Category Archives: California

From Stuck Living at Home to Giving Up on Having Children: Visualizing Economic Realities of Young Adults in America

With nearly 40% of young adults in California living with their parents and a $1.6 trillion student debt crisis taking more than just a little bite out of disposable income (and any hope of saving for many), economist Gary Kimbrough of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro has thrown together a ton of interesting data to answer the question: “What are the economic realities for young adults, and how have they changed from prior decades?

While much of Kimbrough’s analysis was done in February, he’s revisited his work ahead of a January presentation on the topic of young adults living at home.

Living at home

What’s more, when broken down by categories “living with parents, household head or spouse of household head, living in group quarters (mostly prisons for these ages), and other arrangements like cohabiting and living with roommates,” it’s startling to watch how young adults have been living at home vs. starting their own families over time

Job switching

When it comes to “job hopping” – young adults are largely staying put – and “aren’t even switching jobs at anything close to the levels of those in their age groups before 2001” according to Kimbrough. 

Everyone has a degree

“In 1992, middle-aged men were significantly more likely to have a bachelor’s degree than women or younger men. Now members of every group age 25-34 are more likely to have degrees than those men were,” writes Kimbrough, adding “Women’s college degree rates have shot up significantly more than men’s.”

Men at (part time) work

Since the Great Recession, Kimbrough noticed that “the propensity to work part time is about the same for women as pre-recession, but is up quite a bit for men under 35. Men 25-29 are still more likely to work PT than any time pre-2009.”

Working women are up, marriages are down

As more women have chosen careers over homemaking, Kimbrough provides an illustration of prime-age employment as a percentage of population, by gender. What’s more, young adult marriages have declined markedly over the last decade, continuing a trend which began mid-century

Gaming overtakes TV time

While not an “economic reality” per-se, it’s interesting to note that young men have been swapping TV-watching time for gaming. 

Of note, and unsurprisingly – young men living at home constitute the bulk of gamers watching less TV.

Owned by rent

Using Census/ACS data, Kimbrough shows how young adults are “significantly more likely to live in rental housing than in prior decades.”

What about the children?

Also unsurprising, with lower marriage rates and higher female employment, women in their 20s are “significantly less likely to have a child than a decade ago,” while those over the age of 32 are slightly more likely to have a kid. 

In short:

Source: ZeroHedge

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CA Governor Newsom Blames Texas For CA Policies That Caused CA’s Homeless Crisis

California Statist Supremacist and authoritarian governor, Gavin Newsom, recently blamed the state of Texas for California’s homeless crisis; rather than taking blame for long established policies California has instituted that stifle free enterprise with excessive regulation and taxation on those working hard to create private wealth. 

Newsom said many homeless people on the streets of San Francisco are from Texas, in an attempt to shift the blame from himself and the polices of socialists (who get rich peddling socialism to the masses as everyone else becomes impoverished.)

Former California assemblyman turned Texas resident Chuck DeVore reacted to Newsom pushing the blame onto others. The vice president of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Chuck DeVore, said Wednesday that Gavin Newsom is “responsible for the policies that have created California’s homeless crisis,” in the wake of the governor blaming Texas for San Francisco’s homeless crisis. “What you’re seeing here are the words of a desperate man that we should almost feel sorry for,” DeVore, who served as a California assemblyman for six years, told “Fox & Friends.”

“Governor Gavin Newsom has been in office now for 22 straight years, starting at the San Francisco board of supervisors,” DeVore added. Homelessness has been rampant across the state of California in the past few years and merchants and homeowners have become increasingly vocal and incredibly irate at how things are going in the socialist dystopia.

Though San Francisco has more billionaires per capita than anywhere else in the world, its homeless problem has rivaled third-world nations, according to Fox News.  So much for all that “wealth inequality” the socialists are constantly pushing down the throats of the ignorant.  Government policies are the most to blame for San Francisco’s wealth inequality.

DeVore doubled down on this, saying that the government’s enslavement of the people of Californian is exactly why he left. He decided to leave California because of its “high cost of living [and] very burdensome regulations and taxes.”

“There’s more freedom in places like Texas, more opportunity to do what you want to do,” he said.

The sad truth is that socialism doesn’t work and it never has in all the times it’s been tried.  Humans are not meant to be slaves and eventually, they figure out that no one has a higher claim over their lives than they do.

Source: by Mac Slavo | SHTFplan

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Owner Of Sacramento Business Destroyed By Homeless Pleads With CA Gov Newsom

The West Coast, Under Progressive Stewardship Is A Literal Toilet: 80% of coastal areas infected with toxic feces (biosludge), warns Dr. Drew

Large Swaths Of California Now Too Wildfire Prone To Insure

AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez, File

(Nathanael Johnson) California is facing yet another real estate-related crisis, but we’re not talking about its sky-high home prices. According to newly released data, it’s simply become too risky to insure houses in big swaths of the wildfire-prone state.

Last winter when we wrote about home insurance rates possibly going up in the wake of California’s massive, deadly fires, the insurance industry representatives we interviewed were skeptical. They noted that the stories circulating in the media about people in forested areas losing their homeowners’ insurance was based on anecdotes, not data. But now, the data is in and it’s really happening: Insurance companies aren’t renewing policies areas climate scientists say are likely to burn in giant wildfires in coming years.

If governments don’t step in, that kills mortgages, so what comes next? Only all cash buys? Seller financing? And if property values in these areas decline, as they ought to, bye bye local government budgets.

Insurance companies dropped more than 340,000 homeowners from wildfire areas in just four years. Between 2015 and 2018, the 10 California counties with the most homes in flammable forests saw a 177 percent increase in homeowners turning to an expensive state-backed insurance program because they could not find private insurance.

In some ways, this news is not surprising. According to a recent survey of insurance actuaries (the people who calculate insurance risks and premiums based on available data), the industry ranked climate change as the top risk for 2019, beating out concerns over cyber damages, financial instability, and terrorism. While having insurance companies on board with climate science is a good thing for, say, requiring cities to invest in more sustainable infrastructure, it’s bad news for homeowners who can’t simply pick up their lodgings and move elsewhere.

“We are seeing an increasing trend across California where people at risk of wildfires are being non-renewed by their insurer,” said California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara in a statement. “This data should be a wake-up call for state and local policymakers that without action to reduce the risk from extreme wildfires and preserve the insurance market we could see communities unraveling.”

A similar dynamic is likely unfolding across many other Western states, according to reporting from the New York Times.

To understand the data coming out of California we can use my own family as an example: A few months after Grist published a story about how my parent’s neighborhood is trying to fortify itself against future forest fires, my mom’s insurer informed her and my stepfather that they’d need to get home insurance elsewhere. For two months they called one insurer after another, but no company would take their premiums. So they turned to the state program as the insurer of last resort — which costs about three times more than they’d been spending under their previous, private insurer.

My folks have spent a lot of money clearing trees and brush from around their house. They’ve covered the walls in hard-to-burn cement panels, and the roof with metal. But insurance risk maps don’t adjust for these improvements. Instead, insurance companies seem to have made the call that the changing climate, along with years of fire suppression, have made houses in the midst of California’s dry forests a bad bet, and therefore uninsurable.

“For us, because we’ve done good financial planning and our house is paid off, it’s just an extra expense,” said my mom, Gail Johnson Vaughan. “But we have friends who have no choice but to leave.”

Source: by  Nathanael Johnson | Grist

Courts Finally Force California To Repay $331 Million Stolen From Mortgage Relief For Homeowners

(John Myers) Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration said Friday it would begin work on transferring $331 million back into a special fund designed to help California homeowners hit hard by the recession-era mortgage crisis, money that the courts have ruled was wrongly used to help balance the state budget.

The California Supreme Court refused earlier this week to hear an appeal by the administration disputing lower court rulings that found the state mistakenly used a portion of the money — paid by large banks and lenders as part of a nationwide legal agreement in 2012 — to pay off housing bonds. In some cases, those bonds were enacted a decade before the mortgage settlement. In all, three years of state budget expenses were covered by a portion of what California received from the mortgage settlement.

The decision to use the money was championed by Newsom’s predecessor, former Gov. Jerry Brown. Legislators subsequently ratified the plan, and last year went even further: They passed legislation seeking to block a court ruling to repay more than $331 million into a fund originally designed for statewide homeowner assistance efforts. Groups that waged a five-year court battle over the funds expressed relief that the legal fight was finally over.

“Truth prevails,” said Faith Bautista, president and chief executive of the National Asian American Coalition. “They’re now facing the reality that the money belonged to the homeowners in distress.”

While the money in question was undoubtedly tempting at the time it was diverted — California’s budget was still reeling from successive years of back-to-back deficits — the state’s coffers are now overflowing. The budget signed by Newsom last month includes $19.2 billion in cash reserves, making the repayment of the mortgage settlement money limited only by how fast state leaders can take action. The Legislature will return next month for the final weeks of its 2019 session.

The money diverted to state budget needs was a small portion of what both California homeowners and the government received from the national settlement agreed to by 49 states in 2012. Those states, along with the federal government and the District of Columbia, had earlier filed suit against the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers: Ally (formerly known as GMAC), Bank of America, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo. The legal action alleged a number of federal law violations, and the financial institutions agreed to pay more than $20 billion to homeowners affected by the mortgage crisis. The companies also agreed to pay the states a total of $2.5 billion.

California’s share of the state payments was $410 million, to be used for a variety of services directed by then-Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris. But most of the money was used instead for budget-balancing items which, while related to housing, were long-term costs that further shrank the funds available for basic government services. A coalition including representatives for Asian American and Latino communities sued the state in 2014 over its decision to use the money to help erase a projected budget deficit. A Sacramento judge ruled for the coalition in 2015 and the 3rd District Court of Appeal agreed with that ruling last year.

State leaders, however, refused to back down. At the end of the 2018 legislative session, lawmakers and Brown crafted a bill that said the money was used correctly, and the enacted law sought to give the Legislature the power to “abrogate,” or revoke, the appeals court order to replenish the spent money.

In April, the same appeals court again rebuked state officials.

“It is the judicial branch that has the constitutional authority to interpret statutes,” the three-judge panel wrote in its ruling, stating that the mortgage settlement “money was unlawfully diverted from a special fund in contravention of the purposes for which that special fund was established.”

On Wednesday, the California Supreme Court refused Newsom’s request to hear the case, allowing the appeals ruling to stand.

“Now that the Supreme Court has issued its decision in this matter, we will move forward to implement the ruling,” said H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for the California Department of Finance.

Bautista, whose Daly City-based group works with low-income communities of color across the state, said she hopes the $331 million will be supplemented by money from the nation’s leading lenders to offer services such as down payment assistance for those who went through foreclosure during the housing crisis and want to again own a home. She said other services, including financial literacy efforts and those helping Californians with low credit scores, should also be considered. And she urged Newsom to make such efforts part of his larger discussion about the state’s housing crisis.

“People are hurting in East L.A., Riverside, the Central Valley,” Bautista said. “Let’s pick what’s best and use the money wisely.”

Neil Barofsky, an attorney who represented the groups that fought the cash diversion in the courts, said it was disappointing that state officials spent so many years on “frivolous appeals,” culminating in what he called the “ginned- up legislative action” last year designed to block repayment of the money and the appeals court ruling.

“We understand it was a desperate time for the state when this happened,” he said. “But once we returned to surpluses, the idea that they would just keep fighting this has been breathtaking.”

Source: by John Myers | Los Angeles Times

“California Is Being Overrun By Rodents” – And We’re Not Talking About The Politicians

California is being hit by a “plague of rats”, and some commentators are suggesting that this is exactly what they deserve.  In fact, some have even gone so far as to suggest that the name of Los Angeles should be formally changed to “Los Ratas” because the rat problem is so severe there.  From Crescent City in the north all the way down to Chula Vista in the south, the rats are seemingly everywhere.  There are millions of them, and the more poison that people put out the more they seem to multiply.  The state of California has never seen anything like this before, and it is getting worse with each passing month.

At this point, things are already so bad that many are calling for Governor Newsom “to declare a public health emergency”

Pest control and public health experts are calling on California Gov. Gavin Newsom to declare a public health emergency over what they say is a sharp rise in the state’s rodent population.

“California is being overrun by rodents – and without immediate emergency action by state and local government, we face significant economic costs and risk a public health crisis,” said Carl DeMaio, chairman of Reform California, at a news conference Tuesday at City Hall in downtown Los Angeles.

It would be difficult to overstate the severity of this crisis.  According to a recent survey of California pest control companies, rat service requests are up “as much as 60% in the last 12 months”.

If you have ever lived some place where you can literally hear rodents crawling in the walls and in the ceiling, then you know how deeply unsettling it can be.

And in some instances, rodents are literally starting to fall out of the ceilings in California.  Just consider this example

Maggots and mice have fallen onto inmates’ dining tables at a California state prison where holes in the roof also allow rain and bird droppings to seep through and streak the walls, according to an inmate lawsuit that charges the state isn’t moving fast enough to repair deteriorating prisons.

California has committed $260 million over four years to repair leaking roofs and clear dangerous mold at more than two dozen deteriorating prisons where the cost of overdue maintenance is pegged at more than $1 billion.

A similar incident occurred at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Los Angeles last month while a customer was trying to order her dinner

Customers at a Los Angeles, Calif., Buffalo Wild Wings were in for a stomach-churning incident when a rat reportedly fell from the ceiling and landed on a table.

Alisha Norman, who was visiting Los Angeles from Texas, was getting ready to order at the chain restaurant when she heard something crawling above her, she told FOX35. Soon after, a rat fell and landed on a menu on the table.

This isn’t some third world country that we are talking about.  The state of California is the wealthiest state in the entire country, and they are being absolutely overrun by rats.

Of course it certainly doesn’t help that many California cities have a major trash collection problem.  The following was published by NBC Los Angeles earlier this year

Rat-infested piles of rotting garbage left uncollected by the city of Los Angeles, even after promises to clean it up, are fueling concerns about a new epidemic after last year’s record number of flea-borne typhus cases.

Even the city’s most notorious trash pile, located between downtown LA’s busy Fashion and Produce districts, continues to be a magnet for rats after it was cleaned up months ago. The rodents can carry typhus-infected fleas, which can spread the disease to humans through bacteria rubbed into the eyes or cuts and scrapes on the skin, resulting in severe flu-like symptoms.

As a result of all the trash and filth, even Los Angeles City Hall has become overrun by rats

Officials at Los Angeles’ City Hall are considering ripping all of the building’s carpets up, as rats and fleas are said to be running riot in its halls.

A motion was filed by Council President Herb Wesson on Wednesday to enact the much needed makeover amid a typhus outbreak in the downtown area.

Wesson said a city employee had contracted the deadly bacterial disease at work, and now he’s urging officials to investigate the ‘scope’ of the long-running pest problem at the council building.

When there is a huge problem like this that gets national attention, it is inevitable that California legislators will throw a lot more money at the problem, but that hasn’t worked so well in other cases.

For instance, two years ago New York Mayor Bill de Blasio launched a 32 million dollar program to fight the rat problem in his city, but that didn’t help.  In fact, the number of rat complaints actually increased by 38 percent last year…

New York, like other metropolitan cities including Philadelphia and Chicago, faces a major rat problem.

According to the New York Times, rat complaints have risen from 12,617 in 2014 to 17,353 last year. That’s a 38% jump citywide — and comes even after Mayor Bill de Blasio allocated $32 million in 2017 to reduce the number of the rodents.

And things are particularly bad on the Upper West Side.  They may have mountains of money over there, but they just can’t seem to keep the rats away

OpenTheBooks.com analyzed the number of calls for rats to 311 and found that, according to the Post, “the rats are running wild in this fancy area.”

A local publication called West Side Rag agreed that the Upper West Side has an extreme rat problem. “We’re like the Tom Brady of rats. All we do is win,” an article reads.

Despite all of our advanced technology, we cannot even handle the rats.

Somehow it seems fitting that the rat epidemic is most severe in the areas that are on the cutting edge of America’s social decline.  In life, you can try to run from the consequences of your actions, but they will catch up with you eventually.

As I have discussed previously, under ideal conditions rats can multiply very, very rapidly.  In fact, it has been estimated that two healthy rats could potentially become 482 million rats in just three years.

Perhaps Californians should just give up and let the rats take over.  After all, they couldn’t possibly do any worse than the politicians are currently doing.

Source: by Michael Snyder | ZeroHedge

Chief Investment Officer of Largest US Public Pension Fund Has Deep Ties to Chinese Regime

(Nathan Su) Newly discovered deep ties between the chief investment officer (CIO) of the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) and the Chinese government, along with CalPERS’s China investment holdings, have provoked controversy about the operations of the largest public retirement fund in the United States.

CalPERS manages more than $350 billion for public employees either retired from or currently working for most of the state and local public agencies in California.

The fund holds tens of millions of shares in equities of Chinese companies. Among other things, these companies develop advanced weapons for China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), and, according to one expert, are involved in unethical business practices and human rights abuses, including the concentration camps holding Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

According to a 2017 report by People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), CalPERS’s current CIO, Yu “Ben” Meng, as of 2015 was a participant in the Chinese government’s prestigious headhunting program called the Thousand Talents Plan (TTP).

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‘They Waited For Failure’: Report Exposes PG&E’s Inability To Replace Equipment That Sparked Deadly Wildfire

The now-bankrupt PG&E has put together a contingency plan that would plunge millions of unsuspecting Californians into rolling blackouts reminiscent of the early 2000s (when the utility was last pushed into bankruptcy protection thanks to the market-manipulation hijinx of Enron and other electricity brokers), but as WSJ revealed in an explosive report published Wednesday – a report that was probably the result of months of battles between the paper’s lawyers and California’s Freedom of Information Commission – PG&E’s long history of deterring maintenance on its lines and towers, a practice that directly contributed to causing the deadliest forest fire in California history.

The utility knew for years that hundreds of miles of high-voltage lines running in high-risk fire areas were at risk of failing and sparking a fire. And instead of acting swiftly to make the necessary upgrades, it appears the company routinely failed to identify the infrastructure most in need of maintenance.

Last year, a 100-year old line failed and sparked the Camp Fire, which eventually caused the deaths of 85 people.Documents obtained by WSJ – mostly internal emails and reports – revealed that the utility knew that 49 of the steel towers that carry the electrical line that failed needed to be replaced entirely.

For years, PG&E, which operates one of the oldest long-distance electricity transmission systems in the world, much of it having been built in the early 1900s, was able to get away with neglecting its lines and towers. But that changed in 2013, when California entered a punishing and prolonged drought.

It dried out much of the state, exponentially amplifying the risk of wildfires. In a 2017 internal presentation, PG&E said it needed a plan to replace towers and better manage lines to prevent “structure failure resulting [in] conductor on ground causing fire.” But inscrutably, the company opted instead to focus its efforts (and billions in capital) on upgrading substations, and instead labeled many of its transmission lines as low-risk projects.

Now, let’s look at the Caribou-Palermo line, the line that failed and caused the Camp Fire. PG&E delayed work on that line for more than five years, despite acknowledging that it, and dozens of aluminum lines and towers, needed urgent work “due to age.”

Similarly, PG&E’s regulators did nothing to change the company’s plans because no regulator keeps a close eye on these projects. PG&E told federal regulators it planned to overhaul the Caribou-Palermo line in 2013, yet no improvements had been made when a piece of hardware holding a high-voltage line failed last November, sending sparks into nearby dry grass and sparking the fire.

What’s worse, the company appears poised to make these same mistakes again as wildfire season progresses. PG&E has delayed maintenance work on several lines in Northern California’s highest-threat fire areas, including at least one near the Plumas National Forest, according to documents obtained by WSJ.

The company hasn’t detailed the scope of the work needed for each line, but it has disclosed that some require upgrades similar to those needed on the Caribou-Palermo line. Across northern California, WSJ able to identify dozens of lines in high-risk fire areas that were as old or older than Caribou-Palermo, and need similar types of maintenance.

One researcher at the University of Pittsburgh offered a damning assessment of their business model: “We have known for a long time that we are dealing with aging and antiquated infrastructure,” he said. “In a lot of cases, the business model was to wait for a failure and then respond.”

Unfortunately, forcing the company to make these repairs can be difficult without intense public scrutiny, given that none of the agency’s regulators has authority over the utility’s projects and maintenance work.

Whether this WSJ report spurs the state to act remains to be seen.

Source: ZeroHedge