California seems to be taking the lead in implementing Agenda 21. The above opinion piece concerns the current housing climate in that State. As noted in the post (Link following this one*), from a few weeks ago, laws and other regulations are resulting in ever-rising prices for homes and properties in which homes can be built. Single-family homes are the main target. While the elite will of course be allowed to maintain their residences, one of the key goals of Agenda 21 is to get everyone else into high-rise apartments and condominiums. These will be concentrated along "commuter corridors" which, as expected, fall within the areas slotted for the bullet trains that the Obama administration desires to shove down our throats.
The regular people, not likely to agree to being forcibly removed from their single-family homes, will be simply priced out of them. It is a basic and effective means of ending the suburban lifestyle by attrition; taxes will be raised and few lots will be approved for development, thus making young people incapable of scraping together enough money to buy even a starter home.
As the middle class flees California en masse, what will be left over are the Elite and the lower middle classes, along with those on welfare. The state that became synonymous with prosperity will turn into an oligarchic version of a Socialist paradise, with the common people massed together in apartments like ants. The rich have little to fear as they have plenty of money and the probably future demolition of the evil former middle class single-family homes will eventually result in lower property values. I have no doubt that the elite will take full advantage of this as they increase their land holdings, turning California into a collection of Latifundias with the grimy urban masses neatly tucked away and out of sight.
-From an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal by Allysia Finley:
Nearly four million more people have left the Golden State in the last two decades than have come from other states. This is a sharp reversal from the 1980s, when 100,000 more Americans were settling in California each year than were leaving. According to Mr. Kotkin, most of those leaving are between the ages of 5 and 14 or 34 to 45. In other words, young families.
The scruffy-looking urban studies professor at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., has been studying and writing on demographic and geographic trends for 30 years. Part of California's dysfunction, he says, stems from state and local government restrictions on development. These policies have artificially limited housing supply and put a premium on real estate in coastal regions.
And things will only get worse in the coming years as Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and his green cadre implement their "smart growth" [key Agenda 21 term] plans to cram the proletariat into high-density housing. "What I find reprehensible beyond belief is that the people pushing [high-density housing] themselves live in single-family homes and often drive very fancy cars, but want everyone else to live like my grandmother did in Brownsville in Brooklyn in the 1920s," Mr. Kotkin declares.
"The new regime"—his name for progressive apparatchiks who run California's government—"wants to destroy the essential reason why people move to California in order to protect their own lifestyles."
Housing is merely one front of what he calls the "progressive war on the middle class." Another is the cap-and-trade law AB32, which will raise the cost of energy and drive out manufacturing jobs without making even a dent in global carbon emissions. Then there are the renewable portfolio standards, which mandate that a third of the state's energy come from renewable sources like wind and the sun by 2020. California's electricity prices are already 50% higher than the national average.
Oh, and don't forget the $100 billion bullet train. Mr. Kotkin calls the runaway-cost train "classic California." "Where [Brown] with the state going bankrupt is even thinking about an expenditure like this is beyond comprehension. When the schools are falling apart, when the roads are falling apart, the bridges are unsafe, the state economy is in free fall. We're still doing much worse than the rest of the country, we've got this growing permanent welfare class, and high-speed rail is going to solve this?"
Of course, there are plenty of jobs to be had in energy, just not the type the new California regime wants. An estimated 25 billion barrels of oil are sitting untapped in the vast Monterey and Bakersfield shale deposits. "You see the great tragedy of California is that we have all this oil and gas, we won't use it," Mr. Kotkin says. "We have the richest farm land in the world, and we're trying to strangle it." He's referring to how water restrictions aimed at protecting the delta smelt fish are endangering Central Valley farmers. [These free farmers are being bankrupted by the prohibitions on irrigation and otherwise watering their crops in this fertile region}
Meanwhile, taxes are harming the private economy. According to the Tax Foundation, California has the 48th-worst business tax climate. Its income tax is steeply progressive. Millionaires pay a top rate of 10.3%, the third-highest in the country. But middle-class workers—those who earn more than $48,000—pay a top rate of 9.3%, which is higher than what millionaires pay in 47 states.
And Democrats want to raise taxes even more. Mind you, the November ballot initiative that Mr. Brown is spearheading would primarily hit those whom Democrats call "millionaires" (i.e., people who make more than $250,000 a year). [Hardly a princely sum for a middle class family in California]
That said, "It's really going to hit the small business owners and the young family that's trying to accumulate enough to raise a family, maybe send their kids to private school. It'll kick them in the teeth."
A worker in Wichita might not consider those earning $250,000 a year middle class, but "if you're a guy working for a Silicon Valley company and you're married and you're thinking about having your first kid, and your family makes 250-k a year, you can't buy a closet in the Bay Area," Mr. Kotkin says. "But for 250-k a year, you can live pretty damn well in Salt Lake City. And you might be able to send your kids to public schools and own a three-bedroom, four-bath house."
According to Mr. Kotkin, these upwardly mobile families are fleeing in droves. As a result, California is turning into a two-and-a-half-class society. On top are the "entrenched incumbents" who inherited their wealth or came to California early and made their money. Then there's a shrunken middle class of public employees and, miles below, a permanent welfare class. As it stands today, about 40% of Californians don't pay any income tax and a quarter are on Medicaid.
And the welfare recipients, he emphasizes, "aren't leaving. Why would they? They get much better benefits in California or New York than if they go to Texas. In Texas the expectation is that people work."
Mr. Kotkin also notes that demographic changes are playing a role. As progressive policies drive out moderate and conservative members of the middle class, California's politics become even more left-wing. It's a classic case of natural selection, and increasingly the only ones fit to survive in California are the very rich and those who rely on government spending. In a nutshell, "the state is run for the very rich, the very poor, and the public employees."
Take Salt Lake City. "Almost all of the major tech companies have moved stuff to Salt Lake City." That includes Twitter, Adobe, eBay and Oracle.
Then there's Texas, which is on a mission to steal California's tech hegemony. Apple just announced that it's building a $304 million campus and adding 3,600 jobs in Austin. Facebook established operations there last year, and eBay plans to add 1,000 new jobs there too."
-From the above:
On previous posts concerning Agenda 21 and the ICLEI, I have asserted that a big part of the plans for implementing the UN agenda is to steadily take measures that will either create regulations that make a relocation to urban areas a financial necessity or to, at some point, just require in an outright fashion the movement of the people to those regions. I have also noted that the concept of single-family dwellings are a chief target of Agenda 21 advocates. With this comes attacks on personal modes of transportation (family-size vehicles). Personal vehicles are detested for more than one reason, they consume quite a bit of petroleum relative to the amount of people they pull around, they emit the now-notorious CO2, and possibly most dangerously of all, they allow for the movement of people from place to place without the knowledge of those who prefer that we be watched continuously (Unless of course you use credit/debit cards for fuel purchases or EZ-Pass for tolls).
Plans call for the concentration of people along densely-populated corridors, putting them squarely along either existing or planned mass-transportation routes. An example of planned routes are the High-Speed railways that the Obama administration so enthusiastically pushed on State governments. To this we must add the admission by Obama's Energy Secretary Stephen Chu* that, far from having any intention of taking measures to reduce the price of fuel, the administration likes things the way they are as they encourage people to use less fuel (And thus see living in urban areas a more tempting thought). Let's get Americans to dump their cars and get on the buses and trains.
Find out if your State or local governments are involved with the ICLEI.