CAPITAL IDEAS: Is California’s Economy on the Brink Due to Climate Change?

CAPITAL IDEAS: Is California’s Economy on the Brink Due to Climate Change?

The economic outlook for California inspires as much optimism as a weather report of dark clouds and heavy thunderstorms. Rather than entertain the possibility that the hard times are the result of poor public policy, blame has been assigned to an outside influence: climate change. It’s a way to avoid the hard work of rolling back the policies that hurt the economy and an excuse to accelerate the green agenda.

According to the UCLA Anderson School of Management, while “the state’s economic outlook will improve substantially,” a full recovery “will not occur before the end of 2022.” The September report also predicts that even though the unemployment rate will fall below 10% by the end of 2020, it will be “close to 6% at the close of 2022 (compared to just under 5% for the U.S. as a whole).”

A couple of weeks after the school issued its forecast, Bloomberg News was reporting that “California’s Boom Collapses” as “wildfires, power outages and extreme weather that have ravaged California are setting the stage for a deepening economic crisis for an engine of U.S. growth.”

By December, the Bank of the West’s California Economic Outlook noted the state’s “labor market recovery is lagging the nation” and assumed “additional substantial fiscal support from the federal government will be needed” to reach even “modest job growth across the state of California in 2021.”

Three months after its September analysis, the Anderson School predicted “the ’20s will be roaring, but with several months of hardship first,” caused by “rising COVID infections, continued social distancing, and the expiration of social assistance programs.”

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