Politicians and others often tout that California’s economy is doing great; if we were a country, we are at 6th or 7th in the world. While it’s true that based on just the GDP, California would be ranked high when compared to all countries and 1st when compared to the other states a big economy is not necessarily a healthy economy.
California had over 38 million people in 2014, so a much better comparison is the per capita GDP by state, not the gross GDP. In 2014 California ranked 10th in per capita GDP but if you adjust that by the cost of living, which in California is about 34% higher than the national average, it brings California’s rank down to 39th in the country which isn’t very impressive.
For the California economy to improve, we need to improve the business climate in the state. Currently, new ventures are not attracted to the state, and existing businesses are leaving; this is due to its high corporate taxes and over-regulation. I feel that the first step in improving this environment is to bring the regulatory agencies, which are currently run by unelected officials with no transparency or oversight, back under the control of the legislature as required by the California Constitution. With the proper control, I believe that many of these agencies would be reduced or eliminated.