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"It was a splendid population - for all the slow, sleepy, sluggish-brained sloths stayed at home - you never find that sort of people among pioneers - you cannot build pioneers out of that sort of material. It was that population that gave to California a name for getting up astounding enterprises and rushing them through with a magnificent dash and daring and a recklessness of cost or consequences, which she bears unto this day - and when she projects a new surprise the grave world smiles as usual and says, "Well, that is California all over."

- - - - Mark Twain (Roughing It)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

California again has nation's highest rate of real poverty

The Golden State Has a Bit of Rust

  • Pardon me, but if we exported say 2 million people the housing crisis would not exist, the insane rents and home prices would fall and freeways would unclog. But I am just a "crazy" Blogger. What do I know.

(Sacramento Bee)  -  Gov. Jerry Brown and state legislators have been crowing about what they did for California’s poorest residents the last few years. 

They raised the state’s minimum wage, improved overtime pay for farm and domestic workers, enacted an earned-income tax credit, expanded health and welfare benefits, and provided extra money for the educations of poor students.
However, their failure to confront the heaviest burden on poor families – California’s soaring housing costs – will extend California’s embarrassment of having the nation’s highest rate of real poverty.
A new supplemental poverty measure by the Census Bureau, covering the 2013-15 period, found that nearly 8 million Californians, 20.6 percent of the state’s residents, are living in poverty.
While that’s lower than what it was during the previous three-year period, 23.4 percent, the gap between California and other states, which range from 19 percent to 9.7 percent, has widened.
A house covered in wrapping paper with a cardboard chimney 
is seen at the Silicon Valley homeless encampment 
known as "The Jungle".  Read More . . . .

California’s “official” poverty rate, 15 percent, is only slightly higher than the national rate of 14.5 percent, but its 20.6 percent supplemental rate is 5.5 percentage points higher than the national rate, 15.1 percent.
The official poverty rate is based on a half-century-old formula that takes into account only a narrow range of incomes and living costs. The supplemental rate covers a much wider array of income sources and living costs, including housing, and is widely considered to be much more accurate.
Deeper dives into the data leave little doubt that California’s high costs of living, particularly for housing, are a huge factor in its having such a high proportion of impoverished residents.
A few years ago, the Public Policy Institute of California devised the California Poverty Measure, which is similar to the Census Bureau’s supplemental index, and came up with a 21.8 percent poverty rate.
The PPIC study also revealed that the state’s highest level of poverty, 26.1 percent, was to be found in Los Angeles County, home to a huge immigrant population working at low-skill, low-wage jobs but confronting very high housing costs in relation to their modest incomes.
While housing costs in the Bay Area are even higher, its technology-centered economy also generates much higher incomes so its overall poverty rate under the PPIC formula is well under the state average.
Supply shortages lie at the core of California’s high housing costs and thus, of its very high incidence of poverty. Although the state’s current population growth is quite modest, less than 1 percent a year, that’s still about 300,000 new Californians every year who need at least 100,000 more housing units.
Our net housing gain has been about two-thirds of the need in recent years, which means the demand/supply gap is continuing to widen and drive housing prices, especially urban rentals, steeply upward.
Brown proposed a modest plan to cut through red tape for some new housing, particularly low-income, but didn’t make it a high priority, and he and legislators allowed opposition from narrow interests to block it.
So much for helping the poor.
ead more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/dan-walters/article101657302.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/dan-walters/article101657302.html#storylink=cpy
Read More . . . .

An encampment of tents under an overpass in Fresno.
(New York Times)

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