Sunday, February 15, 2009
Los Angeles as Mexico City
"With new data suggesting that a net 50,000 to 100,000 people left Los Angeles County last fiscal year, the San Fernando Valley [SFV] is emerging as the poster child for middle-class flight--even as LA politicians try to spin an almost opposite tale. ... Its more than 1 million people poured such a wealth of taxes into downtown's municipal treasury--subsidizing other areas--that Valley sucession was seen as an attack on LA's fiscal health. ... But, in fact, an LA Weekly analysis based on US Census data clearly shows that for the middle class, the opposite is true. LA grew in 2007-8 due to high birth rates among the poor and working class, mostly Latinos, and due to illegal immigration. But since 2001, on the key measure of an area's ability to attract the middle class, 901,426 more citizens have fled the county for other states than arrived from other states, and last year, they continued that flight. ... At the current rate, within 60 years, the Valley will have no discernible middle class. ... LA, 'exists for the rich and the poor. It's policies have gotten more that way since 2000,' says [Joel] Kotkin, now completing a study of New York's fleeing middle class. ... Paul Taylor, Pew Research Center's executive vice president and lead author of 'Inside the Middle Class: Bad Times Hit the Good Life,' says the Valley has undergone a fundamental 'compositional change in the population itself.' It is increasingly made up of generally lower-skilled Latinos who are much poorer than those moving out. ... JJ Popowich, whose Winnetka Neighborhood Council represents the most ethnically diverse middle-class area of the Valley, says simply, 'If they don't stabilize the middle class, the city will collapse'," Beth Barrett at LA Weekly, 29 January 2009, link: http://www.laweekly.com/content/printVersion/451812.
The SFV story is being repeated all over California. At present trends, California will collapse economically, socially and in other ways within ten years. At present trends, by 2030 Mexico won't want California back.