Saturday, December 31, 2016

About California, what happened when we weren't looking, Jerry?

I'm going to focus mostly on California this year for reasons I'll get into in future posts. But I stumbled onto an article Poverty and Inequality Pervasive in Two-Fifths of U.S. Counties which instantly made me assume it was about the rust belt and the South.

And it is, kind of. But it had this graphic...
Click on image to see a larger version!
...which I kept looking at because as you get more red and blue you have high inequality, with red you also have high poverty and blue you have low poverty. What was troubling me was California, so I had to modify the graphic to get this...
...which bothered me. In 1989 there was a lot of green in California - low inequality plus low poverty. Now there is a lot of red - high inequality with high poverty and, in terms of urban population impact, a lot more blue. In fact, the green has almost disappeared.

Just look at it! What happened when we weren't looking, Jerry? (And by "we" I mean California Democrats and by "Jerry" I mean our esteemed Governor.)

The article notes: "Today most of the remaining low-inequality, low-poverty counties are located in the upper Midwest, Mountain, Middle Atlantic, South Atlantic, and New England states."

And what you notice, you have to notice, is that California looks a lot like the worst bands in the Rust Belt and South.

What's troublesome is that Democrats seem to ignore the red areas except where they can play the "downtrodden minorities" card. While that is a related problem, the hard fact affecting those areas is the economy - you remember, "it's the economy stupid" phrase attributed to James Carville working as Bill Clinton's campaign strategist.

But what's even more troublesome is raised in this article:
...The inequality of America’s metro areas mirrors that of the some of the most unequal nations unearth: New York’s is comparable to Swaziland, Los Angeles’ similar to the Dominican Republic, Chicago’s comparable to El Salvador, and San Francisco's similar to Madagascar. America’s largest, densest, most affluent, and most liberal-leaning cities are, in fact, the places where inequality is the highest.
So the inequality in Los Angeles is comparable to the Dominican Republic and San Francisco's situation is comparable to Madagascar. They didn't address the San Diego and Sacramento urban areas, but it appears since 1989 both have shifted from green to third-world blue inequality.

The article hypothesizes that Democratic Mayor's are more likely to take action to address the growing gap between rich and poor and set economic redistribution policies. But when you look at LA and SF in California, you have to know that is pure spin.

For instance, San Francisco's much ballyhooed minimum wage is set to reach $15 per hour in 2018, a wage that is actually $31,200 a year or $2,600 a month. This is accurately representative of the redistribution policies in California's most famously liberal city where the median price for a single bed apartment is $3,500± a month at the end of 2016. Now tell me any discussion of economic redistribution by California Democrats isn't just spin!

We don't have an Electoral College effect for state elections, but we now have a new election system, "highest two in the primary regardless of party affiliation move to the general election", which has resulted in many general elections at various levels of state office having two Democrats running against each other.

It appears pretty clear that California Democrats have failed the working class just like Democrats in the rest of the nation.

You have to wonder if we aren't ripe for a number of Trump-like social media expert candidates to seek out the voters who make up the victims of those county-wide high-inequality population shifts.

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