Let’s Not Embrace California’s “Attractive” Poverity

Our local lefty blogger, from the land of purpleness, thinks that Nevada County’s economy could be improved if we embraced the rest of the Golden State.

While Govern Brown thinks the Golden State is doing just fine, that growing poverty  numbers are the result of immigration into the state as people come seeking their share of the employment gold. He is wrong.  The Golden State our local left blogger thinks we should embraced, is in decline, except for the Bay Area.   Bill Watkins writing at the New Geography has the details:

Gov. Jerry Brown, whose pronouncements of California’s economic recovery have been criticized by Republicans who point out the state’s high poverty rate, said in a radio interview Wednesday that poverty and the large number of people looking for work are “really the flip side of California’s incredible attractiveness and prosperity.”

The Democratic governor’s remarks aired the same day the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 23.8 percent of Californians live in poverty under an alternative calculation that includes the cost of living.

Asked on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” about two negative indicators — the state’s nation-high poverty rate and the large number of Californians who are unemployed or marginally employed and looking for work — Brown said, “Well, that’s true, because California is a magnet.

“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.”

This is so incredibly wrong that I’m worried that Brown has lost his head and ability to reason.   If he really believes what he said, he’s living in the past and he’s so ill informed as to be delusional.  If he doesn’t believe what he said, I’m worried that his political skills have slipped.  To my knowledge, he’s never said anything so clearly at odds with the truth in his career.

Here are the facts:

  • California’s poverty is not where the jobs are, which is what we’d expect if what Brown said was true.  Most of California’s jobs are being created in the Bay Area, a region of fabulous wealth. By contrast, California’s poverty is mostly inland. San Bernardino, for example, has the second highest poverty rate for American cities over 200,000 population, and no, it’s not because it’s a magnet. Most of California’s Great Central Valley is a jobs desert, but the region is characterized by persistent grinding poverty and unemployment.  No one in recent years is moving to Kings County to look for a job.
  • States with opportunity have low poverty rates.  North Dakota may have America’s most booming economy.  According to the Census Bureau, North Dakota’s Supplemental Poverty Measure is 9.2 percent.  That is, after adjustments for cost of living, 9.2 percent of North Dakotans live in poverty.  The rate in Texas – a state with a very diverse population, and higher percentages of Latinos and African-Americans – is 16.4 percent.  California leads the nation with 23.8 percent of Californians living in poverty.
  • According to the U.S. Census, domestic migration (migration between California and other states) has been negative for 20 consecutive years. That is, for 20 years more people have left California for other states than have come to California from other states. Wake up, Jerry, this is no longer your Dad’s state – or that of his successor, Ronald Reagan. This is a big change from when Brown was elected governor the first time.  At that time, California was a magnet.  It had a vibrant economy, one with opportunity.  California was a place where you could have a career, afford a home, raise a family.  It was where the American Dream was realized.

The rest of the article is HERE, including the charts and facts that show the Golden State is in decline, and it would be wise if Nevada County economic leaders seek their own solutions and not embrace Governor Brown’s economic delusions.

About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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3 Responses to Let’s Not Embrace California’s “Attractive” Poverity

  1. Barry Pruett says:

    I do not know, as I do not have time to do the research, but could it be that California is an “entitlement magnet?”


  2. gjrebane says:

    Either Gov Brown is a functional idiot, or thinks he is talking to functional idiots. Or both?


  3. Dena says:

    Something that has been forgot is much of the state is agricultural and the government has cut off much of the very important water. The poverty numbers are the results of the farmer cutting back production and even more worker trying to find employment in an area where there is no work to be found. Much of this problem could be solved by simply turning the water back on again, however many farmers have dug up trees which will take several years to reach a size where they will produce a crop again. All for the survival of the Delta Smelt.

    The poverty is now spreading to other areas as the result of the high tax load on the big income earners. Just last week, Apple announced they are taking over a Phoenix area plant that was constructed for Solar One but was never occupied because of the crash in the solar market. Apple appears to plan on producing high quality glass for their displays at this location. In addition it appears Arizona is also trying to get Apple and some other portable device manufactures to move operations from Asia to the Phoenix area, bypassing California in the process. It appears the poverty in California is just started as industry relocates to places with a better business environment.


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