Posted by: coastcontact | May 23, 2017

What’s Wrong with California?

To answer the title question: Nothing!

The talk at some discussion groups that I attend revolves around the argument that California and especially Los Angeles is on the verge of collapse due to high taxes, high public debt, and a significant loss of private enterprises moving to other states. That perception is not in keeping with reality.

For the most part Californians accept the multi-ethnic makeup of the society. Thus we find large populations of Asians and Hispanics throughout the state. The Los Angeles LGBT Center is one of the largest and most experienced providers of LGBT health and mental healthcare, supported by a research team working to advance the care and treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

California alone as a nation would economically be the 6th largest economy in the world. The five ahead of us are the U.S., China, Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that California’s GDP was $2.5 trillion in 2015, up 4.1 percent from a year earlier.

California is the largest producer of Pima cotton in the United States. The California cotton industry provides more than 20,000 jobs in the state and generates revenues in excess of $3.5 billion annually.

California is largest producer of fresh vegetables in the United States says the US Department of Agriculture. California strawberries are found in the markets of Toronto Canada.

Industry Week lists the 500 largest U.S. companies each year. Last year California surged ahead of Texas, 64 companies to 55. By revenue, the biggest manufacturers in California together contributed $881 billion to the state’s coffers, while the biggest in Texas contributed $847 billion. There is not one other state that employs over 1 million people in manufacturing. Texas at 750,000 is in second place. This is US Census data.

40% of all imports and exports of the U.S.A. are moved through the Los Angeles/Long Beach harbor facilities. This figure does not include goods that are shipped by air cargo.

Speaking of air traffic, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the third busiest in the United States.  That makes Los Angeles a major tourist destination. Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and the amusement parks draw millions of people and that means thousands of jobs.

San Francisco and San Diego are major tourist destinations for the entire world.  Last year we stayed at the Fisherman’s Wharf Sheraton Hotel.  The desk informed me that their primary of guests comes from other countries.   

Los Angeles is a world leader in architecture. The Los Angeles Times this past Sunday (May 21, 2017) published a catalogue of 186 pages showing the works of major architect in this city. Titled DesignLA, it pictured the work of those talented people who include Frank Gehry.

As to education, California has some of the most highly regarded universities in the world. UCLA, USC, UC Berkley, Stanford, and CSUN are just the top of an outstanding educational system that draw thousands of students from around the world.

Silicon Valley and San Francisco are the heart of high tech for the entire world.  Facebook, Google, Apple, Tesla are the four most famous of those companies but there are many others as well.

Los Angeles is still home to important aerospace companies including JPL, Rocketdyne, and Space X. 

Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the world. All the major movie studios are based in metropolitan Los Angeles. All television networks have large studios in Los Angeles.

New Jersey has the highest effective property tax rate at 2.38% and is followed closely by Illinois (2.32%), New Hampshire (2.15%), and Connecticut (1.98%). California is happily in 34th place with an effective rate of .81%. My source:

California gasoline tax will be the highest in the nation thanks to the latest increase in that tax that will take effect November 1, 2017. This is clearly a serious mistake.

California state government bonds are rated AA- by both Fitch and Standard and Poor’s, Aa3 by Moody’s.

I have not even discussed the weather that is the most obvious reason there was a mass migration to California after WW2 and is still a major drawing point for so many in the rest of the United States. We moved from Philadelphia where you can rely on rain if you plan a picnic in the park and that is in the summer. Winters can best be described as miserable at best.


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