Advertisement

Opinion: Declare California ‘done’ all you want, but we’re still the world’s 6th-largest economy

The California state flag flies outside Los Angeles City Hall.
(Mark Ralston / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: Columnist Gustavo Arellano is right: California isn’t “done.” (“No, California isn’t done,’” Opinion, Jan. 3)

As an historian, I disagree with urbanist and California critic Joel Kotkin’s naysayer views. The California dream of a better life for all has supposedly died many times. The 1990s economic slowdown triggered funereal editorials. Then the tech boom in the middle of that decade catapulted the state to the forefront. The next death supposedly came in the early 2000s with energy shortages caused largely by out-of-state providers.

Then the Golden State’s diversified economy went on to grow impressively until the great recession that started in 2007. Pundits again said our state was on life support, until it rebounded into the world’s sixth-largest economy.

Currently, we have more Nobel laureates than any other state or nation; some of the world’s finest colleges and universities; unmatched innovation and resources; Elon Musk and Tesla; and the most protected and accessible coastline in America. We’re a world leader on environmental matters.

Advertisement

California is leading America into the 21st century.

Tom Osborne, Laguna Beach

The writer is the author of the 2013 textbook “Pacific Eldorado: A History of Greater California.”

..

Advertisement

To the editor: I enjoyed reading Arellano’s bullish view of California. But the truth remains: Much of the state is no longer affordable for a working-class family to live here. Unless you move further inland where jobs are not as plentiful and the pay is less, a middle-class family struggles to make ends meet in the Golden State.

Let the haters hate and post their gripes online using laptops that were created in our state while listening to music inspired by our spirit.

Carl Godlewski, Venice

I share Arellano’s view that what makes California great is our culturally diverse population. But unless we can solve our affordable housing crisis, more Californians will leave. And while the governor spends billions on infrastructure improvements and a bullet train, he has not taken a leadership role in solving our state’s affordable-housing crisis.

We need new leadership in Sacramento and in our cities and counties. We need leaders who will actually listen to the people and not just pay lip service while taxing us dry.

Advertisement

Mario Rochin, Studio City

..

To the editor: Whenever I travel abroad, people ask me where I am from. If I say I am an American, their expression is usually one of indifference. But when I tell them I am from California, their faces light up and they often say, “Oh, I would love to visit California!”

That probably wouldn’t happen if I was from Texas or Kansas. Maybe some see this state as “done,” but much of the world still views us lucky to live here.

Advertisement

For those fleeing this state, I wish them the best of luck as they adapt to frigid winters and hot, steamy summers. A drive on Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu on a warm winter day is all I need to remind myself why I live here.

Alan Coles, Long Beach

..

To the editor: Arellano’s article caused me to brim with emotion and pride. Thanks to the Los Angeles Times for commencing his Opinion column.

Advertisement

As a life-long, middle-class resident of California — and still the only one in my family with a college degree, though old enough to have become a great aunt — it is good to be reminded of whose bent-over backs this state truly relies and thrives upon.

Jana Shaker, Riverside

..

To the editor: As a native Californian who has visited most U.S. states and six of the seven continents, I know California will never be “done.” Why?

Advertisement

The weather. And no bugs.

Phyllis Specht, Pasadena

..

To the editor: Thanks to Arellano for eloquently describing what it means to be a Californian. My wife and I are both transplants who love the state and have benefited financially and culturally from the diversity that is unique to California.

Advertisement

Let the haters hate and post their gripes online using laptops that were created in our state while listening to music inspired by our spirit in between noshing on fruits that were grown here.

Carl Godlewski, Venice

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook


Advertisement