Lots to go through on this one because as it stands it’s pretty incomprehensible. I think I figured it out though for those who care.
The idea is that those in charge, (Democrats/liberals/progressives) have policies that promote homelessness and/or criminality. These meme are useful for him and conservatives in order to push policies of deregulating development and being able to shame bad behavior on anything but poverty.
That’s my best bet on the context for the humor, it’s not spelled out because he doesn’t have to do that for his readers.
But the graph is what interested me. It’s titled the decline of California and there is zero context given.
It took a little work, but I managed to figure it all out. First of all the source. One of my favorite tweeters – Matthew Yglesias at a Salon article from 2012. The context at the time, and I wouldn’t be surprised if his take would be much different today, was that the reason CA had the ability to be relatively generous with safety net programs in the past was due to prior explosive growth.
He concludes “Part of the price the state needs to pay for this induced slowdown in population growth is a downshift to a much less desirable tax/service tradeoff. But it would certainly be possible to open the floodgates to construction in Silicon Valley and all along the coast, which would bring in a huge flood of new tax revenue and create the possibility of lower tax rates and return to more generous levels of public expenditure.“
Not sure I completely agree, but that would be a discussion for another day. What I’d like to talk about is the association of the graph below from Mr. Yglesias’ post with the idea that California is in decline. My question to John, or any conservative for that matter is this, why is this considered a “decline”? What rate of growth over a decade would you like to see?
And so the job creators don’t have to work, I did all that for them. Based on the graph above and California’s population from a Google search here is what the numbers look like in reality.
Now, compare this reality if we kept the highest 53% growth rate decade-over-decade since 1940 and then a growth rate of that second peak 25%. We’d be talking about a CA population of 313 million by 2020 at 53% and 62 million if we maintained population growth at 25% starting in 1970. (For political junkies, that means the CA delegation to the US House of Reps would have been 68 of 435 seats instead of the current 53)
My point is this, growth rates of 50 or 25 percent over a decade are impossible to sustain. The chart is not an indicator of the “Decline of California” but a reflection of how populations growth naturally declines over time.
I just want to be clear about this because I’m sure this is going to come up in future discussions about deregulating development or Democratic policies on anything from safety-net spending to tax rates. Before taking a look at the decrease in the rate of growth of the CA population let’s please start with an understanding of where exactly we’d like the growth rate to be and were we’d like to maintain it.
Because the question us liberals like to ask is what is a sustainable population total and how are we going to deal with 0 population growth. The truth is John, at some point in the future of humanity we will have to have a 0 population growth.
The link for this post was left in John’s comment zone with the following comment…
John, I just don’t understand this. I did my best to understand what you are saying here because I know you are not likely to post any of my comments.
My question for you would be what is the population you’d like to see CA one day rest at? 100,000,000? More? Less? What would that population growth rate graph look like and would you consider that graph a demonstration of the decline of CA?
Also, why didn’t you source where the graph came from? It is the right thing to do, right?
more on CA’s population from the Sacramento Bee…
Once a boom state, California sees a historic period of slow population growth