This article was forwarded to me by George and I'm glad he sent it along. It's educational and tackles a vast amount of material. I imagine the author had difficulty limiting the size of this article, even though it's quite long, because of the amount of material covered. All in all a great read and i recommend it to anyone who has an interest in our state, how we got here and our future.
Rather than regurgitate everything that was said, i just wanted to comment on a couple points that i found interesting.
I'm a huge believer that tax policy can really shape behavior. For example, i bought a Toyota Prius because i got a $1500 tax credit at the time, but then also went on to buy an SUV because i was able to write it off as a business expense under what was called the "Hummer Loophole". Not real proud of the fact i went from driving a prius to an SUV, but that shows the power of tax policy. So while reading this article, and grasping the size of the California economy and the amount of innovation that comes from our state, it was striking because the taxes on business and the healthcare costs here in CA are some of the heaviest in the country. But the article pointed out that those high taxes healthcare costs actually haven't driven much business from the state. Why? Well, as our Governor basically said in the article, it's because we are cool and have great weather which is partly true, I'm sure, but it's also the type of business. The innovative business that California is known for creating are typically higher risk and therefore when they work out, higher reward. Therefore you're not as worried about grinding out a couple of points of savings when the margin on your business can be huge. I guess it wouldn't make sense for a manufacturing plant or a paper mill to set up shop here because our cost of doing business here would crush their margins, but for software, bio tech, and entertainment, it can work.
The other thing that i liked about this article was that it quoted Kevin Starr. He's THE California historian, a lovely man, brilliant professor (i took a class from him at USC back in early 90's), and in my opinion... a state treasure. If you read anything about California history without a quote from Starr (even if its an obligatory quote like in this Time article), you should question the article itself and the author. Prof Starr, i doubt you have a google alert on yourself (you're not that kind of guy) but if by chance you see this, hit me up. I hope you're doing well.
"An apocalyptic mess of raging wildfires, soaring unemployment, mass foreclosures and political paralysis. It's dysfunctional. It's ungovernable"- but it's MY home g-d dammit! No, seriously-are we worried, yes. But what we do *have* now is our present moment. Can you feel it? Aren't we still grounded? As far as my radar goes, I see we are firmly planted. Despite what could happen to our earth, we still have the most fertile soil in the world. Sometimes amidst all the panic and … more
The Golden State has fought the status quo since its birth 160 years ago. But even amid a particularly rough chapter in the state's history, the nation's future is being written in California. A special report
California, you may have heard, is an apocalyptic mess of raging wildfires, soaring unemployment, mass foreclosures and political paralysis. It's dysfunctional. It's ungovernable. Its bond rating is barely above junk. It's so broke, it had to hand out IOUs while its leaders debated how many prisoners to release and parks to close. Nevada aired ads mocking California's business climate to lure its entrepreneurs. The media portray California as a noir fantasyland of overcrowded schools, perpetual droughts, celebrity breakdowns, illegal immigration, hellish congestion and general malaise, captured in headlines like "Meltdown on the Ocean" and "California's Wipeout Economy" and "Will California Become America's First Failed State?" http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1931582,00.html