“Number One In Poverty, California Isn’t Our Most Progressive State — It’s Our Most Racist One” is the headline over an essay by Michael Shellenberger published May 31 on

Shellenberger is not to be taken lightly. He was named a Time magazine Heroes of the Environment winner in 2008, and his TED talks have been viewed more than 1.5 million times.

In a nutshell, Shellenberger says that California only gives lip service to being a progressive state and any serious look at economic reality reveals a total disregard for the poor.

He specifically points to out-of-control housing costs, ever-expanding homelessness and poverty, runaway electricity rates, and economic inequality as examples of California’s failures.

Housing Costs Soar

“It’s true that workers in California earn 11 percent more than their counterparts nationally. But that amount is not enough to make up for mortgage payments and rents that are 44 percent and 37 percent higher (respectively) than the national average.

“Where 56 percent of Californians could afford a middle-class home in 2012, in the third quarter of 2017, just 28 percent could.

“One fact says it all: homeowners have a net worth that is a whopping 36 to 45 times higher than that of renters.”

Portrait of author and environmental policy expert Michael Shellenberger

“Where 56 percent of Californians could afford a middle-class home in 2012, in the third quarter of 2017, just 28 percent could. — Michael Shellenberger

Shellenberger, an environmental policy expert and author, also writes that California’s elites use environmental law as a hammer against minorities and the poor.

“Environmentalism is used to justify de facto racial segregation in California’s housing. Environmental lawsuits are a major reason for longer delays and higher costs of new housing,” he writes

He then quotes housing attorney Jennifer Hernandez: “The core legal structure of CEQA protects the existing characteristics of those neighborhoods and thus perpetuates land use practices founded in race and class discrimination.”

Housing Legislation Is Drop in the Ocean

Shellenberger further notes that “Last September, Gov. Jerry Brown signed housing legislation that will raise $250 million per year to subsidize housing. But that’s just enough to subsidize 1,824 units annually at a time when 100,000 to 200,000 new units are needed.”

The author finds nothing noble in California’s resistance to President Donald Trump’s crackdown against undocumented immigrants, either.

“And in vigorously protecting the right of their low-wage foreign servant class to remain in California while denying everybody, including them, affordable shelter, progressives aren’t being generous, they’re being selfish.”

Ignore Trump, Fix California

How, in Shellenberger’s view, can California get on the right path?

It “starts with acknowledging that California’s tragic poverty and widening inequality aren’t the result of racist policies imposed from without but rather progressive policies embraced from within.”

2 Responses

  1. Roy West

    The business who hire criminal aliens with stone-age skills to work jobs below minimum wage is the reason for this disparity. You have pitted people from Latin America against blacks and the results are tragic. Gavin Newsome wants tax payers to pick up the 55 billion dollar medical bill for criminal aliens. The owner of the farm has Juan who cuts his hand off working. He loads him into his 105 thousand dollar truck. He has Juan sit in the bed of the truck because he does not want blood on his new leather seats. He drives him up and drops him off at the hospital and drives away telling Juan they will take good care of you. Juan has 11 surgeries to re-attach the hand at a staggering cost of 256 thousand dollars. In the meantime Juan is not making any money from the lettuce farm so he has to get aid. That is an additional 1500 dollars a month. No that Juan has more free time he and his wife Hortensia do the wild thing and pop out twins-beautiful kids. That brings the total to 11 born to this couple all paid by tax payers. The boss tells them not to worry it is all free. Juan tells all of his family back home this is Shagri la. Everything is free for the taking. He arranges to have several more relatives cross into America illegally but that is ok because the boss said they were just kidding when they told you could not enter the United States. Juan gets really happy because his mother had a weak heart to she goes to the top university. UCLA medical center and gets a heart transplant bumping off Americans from the list because her situation was dire. The bill passed on to tax payers was a staggering 2.59 million dollars. I wanted to point out that head of lettuce still cost over 3 dollars but we got to help someone in desperate need. Several more of Juans and Juanita’s relatives show up wanting all of these free things the governor promised. They have kids that need an education so we have the tax payer pick up the bill for that as well. The cost to educate criminal aliens is a staggering 4.7 billion dollars and most do not graduate. It is about 52 percent. Armed with stone-age skills they venture out into the workforce and discover they are millions of people who can sweep the floors and they make less than minimum wage. They see others living in nice houses and driving new cars and appear to have everything they can not afford. Jealous they devise a plan to get even and unleash a hail storm of criminal activity the likes of which has never been seen before in human history. It does not matter that they get convicted. The jails and prisons are full of these predators so they are out before dinner. Brown just got a bill passed that said criminal aliens do not have to post bond. Yes, it is true. Taking care of his business friends and screwing citizens is the perfect crime. They take a leisurely drive down to a friends house and get a new ID and no more record. /these cases sit on the books as unsolved. Juan decides that stealing cars is a lot better than stealing batteries so he goes headlong into picking out awesome cars. He is working on number 41 now. He makes a good living and if he gets caught it is no problem he pulls out his fake ID and is released without a bond. The amount of stolen cars in California is the highest in the nation. Close to 5 million cars in the past 10 years. He could not speak English so they had to hire an interpreter. The insurance commission demands relief raising insurance rates to the highest of any state in the country. A further measure of anti-American hate they continue to add taxes on the cost of gas and diesel. We pay roughly double what other states pay and we have 5 refineries in the state with a capacity of 28 million gallons per day. It cost us close to 59 cents a gallon. The good thing is you probably feel much better knowing you subsidized your business friends using unskilled labor from Latin America. Lets not talk about the rape, robbery, theft, arson, assaults and murder committed by these wonderful people that love California for all the wrong reasons. About every 36 minutes a real citizen is murdered at the hands of a criminal alien. It does not matter if they get caught, Hey Gov. Brown told the DMV to give me a free licence. Poof no more murder charges. They can not speak English so again the defense is appointed and they have to hire an interpreter. He is held until his boss at the farm posts the 10 dollar bond. He is now a free man again. Juan comes from a country with limited resources and an exploding population. They have no choice but to head North to the land of milk and honey. 17 million in the last 5 years. 41 million since 1984. I think you are starting to get the picture here. I lost two family members to criminal aliens. Bill was shot in the chest and drowned in his own blood leaving 3 small children without a father. Rosie was raped, robbed and murdered at a motel where she worked cleaning rooms in Martinez California. They cut her head off and threw her body in a dumpster behind the motel. There are millions more of the Juan’s and Juanita’s out there. At what point do we say enough-I am sick of the politicians and business people destroying our lives-our state and our country to make a few extra dollars with the help of our crooked politicians. The worst part is everyone knows what is going on but the idea of being labeled a Nazi or a racist is far too scary to bear. If you are like me, I wear the term like a badge of honor if that means saving one family the grief and incredible pain our families have suffered because of greedy business who claim they want immigration reform but do not., If they were all suddenly legal he could not get away with passing all of the costs of doing bad business to the people of our state. The immigrant are victimized as well for low paying jobs with long hours given no benefits or vacation. California has been destroyed by businesses and the government who colludes with them to steal what ever they can get their hands on even if that means killing you.

    • Teejay

      Why would you group an entire race into a bubble other than the their original one? All Latinos or South Americans aren’t criminals! It’s sad & idiotic for people to think that way! That’s like saying “All” whites are racists, & are a part of the KKK or are skinheads, when that is Absolutely Not True!!! You wasted your time typing all that B.S.! Go get to know people. Stop speculating, & get factual actual information. You sound like the type of person who should be put away somewhere that you can’t harm people with your evil views. America will Never be Great with people who think this way in control. Racists Should be a Minority! & a very small Minority at that. Y’all have Issues!!!


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