Joel Kotkin: The Great California Exodus – How the progressive apparatchiks are declaring war on the middle class.

‘California is God’s best moment,” says Joel Kotkin. “It’s the best place in the world to live.” Or at least it used to be.

A summary by Jeffers M. Dodge

The following is a summary of Mr. Klokins discussion with Allysia Finley of the Wall Street Journal.

1. Golden State’s fastest-growing entity is government and its biggest product is red tape.

2. Nearly four million more people have left the Golden State in the last two decades than have come from other states.

3. local government restrictions on development have artificially limited housing supply and put a premium on real estate in coastal regions.

4. Moving inland from the coast has the same allure as moving to Nevada or Texas, where housing and everything else is cheaper and there’s no income tax.

5. 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 sardines.

6. California’s cap-and-trade law AB32, will raise the cost of energy 50% higher than the national average and drive out manufacturing jobs without making even a dent in global carbon emissions.

7. Gov. Brown feels spending $100 Billion on high-speed rail is going to solve the issues of our crumbling schools, roads, bridges, the economic free fall we are in.

8. All of the subsidies the state lavishes on renewables, green jobs only make up about 2% of California’s private-sector work force—no more than they do in Texas.

9. An estimated 25 billion barrels of oil are sitting untapped in the vast Monterey and Bakersfield shale deposits.

10. “We have the richest farm land in the world and are endangering Central Valley farmers with water restrictions aimed at protecting the delta smelt fish.

11. California has the 48th-worst business tax climate where millionaires pay a top rate of 10.3%, the third-highest in the country but the middle-class workers—those who earn more than $48,000—pay a top rate of 9.3%, which is higher than what millionaires pay in 47 states.

12. A November ballot initiative would primarily hit people who make more than $250,000 a year and cause them to march out of the state while preserving the very high end of the food chain, who can afford to live in Napa, Silicon Valley, and in West L.A.

13. Welfare recipients aren’t leaving. Why would they? They get much better benefits in California or New York than if they go to Texas. In Texas the expectation is that people work.

14. Californians are now voting more based on social issues and less on fiscal ones than they did when Ronald Reagan was governor 40 years ago.

15. Gov. Brown facilitated the public-union takeover of the statehouse by allowing state workers to collectively bargain during his first stint as governor in 1977.

16. California’s politics have become left-wing with progressive policies driving out moderate and conservative members of the middle class, “the state is run for the very rich, the very poor, and the public employees.”

Please read the full article here: The Weekend Interview with Joel Kotkin: The Great California Exodus – WSJ.com.

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