CA suffers highest percentage of poor

CA suffers highest percentage of poor

Unemployment march, depression, wikimediaThis kind of puts a kink in Gov. Jerry Brown’s insistence that “California is back.” According to a new study by the U.S. Census Bureau, when housing is factored in, California has the nation’s highest poverty rate, at 23.8 percent. It’s higher than Mississippi, Alabama, West Virgina and other states we think of as poor.

Brown’s response — he really said this — “People come here from all over in the world, close by from Mexico and Central America and farther out from Asia and the Middle East. So, California beckons, and people come. And then, of course, a lot of people who arrive are not that skilled, and they take lower paying jobs. And that reflects itself in the economic distribution…. So, yeah, it’s there, but it’s really the flip side of California’s incredible attractiveness and prosperity.”

So we’re poor because we’re rich.

But the poor also are attracted to Texas — bad weather and all — which has a poverty rate of 16.4 percent. That’s because it has two things California doesn’t: cheap housing and plentiful jobs. So in the Lone Star State the poor have a chance, if they work hard, to lift themselves up.


Here’s why, despite the gleaming billionaire future promised by Silicon Valley, poverty is so high in California:

1. High housing costs. This stems from extreme restrictions on new construction by the California Coastal Commission and innumerable regulations of every kind. The median price of a home now is more than $1 million in Silicon Valley and San Francisco; and more than $650,000 in Orange County.

2. High taxes. The top rate now is 13.5 percent, but that starts at $250,000. The hefty 9.3 percent rate starts at about $55,000 of income. So once you hit the middle class — and $55,000 is the lower middle-class here — you get hit hard.

3. Preposterous regulations, such as AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. The regulations hamstring manufacturing, whose jobs used to be the main way the poor lifted themselves up into the middle class.

4. Schools near the bottom on national testing. California schools recently were dumbed down by the adoption of the federal Common Core curriculum. The ultra-powerful teachers’ unions buck any reforms, denying way too many kids the skills necessary to compete in a high-tech economy.

I don’t see any of those things changing. If you’re poor, you get a lot of benefits. If you’re rich, you can enjoy California as the perfect playground. If you’re middle-class, you have trouble paying the housing and tax bills, and every day are at risk of dropping into poverty — as you check the price of renting a U-Haul.




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  1. Queeg
    Queeg 7 November, 2013, 15:28

    Geesh…..I’m depressed.

    The Doomers will really be lathered up on this piece. Whew.

    Reply this comment
  2. bob
    bob 7 November, 2013, 19:51

    Doesn’t the 9.3 rate start at 47 or 48k?

    Reply this comment
  3. LetItCollapse
    LetItCollapse 8 November, 2013, 00:40

    Wow. So CA has the highest poverty rate. I guess that makes sense since CA has 12% of the US population and a full 33% of the US welfare recipient population. That stat just floors me. I guess the relative ease in obtaining public assistance or the terms (amount, duration, etc..) in CA must be the big draw. Otherwise, why would so many poor people come here as opposed to a lower cost state like TX?

    Then I took a look at the 2012 census bureau report that compiled this data. The average US poverty rate was 16%. Then I looked at the southern border states – most of which have relative low cost of living compared to CA. This is what I found: CA: 23.8%; AZ: 18.8%; NV: 19.8%; TX: 16.4%; NM: 16.1%.

    And then I looked at states with high costs of living similar to CA: NJ: 15.5%; NY: 18.1%; MA: 13.8%; CT: 12.5%; AK: 12.5%; RI: 13.6%; NH: 10.2%.

    I noticed that even in other high cost of living states that many were below the national average poverty rate.

    But in low cost of living states along the southern border poverty rates were were all above the national average.

    And yet Jerry Brown signs a law that gives illegals official CA drivers licenses and signs the “Trust Act” which forbids local authorities to turn jailed illegals over to the feds for deportation unless they’ve been convicted of serious violent felonies. The rest get to stay.

    And the more that Jerry “beckons” the higher our poverty rates climbs. And the greater the amount of taxdollars needed to provide food, shelter, education and medical care for the indigents.

    And Jerry can’t seem to understand why we have the highest poverty rate in the nation. Is he really that stupid? I don’t think so.

    Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again – and expecting a different outcome. Sometimes insanity is deliberate.

    Reply this comment
    NTHEOC 8 November, 2013, 12:57

    California may have a high percentage number of poor, but it still has tons of millionaires!!By far the most in the country by number…So really we should have no problem helping those in need and who are less fortunate than most.

    Reply this comment
  5. Queeg
    Queeg 8 November, 2013, 13:20

    Collapse…….your unrelenting Doom Chronicles are wearing on us…..some may be considering addictive medication or CVS wine binges…..others may go for a little white coat……spare us!

    Reply this comment
  6. LetItCollapse
    LetItCollapse 8 November, 2013, 14:26

    Queeg, I know few people like hearing the truth. Sorry. You could always put in a request to have me banned.

    To make you feel better and give you a temporary high I could lie to you like Obama does.

    But since I’m not an inveterate liar you would probably see right through mine and only experience increased discomfort and disappointment.

    I guess all I can do is offer an apology to you. Sorry.

    Reply this comment
  7. jimmydeeoc
    jimmydeeoc 8 November, 2013, 14:45

    Queeg….your intransigence at letting even a pebble of unbiased and objective data sully your rose-colored view of the Pyrite State is wearing on us….

    Reply this comment
  8. jimmydeeoc
    jimmydeeoc 8 November, 2013, 14:48

    BTW….you guys know your clock is still on Daylight Saving?

    Reply this comment
  9. californianative
    californianative 8 November, 2013, 16:29

    Moving my mother and her assets out of California next month. Only one of her 4 California born children still living in state. Thank God I left when my children were still young. They all went to good public schools back east, one will finish up college next year, the others are all done with college and are productive tax paying citizens in their adopted state. I love California with all my heart, it is sad to see it become yet another 3rd world Banana Republic. Rich and Poor.

    Reply this comment
  10. LetItCollapse
    LetItCollapse 8 November, 2013, 17:57

    Californianative, one of the smartest decisions you probably ever made was removing your kids from CA when they were toddlers. My compliments. Moving a family is never easy for a parent. No doubt you are a wonderful mom or dad.

    I just read the results of the latest 2013 national standardized math and reading tests for 4th and 8th graders in CA public schools.

    4th graders scored 47th in the country for both reading and math.

    8th graders scored 45th in math and 42nd in reading.

    So pathetic.

    I thought giving them free breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner at CA public schools was supposed to make them smarter.

    We (me and my classmates) brown bagged it for 12 years. It taught me self-reliance. If I didn’t pack a lunch I’d do hungry unless I could convince a buddy to give me half his sandwich. 85% of the our class eventually graduated from a 4-year college.

    Congratulations on your successful family.

    Reply this comment
  11. Queeg
    Queeg 9 November, 2013, 10:37

    Collapse…. So sorry you appear to have suffered as a young chap… unnecessary today…..why not roll over and assist the educators to implement policies to improve the lives of immigrants and the lower middle class….the teachers need the funds to make many lives meaningful and fulfilled…..invest now for a better California for all….

    P.S. I went to an unaccredited high school in a gritty, immigrant laden steel town in Penna. 6% went to college. Guess our brown bags were not nutritious enough!

    Fair and Balanced!

    Reply this comment
  12. LetItCollapse
    LetItCollapse 10 November, 2013, 12:33

    Queeg, there are 2 problems I see with your comment.

    First, CA K-12 teachers are amongst the highest paid in the nation. In the top 5 for sure. The CA taxpayers already spend over 40% of the state budget on K-12. Maybe if the teachers took a cut in pay and in their pension benefits there would be more funds to actually spend on the students instead of on the teachers.

    Most real jobs pay based on performance. Real businesses give out raises and bonuses based on individual and company performance. CA K-12 teachers are amongst the highest paid yet rank amongst the lowest in what they get paid for: achieving strong student academic performance. The latest national standardized testing placed CA at the bottom of the pile again – with rankings in the high 40’s in reading and math. Yet North Dakota, which is ranked 2nd to the last in teacher pay, ranked in the top 10 in both.

    So top pay does not = satisfactory performance in government work.

    Next, CA K-12 enrolls about 1.3M ELS students. That number is nearly equal to the ELS enrollments in the next 4 most populus states: TX, NY, FL, IL. When an educational system does not have a basic primary language to work from it results in higher expenditures and lower performance. And you get less for more. That’s just pure common sense.

    And then when your legislature and governor rewards (and attracts more) foreign lawbreakers by giving them incentives (CA driver’s licenses and the “Trust Act”) to come and stay it only adds to an already enormous problem.

    Oh, and over 50% of the CA K-12 enrollment are from low-income familes. Another fact. So do we need to attract even more indigents to our state? The more indigents you attract (and the problems that go along with indigent populations) the fewer educated and skilled populations that you attract – since nobody wants to live in a place where you have to pay more in taxes to take care of the indigents or live in the blight or higher crime environment that go hand in hand with increased poverty.

    One basic responsibility we should learn as children is taking care of ourselves. For example; to clothe ourselves appropriately before going outside or to school, to go potty in the toilet instead of next to a tree, to clean ourselves to promote good health and discourage body odors, to brush our teeth so that they don’t decay and rot. I think one other basic responsibility that should be learned by children (and their parents) is to prepare their own food so that they can function during the day. Being dependent on others to do this for you on a daily basis only teaches you that the nanny state will take care of your basic needs. This damages the basic drive to become self-sufficient. It hurts the individual. It hurts society.

    The low income familes already collect food stamps to feed their members. A couple pieces of bread with mayo, mustard, tomato, lettuce and ham, an apple, a couple cookies and a pint of juice costs maybe $1.50 at most. Well within the food budget of a family collecting food stamps.

    The food service in the schools was only implemented to create more unions jobs and a bigger nanny state.

    From personal experience, I know that cafeteria style meals for K-12 is not necessary to perform adequately or to even thrive in a K-12 school setting. I know many who brown bagged it who became engineers, medical doctors, attorneys and accountants.

    Most importantly and to the point, I feel these school cafeterias detract from personal responsibility.

    Reply this comment
  13. californianative
    californianative 10 November, 2013, 18:15

    Why did you cut my post?

    Reply this comment
  14. Mitchell Young
    Mitchell Young 25 November, 2013, 15:03

    We don’t we, as a nation, stop allowing the poor and unskilled, or even the skilled, settle in their hundreds of thousands each year? It is quite clear that we were doing fine with low immigration — Apple was founded 2-3 years after the US hit a low in foreign born population.

    It is strange that immigration reduction — that is of legal immigration, as well as enforcement of our laws — never seems to make the policy mix.

    Reply this comment

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