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third ring of suburbs
California’s Reactionary Housing Policy Burns Millennials

The Golden State’s soaring home prices—exacerbated by NIMBY zoning restrictions, development plans that prioritize “density,” and arbitrary environmental rules—are exacting a catastrophic social and economic toll on the rising generation of young people looking to start families and lay down roots. So argues a bracing recent report from Joel Kotkin’s Center for Demographics and Policy at Chapman University. An excerpt:

Often cast as ‘progressive’, California’s land use policy is anything but reflective of historically liberal values, which traditionally favored the dispersion of property ownership. President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “A nation of homeowners, of people who own a real share in their land, is unconquerable.”75 Homeownership is not only critical to the economy, it provides key elements to our fraying civic society. Homeowners tend to vote more than renters, volunteer more, and as Habitat for Humanity suggests, provide a better environment for raising children.

Today’s assault on single-family housing essentially dooms much of the California middle class.

Kotkin and his colleagues note the high number of California millennials who are “failing to launch” due to prohibitive housing costs. While older California residents own homes at average rates, millennials own homes at lower rates than their peers in any other states except New York and Hawaii. More than half live with parents or other relatives. If home prices in California continue to rise at several times the rate of those in the rest of the country, “failure to launch” could turn into “crash and burn,” as an entire generation is denied the California dream their parents enjoyed.

This isn’t just an ordinary public policy dilemma; it is a crisis that cuts to the heart of the bargain that holds communities together. The absence exodus of young people, especially those who are working and middle class, has caused inequality to soar, making inland areas virtually unrecognizable compared to wealthy areas along the Pacific Coast. Because most people want to own a home before they start a family, the population of children in the state is shrinking, “with the lowest crude birth rate since 1907 occurring in 2016.” And as the authors suggest, the concentration of property ownership within a shrinking portion of the state’s ultra-talented elite threatens the ideal of democracy itself.

California is so firmly in the grips of cosmopolitan progressive ideology that it may be difficult to roll back the housing policies that are turning the state into Brazil. (Land-use policies reinforce this ideology by driving out more populist-minded voters). But in order to prevent these destructive dynamics to spread to the rest of the country, state policymakers and the federal government should prioritize that keep middle-class homeownership affordable and accessible. Building regulations should be rolled back, at the state and local level; city planning policies should favor suburbanization, rather than density; and the public funds should be allocated to build new infrastructure stretching further outside of city centers to facilitate a Third Ring of Suburbs.

If American society is going to hold together for a new generation already deeply divided and facing unusual economic strain, we need to get this issue right. Broadly-shared property ownership is a key to America’s social and economic success. Millennials need, as we’ve said before, need “a seat at the table and a slice of the pie.”

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  • rheddles

    the housing policies that are turning the state into Brazil. should be:

    the housing, education, immigration, wage and environmental policies that are turning the state into Mexico.

  • ——————————

    When I was living and building there (up until the 2008 crash), it took 5 to 6 months to get a building permit, and decent lots started at about 500K…and that was almost an hour drive north from San Diego. If you wanted to be close-in, the price for a lot was close to a mil.

    The only remotely affordable housing in So Cal is far inland in the desert…and that will never change….

    • Jim__L

      If you want it to change, praying to St. Andrew (or in Spanish, San Andreas) might help.

    • CaliforniaStark

      I live in San Diego. The cost of building new housing in San Diego has increased 30-40% over the last several years. The reason is the city continues to adopt more and more regulations, such as prevailing wage laws, restrictive greenhouse gas and storm water run-off regulations, and a host of other regulations that make building housing much more expensive. A lot of developers I know will no longer build in the city as a result. In addition, the San Diego has adopted its own “climate action plan” with the goal of mandating dense housing, which will force people out of their automobiles, who will then have to travel by bicycling, walking and using non-existent public transit.

      Both Joel Kotkin and Wendell Cox have both pointed out that most people do not want to live in dense housing, and prefer single-family housing, particularly if they plan to raise a family.

      http://www.newgeography.com/content/005395-the-incompatibility-forced-density-and-housing-affordability

      Appreciate the fact that the article focuses on the real issue. People are often being called NIMBYs for their refusal to want to live in Jerry Brown’s leftist social engineering experiment. Young middle class families continue to leave California so they can experience the American dream of home ownership, owning an automobile, and not having to put up with the ideological hogwash that their attempts to preserve a decent quality of life makes them evil.

      • ——————————

        That 5 to 6 months was if I handled the whole process. If a permit service or non-builder handled the process, it was longer.
        I quit building in Cali in 2008 when we had the crash.
        I never built right in the city of SD, but built in SD county.
        I was building in the Fallbrook area, and the De Luz area just to the north, and was selling specs for about $325 sf on a 1 or 2 acre lot.
        I also built in Santaluz (which is maybe a half hour from downtown SD), on about 1 acre lots and sold specs there for around $550 sf. Upscale houses, but pretty crazy prices.

        If prices have went up 30 to 40% from there, then Cali is really in deep trouble….

        • CaliforniaStark

          The County is better, and you still might be able to get through the process in 5-6 months there. In the City its impossible.

          Homes right now in Santaluz are selling for several million dollars. I live near Downtown west of Balboa Park. Multi-unit condos are often selling for over a million dollars in this area. The reason the prices are so high is there is a ready supply of high end buyers (including investors from foreign countries) willing to pay that much. Its supply and demand. Minor regulatory fixes are not going to change that reality. Desirable places to live are going to be expensive if there are high end buyers willing to pay premium prices.

          • ——————————

            Santaluz was millions when I was building there. Decent lots started around 800k. I was building 6900 to 7500 sf. X $550 sf., so…millions.
            Heck, it took 6 to 8 months to get through the Santaluz HOA architectural committee…longer than the county. What a bunch of anal retentive idiots.

            The whole Balboa area is nice. I am famiar with where you are at. A great area to be so close to downtown. I was living in Fallbrook…I like a little acreage, and it was close to the areas I built in.
            I am in Texas now. I left Cali a few years after the crash.
            Here you only need a permit if you are building in a large city, so most places you can just buy land and start building. There are no zoning laws here either. It’s a great and cheap place to live.

            I sure do miss the SD weather though….

  • D4x

    Deep Ecology is foundational to America’s climate change activists. They believe half the global population needs to ‘disappear’, to save the earth. California is leading the way…

    • Jim__L

      These people are anti-human, and should be anathematized as such.

    • Gary Hemminger

      You simply don’t get it D4x. We are cooking the world. We are all going to die unless we abort most of the children, live in dense apartments with no air conditioning, and allow only the rich to travel on jets to far off wonderful places. California is leading the way in ensuring that the plants and animals are all returned to their native state and that the cancer of people, fossil fuels, and lighting are ended forever (except for rich people, I mean).

      • D4x

        Adjusting my sarcasm meter here, but, I think you know I ‘get it’. And, also keep hoping the TAI staff someday might also see the connection, especially when they are citing Joel Kotkin, who totally ‘gets it’. He wrote a scathing revelation of the 2016Dem Party platform last summer, wish I had the link handy. Paraphrasing from memory: ‘lower economic growth, lower job creation, universal access to birth control and abortion, all in the cause of reducing CO2 emissions.’
        🙂

      • Andrew Allison

        Actually, it’s you who doesn’t get the fact that the temperature increase has been less than that predicted by the most conservative climate models. This might have something to do with https://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/03/08/the-logarithmic-effect-of-carbon-dioxide/, something about which “climate scientists” appear to be unaware (either that or they’re lying through their teeth).

    • ——————————

      We’ll as long as it’s the ‘left’ half that disappears, they have a good point!

      • D4x

        And, you can correlate their TDS with all those Trump children, and grandchildren.

  • Jim__L

    Two words — “Jobs Inland.”

    That would fix pretty much all of California’s problems.

  • Andrew Allison

    The is, indeed, a housing crisis in Coastal California. However, the solution is not “city planning policies should favor suburbanization, rather than density”. The Bay Area, or the Los Angeles megaplex stretching from San Diego to San Bernadeno to Santa Clarita demonstrates the folly of suburbanization. Land values being what they are, high-density is the only way that affordable housing can be built without paving over the rest of the State. Regulation should be shifted to encourage in-filling of existing cities and suburbs rather than endless sprawl.

    • Jim__L

      Paving inland from San Diego wouldn’t honestly make that much difference environmentally, it’s pretty much desert there.

      If you’d like to argue that the Central Valley is some of the best agricultural land in the world and should be preserved as such I can appreciate that; however, there are less level places in the state unsuited for farming that could be settled without impacting agriculture.

      The entire coast range, for example. The Mountain House development right over Altamont Pass is just barely beginning to be settled. Or the Eastern Sierras, which get most of the rain that California gets.

      Any way you look at it, there’s a LOT of space. Add jobs to that space — expand the tech sector’s range, or locate high-tech’s light-industrial jobs for skilled and semi-skilled labor there, and you’ve got yourself a prospering state.

      But the Left really doesn’t want jobs in counties that don’t vote Blue. The beggaring of non-coastal California is a nasty business, very political.

      • ——————————

        But then if you are going to be forced to live in the desert or in the boondocks, you might as well move to Arizona or New Mexico, or many other states where it is much cheaper, safer, and less regulated.

        The only reason to live in Cali is for the weather…and that perfect weather is only in a small.part of the state. If you can’t afford to live in the best part you might as well go to another state. Cali is not worth the hassle when you live outside of those few perfect weather areas….

      • Andrew Allison

        No question that there’s lots of space (as far as I’m concerned, Greater Lost Angeles is pretty much a desert already). Aside from the environmental impact of paving over the State, the issue, as you rightly point out, is where the jobs are. It’s my impression that when companies create jobs outside the super-expensive conurbations in CA, they move out of the State with the worst business environment in the country. Meanwhile, the people who have jobs in the coastal areas are SOL. The issue, as I apparently failed to make clear, that “third-ring” suburbs are NOT the solution to the coastal housing problem.

    • Gary Hemminger

      Yes, Andrew is absolutely correct. Policies should favor creating dense enclaves of poor slaves for the rich, with many, many people living in the same apartment. these same apartments should hold young tech workiers. the only people that should be able to afford houses are older people. These policies will then promote the houses people want (suburban housing) to rise so high that only people like me can afford them. Then ultimately I will sell and retire elsewhere.

      Andrew is absolutely correct. Unless we promote the herding of young people into dense apartment dwellings, the environmental ramifications of suburban sprawl will kill us all and bake the Earth. Since no one wants to really live in dense apartments, except young tech workers, people will eventually have to leave the state and the only people left will be poor immigrants that can serve as the slaves for the tech and media rich. Since the poor will be given handouts, they will of course, vote for the politicians of their rich slave masters (if they know what is good for them). I have lived here for 56 years and I have watched these policies become reality.

      The idiot Republicans are too stupid to become elected, and the equally idiot Democrats, once they hold complete power (as they do know) will create the utopia they have always wanted. Poor immigrants acting as the slaves of the rich tech and media workers, who build enclaves with fencing so that they don’t have to interact with their slaves (except when they are doing their laundry, their gardening, their pools, and acting as their kids nannies).

      Perfect situation. thanks Andrew for voting for the idiots that are making this happen.

      • Andrew Allison

        Oh, please. Not only was I referring to housing, not the number of people per house, but the housing density in Manhattan, and indeed New York City in general, is very high.

    • Dan Kearns

      And if you have kids?

      • ——————————

        Either make very big bucks, or move to a state with sanity….

      • Andrew Allison

        The people who live in NYC, in apartments, and those raising families in condominiums nationwide don’t seem to have a problem.

        • Jim__L

          Actually, yes we do have a problem, getting sucked dry by rent and taxes, and not having anyplace for our kids to actually have a decent childhood. Check the numbers on how many people move out before having a family, and whether people stuck there forgo children entirely, if you don’t believe me.

          Being stuffed into tiny spaces for housing sucks, plain and simple. Densification is a problem, and 3rd-ring suburbs (not to mention distributed workspaces) are the solution.

          Take it from someone who’s actually trying to raise a family here. It’s a problem.

        • Dan Kearns

          Like Jim_L mentions, I can assure you it’s unpleasant and alienating and good at making you very upset with people who had a chance then denying it to others. It won’t end well IMHO. It certainly will not lead me to solidarity when I get my chance to fight back. Maybe that’s not right, but it’s realistic.

          • Andrew Allison

            I don’t see how that relates to the post or my comment. The need is for starter homes, the jobs are where they are and the, admittedly insane, land values dictate high density or urban sprawl and horrendous commutes. TAI is arguing for expanding the latter, Jim_L for moving it out of his back yard. The problem is that there are no jobs there and, as I wrote, companies that decide to move jobs out of the job-centers tend move them out of California.

          • Dan Kearns

            My argument is that, if you have kids, the “people who live in NYC in apartments, and those raising families in condominiums nationwide” argument does not work as well as you’re saying because it is actually really frickin’ hard in those high-density places and people don’t last at it. Most people choose not to have kids, or move to someplace not high-density. If you stay, as I’m doing, it builds much alienation and resentment that we’ve let whole areas become very difficult to have families in. Apropos: https://www.quora.com/Are-there-actually-more-dogs-than-babies-in-San-Francisco

          • Jim__L

            Andrew, I have no back yard. That’s what I’m objecting to!

        • Fat_Man

          You don’t know Manhattan. After our second was born, we moved to Ohio.

    • Dan Kearns

      The way you wish is indeed the status quo, so I guess we just need to see if it works over time. History will be the test, as always. I’m doubtful that a place with only rich and poor and little middle class can succeed, but we will see.

      • Andrew Allison

        The way I wish is absolutely not the status quo of ever-expanding urban sprawl. The discussion is about how to make housing affordable, not how to succeed.

        • Dan Kearns

          Where I live in the Bay Area your argument for high density and against sprawl is the status quo. I am living it as a matter of fact. I’m claiming that I don’t believe that it is sustainable because it guarantees that middle class families won’t live here. History will tell us whether it can stay that way. I’m betting against. I don’t know the modality for the collapse of the high property values but I don’t see the present situation as lasting.

    • Wayne Lusvardi

      One huge flaw in the “urban sprawl” paradigm: it creates more dependence on imported water (like exponential). A look at a groundwater basin map of California plainly shows that groundwater resources are mainly located inland, not along the urban coast. The northern coast has almost no groundwater resources. The central coast and San Diego have sparse groundwater resources. The inland Central Valley has the most abundant groundwater resources followed by the Inland Empire in Southern California (which journalist Marc Reisner wrongly called a “Cadillac Desert” in his book by that title). So it would behoove California to build housing in the urban edge and in spots where groundwater is available.

      Here is a link to groundwater resources map that depicts what I am describing:

      https://mavensnotebook.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Californias-groundwater-basins-all-USGS.gif

      • Jim__L

        Groundwater doesn’t recharge very fast. The only sane reason Jerry Brown might have to claim that we’re still in a drought (when we’re at 180% snowpack or so), is that water table levels haven’t risen enough again.

        The north coast — Mendocino, Humboldt — gets a LOT of rain, more than enough to support far more urban (and suburban) areas than it has.

        • Wayne Lusvardi

          Jim
          I worked for California’s largest urban wholesale water agency for 20 years.
          Go to following link to interactive map. Enter “Change” and then “Points” and it will show you a spot map of where groundwater has declined 10 ft and where it has risen 10 ft. from 2015 to 2016. The important thing to notice is that most of the “green” dots with recharging basins are in northern Cal and most of the “red” dots are in the southern Central Valley (Tulare Basin) or in Southern Cal. This is quite normal. The Tulare Basin is in long term decline expected to become depleted in 390 years according to the National Science Foundation. The other large basins have always recharged during severe drought and are not in long term depletion.

          LINK https://gis.water.ca.gov/app/gicima/

          • Jim__L

            Thanks for the information! I’m readjusting my point of view accordingly. =)

          • Wayne Lusvardi

            The problem is not your point of view but all the “fake news” propagated by California newspapers based on hysteria that groundwater is depleting and that California experienced a “drought” from 2012 to 2015 (it did not experience a drought but a man made water shortage). On average, California has 4 dry years where it rains but not enough to recharge groundwater basins and reservoirs followed by 1 year of deluge and floods to fill basins and reservoirs for the next cycle. So “drought” is normal and California has to have 4 years of water in storage or expected carryover recharge to last the normal 4 dry/1 wet year cycle. The problem is that it only has like, maybe, 1-year of water in surface reservoirs and nobody knows how much in groundwater reserves. California is in “structural drought” not atmospheric drought. A drought in California (not elsewhere) is when there are more than 4 consecutive “dry” years. To repeat, California only had like 3.5 dry years from 2012 to 2015. Normal. None of the huge regional water basins are in long term decline in California except the Tulare Basin in the southern Central Valley. “Drought” is a term or political cliche politicians use to avoid responsibility for having enough water available to withstand the normal 4/1 water cycle. By policy, California apparently has a structural water shortage because the Democrat legislature can then extract votes (and contributions) from Republican farmers and cities and drive them out of California (a silent water war). If the farmers with junior water rights in California did not fallow their fields during dry years, California’s water hog coastal cities wouldn’t have enough water to withstand the hydrological cycle. And contrary to the “fake” metaphor of Marc Reisner in his book “Cadillac Desert”, California’s desert has surplus water supplies; it is California’s coastal cities that are the “Cadillac” sponges of water. Most of what passes for “facts” and “fact checking” on California drought is fake news propagated by the newspapers in the very same coastal cities that point the finger of blame on farmers and wealthy Republican cities like Beverly Hills or Palm Springs, as causing the water shortage. Palm Springs literally bailed Los Angeles out during the recent dry spell. And Beverly Hills uses about the same amount of water as the mostly Hispanic working class city of Santa Ana. 93% of the imported water supply/demand gap is in California’s big coastal cities. By 2030, the US Bureau of Reclamation estimates farmers will reduce their proportion of water use from about 41% to 12%, but big cities and the environment will use 88% of all system water!!! I can only image through some form of twisted logic that this shift will be blamed on………………………………. global warming (or maybe “drought” caused by global warming).

          • f1b0nacc1

            Let me echo Jim_L and thank you for the solid data.

  • Dan Kearns

    My suspicion is that the situation is unsustainable and that the people holding the housing assets are in for a nasty shock as things simply cannot go on as they are. I don’t actually see what will do it, but it does seem quite unsustainable and likely for something shocking and ugly to happen.

    • Jim__L

      Shocking, ugly and perhaps predictable?

      There’s a beautiful stretch of the 280 freeway, one of the last open spaces in that region, grassy green hills that roll right by the venture capital offices of Sand Hill Road. It’s gorgeous, especially after the rains.

      “That should be built on!” you may protest. “That would solve all of these housing issues!” So why isn’t it?

      Well, it’s *right on top of the frigging San Andreas Fault*.

      If that fault goes pop a few dozen miles northwards of Loma Prieta, you’ll see massive devastation among all these million-dollar shanties (and the VC offices, by the way.)

      So yeah. At some point in the next hundred year or so — or maybe next week — we’re likely to see it happen.

      By the way, I was a kid in the Central Valley when the Loma Prieta earthquake happened. It was fun, the ground started to rumble like I was standing on a 100-foot woofer set to just barely audible, the hanging light fixtures started swaying, and I heard from my friends that the water started sloshing around in their swimming pools.

      It was a bit more harrowing for my aunt and uncle, who crossed one of the bridges about 15 minutes before the quake pancaked part of the upper deck onto the lower deck.

      So, let’s discuss moving some of those homes and businesses (and perhaps the VC offices as well) into the Central Valley, shall we?

      • Dan Kearns

        I was actually thinking in economic terms, but that would be something if it was actually physical!

        • Jim__L

          Not if. When.

          • D4x

            Teheran is overdue. Aug 26, 2016: “…Iran’s capital, Tehran, is not only built on new sediment that is not particularly great for the welfare of buildings, but it is also located near to three major fault lines.

            Additionally a population boom has seen officials rush to build homes, without all the necessary safety concerns of an earthquake-prone city, leaving its bustling population vulnerable to the devastation.

            Seismologist Bahram Akasheh of the a professor at Tehran’s Islamic Azad University warned that risk of the city experiencing an earthquake of at least 6 on the Richter scale is at 90 per cent. He told Reuters that it could be “maybe in 50 years. Maybe tomorrow night. Or maybe while I’m speaking”.

            Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned that the city is too populated to cope with the potentially catastrophic tremor.

            He said: “Tehran has 13 million inhabitants. If an incident happens, how can we manage it? Therefore, Tehran should be evacuated.

            “At least 5 million people should leave Tehran.” ”
            http://www.express.co.uk/news/science/704275/BIG-ONE-Los-Angeles-Iran-Istanbul-cities-DEADLY-earthquakes

      • Andrew Allison

        As you know perfectly well, there’s not a snowflake’s chance in hell that the denizens of Sand Hill Road and the Silicon Valley plutocracy, or the peons who serve them, are going to move to the Central Valley.

        • Jim__L

          An 8.0 might convince them. =)

          • Andrew Allison

            Yeah, that’s why the Marina District was rebuilt and we keep rebuilding in flood plains. The plutocracy can afford to rebuild, and to employ the peons.

          • Jim__L

            Loma Prieta was only 6.9, and it left a number of major landmark buildings quite a number of miles away (including but not limited to Candlestick Park) suffering damage that eventually meant they had to have major retrofits, or be torn down entirely.

            Sure, some will want to rebuild. But if you’re significantly above 7, or heaven forbid 8, will may not matter.

          • Fat_Man

            There has not been an 8 in CA in recorded history. I am not saying it can’t happen. It just hasn’t during the lat 150 years or so.

          • Jim__L

            SF 1906 was 7.9.

          • Fat_Man

            http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/08/140825-earthquake-california-biggest-magnitude-history/

            Here are the biggest earthquakes in California’s recorded history, according to magnitude estimates from the U.S Geological Survey.

            1. Fort Tejon; January 9, 1857 Magnitude 7.9

            2. Owens Valley; March 26, 1872 Magnitude 7.4

            3. Imperial Valley; February 24, 1892 Magnitude 7.8

            4. San Francisco; April 18, 1906 Magnitude 7.8

            5. West of Eureka; January 31, 1922 Magnitude 7.3

            6. Kern County; July 21, 1952 Magnitude 7.3

            7. Landers; June 28, 1992 Magnitude 7.3

            https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/browse/largest-world.php

            The 1964 Good Friday quake in Alaska was a 9.2. A 9.2 is about 20 times stronger than a 7.8. The modern record is 9.5 1960 in Chile. The same area was hit with a 8.8 in 2010. The two most recent big quakes were 9.1s. The Tohoku Quake in Japan on 3/11/11 and the Boxing Day 2004 Quake in Sumatra. Both of those caused huge and murderous tidal waves.

          • LarryD

            We shouldn’t be building significant structures in flood plains, because they flood. The federal disaster insurance rules need to be changed, to discourage construction in flood zones. Leave them to agriculture and recreation.

          • ——————————

            I think rebuilding in a designated flood plain requires you the build above the FEMA BFE – Base Flood Elevation, for that area. There are areas near me that would require you to build your house on piles 15 or more feet off the ground. If you don’t you can’t get flood insurance.

          • Andrew Allison

            I couldn’t agree more. Let’s make coastal flood damage payments contingent upon re-building elsewhere. Sea levels are rising, and the results are predicable.

          • Jim__L

            So, do you think that Manhattan Island is going to end up under water any time soon?

          • Andrew Allison
    • johngbarker

      I think you are right. The older generation will die off and increased supply may exceed demand at present inflated prices.

      • Albert8184

        There won’t be an increased supply, because at some point… they won’t be able to give houses away in California. New or otherwise. And the “New” norm will be scaled back new housing and drastically discounted old housing to match the new majority underclass population…. in a few more decades.

  • LarryD

    The old Progressivism is dead, the new Progessivism can be summed up by “We made ours, now raise the drawbridge!” Ever since the rise of the New Left, the Left’s policies have all had the effect of suppressing opportunity for anyone not already a member of the Bourgeois. It’s far too consistent to be accidental.

    • Andrew Allison

      History tells us that socialism has always had that characteristic.

      • Albert8184

        Until it turns into fascism.

    • Albert8184

      Funny. That’s how the new progressives (and others) liked to describe the Reagan “Decade of Greed” when they were out there rooting for Gorbachev.

    • f1b0nacc1

      There is a wonderful saying that seems appropriate here…”An environmentalist is someone who already has a house in the country”….that and the British appellation, “I’ve got mine, Jack”

  • Boritz

    This article as well as the comments seem to imply that some set of remedial policies hould be implemented to save the Millennials. Do the Millennials not have the vote? They have a clear preference for certain policymakers (The ones that like the policies that Andrew touched on or who like the status quo even better.) and they should be allowed to go down the road in which they believe.

    • f1b0nacc1

      Precisely right! I would have some (not much, but some) sympathy for the Millennials if they weren’t such a strongly Democratic voting bloc. They keep supporting the policies that are imiserating them, let them have the joy if them….

  • johngbarker

    California Millennials can solve the problem by out-migration (as many are doing) with the support and urging of neighboring states. I wonder what the remainder demographic will be like.

    • Albert8184

      Think “Road Warrior”.

  • FriendlyGoat

    Not to deny the seriousness of this, presumably some of the younger generation in California are going to inherit the parents’ over-priced houses.

    • Albert8184

      Yeah…. but they won’t be over-priced forever. Once full blown economic contraction sets in, they’ll be giving these houses away. Unless something changes. Easy credit skews the market. When any college age couple can get a 400K mortgage loan… what do we think builders are going to do? Build cinder block cottages for the poor? And yet… this is precisely what they OUGHT to be doing in California. and everywhere else.

    • Jim__L

      Their parents’ houses… in Ohio. Or Central California. Or, they have to split the house with their siblings and end up selling it instead. Or, their parents sold the house for retirement (maybe travel-the-world) money.

      Mostly though, lifespans being what they are, your parents are unlikely to die before you have your kids — or even before your kids leave for college. So this isn’t really a solution.

  • Fat_Man

    California is so firmly in the grips of cosmopolitan progressive
    ideology that it may be difficult to roll back the housing policies
    that are turning the state into Brazil.

  • Fat_Man

    The denouement should be very interesting. Current homeowners will oppose any attempts to ameliorate the problem for fear that it might impair the value of their houses. But, when the crunch comes who will they be able to sell their houses to? Give a tough recession that wipes out the tech stocks and house values in CA could deflate like a souffle stuck in a refrigerator.

  • Fat_Man

    Richard Florida has been known as the Tribune of the “Creative Class” He has apparently developed some second thoughts about how that is working out for us. Harvard Urban Economist Ed Glaeser reviews Florida’s new book in the Wall Street Journal:

    “Gentrification and Its Discontents: Cities attract the rich with amenities and the poor with services. But they are failing the middle class. Edward Glaeser reviews “The New Urban Crisis” by Richard Florida.” by Edward Glaeser on May 5, 2017
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/gentrication-and-its-discontents-1494008012

    “Fifteen years ago, Richard Florida’s book “The Rise of the Creative Class” correctly argued that in the 21st century urban success would stem from skills and innovation, not smoke stacks and heavy industry. Now he has issued a wake-up call about a new crisis that threatens the future vitality of our cities. …

    “Cities have always contained enormous inequality, largely because they attract both rich and poor people. The rich are drawn to cities by amenities and opportunities, but they also offer many job options for the less skilled, especially within service industries. Social services are often more extensive than in rural or suburban communities, and urban public transportation eliminates the need to own a car. But urban poverty can have terrible consequences: Even if poorer people choose cities for good reasons, their children can become “stuck in poverty for generations.”

    “… His excoriation of NIMBYs—the exponents of a “Not In My Back Yard” anticonstruction ideology—is delightful: He calls them “destructive” urban rentiers who ‘have more to gain from increasing the scarcity of usable land than from maximizing its productive and economically beneficial uses.’ He coins a wonderful phrase, ‘The New Urban Luddism,’ to describe the antigrowth advocates who oppose not only home-building but all infrastructure, including ‘the transit and subway lines required to move people around’.”

    • Jim__L

      Florida Man is not the greatest of sources of wisdom. Cautionary tales, sure, but wisdom? Not so much.

      • Fat_Man

        But Ed Glaeser is:

        “In some parts of America, there has been a revolution in the regulation of home building over the past 50 years … For most of U.S. history, local economic booms were met with local building booms, so labor could follow shocks to local productivity. However, between the 1960s and the 1990s, it became far more difficult to build in the nation’s most desirable locations, especially those along the coasts. Higher economic productivity in San Francisco now leads to higher prices, not more homes and more workers … This change has both led to a transfer of wealth to a few lucky homeowners and to a distorted labor market where people move to regions such as the Sunbelt that make it particularly easy to build …

        http://johnhcochrane.blogspot.com/2017/05/yimby-papers.html

  • Mastro63

    When the Boomers die off- their modest homes a mile or so from the beach will be bought up/torn down by foreigners who would love to stash their illicit cash AND have a Southern California home.

    The entire coast could go the way of Venice- only for tourists-

  • Anthony

    Here’s a relevant complement: nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/05/richard-floridas-book-of-lamentations.html

    • Jim__L

      Ah, the ever-famous (Richard) Florida Man. Best to ignore him.

      • Anthony

        nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/05/richard-floridas-book-oflamentations.html

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