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Saturday, August 5, 2023

Ending Poverty in California?

A number of posts have dealt with homelessness.

The problem is highly visible in California. Because of its high cost of housing, the supplemental poverty measure puts its poverty rate as the highest in the nation.

 At Reason, Steven Greenhut writes about former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, who wants to end poverty in California:

Tubb's group is correct that poverty rates in California are atrocious. "California has the highest rate of poverty at 13.2% of any state in the U.S.," it notes. "28.7 percent of all California residents were poor or near poor in fall 2021." EPIC doesn't address that California's poverty rate is the worst in the nation—especially when cost-of-living factors are included—despite this being the nation's most progressive state. It offers the most generous welfare programs.

One would think that politicians who are serious about ending poverty would at least address that paradox. The video features union organizers who point to the need for an even more powerful union presence in our state, yet unions were on the vanguard of some of the state's most poverty-inducing policies—such as Assembly Bill 5, which tried to ban most forms of independent contracting and destroyed moderate-income jobs throughout the freelance economy.

With their progressive policies, lawmakers are destroying the incentive for developers to build more housing. They're always adding regulations and taxes that shutter businesses and discourage people from investing in new ones. Instead of recognizing that California's poverty problem largely is the result of government meddling, EPIC will propose more-aggressive interventions. At some point, lawmakers need to stop making unattainable high-school-level promises and begin wrestling with complex realities.