Host Siyamak Khorammi talks with Joel Kotkin, an expert in urban studies, about why large numbers of people are moving out of California in this episode of Epoch TV’s California Insider.
Kotkin is a professor at Chapman University and the director of the Center for Demographics and Urban Policy at the university. The video begins with the professor telling Khorammi that out of a class of 36 students who were asked who was staying in California, only four answered with an affirmative answer. In a state with so many entertainment and cultural options as well as pleasurable weather and natural beauty, this came as a surprising answer.
Kotkin tells Khorammi that there is a big division in the state between different age groups and ethnic groups. In a state which was always a place where the American dream seemed possible for anyone to achieve, this is no longer the case.
Khorammi asks the professor to expound on his answer and so he discusses the economic crisis as many companies have left California taking good paying jobs with them. In addition to this, many middle-class families are moving out of the state in search of a lower cost of living. In the last ten years, 80 percent of the jobs created were those with a wage under $40,000. With these numbers, it is nearly impossible to live comfortably in California with the current cost of living.
A report by Forbes Magazine weighs in on the number of businesses leaving California which is a big contributor to people moving out of the state. Last year, the population in California decreased for the first time in history. The economy has developed two tiers which are higher-income workers mainly in the tech industry, and lower-class workers. The middle class has virtually disappeared. Business headquarters once plentiful in California, have been leaving at an increasing rate. Some of the companies that have left California are Apple, Nestle, and Oracle.
Many of these companies moved to the Midwest and Texas. The reasons for this are increasing tax rates, laws governing lawsuits of which many are frivolous and filed by overzealous attorneys. California also has the highest number of regulatory restrictions which makes it hard for business development and operations further stifling an already struggling economy.
The report gives an example. In Orange County, a company applied for a permit to build a walkway between two of its buildings that would allow forklift drivers to avoid having to use the alleyway to go back and forth. The permit for the walkway which would improve safety at the company was denied. The company picked up and moved to Florida and no longer has any locations in California. This is just one example of the many restrictions that are driving businesses out of the state.
Center for Demographics and Policy
The Center for Demographics and Policy at Chapman University focuses on demographic trends and how they affect economic, social, and political life. Concerns have been rising in recent years due to the trends of aging, fertility, and large-scale migration.
Shifting trends in generations, attitudes, and ethnicity have proven to be major factors in the politics and economics of regions and states. The center does research on global, national, and regional demographics as well as policies that produce favorable outcomes in these areas. Students have opportunities to work with the director and develop skills that will be beneficial in their careers in business, social sciences, or the arts. The center is led by an advisory board of faculty and demographic scholars from all over the world who focus on liberating and restoring the global middle class.
In the next segment, Kotkin discusses the housing market. People who bought homes early on are now reaping the benefits of the increase in the housing market. Many are able to sell their homes for much more than they paid and move to another area and enjoy those profits.
The Root Cause of People Leaving California/Joel Kotkin l California Insider [Full Episode]
Watch the full episode here.
Kotkin also discusses the large number of public workers who are able to retire on pensions and live much more comfortably than others who made more money before and move to areas where they are in a position of wealth due to their pension. Those who have lived in California for many years and own homes are in a much better financial position than younger people who are just moving into the state. The current cost of homeownership has risen over the years, and it now costs three times as much to purchase a home than in the past. This discourages many away from living in the state. Kotkin lists some reasons for this cost of housing increase:
· Strict environmental regulations
· Rising costs of development
· Frivolous lawsuits
· Only high-end housing can be built profitably
· Many companies with high paying jobs left the state
· State government did not care about losing middle-class jobs
· Imbalanced economy with high taxes and increased regulations
“What we are seeing is a migration out of California,” he says. Another point that he points out is the extreme poverty that rivals that of a third-world country along with the number of homeless mentally ill individuals living on the streets. Families are not going to want to move to these types of areas.
The video concludes with Khorammi asking Kotkin what can be done about the current situation. He recommends that we need to become more critical of the current regime whether Republican or Democrat. Support those who are pragmatic and pro-business and who support the middle class. He states that the Republican party needs to stop worrying so much about social issues and concentrate on the economy. These are the critical issues that California is facing, and they spell disaster for the state if this continues. They urgently need to be addressed for the betterment of all of its citizens.
“California Insider” premiers every Sunday at 6 p.m.—exclusive on EpochTV.
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Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.