will be the attempt to reclassify CA taxes (in excess of the new Federal deductibility limits) as a "charitable donation". Lois Lerner, call your former office.

Sam L. said...

Yaknow, maybe, could it be, that these welfare payments are one of (no doubt, the many) reasons government pensions are underfunded? Just a thought.

Re: Energy costs California is shutting down its one nuke power plant, which it will replace with out-of-state power, likely coal-fueled; but HEY, the wind is from the west so no prob on pollution, man. It's all COOOOOOL.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

There are two sides of this political debate about immigration.

The best analogy is the phenomenon called “amicable” divorce.

It sounds so nice. Something we’d all wish for others. Perhaps even ourselves (sometimes).

In our (aggregate) life experience, I hope we can all agree this “amicable” divorce phenomenon is RARE in actual results.

The reason? For an amicable divorce to occur, the priorities or or desired outcomes of the parties MUST BE aligned.

Again, this is rare.

Immigration is a contentious issue. And President Trump is bringing the issue to the fore... with a clear position. Thank God, I say.

To expect this political issue to be simple, genteel and amicable is INSANE.

Yet people — we are told they (the nameless, faceless “they”) expect this to be straightforward and amicable.

Who the hell are “they,” and why should we care what they think?

If you want to say “they” are the voters (the FOR REAL voters), then we get what we deserve. I don’t think that is what’s going on... I don’t think that is reflected in who is being talked to in all these incessant “polling results” we hear about. What we consume is polling intended to shape what’s “news,” which isn’t really news — it’s a projection of opinion. A projection of the groupthink that reflects the inert conglomerate that is the media-government complex.

Therefore, this cannot be an “amicable” divorce. It never is, never can be. Why not? Because the issues and their resolutions are not aligned. What clear, self-respecting human society allows interested persons into their tribe without vetting on a whole host of qualifications?

Answer: none.

Yet that is EXACTLY what we are being asked to do. By a certain party. The ENTIRE party. It’s like abortion, in its universality.

Try to join an Antifa tribe as a conservative. They won’t let you in. And vice-versa. Is that a civil rights violation? No, it’s #%@&ing normal. And makes sense.

Why do we expect the political resolution to the preposterous lunacy of the lawless immigration status quo to be amicable? It.

It will not be. It never will be.

This is why Trump ran, this is what he said. He won, and this is what he’s setting out to do.

Where’s the surprise?

Enough. Get it done. End all this #%$&ing lawlessness that is transparently benefitting ONE political group/perspective/viewpoint.

[... And my spell-checker still does not autocorrect “Trimp” which indicates conspiracy... just sayin’]