California

Protecting Cities in Fire-Prone Regions

9DCD1CFC-B497-49BD-9E1E-E77BA67FED91_w650_r0_s.jpg

If you live in a fire-prone area, which includes most of California, it is not a good idea to allow ivy and other plants to cover the sides of your building, as this winery and this church did near Santa Rosa. Both were lost to last week’s wildfires.  read more »

Garden Grove: The Other Kind of Incremental Urbanism

screen-shot-2017-09-29-at-9-52-17-am.jpg

This is the historic Main Street in Garden Grove, California. Back in 1874 land was platted in small twenty five foot wide lots and sold off with minimal infrastructure. Individuals built modest pragmatic structures with funds pulled largely from the household budget, extended family, and short term debt. This was long before the thirty year mortgage, government loan guaranties, mortgage interest tax deductions, zoning regulations, subsidies, economic development grants, or the codes we have today.  read more »

California Politicians Not Serious About Fixing Housing Crisis

ontario-ca-homes-for-sale.jpg

California’s political leaders, having ignored and even abetted our housing shortage, now pretend that they will “solve it.” Don’t bet on it.  read more »

California Population Lags Behind Projections

XIMG_9798.JPG

Halfway through the new decade, California, widely seen as an irresistible force for the young and ambitious, is underperforming the state’s own demographic projections. Since 2010 the state’s population grew 5.3 percent from the 2010 census figure, 12 percent below the 6.1 percent increase projected by the California State Department of Finance. The population increased at below projected rates in all of the five metropolitan regions (combined statistical areas, or CSAs and metropolitan statistical areas MSAs, outside the CSAs) with more than 1,000,000 population, except in San Diego.  read more »

California’s Coming Youth Deficit

Riverside,_California_view_from_Box_Springs.jpg

Images of California, particularly the southern coast, are embedded with those associated with youthfulness — surfers, actors, models, glamorous entrepreneurs. Yet, in reality, the state — and the region — are falling well behind in the growth of their youthful population, which carries significant implications for our future economic trajectory and the nature of our society.  read more »

State Governments Are Oppressive, Too

TexasStateCapitol-2010-01.JPG

Historically, the battle over the size and scale of government has been focused largely on “states’ rights.” This federalist notion also has been associated with many shameful things, such as slavery, Jim Crow laws and other abuses of personal freedom.  read more »

Why the Greens Lost, and Trump Won

34326936541_ee6ff0f30d_z.jpg

When President Trump pulled out of the Paris climate accords, embraced coal, and stacked his administration from people from fossil-fuel producing states, the environmental movement reacted with near-apocalyptic fear and fury. They would have been better off beginning to understand precisely why the country has become so indifferent to their cause, as evidenced by the victory not only of Trump but of unsympathetic Republicans at every level of government.  read more »

High-Flying California Charts Its Own Path -- Is A Cliff Ahead?

8028178642_f2dacd4af6_z.jpg

As its economy bounced back from the Great Recession, California emerged as a progressive role model, with New York Times columnist Paul Krugman arguing that the state’s “success” was proof of the superiority of a high tax, high regulation economy.  read more »

Is California Anti-Family?

10156703466_0303444ea0_z.jpg

In its race against rapidly aging Europe and East Asia, America’s relatively vibrant nurseries have provided some welcome demographic dynamism. Yet, in recent years, notably since the Great Recession and the weak recovery that followed, America’s birthrate has continued to drop, and is now at a record low.  read more »

Can California Survive a Tech Bust?

Yahoo_Headquarters.jpg

California’s economic revival has sparked widespread notions, shared by Jerry Brown and observers elsewhere, that its economy — and policy agenda — should be adopted by the rest of the country. And, to be sure, the Golden State has made a strong recovery in the last five years, but this may prove to be far more vulnerable than its boosters imagine.  read more »