At a Sacramento Press Club appearance this week, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra claimed California has the “secret sauce for economic success.” The formula includes growing the economy by boosting lower income individuals and immigrants. However, that secret sauce contains some bitter ingredients that has left many behind.

Becerra recalled speaking to visitors from the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce telling them if he directed his efforts toward them he was not helping California. Becerra emphasized what his office and the government should be concerned with is helping low-income people rise to the middle class.

While the Attorney General said his number one responsibility is securing public safety, he praised the state’s economic efforts.

He said the economic success of California was not so much in focusing on the business community but assisting the poor so that they have the ability to buy goods, move up to the middle class, and purchase a home, all of which enriches the economy. Becerra compared such an effort to the great expanse of the middle class after World War II on the back of the GI bill sending many veterans to college.

He argued California was “generations ahead of other states,” and said if low-income people do well the state as a whole does well.

While no one denies that California’s economy is currently strong, much of that success is because of high-end income earners and the state’s particular mix of profitable industries. Whether California policy is advancing low-income individuals is questionable given the state’s dramatic poverty rate that is reflected in one-third of its residents on Medi-Cal.

Many state policies contribute to a high poverty rate, expensive housing costs, and transportation costs. California can hardly boast of having a secret sauce with so many suffering at the bottom of the economic ladder.