Yesterday, I went to downtown LA to participate in this event. Can you spot me in this photo? In my brief remarks, I argued that LA's unique quality of life is our economy's "golden goose". While the two guys on the left worried about the challenges for manufacturing firms of doing business in LA, our quality of life is actually improved by deindustrializing. The unspoken discussion in my panel is how union rules and wages raise the cost of doing production in LA. An alternative path for the local economy is to celebrate that this is paradise and to work the tourism angle hard and celebrate the local multiplier effect. In this age of kicking the 1%, it is perhaps time to thank them for paying their property taxes and increasing local demand for a large number of goods and services they purchase locally.
The property taxes collected from the expensive homes of the 1% can be spent on worthy programs such as pre-K for all kids to build the next generation's skills. Skill accumulation is the ultimate source of wealth in the modern economy. Study the Heckman equation and explain to me how you are going to finance its policy ideas.