The Premises of California’s Dysfunction

Anyone unfamiliar with what is really going on in California would have listened to Governor Newsom’s State of the State address on February 12 and gotten the impression that things have never been better. Newsom’s opening set the tone for the rest of his 4,400 word monologue:

“By every traditional measure, the state of our state is strong. We have a record-breaking surplus. We’ve added 3 million jobs since the depths of the recession. Wages are rising. We have more scientists, researchers, and engineers, more Nobel laureates, and the finest system of higher education anywhere in the world.”

Newsom, to his credit, immediately qualified his sunny opening with a disclaimer that might be the understatement of the century, saying “But along with that prosperity and progress, there are problems that have been deferred for too long and that threaten to put the California dream out of reach for too many. We face hard decisions that are coming due.”

Ain’t that the truth. And Gavin Newsom, the political party he represents, and the ideology they’ve embraced, cannot possibly solve these “problems that have been deferred for too long.” First, because Newsom and his gang created the problems, and second, because the ideology they adhere to is based on premises that are both economically unsustainable and destined to eventually deliver not solutions, but tyranny.

Here are the three core premises of California’s dysfunction:

The Climate Emergency

Every policy in California must be ran through the filter of its “climate change” impact. […] Read More

“Density Ideology” Will Destroy America

If you’re searching for an organizing principle that unites the Left, density ideology should be at or near the top of your list. Far from being a sideshow, density ideology is behind the leftist drive to cram America’s rising population into the footprint of existing cities. It fulfills the agenda of every big player on the Left. Environmentalists get to preserve open space. Social justice warriors get to experiment with forced ethnic and economic integration via mandatory “inclusionary zoning,” and investors—and this, above all, is critical—get to make a killing as the price of real estate skyrockets inside the areas where building is still allowed.

Every premise that the densification gang advocates is flawed. In particular, as argued in “The Density Delusion,” there is no shortage of open land available to host new suburbs, and there is no compelling argument that suburbs cause more per capita greenhouse gas emissions than crowded cities do. And the consequences, unaffordable housing through politically contrived scarcity, rolls its way across the nation as the density advocates fly under the radar, and convert city after city.

As might be expected, ground zero for density ideology is California. Hiding behind innocuous labels such as “smart growth,” “infill,” “greenbelts,” and “new urbanism,” this process of urban containment is one of the primary reasons housing in California is beyond the reach of middle-income families.

Urban geographer Joel Kotkin recently offered a chilling summary of how everything California’s legislature is doing to “solve” the state’s housing crisis […] Read More