This is not a Jay Leno joke.  What do you get when you have a State with total control of government, unions owning the government, high taxes and unemployment and regulations killing jobs?

“The Golden State continues to have the nation’s highest rate of poverty when cost of living is factored in, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Wednesday.”

You get to carry the flag as the number one State in the Union for POVERTY.  Elections have consequences—as do laws passed.  Our consequences is Sacramento turning the once Golden State into a Third World country.

“Cost of living, as considered by the supplemental measure, includes out-of-pocket expenses for shelter, food, clothing and utilities. Some major contributors to California’s high cost of living are pricey housing, large infrastructure needs, strict environmental protections and the rising tab for obtaining and transporting natural resources such as water, demographers have said.

Poverty is defined as not having enough money to do the things residents would normally do in a region, Weeks said. These include owning or renting a home, having and maintaining a vehicle, purchasing gasoline and securing other key resources.

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INCLUDING COST OF LIVING, STATE TOPS POVERTY LIST

By Elizabeth Aguilera, San Diego U-T,   11/7/13

The Golden State continues to have the nation’s highest rate of poverty when cost of living is factored in, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Wednesday.

The bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure shows that 23.8 percent of California residents were living in poverty in 2012. In contrast, the official poverty rate for the state last year was 16.5 percent.

California has ranked first on the supplemental list since 2011, when the census began providing the alternate gauge. Some organizations have for years complained that the official rate is misleading because it underestimates the number of poor people in states with a high cost of living. The debate is significant because the federal government uses poverty figures to determine how much funding should go to each state for a wide range of programs.

John Weeks, a demographer at San Diego State University, said the difference between the two census methods is not surprising.

“The reality is that both of the coasts are very expensive,” he said. “If you can figure out a way to stay (in California), you stay because this is a much nicer place to live than anywhere else.”

Cost of living, as considered by the supplemental measure, includes out-of-pocket expenses for shelter, food, clothing and utilities. Some major contributors to California’s high cost of living are pricey housing, large infrastructure needs, strict environmental protections and the rising tab for obtaining and transporting natural resources such as water, demographers have said.

Poverty is defined as not having enough money to do the things residents would normally do in a region, Weeks said. These include owning or renting a home, having and maintaining a vehicle, purchasing gasoline and securing other key resources.

Over the years, universities and independent institutes have used alternate methods to provide what they believe are more accurate poverty statistics than those from the Census Bureau’s standard benchmark. Most of their studies have yielded results similar to those from the census supplemental measure: California is at or near the top of all the rankings.

But Weeks said it is wrong to characterize the Golden State as the poorest state, because many California residents have more income than their counterparts in other states — just not enough to offset California’s cost of living.

“I am pretty certain that median income in California is higher than in those places,” he said. “It is perhaps a reflection of income inequality in the state. We have a large population of immigrants, many of them undocumented, who almost certainly inflate the poverty numbers but are attracted to the state because of the overall wealth that exists here.”

By any measure, San Diego County and the state have experienced a rise in poverty due in part to the Great Recession. The figures climbed starting in the late 2000s and have leveled off, but not declined, in the past two years.

Experts at the Center on Policy Initiatives in San Diego estimated that last year, more than 1 million people in San Diego County, or about a third of the region’s residents, lived in economic hardship — with household incomes that were not more than twice the official federal poverty rate. In 2012, the federal rate was $15,130 a year for a couple and $23,050 for a family of four.

The center also said more than a quarter of San Diegans worked full time and earned less than $30,000 last year.

“Things are bad in California and bad in San Diego for low-wage families, and what we’ve seen is it got bad during the recession and hasn’t started to get better,” said Peter Brownell, research director for the center.

The center is working on an updated self-sufficiency budget that would determine what wage levels would support households of various sizes in San Diego County. In 2011, the budget showed that a single adult with no children needed to earn at least $13.92 an hour in full-time work to make ends meet.

“It helps us make the case that there are a lot of families with a lot of need,” Brownell said. “They may be relying on food banks, or charity from churches, or help from neighbors, or trying to get by any way they can.”

Herb Johnson, president and CEO of the San Diego Rescue Mission, said the region’s temperate climate attracts many newcomers — rich and poor — but that the lack of blue-collar jobs and the high cost of housing make it a difficult place for lower-income residents.

“The middle class starts at a slightly higher part of the ladder here,” he said. “The middle ground is missing.”

The Rescue Mission sees people coming to its emergency shelter who are working several jobs, living in their cars, couch surfing or staying in cheap motels as they try to save up money for an apartment.

“What it points out is that there is a broad need here, and not everybody that is on the street and homeless are alcoholics or on drugs,” Johnson said. “There are many working poor families.”

Johnson said poverty here is no different than in states known for extreme poverty, such as Louisiana and Mississippi.

“Not sure it looks different in the poorest of neighborhoods and poorest of housing, but being at that level is still better here than in areas like Mississippi where they don’t have a lot of social services,” he said. “We have a lot of social services — if people can figure out how to access them.”

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N6 M8

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March 26, 2014 at 7:51 pm

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