Surely the Stanford Profs Jest

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Submitted by no_such_reality on March 13, 2012 - 11:48am

Two Stanford professors wrote an opinion piece in the WSJ today on California.

In it, they make a startling claim:
" From the mid-1980s to 2005, California's population grew by 10 million, while Medicaid recipients soared by seven million; tax filers paying income taxes rose by just 150,000; and the prison population swelled by 115,000."

Now I get that a 'tax filer' is typically a household. But really, only 150,000 more tax filers with 10 million in population growth?

Submitted by bearishgurl on March 13, 2012 - 11:52am.

It could be partly due to the population aging. Seniors on fixed incomes often get to a point where filing an income tax return is not required.

Submitted by NotCranky on March 13, 2012 - 11:53am.

It notes tax filers who actually pay income tax. Many more new filers, but they don't pay anything?

Submitted by bearishgurl on March 13, 2012 - 12:05pm.

Folks on "Medicaid," (Medi-Cal) in CA, are usually indigent (or close to it). Most of them are on SSD, SSI or TANF. When an individual is collecting SSD, I don't believe they are allowed to have W-2 income. If they do, they can lose their SSD benefit. Thus, the majority of people on Medi-Cal are NOT required to file an income-tax return.

Persons incarcerated in state or Federal prison do not typically have income and thus would not be required to file an income tax return. This doesn't preclude their non-incarcerated spouse to file one, however, but it likely wouldn't be a "joint-return."

Submitted by bearishgurl on March 13, 2012 - 12:42pm.

. . . In it, they make a startling claim: "From the mid-1980s to 2005, California's population grew by 10 million . . . "

Which begs the question, How did this happen? How did CA obtain an additional 3.5M+ more housing units over 25 years (to house this "influx" of 10M people)?

Which other states' elected officials were dumb enough to approve massive residential tract development of this magnitude?

Second question: Did CA really "need" all these additional housing units (built since the "mid-'80's??") In other words, were the residents already there to buy them or did they lure more out-of-state residents in (due to their lower asking prices [NOT hidden costs])? If so, was it in CA's best interest to absorb all these transplants?

Third question: Would CA and its local jurisdictions have been on far more solid financial footing if it wasn't for the "greed" of its various elected officials at all levels of govm't voting to permit endless tracts of residential development??

The article mentions "Stockton" as the next city to go "bust."

Off the top of my head, I'll add to that list:

* Merced
* Salinas
* Paso Robles
* Fresno
* Elk City
* upper Ventura County jurisdictions
* eastern RIV County jurisdictions (ie Moreno
Valley, Hemet, etc)
* northern SB County jurisdictions (ie Adelanto)
* Tracy and, to a lesser extent Turlock
* Imperial County (+ El Centro and Brawley)
* and, very possibly, City of San Diego

There must be more that I can't think of right at the moment :=0

CA's "urban sprawl" is and will prove to be a "crushing burden" for the local governments to service properly, IMO. Those areas turned into "ghost towns" will still have to be "managed properly" in the near and far future or torn down.

Submitted by harvey on March 13, 2012 - 1:53pm.

Amazing how people cannot see the bigotry and ignorance in their own words:

"They should have stopped letting people in right after I arrived."

"They should have stopped building houses right after my neighborhood was built."

Submitted by bearishgurl on March 13, 2012 - 2:21pm.

pri_dk wrote:
Amazing how people cannot see the bigotry and ignorance in their own words:

"They should have stopped letting people in right after I arrived."

"They should have stopped building houses right after my neighborhood was built."

If you are referring here to me, pri_dk, then there (should) have been no new development in the last 65 years, lol....

In case I haven't made myself clear here, I am against the massive urban sprawl that has occurred in CA chiefly and only because of the ability of local government (whilst sharing sleeping quarters with Big Developers) to be financially able to annex-in large portions of former wasteland to themselves to form massive CFD's. This enabled Big Developers to promote (and successfully sell) the following to unwary and uneducated buyers (mostly "transplants"):

* oversized "mcmansions" on <=5000 sf lots

* 400+ unit cardboard condo complexes in the stix

* low-quality "starter homes" in the middle of nowhere and situated on minuscule lots

* "planned communities" in which each of the properties which lie within are encumbered by two or more HOAs

These are but just a few of the allowed projects which we know today caused (and will cause) repeated distress among their individual owners and consequently to the governments of the jurisdictions they are situated in.

Accepting these "bribes" and later mismanaging the responsibility associated with acceptance of these "bribes" is and will continue to be THE major cause of city/county insolvency in this state, IMO.

Submitted by briansd1 on March 13, 2012 - 2:29pm.

bearishgurl wrote:

CA's "urban sprawl" is and will prove to be a "crushing burden" for the local governments to service properly, IMO. Those areas turned into "ghost towns" will still have to be "managed properly" in the near and far future or torn down.

BG, the urban sprawl is due to the zoning restrictions and community activism that prevent higher density in the urban centers.

It's either urban sprawl or more density in existing areas. Take your pick.

We can't control population growth, but you can plan for it.

Submitted by sdduuuude on March 13, 2012 - 2:33pm.

bearishgurl wrote:
Which other states' elected officials were dumb enough to approve massive residential tract development of this magnitude?

Why should elected officials decide how many houses get built ? Is this the land of Big Brother or something?

Submitted by bearishgurl on March 13, 2012 - 2:54pm.

sdduuuude wrote:
Why should elected officials decide how many houses get built ?...

It is their job to vote in the formation of the CFD's so that the Big Developer has somewhere to build. And they did in many CA jurisdictions ... en masse.

Submitted by bearishgurl on March 13, 2012 - 2:58pm.

briansd1 wrote:
BG, the urban sprawl is due to the zoning restrictions and community activism that prevent higher density in the urban centers.

It's either urban sprawl or more density in existing areas. Take your pick.

We can't control population growth, but you can plan for it.

Wrong, brian. Our elected officials had control over all of it and chose to sell out to the Big Developer "bribes."

For instance, take a look at population centers in the State of Washington which is well-known for passing no-growth and low-growth initiatives.

Look at the difference of there and here (as it applies to urban sprawl). Do you know if any of these jurisdictions are experiencing financial problems today?

Submitted by no_such_reality on March 13, 2012 - 4:09pm.

Both Washington and Oregon have budget problems On par with California

Oregon, home of Portland's low growth paradise has a projected 24% gap for next year

Cali is more like 9.8%

Portland also has been having budget woes

Submitted by sdduuuude on March 13, 2012 - 4:39pm.

Let's try this new feature:

BG, I believe you are misunderstanding the point of the post.

[The number of permits issued by the CA government.] is not actually germane to the topic, which is - why are there so many new people and not so many new taxpayers ?

Submitted by sdrealtor on March 13, 2012 - 5:11pm.

pri_dk wrote:
Amazing how people cannot see the bigotry and ignorance in their own words:

"They should have stopped letting people in right after I arrived."

"They should have stopped building houses right after my neighborhood was built."

I used to work in what was and still is one of the biggest/highest producing RE offices in the SD county. There were a bunch of old timers who used to sit around and complain about the loss of the way things used to be. I would ask them how do liked the great new restaurants and stores we have around and they would say they loved them. I would ask them how they liked that their homes had risen hundreds of thousands in value and they loved than too. I would ask them how they liked the rising rents on their investment properties and they loved that too. I would ask them how they liked bigger commissions on more expensive homes and they loved that too. Then I would say...how do you think all that happened? Its called progress. They would grumble and say you just dont understand to which I would smile and reply no I understand perfectly.

Submitted by harvey on March 13, 2012 - 6:45pm.

The history of California is the very definition of urban sprawl. The housing development, the planned community, the suburban neighborhood with two-car garages were essentially invented here. One of the icons of California, Hollywood, was a real-estate development.

It all started before any of us were even born.

But some people think it should have all suddenly stopped as soon as they got theirs.

As for the OP, I really don't even have a guess. I don't think old people and/or illegal immigrant populations can explain those extreme numbers.

Submitted by EconProf on March 13, 2012 - 7:14pm.

There are three tax raises on the November ballot, so we will all get a chance to have our say about California's fiscal future. The one pushed by Governor Jerry Brown would raise the top income tax rate to 13.2 percent, which would make it the highest in the nation. Another part of his initiative would raise our sales taxes, which are already the highest in the nation.
Meantime, with 12 percent of the nation's population, we have one-third of the welfare recipients.
CA has the second-highest unemployment rate in the nation, and our businesses and middle-class taxpayers are heading for the exits, and moving especially to low tax, business-friendly Texas, AZ, and Nevada.
All these and additional facts cited in the article are not new--the authors merely collected and assembled data already out there. But finally the public is getting informed, no thanks to the lame CA big city newspapers, who have largely cheered on the trends of recent years. It's going to be an interesting election season in CA.

Submitted by jstoesz on March 14, 2012 - 10:01am.

The 2010 republican wave did not occur in CA. Quite the opposite in fact, granted Whitman was a loser robot. I just don't see much appetite for reform among the state at large, too many people benefit from the free stuff to vote for reform of their benefits.

Submitted by briansd1 on March 14, 2012 - 10:54am.

pri_dk wrote:
The history of California is the very definition of urban sprawl. The housing development, the planned community, the suburban neighborhood with two-car garages were essentially invented here. One of the icons of California, Hollywood, was a real-estate development.

It all started before any of us were even born.

Very true. Thank you for pointing it out.

pri_dk wrote:

But some people think it should have all suddenly stopped as soon as they got theirs.

I think that NIMBYism was invented in California also?

Personally, I don't understand to desire to live in a static environment, frozen in time. I'm all for change and progress. I like new people coming to California, they bring new blood and diversity.

As sdrealtor said, that's progress.

Submitted by briansd1 on March 14, 2012 - 11:08am.

bearishgurl wrote:

For instance, take a look at population centers in the State of Washington which is well-known for passing no-growth and low-growth initiatives.

no growth, slow growth is boring and limit opportunities.

I actually think that SD Diego is a big town with a small town mentality.

Beginning in the early 80s with all the maquiladoras, then NAFTA in the 90s, and the talk of a bi-national airport, San Diego could have transformed itself into an international city of stature.

The big opportunity not taken for San Diego was before the manufacturing shift to Asia.

Submitted by bearishgurl on March 14, 2012 - 11:17am.

pri_dk wrote:
The history of California is the very definition of urban sprawl. The housing development, the planned community, the suburban neighborhood with two-car garages were essentially invented here. One of the icons of California, Hollywood, was a real-estate development.

It all started before any of us were even born.

But some people think it should have all suddenly stopped as soon as they got theirs....

Here you go again, pri_dk .... making "quotes" that aren't there and putting words in other people's mouth.

Everyone knows America is a free country. Americans are free to move state to state and always have been. I'm simply stating that persons moving into CA are not entitled to buy or rent "new construction" and never have been.

For example, take CA's Silicon Valley ... or even SF. If a "new hire" or "new retiree" wants to buy or lease an SFR in SV or nearly ANY property in SF, it will NOT be even remotely "new." Too bad, so sad ... if you don't like it, don't move there.

As it should be. Infrastructure and public personnel to service "new" construction tracts all over CA only took from cities' and counties' ability to maintain their respective urban cores (yes, even with bond $$ to build it - which didn't pay for servicing it in the long term).

For instance, if the City of SD hadn't expanded the way it did in the last 30 years, annexing far-flung and disconnected (to themselves) portions of the county, they would have only had the original areas for newcomers to choose to buy and lease in. This didn't stop newcomers from coming here in the seventies/early eighties. Why would SD be any less desirable because it has less housing areas to choose from? If newcomers don't like the housing that is on offer in any given place, they are free not to take a position there or retire there. Actually, CA's existing housing at the time of the passage of the Mello Roos Community Facilities District Act was more than enough to accommodate any newcomers that moved in to accept employment.

Another related subject is, why did CA companies feel they had to recruit out-of-state and out-of-country when CA had over 50 state-run universities at the time and numerous private universities churning out top graduates in every field? In-state college graduates already had family and somewhere to live (or at least to "launch their careers" from). They didn't need new construction in the stix to flock to.

All the (unnecessary) urban sprawl (esp in the San Joaquin Valley and RIV/SB counties) only attracted (and brought in) multitudes of min-wage and other low-wage earners from neighboring desert states such as AZ and NV and even MX, most of whom don't pay taxes of any kind. We didn't need more min-wage households in CA. We have MX for a neighbor, remember?? And there aren't even enough jobs available for our kids to assist them in getting thru college!

Any and all "bubbles" aside, how much do you think SD County properties built before, say '87 (the "debut year" of CFD formation in the county) would be worth today if SD County's elected officials had instead instituted no/low growth initiatives from the get go? And because public funds would have been diverted to the existing infrastructure from then forward, don't you think SD County's housing stock, in particular, would be better maintained as would its streets and other infrastructure? Their certainly would have been more incentive for owners to do so, don't you think?

Likewise, for the schools. Do you actually think "Hoover" and "Crawford" HS's were ALWAYS "low-performing?" You might be SHOCKED to know how many local officials, philanthropists and "celebrities" graduated from those two schools.

The housing stock around both of those schools is VERY well-built, well-located and even "prestigious." Ask yourselves how these schools have become what they are now?

Using SD County for an example, how has having a (current) 3M population vs. 1M population (in 1982) made the county's quality of life "better?" And if you think it IS better now, WHO is it better for?

For starters, the officials running the counties of Marin, Contra Costa (most cities), San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara (most cities), El Dorado, Mendocino and the cities within them had it right all along in imposing their no/low growth initiatives early on. Just compare the quality of life in these counties to the quality of life in CA counties whose officials have been "rolling in the sheets" with Big Development for the last 30 years. There lies your answer.

Submitted by bearishgurl on March 14, 2012 - 11:41am.

jstoesz wrote:
The 2010 republican wave did not occur in CA. Quite the opposite in fact, granted Whitman was a loser robot. I just don't see much appetite for reform among the state at large, too many people benefit from the free stuff to vote for reform of their benefits.

jstoesz, if you are referring to "reform" as cutting public pensions and health benefits that were already promised to existing retirees, near (deferred) retirees and soon-to-be-retirees, this will never happen. There are too many voters in CA who have already served their time (many thousands for well over 30 years) and thus, devoted all their working lives to providing the services we all count on and use.

I'm noticing the main "public pension reform" advocates here on this forum have not and will never be in a position to become "vested" into a public pension plan themselves. The reason? All these jobs look "easy" and "cushy" from the outside looking in ... that is, until one actually shows up to work and starts serving their "probationary period," lol. Actually, a career "bureaucrat" serves multiple "probationary periods" in their "career." Deep down, most "public-pension-reform-advocate Piggs" know this. It's easier to sit at your computer/tablet/smartphone on the clock at your "civilian job" and blog about how "unfair" it all is.

Submitted by harvey on March 14, 2012 - 12:04pm.

The 'ignore user' feature is nice, but it still doesn't completely prevent clutter caused by excessive posting.

There is one user on this thread that has 8 of the 20 or so total posts. Even when 'ignored' they still manage to find a way to pollute.

Submitted by SD Realtor on March 14, 2012 - 12:09pm.

How about an auto_reject... If you are the author of a thread, you can specify users that get rejected if they respond to a thread.

Submitted by bearishgurl on March 14, 2012 - 12:31pm.

Actually, in case you haven't noticed, I love this state. The "whys" and "wherefores" of CA's "impending Greek Tragedy" and the antithesis of this thread is one of my favorite areas of (civil) discourse and is a subject of which I am passionate about, that is ... low and no-growth legislation :=]

I feel it's never too late to become involved until a CFD formation is being considered for the shores (and islands) of Mono Lake, lol!

Instead of making snide remarks that serve no purpose, pri_dk, why don't you instead change your tune and actually add something of value to the thread? If not just for the rest of us to understand why you feel as you do.

For starters, why don't you tell us if YOU or any member of your immediate family has personally received any *free* or *low-cost* services from departments or agencies of this great state of ours (or its "subdivisions") that would not have been available to you as a resident of other states?

And if you have, do you think the public employees who provided those services to you are undeserving of being able to "retire" after 30 years of service?

Submitted by sdrealtor on March 14, 2012 - 12:31pm.

Some people are rather adept at arguing with themselves even when no one else is paying attention to them.

Wait for it....

Submitted by bearishgurl on March 14, 2012 - 12:35pm.

SD Realtor wrote:
How about an auto_reject... If you are the author of a thread, you can specify users that get rejected if they respond to a thread.

SDR, why don't you create your own thread discussing your FAV subjects of the current price of food and commodities and how expensive tract homes are in your far-flung area of choice (that you haven't purchased in yet).

You could always ask for "special permission" to bump any contributions I might choose to make :=]

Submitted by bearishgurl on March 14, 2012 - 12:36pm.

sdrealtor wrote:
Some people are rather adept at arguing with themselves even when no one else is paying attention to them.

SOME people CLAIM they are IGNORING me but really can't help themselves, lol.

...wait for it.

Submitted by briansd1 on March 14, 2012 - 12:49pm.

BG, it's not a question of old or new, the number of housing units needs to grow in proportion to the population.

bearishgurl wrote:

Using SD County for an example, how has having a (current) 3M population vs. 1M population (in 1982) made the county's quality of life "better?" And if you think it IS better now, WHO is it better for?

Better choices of restaurants.

Submitted by no_such_reality on March 14, 2012 - 1:08pm.

So our California department of finance publishes some interesting stats:

Current 2010 Census population shows only 4.2 million people age 65+

California government stats also show legal immigration to be 5.58 million from 1984 to 2010.

Nearly half immigrated to Los Angeles county, 2.044 million.

Over the last ten years, we've seen a marked increase in the population under 18. From 25% to 27.5%.

http://www.dof.ca.gov/research/demograph...

http://www.dof.ca.gov/research/demograph...

On a side note, I don't believe any place else in the US refers to California housing as cheap, except maybe people in Romney's income range.

While homes in podunk Cali seem cheap to us, to people living in elsewhere, they're still more expensive compartively with cheaper alternative locally in podunk-USA.

Submitted by harvey on March 14, 2012 - 1:12pm.

SD Realtor wrote:
How about an auto_reject... If you are the author of a thread, you can specify users that get rejected if they respond to a thread.

Good idea, but of course it's not worth Rich's time.

Seven more posts on this thread since my last count. Three from the same user.

Submitted by harvey on March 14, 2012 - 1:14pm.

no_such_reality wrote:
Over the last ten years, we've seen a marked increase in the population under 18. From 25% to 27.5%.

My wife and I have three kids. It's our fault.

Oh wait...one is adopted...can't blame us for any net gain.

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