California's Death by the Numbers

J.E. DyerHotair

The weekend produced a spate of dang-this-is-bad articles on the economic situation in California. Steven Greenhut’s for the Orange County Register is entitled “California to middle class: drop dead.” At The Daily Beast, Joel Kotkin laments that “As California Collapses, Obama Follows its Lead.” (H/t – and a “Read it, people!” shout-out – to Ed Driscoll at PJM.)

But what does all this look like in terms of numbers? What’s the how much and where and whom of the Golden State collapse? Perhaps the most interesting and telling thing is that it really is as bad as it looks. And the reasons are pretty much what you’d expect. Here’s the California story, in numbers.

According to a March 2012 report, 855,000 is how many private-sector jobs California has lost since the recession started four years ago. (H/t: California Political News & Views.) The state today enjoys an unemployment rate of 11%, compared with the official national average of 8.3%

Texas, by contrast, has added 139,800 jobs, posting the biggest absolute gain among the 50 states. (California’s is the biggest absolute loss.) Texas’ unemployment rate is 7.1%. Number 3 on the job-growth list? The District of Columbia, with 21,000 added private-sector jobs. Government is big business.

But we were talking about California. How does California rank in terms of the average state and local tax burden? According to the Tax Foundation, in 2009, California had the 6th heaviest tax burden in the nation, at 10.6%. (New Jersey was #1, followed by New York at #2.) That’s the in-state tax burden, of course. Federal taxes are on top of that. Read More: