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.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

My view of the middle class is people who aspire for a better life through working and saving. While someone may start with a month to month existance, earnings on savings and wage growth (as the economy grows) will exceed basic living costs.

With returns on savings after income tax and inflation running negative over the past decades this hasn't worked and has destroyed a large part of the middle class in the US.

Some have moved savings from fixed income to equities and real estate to avoid the taxes/inflation of fixed income.

That hasn't worked either.

The worst my still be ahead -- Will the dollar survive?

[Inflations are really hard for middle class types to survive].

Anonymous said...

" 'compositional change in the population itself.' It is increasingly made up of generally lower-skilled Latinos who are much poorer than those moving out..."

It's hard to sustain a rich set of social services (+ pensions) as your revenue base moves away...

All these major imbalances... and few good solutions...

Scary vision: Los A = Mex City

Anonymous said...

I live in Los Angeles. At times, its depressing. The city is run by liberal-socialists, aka, Democrats. California has the highest income tax rate in the nation, the highest sales tax, the highest gasoline tax. Now the liberal-socialists in the Legislature are proposing to increase each of the aforementioned taxes. The large part the problem lies in gerrymandering, where the districts are drawn in such a way that the liberals always win in their districts. Another reason is the voters are uneducated idiots. For example, Los Angeles Unified Public Schools, i.e. the government-run-teacher-union-infested schools have a graduation rate of 50%. Ouch. And another disaster is the illegal alien invasion that is sucking the money from the taxpayers.

Yes, if the USA continues the path of California, its doomed.

Anonymous said...

I used to live on the edge of the San Fernando Valley (born there) and worked in North Hollywood for a LAUSD elementary school.

In my experience few latinos embraced any opportunities in the U.S. beyond the free social services programs.

Multiple children with no spouse to support them and no value in education. A lesson in the cycle of poverty and the breeding of a permanent underclass.

My impression was that the freebie entitlement attitude wasn't helping them rise above whatever it was they came here to get away from. Different place, same problems.

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