How to Improve California’s Growth

Todd Royal
Todd Royal is an independent public policy consultant focusing on the geopolitical implications of energy based in Los Angeles, California.

California has problems that could lead to economic failings and if that happens there will be no help from Washington. But there are things California can do to encourage economic growth, the state’s saving grace.

Unfortunately Senator Harry Reid and President Obama endowed the modern presidency with unforeseen powers. Trump now has a pen and a phone the way Obama did, and he will use both tools as he sees fit. If California fails economically, as our pensions, deficits and environmental edicts push us closer to the abyss, it is a fallacy that the federal government will come to our rescue.

Here are some things that could bring better results to all Californians.

Do away with environmental-nihilism, and instead embrace economic growth. With growth comes innovation and prosperity along with clean air and water. The Breakthrough Institute, The Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) in Montana, the EPA, and Bloomberg’s New Energy Finance (BNEF have all confirmed that growing economies and innovation coexist while keeping the environment clean. 

Encouraging entrepreneurship by cutting the $800 a year LLC tax is a common sense way to unleash revenue that is sitting on the creative sidelines. Let’s stop our grand social experiment and unleash the type of economy Governor Pat Brown presided over that built the world’s best water systems, universities and infrastructure. It can be done, but first California’s voters have to change their current political tune.

Governor Brown and the legislature need to make reform to CEQA a priority, and pass laws allowing single-family homes to be built. This would bypass the policies of transit-oriented zones, which causes increased density in the form of apartment and condominium towers in California cities. The current planning regimes at (SCAG), (MTC), (ABAG), and (SANDAG) have caused home prices to skyrocket by favoring density over single-family homes. Even millennials prefer single-family homes to density.

Americans have always understood having a growth rate above 4-4.5% glosses over political misfortunes and allows for changes. But what would really shock California’s economy and begin addressing the state’s difficulties would be to get away from one-party rule. Choose lawmakers who actually understand a simple tax code, cutting regulations, incentives for investment, and an open energy market for fossil fuels and renewables. This would rocket California’s economy to have the ability to pay our existing bills, deficits, and unfunded liabilities. Until Democrats cross the aisle the way they did nationwide electing Trump, we will continue stagnating until financially we implode, and then what?

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