Poll Shows Support for Government Funded Economic Advancement Programs, But Not How to Pay for Them

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

Polling offers snapshots of voters’ thinking but is frequently frustrating because while certain information is revealed the pollsters don’t have the time to dig deeper into issues that might change the reflexive attitudes expressed in answering the initial question. Yet, polls are often used by politicians as foundations to suggest new programs and spending. This feeling came up again in reading the latest Public Policy Institute of California poll on Californians and Their Economic Well-Being

In short summary, the poll shows many Californians are struggling economically due to the effects of the coronavirus. The complete, detailed polling results can be found here

In focusing on how to improve Californians economic well-being, PPIC posed a series of questions on providing government funding to improve citizens’ economic standing. 

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California Office Pool 2021

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

This is the 12th annual edition of the California Office Pool. It was inspired by the late, great New York Times columnist William Safire, who made a habit of writing an annual column he called Office Pool. In it, Safire offered, multiple-choice style, a series of possible news events that could take place in the new year. At the column’s end, he let you know which ones he thought would occur.

Safire’s focus was Washington; ours is California. My picks are at the end.

My record in last year’s pool was poor. I didn’t see the pandemic coming, or much of anything else. I got Oscar best picture right, was correct that AirBnb would go public, and foresaw that both the Democratic nominee and President Trump would be claiming to have won the election right now. But that’s about it. I didn’t see the Lakers or Dodgers championships coming. I considered—but discarded—the prospect of a Vice President Kamala Harris.

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Blue State, Red Tape — California is Shedding Residents and Businesses

Kerry Jackson
Kerry Jackson is a senior fellow with the Center for California Reform at the Pacific Research Institute.

A Sacramento Bee headline from late October, “How liberal politics, COVID-19 and a high cost of living are fueling a new California exodus,” could have been written, without the virus reference, a year ago. Or ten years ago. The flight from California kicked off long before this year’s pandemic.

Eight years ago, an Investor’s Business Daily editorial laid out the reasons Californians were moving “To Texas (And Arizona And Nevada),” all of them fueled by progressive public policy. That same year, a Manhattan Institute report detailed “the great ongoing California exodus . . . reversing the storied passages of the Dust Bowl era.” The authors attributed the mass departure to policy decisions making the state a less desirable place to live. Two years earlier, in 2010, New Geography asked: “If California Is Doing So Great, Why Are So Many Leaving?” and noted that the state’s “domestic migration has been negative every year since at least 1990.”

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Let’s Unite to Draw Distressed Coastal Residents

Dale Buss
Dale Buss is founder and executive director of The Flyover Coalition, a not-for-profit organization aimed at helping revitalize and promote the economy, companies and people of the region between the Appalachians and Rockies, the Gulf Coast and the Great Lakes.

Thousands of people on the coasts are pleading for help getting out of the urban enclaves from which they once looked down their noses at us, out in Flyover Country.

How should we respond? By taking advantage of an economic-development opportunity for the ages.

The reports by now have become too numerous to dispute: People in droves are leaving, or want to leave, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and other once-formidable coastal outposts. Now they want to get the heck out of Dodge because of the inhospitable results of Covid-19 lockdowns, the dispersal of white-collar work away from offices in Manhattan and Mountain View and Redmond, violent protests and calls to defund the police that are actually getting traction, and the ruination of restaurants and theaters and sports stadiums and museums and other entertainment and cultural venues that traditionally have helped define life in these places.

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Becerra Confirmation; An Old Issue for a New AG; Elimination of Cash Bail?

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

Xavier Becerra’s selection as Health and Human Services Secretary could face a bumpy ride in the senate confirmation process if the Republicans capture a majority of the senate. The California Attorney General has already been challenged by some Republican senators for his position over the years in both Congress and as California’s top attorney on Medicare for All and the Affordable Care Act. But those are the issues on the surface that they can discuss. There may be other motivations more related to bare knuckle politics rather than policy for Republican senators to object to Becerra.

Chief among those concerns is that Becerra gleefully boasted about his 100 lawsuits on numerous issues against the Trump Administration. Many Republicans won’t forget.

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On Lockdowns, At Least One County LA Supervisor Gets It

Charles Crumpley
Editor and Publisher of the San Fernando Valley Business Journal

Two Los Angeles County Supervisors represent the San Fernando Valley area. One of them understands the challenges of business operators. The other doesn’t seem to get it.

That became clear recently when the supervisors voted 3-2 to allow the shutdown of outdoor dining for at least three weeks at Los Angeles County restaurants in response to a surge in COVID-19 cases. 

Kathryn Barger, who represents the Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys along with eastern San Fernando Valley, voted against the shutdown. Not only is there no evidence that outdoor dining is contributing to the spread of the coronavirus, but she expressed deep concern that the shutdown would rough up already struggling restaurants and financially hurt their remaining employees. 

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California Tops Nation Least Affordable Housing

Timothy L. Coyle
Consultant specializing in housing issues

Nearly all of the nation’s top 20 least affordable housing markets are in California.  The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo Bank report that 18 of the country’s most unaffordable regions are in the Golden State, including all of the top 10. 

As usual, San Francisco and its peninsula communities led the way with the greatest mismatch of prices and income – only nine percent of the households there had enough steady pay to buy a home in the area.  The Los Angeles metropolitan area ran a close second.

And, it’s not just the state’s coastal areas that were found to be experiencing this income/home-price mis-match.  Merced, Napa and Salinas were all in the top ten, with Stockton/Lodi not far behind.  Supply is on trial inland.

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Look to Orange County for How to Turn California Purple

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

For decades, Orange County was a reliable incubator of conservative politics, and, in the era of Nixon, Goldwater and Reagan, a fairly powerful force in the state and on the national level. More recently, the area has been widely seen as tilting blue, particularly during the Trump era, with the media celebrating the end of “the Orange Curtain” in the 2018 midterm elections and its metamorphosis into another addition to our state’s progressive political culture.

Yet this November’s election results tell us something more nuanced. Instead of following the flow of the state’s urban centers, Orange County turned a deep purple and, in the process, reinforced its relevance to the state’s political future.

The county defied the politics of polarization, voting for Biden against Trump, but also electing two new Republicans to Congress, Michelle Steel and Young Kim, both Korean Americans. House seats in the county are now split with five Democrats and two Republicans. And its voters supported generally conservative positions on a host of state ballot issues.

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A Perspective on Police Reform

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

The way to achieve police reform is to have the rank-and-file officer core buy into reforms. That was the message during a panel discussion at Cal State LA’s Pat Brown Institute’s annual conference looking post-election, “Where do we go from here?” But it will take not only the police to accept reforms but for the communities to also accept changes like community policing and give the reforms a chance to work.

Civil Rights attorney Connie Rice who has both sued and worked with the Los Angeles Police Department to improve policing relationships with the community said attitudes of police chiefs have changed. Police chiefs understand that changes are needed and policing attitudes have come a long way since the 1990s, she said.

However, Rice said there is turmoil in the ranks, much of it promoted by recent protests and a youth movement of those who back Black Lives Matter, gun control and other reforms. She said the turmoil is caused by the pushback from advocacy groups that promote Blue Lives Matter and set up obstacles to reforms. 

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Earth to Palmdale

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

Hello, Palmdale. Planet Earth calling. You ever coming back here?

You, a struggling working-class exurb of 160,000, may be located in the Antelope Valley, in north L.A. County’s. But your civic head lives in outer space.

Is it your hot desert air, your elevation (2,657 feet), or all your psychedelically orange poppies? I don’t know, but you are always madly charging toward some grandiose goal line—building an “intercontinental airport,” becoming a high-speed-rail hub, or commanding space warfare—but never quite reaching kicking the football. You’re the Charlie Brown of California cities.

Your latest face-plant speaks volume about the combination of space-age nostalgia and futuristic myopia that afflict you.

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