“It makes life hard.” Those are the words of a California delivery driver discussing the high cost of living in the state. He continued, telling The Wall Street Journal’s Amrith Ramkumar “You can’t go out and do the things you want to do.”
Gasoline prices, for instance, are nearly always highest, or near the highest, in California. The reason why reports Ramkumar, is California’s heavy regulation.
Catherine Reheis-Boyd, president of the Western States Petroleum Association, said the industry group is reviewing the report and noted that California’s regulations play a large role in the higher prices.
California’s higher emissions standards do limit the number of refineries in the U.S. able to meet its specifications, analysts say.
And the state has a small number of refineries to begin with, said Amy Myers Jaffe, a senior fellow focused on energy and climate change at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington. She recently served on California’s Petroleum Market Advisory Committee, a group set up by the state’s energy commission to study the topic that published its final report two years ago.
As if the sky-high cost of living weren’t bad enough, now many Northern Californians are enduring regular blackouts at the hands of the state-backed monopoly utility, PG&E. Now more blackouts are on the way. Jim Carlton writes in the WSJ:
Blackouts could hit Southern California starting Thursday as well. Officials at Southern California Edison officials said they were considering shut-offs to 163,000 customers. Affected counties include Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino.
And PG&E said more blackouts could be on the horizon for a larger number of its customers as soon as this weekend, when stronger winds are forecast.
At a press briefing late Tuesday, PG&E officials said they would try to make this week’s shut-offs less disruptive than the last mass outage in which the utility was widely criticized for poor communication with customers and local officials.
Blackouts don’t matter too much to California’s fastest-growing demographic, the homeless. Regulations that make it difficult to develop new housing have created an imbalance of supply and demand in California, pricing the lowest-earning Californians out of housing. With shelters full, and no prospects, many people have moved to the streets. Now that trend is being copied in other cities run by politicians who restrict construction and development. Austin, Texas is enduring its own new wave of homeless campsites around the city. Texas’s governor, Greg Abbott is not letting Austin off the hook. Elizabeth Findell writes in the WSJ:
In a recent tweet of his own, the governor compared Austin unfavorably with Dallas, which has a larger homeless population. “I spent 3 days in downtown Dallas & saw ZERO homeless laying around or camping on sidewalks. No feces & no used needles,” he wrote. “Austin’s problem isn’t the homeless; it’s lack of leadership.”
Mr. Abbott’s office said it is still considering how to address homelessness in Texas, including where people would be ordered to go if removed from alongside roadways.
Gary Painter, director of the Homelessness Policy Research Institute at the University of Southern California, said policies banning people from sleeping in public simply move the problem around. He attributed high homelessness on the West Coast to population outstripping housing supply, a growing problem in Austin as the number of residents has risen along with its technology-driven economy, driving up housing prices.
The more government becomes involved in the private sector, the higher costs rise, and “It makes life hard.”
Don’t make your retirement life hard. Choose where you retire with care, and concern for how much the state’s government will impede your ability to spend your hard-earned investments on you and your family, rather than politicians’ dreams.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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