A new report about young people in California has confirmed what many have sensed, that things are looking grim for the current generation of twentysomethings.
The U.S. Census Bureau report, “Young Adults Then and Now,” takes a look at so-called Millennials, people between 18 and 34 years old, and finds that while they are more highly educated than ever, their incomes have plunged drastically, and fewer have full-time jobs. One-quarter of California’s population is composed of Millennials.
Despite the long-running claims from the White House, the left-wing media and the Obama zombie crowd about the economy “recovering,” the numbers show that annual income for Millennials in California, one of the most expensive states to live in, is $35,734. While that’s almost $1,900 more than the national average of $33,883, that’s also down from $40,030 in 1990.
Add in the skyrocketing cost of living since then, and this generation of young workers are starting out their careers way behind previous generations.
That helps explain why more than a third, 34.5 percent, of Millennials live with their parents, up from 24.6 percent a decade ago (for you lefties, that’s under Bush, your favorite economic bogeyman) and from 20.2 percent under Reagan.
Young people’s poverty rate in California is slightly lower than the national average at 18.6 percent, which is still way too high.
The report’s marriage statistics seem to support the theory that marriage and economic well-being are linked. In 1980, fewer than half of young adults, 44.6 percent, had never been married. In 2000, it was 54.6 percent, and now it’s over 70 percent. The decline of traditional morals and the rising acceptance of homosexuality almost certainly are contributing factors.
Only 62.1 percent of Millennials are employed nowadays in California, versus 71 percent back in 1980.
At the same time, more than one in five young adults holds a bachelor’s degree, making this one of the most educated, least employed generations in history.
According to the Southern California Association of Governments, 70 percent of the jobs that are expected to be created in the coming years will be unskilled, minimum wage jobs, so the employment picture in the state is not looking up.
The data just confirm what sensible people have known about California for years, that the cabal of liberal interests that has a chokehold on the state have transformed one of the world’s agricultural breadbaskets and technology innovators into a struggling socialist wasteland that’s only going to continue to get worse.
Governor Moonbeam, Jerry Brown, likes to brag about how he supposedly has balanced the state’s budget and now has a surplus to spend on various liberal fantasy projects, like extending the state’s strained welfare benefits to millions of “amnestied” illegal aliens.
The reality is the state faces a Godzilla-size debt of $443 billion, hidden by accounting tricks, and the budget figures reported by Sacramento and a complicit media do not reflect that reality. By some estimates, the actual debt may be well over $600 billion.
The viper’s nest of bureaucracies in the state continues to thrive only through raising taxes. Because of laws like Proposition 13, however, the state has some restrictions, placed on it by voters in rare moments of sanity, on how it can raise taxes.
The usual result is random increases in things like sales taxes, or bait-and-switch schemes like the recent plastic bag “ban” that has made stores turn to distributing even-more-indestructible plastic bags, for which they have to charge and give a cut to the state.
The sum effect of California’s liberal experiments has been to drive businesses to other states, like Texas, leaving more and more people in the state either below poverty level or just barely scraping by. The state has the second-highest “real unemployment rate,” the U-6 figure, at 15.8 percent, which rises to over 17 percent in areas like Los Angeles
A similar degradation of the education system has occurred under liberal policies, leading to an increasingly dumbed-down public school system that spits out youths who don’t even know what used to be common cultural touchstones, like the meaning of the stars on the American flag or the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution.
Millennials may have more bachelor’s degrees, but a lot of them couldn’t even pass a quiz on general knowledge topics without access to Google.
The formerly Golden State desperately needs to shake itself out of its liberal delusions before there’s nothing left of its once-mighty economy.