UCLA Anderson Forecasts California Bounced Back Better Than Florida: Someone Needs to Lay off the Weed

AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu

Our idiot Governor Gavin Newsom and the President and CEO of Visit California tourism agency Caroline Beteta, encouraged residents to travel and vacation within the state as the state prepares to fully reopen on June 15. Beteta declared it would be a ‘modern-day act of patriotism’ to travel and spend money within California.

You see, patriotism is good when it’s about meeting Democrats desired objectives.

Along with the vaccine lottery, Governor Hair Gel is throwing in a “dream vacation” for vaccinated residents. More discrimination and arm twisting, all in an effort to beat the Recall.

And add more propagandist gaslighting to this mix. The UCLA Anderson Forecast just released its glowing report on the state of California and the United States post-pandemic:

Regulations aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 did not come at the expense of California’s economy, according to a new report that found states that took a more hands-off approach to the pandemic did not see an economic boost from their limited regulation.

The findings from the UCLA Anderson Forecast are “diametrically opposed” to the narrative common among some COVID-19 regulation opponents that the public health orders undermined economic recovery, said Director Jerry Nickelsburg.

This forecast’s sterling reputation notwithstanding, this is garbage, meant to prop up his Hairfulness and to boost the critical need for the State to reopen. It is another rehash of the L.A. Times piece in May that essentially said the same thing: the lockdowns in California were actually good for the economy and Newsom has done a wonderful job keeping us safe. Gavin Newsom is the kindest, most generous, most brave politician we know. Hiltzik and his ilk at the L.A. Times probably recite this every morning after taking a sip of their lattes.

Apparently this Manchurian mantra occurs with the reporters at Mercury News. This paragraph from their report, in particular, would be comedy gold, if it wasn’t so pathetic:

Among large states, those with strict pandemic rules performed as well and in some cases better than their laissez-faire counterparts. California’s GDP shrunk less than that of Texas and Florida in 2020, all of which outperformed the United States as a whole. Washington, which had some of the strictest pandemic restrictions in the country, had the lowest GDP loss among large states.

“In that group, you simply can’t find evidence that the economy — as measured by the shrinkage of GDP — was adversely affected by the intervention,” Nickelsburg said.

If you are going on the basis of gross domestic product (GDP), then California will always come out on top, because it’s GDP is much larger than either Texas or Florida. But that may not last for long:

From PR Newswire:

Texas enters 2021 as the world’s ninth largest economy, proof of the success of a long-term strategy to make Texas the best place to start or relocate a business, said Robert Allen, President and CEO of the Texas Economic Development Corporation.

“This is more than just a statistic,” Allen said. “The fact that our state, if it were a nation, would be the world’s ninth largest economy shows that Texas is well positioned to outperform economically, regardless of the challenges that may lie ahead.”

California has lost over 50 companies over a 7-year period, and six of those just this year. A majority of those businesses have moved to Texas. That’s not only employment, property tax revenue, and fresh consumer spending, but it’s Texas expanding as a captain of industry, while California is diminishing. When was the last time California produced an innovator like Elon Musk? It’s been a while.

So, those GDP numbers will look very different later in 2021-2022, showing Texas’ growth, and California’s decline:

The California Policy Center has catalogued at least 50 large corporations that have left California since 2014, with the vast majority leaving in 2019 and 2020.

Of the six corporations that announced their California exodus so far this year, four relocated to Texas. First Foundation, a California bank, moved its holding company to Dallas; Digital Realty Trust moved its data center to Austin, following Oracle, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Tesla, which all announced their exodus last year.

Amazing Magnets, a magnet manufacturer, already broke ground for its new headquarters in Round Rock, a suburb of Austin. ZP Better Together, a company providing tech solutions for the deaf, also relocated its headquarters to Austin.

Not just companies, but the tech and creative innovators who fuel employment are doing the California Adios. Most notably: Elon Musk, who has announced he is selling his mansion in San Francisco.

Gavin Newsom hardest hit.

California saw a cumulative decrease in adjusted gross income between 2010 and 2018 of $24.6 billion, according to an new analysis of IRS data by the independent research website Wirepoints.

It also reported a population loss for the first time in its recorded history according to Census Bureau data.

Increasing taxes, restrictive policies on businesses and ongoing lockdowns have led individuals and Silicon Valley companies to exit California over the last two years, but in 2020 for the first time California lost 70,000 residents on net.

Until 2020, California had gained population in every year since 1900.

So, not sure of what the wonks at the Anderson School are partaking, but their numbers and their conclusion, doesn’t add up.

The inflated housing market is helping to artificially prop up California’s economy, because unlike Texas, California’s revenue bang is in the home purchase, rather than the property taxes. One of the reasons the political class is trying to kill Proposition 13. However, Florida is seeing an increase in migration of people, and purchases of homes, while California is seeing an exodus of people.

Tourism, which is a good share of both California’s and Florida’s GDP, is also based on the industries around the region: the shopping, the recreation, the small businesses, and the restaurants within the State. The ratings app Yelp did an analysis of its database, based on self-recorded closures of small businesses. It postulated that 163,735 U.S. businesses would be shuttered between the beginning of March and the end of August of this year, and that 97,966 won’t reopen again.

However, what it had to say about California, and particularly Los Angeles was sobering, and belies the happy gas from the UCLA Anderson Forecast:

More businesses have gone out of business permanently in Los Angeles than any urban area, according to the reviews app. About 7,500 businesses have closed permanently in California’s largest population center, according to the data.

CNN Business, which has a better track record of facts than its parent company, had this to say about the economic bounce back in Florida:

South Dakota, Florida, Rhode Island, Nebraska and Idaho are all thriving, operating at or above where their economies were in early March 2020 before the pandemic forced businesses to shutter and workers and students to stay home.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics for May shows Florida is 22 in the nation in terms of unemployment, with a rate of 4.8 percent. California is 50 in the nation, with a rate almost twice that of Florida: 8.3 percent.

While California’s unemployment numbers have leveled off and even dropped a bit, the State still,

[…] accounted for 14.4% of all of the unemployment claims filed in the United States — even though the state has only 11.8% of the nation’s labor force. The figures were derived by using comparable numbers that weren’t adjusted for seasonal volatility.

Still, the very low totals for initial unemployment claims appear to point to a statewide job market that could be starting to recover from the coronavirus-linked ailments that have afflicted the economy for more than a year.

Despite the improvement and the hopeful signs, experts such as Michael Bernick, an employment attorney with Duane Morris and a former director of the state Employment Development Department, warn that the California economy is far from running at full steam.

“Most economic restrictions have been lifted for the past months throughout the state, and hiring and economic activity have picked up slightly,” Bernick said.

But hiring has yet to reach robust levels, he added.

Bernick points to the $300 enhanced unemployment payments as one of the reasons why people are not returning to work. Florida will phase this enhancement out by September, California has no plans to do so. School closures or partial reopening has made childcare an insecure prospect as well. Bernick also lists health concerns even with vaccinations, and people reconsidering the nature of their employment relationship, and whether they wish to actually return to it.

The two elephants in the room not mentioned: The exodus of people from the State to Texas and Florida, and anyplace else other than California. Arizona, Nevada, and Idaho are high on those lists; and the effects of the AB5 law, which has destroyed independent professionals, small businesses, and the arts. Local live entertainment and theater will never make a comeback as long as this law is on the books, and Newsom and his cohorts know this.

Bernick’s data also shows that the June 15 reopening will not move the needle much in terms of improving employment or the economy. So, Hair Gel and Beteta may be betting on tourism and increased travel to boost the economy, but the only travel California citizens may be making is to other states, either for a temporary getaway, or a permanent one.

Florida’s tourism has ramped up and has been full steam ahead for months now, including its cruise business. Florida has also lifted all restrictions on masks and has outlawed vaccine passports. California has signaled it will find some form of vaccine passport to implement, and has been sketchy concerning the lifting of mask restrictions. So, where do you think consumers are going to choose to go for their amusement and leisure vacations? Homeless and crime-ridden California with its arbitrary rules? Or fully open Florida?

Air tickets are cheap. Deuces, California.