Kotkin: Businesses, jobs exiting California

Kotkin: Businesses, jobs exiting California


April 23, 2012

By John Seiler

A couple of weeks ago Peter Douglas died. For 25 years he was the head of the California Coastal Commission. In an article, I pointed out that he was an elitist who was obsessed with hyper-regulating California for the enjoyment of elitists like himself — all under the guise of happy-slappy environmentalism. The result was the that the middle-class effectively was banned from owning property anywhere near California’s beautiful coasts.

Many commentators responded:

“Are you that jaded that you couldn’t wait his grave is cold to speak ill of the dead?…. You deserve ZERO.”

“This is completely unprofessional. You should be ashamed of yourself.”

“This is completely insensitive.”

“This is a cowardly post John. Very fitting of your character if you ask me.”

“Thank you,  John.  Guess you aren’t in the decency business either. There is just no limit to where you go and what you will say to make a political point.”

To quote Orange County native Steve Martin:

Fortunately, demographer and “Truman Democrat” Joel Kotkin has made similar points to what I did. Kotkin even voted for Gov. Jerry Brown in the 2010 election. Kotkin is an old-style liberal Democrat who is concerned about the working people of California — the old middle class that’s being driven into poverty our out of the state. He has nothing but disdain for the elitists.

Adios, Taxifornia

Here are some excerpts from a recent interview:

“as Mr. Kotkin notes, Californians are increasingly pursuing happiness elsewhere.

“Nearly four million more people have left the Golden State in the last two decades than have come from other states. This is a sharp reversal from the 1980s, when 100,000 more Americans were settling in California each year than were leaving. According to Mr. Kotkin, most of those leaving are between the ages of 5 and 14 or 34 to 45. In other words, young families.

“The scruffy-looking urban studies professor at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., has been studying and writing on demographic and geographic trends for 30 years. Part of California’s dysfunction, he says, stems from state and local government restrictions on development. These policies have artificially limited housing supply and put a premium on real estate in coastal regions.”

That’s the point I made in my article on Douglas. In particular, Douglas’ CCC (whose initials are a lot like CCCP) made coastal development almost impossible. In Huntington Beach, some local developers spent 35 years trying to put up housing projects. At first, they wanted to put up regular middle-class neighborhoods that most folks could afford. (A similar development was put up there a few years earlier in 1970, with houses selling for $20,000.)

The CCC nixed that.

The developers came back with a proposal for housing that was less dense — and more expensive.

The CCC nixed that too.

On it went. Until about three years ago, when the CCC finally approved the development. Here it is: The Bungalows at Pacific Shores gated community. I drove over there and looked around. The sales lady said the cost for the home I checked was $1.2 million. Times are tough, so you probably could steal it for $1.1 million.

The Website enthuses:

“Imagine waking up every day at the beach. That’s the essence of the Pacific Shores lifestyle. Surfing, swimming and sunbathing on the sand are all just a short three-block walk from the community. And all of the other attractions that have made Huntington Beach famous – the world-renowned pier and the shops, restaurants and nightlife along Main Street – are only minutes away. At Pacific Shores, you’ll be surrounded by the unique coastal culture that has earned Huntington Beach renown as Surf City USA.”

That’s a lifestyle once enjoyed by California’s middle class. Now, thanks to the late Douglas limiting the coast to himself and his rich, elitist friends, the coast can be enjoyed only by the “1 percent” — or maybe the “0.1 percent.”

Notice in the picture how one of the housing styles is called “Plantation.” That’s appropriate. The Elite, whose fortunes the late Douglas promoted, lives on a plantation — and you’re the taxpayer-slave who lives in a shack.

Back to Bakersfield

Sure, you still can live in Bakersfield and drive a couple of hours to the beach, and buy a year-round state parks pass for $195. But the pass price and the high cost of gas, averaging $4.17 a gallon today in California, is going to make that really expensive. Better take a bath and put Merle on the iPod:

Let’s get back to the Kotkin interview:

“‘Basically, if you don’t own a piece of Facebook or Google and you haven’t robbed a bank and don’t have rich parents, then your chances of being able to buy a house or raise a family in the Bay Area or in most of coastal California is pretty weak,” says Mr. Kotkin.

“While many middle-class families have moved inland, those regions don’t have the same allure or amenities as the coast. People might as well move to Nevada or Texas, where housing and everything else is cheaper and there’s no income tax.”

Then there’s AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. It was signed into law by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to give him a legacy, which he’s now exploiting on his globetrotting for extreme environmentalism. It was supposed to encourage other states and countries to follow suit by killing their industries for absurd reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. But nobody is following California into economic folly.

The main result is that AB 32 will kill 1 million jobs.  It doesn’t matter to Arnold, who is worth $700 million, a fact that came out last year when his wife filed for divorce after it was revealed that Arnold was promoting global warming with the family maid. (Or half that, if Maria goes through with the divorce.)

Since he signed AB 32 in 2006, even the term “global warming” has been frozen out by environmentalist fanatics, who now use the term “climate change” — a nebulous phrase that could mean anything, and does.

Arnold also signed into law the lesser known SB 375, whose aim is to jam poor and middle-class Californians, ant-like, into high-rises, while Arnold and the others in the mega-millions Elite frolick in the depopulated coastal areas.

The ‘new regime’

Kotkin interview:

“And things will only get worse in the coming years as Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and his green cadre implement their “smart growth” plans to cram the proletariat into high-density housing. “What I find reprehensible beyond belief is that the people pushing [high-density housing] themselves live in single-family homes and often drive very fancy cars, but want everyone else to live like my grandmother did in Brownsville in Brooklyn in the 1920s,” Mr. Kotkin declares.

“‘The new regime’—his name for progressive apparatchiks who run California’s government—’wants to destroy the essential reason why people move to California in order to protect their own lifestyles.'”

“Housing is merely one front of what he calls the ‘progressive war on the middle class.’ Another is the cap-and-trade law AB32, which will raise the cost of energy and drive out manufacturing jobs without making even a dent in global carbon emissions. Then there are the renewable portfolio standards, which mandate that a third of the state’s energy come from renewable sources like wind and the sun by 2020. California’s electricity prices are already 50% higher than the national average.”

So, is there a solution for the survival of the California middle class?

Yes. Click here.







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  1. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 23 April, 2012, 15:01

    Good post!

    Reply this comment
  2. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 23 April, 2012, 15:19

    Kotkin says nothing about the illegals and the welfare state driving producers out of Cali. Why not? It undeniable. Many people (producers/taxpayers) I have spoken with have left Cali for that very reason. Tired of having their pockets picked to subsidize illegal foreigners. That is why California has 33% of the nation’s welfare population and and only 12% of the nation’s total population. The sludge is getting pumped in and the sweet crude is getting pumped out. Soon all you have left is sludge. This is not rocket science. How could anyone miss that gorilla sitting in the middle of our collective living room? The intelligensia had better wake up. But my guess is that their ommision is intentional. Indigents are very easy to control when they depend on handouts for survival. This is really not much different than when the africans were shipped in during the 18th and 19th centuries. The only difference today is that the liberals market slavery as opportunity. Work for slave wages today and tomorrow you will be one of us. Naturally, all of us know that’s a bald faced lie. Once a slave, always a slave! 😉

    Reply this comment
  3. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 23 April, 2012, 16:25

    BTW, who is Merle Haggard trying to BS? Wasn’t he part of the outlaws (Waylon Jennings, Willie, Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, etc…?) My oh my. How times and attitudes change, eh??? Okie from Muskogee. Yeah, right Merle. 😉

    Reply this comment
  4. Ted Steele, Janitor
    Ted Steele, Janitor 23 April, 2012, 18:00

    That was scarey time– that banjo and fiddle crap almost caught on!

    Reply this comment
  5. Ted Steele, Janitor
    Ted Steele, Janitor 23 April, 2012, 18:50

    Hey Beezy-loon===== you seem to have an opinion about EVERYthing.

    Reply this comment
  6. Ms Right
    Ms Right 23 April, 2012, 19:46

    I’m glad that Mr. Seiler gave some back ground – I saw the story and thought Kotkin was a conservative. My son is moving to Idaho in the summer, and he is one of the lucky ones, he has a full time job here in San Diego (he’s 20), but he feels that he won’t have a good future in California. Between taxes and regulations, I may leave too. I went to see Ann Coulter last Friday night, a question was asked of the say 300 in the audience – ‘Will you stay and fight for California’, the emcee said, “well, I think there were 4 people who raised their hands”. The progressives are winning, and they will have a bankrupt state. TOTAL BUMMER DUDE!

    Reply this comment
  7. queeg
    queeg 23 April, 2012, 20:34

    yawn…same old names…same trash talk….

    Reply this comment
  8. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 23 April, 2012, 21:04

    “Hey Beezy-loon===== you seem to have an opinion about EVERYthing”

    This is an opinion board, bird brain. No one forces you to read an opinion. Yet you always seem to have an opinion about my opinions. I have you on the edge of your seat. You’re way too easy. If you are anti-opinion take a hike. You won’t be missed. I promise. IMO you bring nothing of value to CWD.

    Reply this comment
  9. queeg
    queeg 23 April, 2012, 21:08

    toucheee….we deserve better…..of each other…

    Reply this comment
  10. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 23 April, 2012, 21:59

    I never draw first blood. It’s just never been my style. I might disagree but I never get nasty until the board clowns start taking cheap pot shots. At that point I’m all in. All is fair in love and war.

    Reply this comment
  11. Ted Steele, Janitor
    Ted Steele, Janitor 23 April, 2012, 22:23

    You’re right queeg– it’s difficult to be civil though to the super misinformed loon type. I never take the time to truly read the lad’s posts because they are usually chock full of reactionary pedantic twaddle. I should try harder to be civil to the dolt. I honestly should. Yeah, that’s right. Everybody is entitled to an opinion. So there ya have it. MMMMMM that’s better.

    Reply this comment
  12. Ted Steele, Janitor
    Ted Steele, Janitor 23 April, 2012, 22:32

    John– You were dead wrong about Peter Douglas. The coastal act was the solution to the death of 1000 cuts the Cal coast was/is suffering. Like a slow motion disaster the shifting baselines of coastal destruction roll on notwithstanding the act. Without the act, take a good long look at the coast of say northern Baja— that would be us– what a mess.

    You are wrong that a middle class guy can’t own a house at the coast– I have for 30 plus years– no worries. I even had to navigate the CC on a remod. because I was in the zone— no problem.

    He was a great selfless guy. Branding him elitist is just a label, and an inaccurate one at that.

    Reply this comment
  13. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 23 April, 2012, 22:42

    “You’re right queeg– it’s difficult to be civil though to the super misinformed loon type”

    Misinformed? You never challenge my assertions or opinions because you realize that I’d eat you alive. Instead you favor personal attacks. That’s fine. I’m a big boy. But just want you to know that you don’t fool me. I see right through your diaper play. You’re very easy to read. Normally the dumb ones are.

    Reply this comment
  14. Barb
    Barb 24 April, 2012, 05:57

    What I found interesting with Mr. Kotkin is by voting for Mr. Brown this time around he would somehow make a difference. Huh? Isn’t that the obvious definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results is what I took away from this. While I agree with his assessment on the state of my native state, California, I’m not sure he’s willing to concede that liberal policies is what is destroying such a beautiful state. Hmmmm……..Maybe he needs to do as you suggest and fly SW somewhere to see examples of how sound fiscal policies can help the state along! It’s still pretty mild in the Lonestar state!

    Reply this comment
  15. Barb
    Barb 24 April, 2012, 05:58

    Mr. B, You know the saying, “Never argue with a fool”!

    Reply this comment
  16. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 24 April, 2012, 08:24

    I trust very few university economists or academicians who write op-eds on the economy. I take it all with a grain of salt. All have agendas. Most have a real liberal bent too. I can’t tell you how many have claimed that the housing market is turning around for the last 3 years. I laugh at all of them. They continue with the same babble until there is a bump in sale for one month and then they say “See, what did I tell you?” heh. Total baloney. Then the next month housing falls through the floor and they are nowhere to be found. the ones who say that deficits don’t matter (like Krugman) are the funniest. When they make statements like that their alma maters should suspend their degree and any privileges they might have. A halfway intelligent 11th grader can see through their spin. It’s really deplorable that American education has fallen from grace as far as it has.

    Reply this comment
  17. Ted Steele, Janitor
    Ted Steele, Janitor 24 April, 2012, 10:51

    i never challenge your posts ???? I guess you don’t read for comprehension much….

    Reply this comment
  18. Michaele
    Michaele 24 April, 2012, 11:25

    Why does anyone intereact with Beelzebub, “it” is not worth intereacting with. We know who’s right here.

    Reply this comment
  19. queeg
    queeg 25 April, 2012, 08:09

    Michaele is the true sage on this site…the real deal…

    Reply this comment
  20. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 25 April, 2012, 10:24

    Historially truth tellers have been unpopular and even sometimes burned at the stake. You notice my detractors don’t actually debate me. They only toss barbs and shoot rusty nails. I define a coward as someone who exclusively attacks the messenger while completely sidestepping the message itself. If the shoe fits – put it on. 😀

    Reply this comment

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