Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What's Wrong With Cali?

How California Dreamin' Became a Nightmare

For most of its history, California served as a beacon for millions of Americans looking for a better place to live. The state enacted sensible policies that created one of the wealthiest and most innovative economies in human history. California fostered a huge middle class that, for the most part, owned their homes, sent their kids to public schools and found meaningful work connected to the state's amazingly diverse, innovative economy.

Recently, though, the dream has been evaporating.

California's unemployment rate -- 12.3 percent -- ranks third highest in the nation, behind only Michigan and Nevada.

Since 1990, the state's share of overall U.S. employment has dropped a remarkable 10 percent, according to an analysis by California Lutheran University.

The overall tax burden as a percentage of state income, once middling among the states, has risen to the sixth-highest in the nation, says the Tax Foundation.

Between 2003 and 2007, California state and local government spending grew 31 percent, even as the state's population grew just 5 percent.

California now ranks second to New York -- and just ahead of New Jersey -- in the number of moving vans leaving the state.

The rest of the opinion piece is here.

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