Last updateMon, 29 Jun 2015 7pm

LOS ANGELES Tuesday, June 30th 2015 2:59


Using The N-Word

Clinton Galloway
WHO WE ARE-Somehow it has become acceptable to use racial slurs as long as they are directed at yourself. The fact is they are rarely directed at you but to someone else. The most glaring example of this is the use of the N-word. I need say no more because we all understand what the N-word is. The extensive use of the word in modern hip-hop and…

‘LA Is Not Designed To Work’

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-The City of Los Angeles is a sprawling enterprise with 32,000 employees and an annual budget of $8.6 billion. But according to Rick Cole, the City’s former Deputy Mayor for Budget and Innovation, “LA is not designed to work." Our City’s operations are relatively simple compared to Los Angeles County and other large cities such as New…

SCOTUS Supports the People, Okays California’s Citizen-Driven Redistricting Commission

Deirdre Fulton
NO MORE SECRET BACKROOMS RUN BY POLITICIANS-In a decision hailed as a "major victory for voters," the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday upheld an Arizona ballot initiative, adopted by voters in 2000, which took redistricting power away from elected politicians and gave it to a nonpartisan commission. The 5-4 decision (pdf), which saw Justice Anthony…

To Latinos Trump Is Bad News

Fred Mariscal
LATINO PERSPECTIVE-This past week businessman Donald Trump announced that he will seek the 2016 Republican nomination for President. We all paid attention to his speech, not for great policy ideas but because he said that “When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending the best. They're not sending you, they're sending people that have lots of…

Supreme Court Aftermath: Meet the New Haters, As Repugnant as the Old Haters

Ken Alpern
HATE POLITICS-The Supreme Court has spoken...again and again and again. And now we're encountering a group of New Haters, as repugnant as the Old Haters, as we discover who is REALLY on the side of Love, Country and Humanity versus that once-marginalized group of emotionally- and intellectually-stunted individuals who now somehow think they're not…

About Time! Neighborhood Councils, NC Alliances: More Comment Time at City Council

Erik Sanjurjo
GUEST WORDS-On Saturday, Council President Herb Wesson gave the keynote speech before the 100+ Neighborhood Council board members and stakeholders gathered for NC Budget Day in City Hall. He announced that in the next Council term he will be folding in neighborhood council related issues under his Rules & Elections Committee, partly to help…

Councilman Parks Sidewalk Repair Plan: Bypass Union Workers

Sharon McNary
CITY HALL-The city of Los Angeles has fallen so far behind on sidewalk repairs, it took a lawsuit to get officials to guarantee more than a billion dollars for repairs. It could take years before the work reaches residential areas because the city must still come up with a strategy for which sidewalks to fix first. But some neighborhoods are…

I Never Believed This Would Happen In My Lifetime

Andrew Sullivan
GUEST WORDS-As Gandhi never quite said … First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they attack you. Then you win. I remember one of the first TV debates I had on the then-strange question of civil marriage for gay couples. It was Crossfire, as I recall, and Gary Bauer’s response to my rather earnest argument after my TNR cover-story on…

Changing the Way We See Ourselves: Every American Should Adopt a Second Country

Andrés Martinez
TRADE WINDS-About 10 minutes into the soccer game, Sebastian’s cries of “here,” “behind you,” and “cross it” became cries of “aquí,” “atrás,” and “al centro.” I’d never heard so much Spanish voluntarily pour out of my ten-year-old. There is nothing like a hunger for the ball. And nothing like full immersion in a foreign language. I brought…


Thu Jul 30, 2015 @ 6:00PM - 08:00PM
A Taste of Chatsworth

Golden Oldie-Johnnie Carson & Betty White-Adam and Eve

Rude. Rude. Rude … orchestra deals with rude cell caller

Whoa! More than 280 million hits. Taylor Swift hit-Bad Blood









California Recovery: No, It Is Not East vs. West

THE ECONOMY WEST - Every now and then, some East Coast based publication sends a reporter out to California to see how the West Coast's economy is doing.  I think they write these things sitting at a restaurant patio overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  That can be seductive, and lulled into a comfortable sense that all is well with the world, the reporter always gets it wrong.

The most recent example is this New York Times article. The second paragraph summarizes the article:

Communities all along the state’s coastline have largely bounced back from the recession, some even prospering with high-tech and export businesses growing and tourism coming back. At the same time, communities from just an hour’s drive inland and stretching all the way to the Nevada and Arizona borders struggle with stubbornly high unemployment and a persistent housing crisis. And the same pattern holds the length of the state, from Oregon to the Mexican frontier.

The next paragraph contains the mandatory quote from California's favorite economic Pollyanna, Steve Levy:

“This is really a tale of two economies,” said Stephen Levy, the director of the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy. “The coastal areas are either booming or at least doing well, and the areas that were devastated still have a long way to go. The places that existed just for housing are not going to come back anytime soon.”

The article is accompanied by a photo of a couple driving a red Ferrari convertible.  The caption says "Driving through Newport Beach in Orange County. Communities along the coast have largely rebounded from the recession."

This is all nonsense.

There are two reasonable measures of recovery, jobs and real estate values.  You can forget the real estate values measure.  Values throughout California are down from pre-recession highs.  They are down a lot.  Only San Francisco and Marin counties, with median home prices down 27.7 percent and 32.3 percent, respectively, have seen net median home price declines of less than 40 percent.  

Monterey and Madera counties top the state in median home price declines, in excess of 67 percent.
So let's use jobs.  An area has recovered if it has as many jobs today as it had at the beginning of the recession, December 2008.  

We monitor 37 California MSAs.  Combined they represent about 96 percent of California's population.  By jobs, only one of California's larger MSAs has recovered, and that county does not fit the story.  Not only is Kings County not on the ocean, it doesn't even border or have a naturally occurring year-round piece of water.  Kings County, with 37,700 jobs, has about 900 more jobs than it had at the beginning of the recession.  Still, Kings County's unemployment rate is 17 percent.  Some recovery!

Orange County, which the New York Times article cites as largely rebounded, is down 127,800 jobs from its pre-recession high.  That's an 8.5 percent decline.  Los Angeles County is down 337,000 or 8.1 percent of jobs.  The difference between unemployment rates, 8.0 percent in Orange County versus 12.1 percent in Los Angeles County, reflects different unemployment levels at the beginning of the recession and the high cost of living in Orange County.  Most people can't afford to be unemployed long in Orange County.  You either find a job, or you leave.

Here are the Counties that have lost, on net, less than 6 percent of jobs in the recession:

It's hard to find real recovery here.  Three of the sub-10-percent-unemployment-rate counties (Marin, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara) are home to the wealthy, those who serve them, and a very small middle class.  They have not had and will never have anything like robust economies.  Think of them as big Leisure Villages for the terminally fashionable.

That leaves San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties as potential vigorous economies.  Let's look at these regions' job creation last month.  Unfortunately, the data are only available by MSA.  San Diego County saw job growth of 1,300 jobs in February, an increase of about 0.11 percent.  Santa Clara/San Benito saw job growth of about 4,100, or 0.46 percent.  San Francisco/San Mateo/Marin saw growth of about 7,100 jobs, or 0.74 percent.

It looks to me like there is a small island of relative prosperity: San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara Counties, but even these counties have not fully recovered.  This island is indeed on the coast, but it represents just a small fraction of the coastal county population.  

The idea that there is some sort of Coastal resurgence in California is just absurd.  Certainly, the 593,800 still unemployed in Los Angeles --- by far the state’s most populous --- are not likely to agree that “The coastal areas are either booming or at least doing well..."

(Bill Watkins is a professor at California Lutheran University and runs the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting, which can be found at clucerf.org. This article was posted first at NewGeography.com)

Tags: California, economy, West Coast, East Coast, New Port Beach

Vol 10 Issue 32
Pub: Apr 20, 2012