Kotkin: Businesses, jobs exiting California

by CalWatchdog Staff | April 23, 2012 2:40 pm


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[1], 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[2]:

“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[3]) 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[4]. 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.

[5]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[6]. 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[7]. It was signed into law by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to give him a legacy, which he’s now exploiting on his globetrotting [8]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[9].  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[10], 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[11].







  1. In an article: http://www.calwatchdog.com/2012/04/03/good-riddance-to-peter-douglas/
  2. a recent interview: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304444604577340531861056966.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop
  3. CCCP: http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070409122637AAax02g
  4. Pacific Shores gated community: http://www.pacificshoreshb.com/pacific-shores/
  5. [Image]: http://www.calwatchdog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Pacific-Shores.jpg
  6. for $195: http://www.ocregister.com/news/parks-349687-state-pass.html
  7. AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Warming_Solutions_Act_of_2006
  8. his globetrotting : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/21/arnold-schwarzenegger-in-_n_881394.html
  9. kill 1 million jobs: http://www.calwatchdog.com/2010/01/08/new-gut-ab32-to-save-jobs/
  10. SB 375: http://www.scag.ca.gov/sb375/index.htm
  11. Click here: http://www.southwest.com/flight/select-flight.html?disc=0%3A19%3A1335215729.433000%3A1807%40A33F37EF449FA53922E3B79D2BB36AD72A7C5B72&ss=0&int=&companyName=&cid=

Source URL: https://calwatchdog.com/2012/04/23/kotkin-businesses-jobs-exiting-california/