January 23, 2009

California unemployment up from 8.4% to 9.3% in one month

From the NYT:

California -- already in danger of running out of money -- reported that its December unemployment rate hit 9.3 percent, up from 8.4 percent in November and waaay up from 5.9 percent in December 2007.

The state shed 78,200 jobs in December, excluding farm workers as the economy is getting hammered by the recession. If California were an independent nation, its Gross Domestic Product would place it among the world's top 10 countries.

California has one of the nation's highest foreclosure rates. It is now tied with Louisiana for the nation's lowest credit-rating. Moody's has warned it may cut the state's debt rating, making much-needed loans harder to get and more expensive.

At the same time, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has been chiding his legislature to plug the state's massive budget shortfalls, projected to be $15 billion this year and $25 billion next year.

This whole bet-the-country-on-diversity experiment is being prototyped in California, which is about four decades ahead of the rest of the country demographically. How's it working out?

By the way, keep in mind that it's been 15 years since a very destructive earthquake in California. (By my count, the big destructive ones were in 1906, 1932, 1971, 1989, and 1994.) So, it's not as if California is overdue ... yet. But there will be another Big One. And there are a lot more buildings in California to fall down than in the past, although they are more sturdily built now than in the past. (My house is, I hope, at the other extreme -- so flimsily built that the main danger in an earthquake is getting conked by a falling 2"x4".)

The point is that eventually there will be a trillion dollar earthquake in California that the whole country will have to pay for. Maybe if Obama's lucky, it will happen soon so he can double his stimulus plan!

And, by another way, that's one more reason construction in California is slower and more expensive than in Texas: more earthquake safety regulations and costs.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Everybody seems so excited about it that they voted in Obama so he can spread the magic to the rest of the country.

Anonymous said...

Not so well, if by diversity you mean opening a floodgate for illiterate third-world peasants who don't assimilate very well. Letting in a variety of skilled and well-educated foreigners would probably be okay, though. As long as they aren't dragging dangerous ideologies along with them, of course.

ANONONA said...

California is apparently suspending welfare checks soon - http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-budget17-2009jan17,0,4472460.story?page=1 - along with student grants and tax refunds.

Methinks California will be experiencing some social unrest very soon...

Tri-City said...

This whole bet-the-country-on-diversity experiment is being prototyped in California, which is about four decades ahead of the rest of the country demographically. How's it working out?

If you hate the traditional, majority European, liberty-loving, individualistic, capitalist, small "r" republican, anti-marxist, constitutional, stable, low-crime America...THEN IT'S WORKING OUT GREAT.

Anthony said...

The structural stuff required to make a house earthquake-safe isn't that expensive - it's maybe 5% of the cost of a house. Less than the cost of fake brick cladding. Midwest houses have to be (sort of) tornado-safe, which costs about as much.

Anonymous said...

Hey look! The Tampa police are using an armored personnel carrier tank at the Super Bowl.

Bowled over by a super show of force

Isn't that what the government does in an authoritarian society? Implement tanks as security measures at public events?

Looks like we're gonna need a police state to preserve our freedoms.

Piper said...

Well, at least in another decade you'll have clear experimental results with which to shame economists who prattle on today about how people don't matter, only "institutions" do. The people in California who don't matter will have created (attracted?) the "institutions" they are most suited to live under, which will be the same as those in Tijuana or Mexico City.

The big question for the USA is how long Washington can coerce the other states to send money to California to prop up the likes of Schwarzenegger and Vivalaraza (Villaraigosa?). I think the game will likely go on for a long time, but perhaps something will precipitate a break-- there may be less sentiment in, say, New Jersey for supporting a bunch of Mexicans in LA than there was 40 years ago for supporting a bunch of ex-sharecroppers in Mobile.

tim said...

Maybe there's some money left over from that 3 billion dollar bond measure to fund human embryonic stem-cell research?

ole! ole! said...

i remember when all the liberals in socal suddenly became interested in their second amendment rights during rodney king.

steve did u ever get your cinder block wall finished? done in the classic latin style with the broken glass bottles cemented on top?

get ready california. your liberal "utopia" is coming now like a freight train.

John Seiler said...

The real problem is that the Arnold was elected to fix the state's endemic wild spending that causes budget deficits, but didn't do it. When elected in 2003, he should have brought back the repealed Gann Limit (which held spending increases to inflation + population growth). Instead, he borrowed $15 billion and went on his own spending spree, his version of the Bush and consumer spending sprees of the decade.

But that's over. If Arnold increases tax rates, tax revenues will actually fall, as businesses will keep fleeing. Hilton Hotels just announced they're splitting. (Fortunately, Paris Hilton will stay.) His nutty anti-global "warming" legislation, AB32, also is driving out businesses. But big spending cuts are coming, no matter what.

Unlike the feds, California can't print its own money. So the day of reckoning is here.

By the way, I want to thank the rest of you across America for the $11 billion or so in Obama bailout money that will go to the government of California to maintain its profligacy a little longer, cutting the $40 billion deficit to $29 billion. You're so generous.

jf said...

Texas is also very diverse, as a majority-minority state, and is doing relatively well. It's not diversity, it was the housing bubble.

Anonymous said...

"Letting in a variety of skilled and well-educated foreigners would probably be okay, though."

Ha, who would voluntarily want to come to another Third World country? Remember that at a psychological level many people still see a country being run by a black as a Third World country.

Mr. Anon said...

Has anyone considered the possibility that Arnold Schwarzenegger really is a robot, and that he was sent from the future to destroy California?

Anonymous said...

I do a lot of business in Texas and I have to say that in general Texas is a pretty successful place. The influx of illegals in to Texas is similar in many ways to the influx in to California but hasn't really destroyed Texas.

I think it comes down to a few things. First of all, Texans don't really believe in welfare and the government support for people that don't get jobs is much lower than in California

For a long list of reasons, housing costs much less in Texas. As a businessman, I can move my company to any city in Texas and know that almost everyone in my company can afford to live a middle class lifestyle.

So Texas shows that a geographic area with large ammts of immigration can still be somewhat successful and still have low taxes

I'd like to understand more about this

T. Candle said...

*Schwarzenegger really is a robot, and that he was sent from the future to destroy California?*

Another Schwarzenegger movie plot that has taken on a new spooky relevance today is Conan the Barbarian: James Earl Jones plays the role of a hypnotic, power mad, African savior who rules over slack-jawed European worshipers.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Anon said: Has anyone considered the possibility that Arnold Schwarzenegger really is a robot, and that he was sent from the future to destroy California?

Brilliant, I really laughed out loud when I read that!

Anonymous said...

Here are interesting articles that compare Texas to Michigan:
http://tinyurl.com/5u6ntg

and to New York:
http://tinyurl.com/bu3zsu