Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sundown for California

Joel Kotkin writes of California's decline in his column Sundown for California
Twenty-five years ago, along with another young journalist, I coauthored a book called California, Inc. about our adopted home state. The book described “California’s rise to economic, political, and cultural ascendancy.”

As relative newcomers at the time, we saw California as a place of limitless possibility. And over most of the next two decades, my coauthor, Paul Grabowicz, and I could feel comfortable that we were indeed predicting the future.

But much has changed in recent years. And today our Golden State appears headed, if not for imminent disaster, then toward an unanticipated, maddening, and largely unnecessary mediocrity.

Since 2000, California’s job growth rate— which in the late 1970s surged at many times the national average—has lagged behind the national average by almost 20 percent. Rapid population growth, once synonymous with the state, has slowed dramatically. Most troubling of all, domestic out-migration, about even in 2001, swelled to over 260,000 in 2007 and now surpasses international immigration. Texas has replaced California as the leading growth center for Hispanics.


Dymphna said...


How come no new posts?

I just saw your name on Down East and it rang a bell. This post, and the one on housing, are excellent.

I hope you find the time to continue. I would've sent an email if you had one on the profile.

I know what a slog it is to keep up a blog, but we need people like you...given my unpredictable health I darn sure wouldn't have been able to keep up a blog by myself. The Baron does the major work...

Dymphna said...

BTW, we are now official members of the Obama Bread Lines. The Baron lost his programmer job recently. Thank you, Mr. President.

The reality hasn't set in yet...we have saved some to live on for emergencies (something you *have* to do when you work as a self-employed contractor).

Besides, since the B telecommuted from home our daily routine hasn't really changed yet. He still goes upstairs to "work" every morning. Only blogging isn't paid work, unfortunately.

I guess the major difference is the sudden rise in the quantities of rice and beans in our diet.

I hope Obie's bread lines include a wheat-free variety as I'm not supposed to eat wheat.