Socialists create youth shortages in California

Socialism has long been associated with shortages, and nowhere is that more evident than in California, land of surf, sun, skiing, skateboarding, and other youth-oriented pursuits.  The socialists have managed to chase out the youth.  

Joel Kotkin and Wendell Cox report:

Let's start with the millennials, the population that was aged between 20 and 34 in 2015. Since 2000, the growth of this segment of the population has been, for the most part, very slow along the coastal regions, well below the 6 percent national average. In Los Angeles and Orange County, the youth population grew by roughly 3 percent, about half the national average. San Francisco-Oakland, did a bit better, at 7 percent, but Silicon Valley-San Jose experienced a barely 1 percent increase.

In comparison, the millennial population of Orlando, Fla., grew by 47 percent, while in Las Vegas it increased by 42 percent. The four big Texas cities – led by San Antonio, with a 43 percent increase – all registered well over 20 percent growth. Rising tech regions, like Raleigh, N.C., saw 30 percent growth – 30 times the rate in Silicon Valley.

It signals that all the "quality of life" regulations California has enacted have been a disguise for the real agenda, which is to keep outsiders out.  Those outsiders, as it happens, include young people who by definition are the new guys on the block.  This is consistent with the aging societies that are so noticeable in places in the grip of extended socialism.  It's clear enough in countries such as Spain, Italy, and Germany – all of the countries whose leaders are often so eager to foist migrants on them to keep the social security bills paid – where population growth is zero or below zero.  It is obvious even in third-world countries with embedded socialism – China, El Salvador, and Cuba come to mind.  "China is going to grow old before it grows great" is the saying, given China's demographic implosion.

Now it's obvious in California, too.  The youth are missing from the overregulated, NIMBY-infested coasts, where longtime wealthy residents defend their privileges ferociously against interlopers (except for the illegal alien population that waters their lawns and lives in the shadowy enclaves of Redwood City, Huntington Beach, and Lancaster.)  By definition, those interlopers are young people.  They package it as quality of life and squelch all housing as real estate values soar and shut the young families out of the markets.  That drives them elsewhere – to Texas, for instance, but also to the Inland Empire, where youth growth remains significant.

The growth out in the California badlands, where regulation is not so rampant – places like Riverside and Murrieta and Lake Elsinore, Temecula, and Bonsall – is noticeable.  Go into any church during services in these areas and see the pews filled with vibrant young people of all races.  You get a feeling of seeing an upcoming generation.  You don't see that in rich coastal enclaves such as San Francisco and Santa Monica and Hillsborough and Mill Valley and La Jolla. 

The fact that California's youth areas and non-youth areas are so sharply imbalanced suggests that the young have been pushed out of the coastal enclaves by nothing more than overregulation in the name of political correctness and quality of life.  That's socialism, wrapped in a pretty green bow, and sure enough, it amounts to a shortage for the places where such socialism is most prevalent.

It does have implications. Places like Murrieta (population 100,000) and Lake Elsinore and, to some extent, Riverside tend to vote conservative.  The people vote that way because they still have or had the chance to own property, and they still have their freedom from overregulation.  They still welcome youth and outsiders; they don't shut them out as the left does through its shameless regulation. 

The California Democratic monolith ruling the state has always been an unnatural course of events, given the fact that California has a heritage of freedom, of opportunity, and of providing a haven for youth.  There's still evidence it's there, given the presence of such youth-filled cities as those found in the Inland Empire.  Just look at the conservative congressional representatives they elect, for one.

What the Kotkin-Cox report does show is that they lack political power.  That ought to be a platform for the next leap forward in California.  If the state ever wants to recover its youth, it would be wise to start giving the less regulated, more youth-filled parts of the state their share of power.

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