California's future not fully 100% doom and gloom

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No, there is the fairly good possibility that things will not end in the complete meltdown of the state and it eventually physically separating itself from the mainland and being crushed by the Pacific, a new report reveals.

According to the Public Policy Institute of California's new report "California 2025: It's Your Choice" (ppic.org/main/publication.asp?i=600), by that year we'll have 8 to 10 million more people living here, with a severly strained infrastructure to match:

...trends and forces are building that, left unchecked, could seriously erode the quality of life in California in the next two decades. The study concludes that is imperative for policymakers and others who influence policy in the state to begin asking some hard questions and making some well-informed, careful choices now...

The S.F. Chronicle reports on this in "California's future is now, report says. Lawmakers, voters should address critical issues immediately in order to avoid crisis" (link). The reader will note a few things strange about that report, most noteworthy being the concentration on how much can be spent. Perhaps the Chronical might one day considering asking, oh I dunno, whether we can continue to spread socialism to anyone who can come across the border.

The AP offers "Report: CA's Population To Soar, Freeways Clogged" (link, same AP story here).

The PPIC report also stresses that California is well on its way to developing a fully two-tier social system, with a small moneyed class and a large number of poor people. Dan Walters of the SacBee wrote a column about that way back in 2001 entitled "New data prove that two-tier society is a fact of California life":

Sixteen years ago, two academic researchers took note of the powerful economic and social forces that were just then beginning to sweep through California and made what many thought was a very bold, even risky, projection about the state. -- University of California, Davis, economist Philip Martin and Washington-based sociologist Leon Bouvier concluded in 1985 that with the state's population expanding dramatically due to immigration, and its economy shifting from old- style manufacturing to high technology and services, seeds were being sown for socioeconomic fragmentation...

Those who live in Los Angeles can see this themselves by, for just two examples, making the short drive from the more delapidated areas of Cypress Park up the hill to the houses on the top of Mount Washington, some of which must be priced at several hundreds of thousands of dollars. Alternatively, compare Wilshire and Normandie with 8th and Normandie, just two blocks away.

5/21/11 UPDATE: I changed the spelling of S.F. Chronicle, and I also added the link to a local copy of the Walters article.