A new analysis of economic data by the Kersten Institute, suggests that the California Democrat agenda may be catching up to California in terms of more limited economic growth for all California regions outside the Bay Area.
Specifically, the new numbers demonstrate that it's not the California economy that is the exception, it's the Bay Area economy. Furthermore, only seven of the state's 27 metro regions examined in the analysis recorded real economic growth that equaled or exceeded the national average.
On the contrary, most of the state, some 19 of the state's 26 metro areas experienced below average real economic growth for the 2008-14 period, when compared to the nation. Many of the state's regions experienced negative growth, and 8-10 of the state's metro areas routinely rank among the worst economic regions in the country in terms of economic performance.
Recently many state Democrat politicians have been taking credit for what has been commonly billed as favorable economic news, but if you dissect the figures, it's really the Bay Area that is driving the economy for the rest of the state, and every other region is just riding on its coat tails.
Moreover, many California Democrat lawmakers routinely point to economic figures as proof that their policies (i.e. highest tax rates in nation, highest minimum wage, toughest and most expensive regulations) have not crashed the California economy.
But the sad truth is that it appears that these same policies are having an impact on the roughly 75% of the state's economy that lies outside the Bay Area. More research needs to be done, but the numbers are in for the rest of the state and they're not good, and not nearly as good as most left-leaning politicians would lead out in an election year.
There is no question that Republicans are better regarding the economy in California because the California Democrats have a complete lack of an economic policy at best, and a disastrous economic policy at worse. It's almost as if many Democrat members continue to look at the favorable economic numbers at the national level, and the positive Bay Area figures driving the state numbers, and are in shock that their policies have not completely collapsed the state's economy thus far.
Brazil shows that things can change quickly. And that spending everything you have, not investing in infrastructure, running up excessive debt, and failing to curb disastrous labor and civil service practices can crash your economy quickly, once things begin to collapse.
Hopefully California's Democrat politicians take note of the new numbers next time they say that their policies have been good for the California economy, because 75% of the state is underperforming the national economy, according to the 2008-14 time period examined in the study. And it's only the Bay Area that is the exception, which is not as impacted by the anti-competitive policies propagated by the ruling party in Sacramento.
David Kersten is executive director of the Kersten Institute for Governance and Public Policy (www.kersteninsitute.org). He is an expert on fiscal issues and teaches a masters’ course on public budgeting for the University of San Francisco.