California

California's Dense Suburbs and Urbanization

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Many observers think California urban areas are more geographically expansive ("lower density" or to use the pejorative term, more "sprawling") then those elsewhere in the nation, especially the Northeast Corridor, which runs from the Washington DC metropolitan area through Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Hartford, Providence to Boston. This obsolete view is a leftover from the pre-automobile city of more than a century ago, when the largest American cities (metropolitan areas) had far higher urban densities, smaller suburban expenses, and no cars.  read more »

California’s Housing Crisis and the Density Delusion

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Once seen as a human-scale alternative to the crowded cities of the past, California’s cities are targeted by policy makers and planners dreaming of bringing back the “good old days,” circa 1900, when most people in the largest cities lived in small, cramped apartments. This move is being fronted by well-funded YIMBYs (“yes in my backyard”), who claim ever greater densification will help relieve the state’s severe housing crisis.  read more »

Left and Lefter in California

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The California Democratic Party’s refusal to endorse the reelection of Senator Dianne Feinstein represents a breaking point both for the state’s progressives and, arguably, the future of the party nationwide. Feinstein symbolizes, if anyone does, the old Democratic establishment that, while far from conservative, nevertheless appealed to many mainstream businesses and affluent suburban voters.  read more »

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California in Danger: Why the Dream is Dying and How We Can Save It

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In the latest report from research and policy organization Environmental Progress, "California in Danger: Why the Dream is Dying and How We Can Save It," Michael Shellenberger highlights the most pressing issues facing California today and how we can solve them. Read an excerpt from the executive summary below.  read more »

Housing And The California Dream Are At A Crossroads

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“The Plains of Id, urbanophiles might sniff. Can anything good come from suburban Nazareth? Yes, the suburbanites were responding. Everything good was coming from this Holy Land: a house, a job, the quiet enjoyment of one’s premises …” — Kevin Starr, Coast of Dreams, 2004  read more »

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Metropolitan New York and San Jose: Highest Property Tax Burdens

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This article examines median residential property tax levels and rates among the nation’s 53 major metropolitan areas (over 1,000,000 population). The data is from the 2016 American Community Survey and is self reported by consumer respondents (not from governments or public records).  read more »

A Tale of Two Socals: Poverty in Southern California

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For many, Southern California is heaven on Earth. For urbanites, it’s a world-renowned capital of art, culture, and entertainment, and technology, rivaled by few locales across the globe. But even for those outside of the cities, the region boasts plenty of natural beauty: From the San Bernardino mountains, to the Joshua Tree desert, to the San Diego beaches, there’s an almost unmatched diversity of nature to experience.  read more »

A New Vision For Southern California

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Since the start of the last century, Southern California has been a pioneer in building ways of living, and an economy, that broke with normal convention. Our region created a new paradigm, one both defining suburbanism and friendly to middle class aspirations, that attracted millions here.  read more »

In The New Year, Worry-Free California Has A Lot To Worry About

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Propped up by media idolatry, California is moving from denial to delusion. Case in point: A recent AP story claimed that the state “flush with cash from an expanding economy” would consider spending an additional billion dollars on health care for the undocumented, as well as a raft of new subsidies for housing and the working poor.  read more »

Bringing Down Housing Prices in the Bay Area

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On Sunday the New York Times ran a story on the difficulties of building new housing in California, focusing on the city of Berkeley. There’s a lot of good in the piece, including the insane difficulties of getting approvals to build even when you propose something in keeping with the existing zoning.  read more »