Since the real estate bubble popped, "ideas have disappeared from the political landscape of Los Angeles," Jerry Sullivan of the Garment & Citizen argues in a piece at New Geography.
That’s particularly unfortunate because there’s plenty of work to be done after bubbles burst—everything from big efforts on the macro-economic level to the everyday challenges of mending lives torn asunder by financial strains. Local government can play a key role in such efforts. That means that politics is part of the picture—and that means that our city’s politicians have a chance to help by coming up with new ideas on how to spur a recovery.
Yet our recovery is dragging along in Los Angeles. The federal government’s own struggles and the dire straits faced by state officials surely complicate the job at the local level, but those don’t fully explain the malaise we’re living through right now.
It’s more likely that our city suffers from a dearth of ideas because our politicians became addicted to the red-hot real estate market. It’s looking more and more as though that became their one and only idea.
* Also: New Geography founder Joel Kotkin does the Q&A at Scott Timberg's The Misread City blog, says "California is committing suicide, at least economically" and pronounces the Proposition 13 tax-shifting measure of 1978 part of the problem:
First, it centralized decision-making in Sacramento, never a good idea, since it took away property tax revenues. Second, it shifted taxes too much to income, which hurt entrepreneurs, the middle class and investors. It also made the state more liable to wild swings in stock and housing markets. Third, it became an excuse for people, largely on the left, to ignore the larger problems of over-regulation and hostility to business.
Prop 13 went too far and should have been restricted only to residences, with a cap at some level.