CA Put Construction Into Limbo

One silver lining of the crisis is that the country has been getting rid of a lot of regulations that slow things down. CA, however, has decided to slow things down even more.

REASON: Last week, the Judicial Council of California—the rule-making body for the state’s courts—issued 11 emergency rules for the judicial system during the current pandemic.

Included in the council’s rules was a blanket extension of deadlines for filing civil actions until 90 days after the current state of emergency ends. Ominously for housing construction, this extended statute of limitations applies to lawsuits filed under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

That law requires local governments to study proposed developments for potentially significant environmental impacts. CEQA also gives third parties the power to sue local governments for approving a construction project if they feel that a particular environmental impact wasn’t studied enough.

The law has become a favored tool of NIMBYs and other self-interested parties to delay unwanted developments or to extract concessions from developers. Anti-gentrification activists use CEQA to stop apartment buildings that might cast too much shadow. Construction unions use the law as leverage to secure exclusive project labor agreements.

Under normal circumstances, these CEQA lawsuits have to be filed within 30 or 35 days of a project receiving final approval.

Notice that the law doesn’t say the NIMBYs get an extra 30 or 35 days to file. It says that NIMBYs get to file until 90 days “after the current state of emergency ends.” In other words, no one can know when they are free to build so the law could put every CA construction project that hasn’t already past CEQA review into limbo.

“If I’m a builder I can’t move forward with my project until the [CEQA] statute of limitations has expired. The reason why I can’t do that is because if you do move forward, courts have the authority to order you tear down what you’ve built,” Cammarota tells Reason, explaining that “lenders today are unwilling to fund those loans for construction until the statute of limitations has expired.”

Hat tip: Carl Danner.


Is California really as dysfunctional as it seems from the outside? I don't live in the States, but every story I hear about Californian governance is negative.

Be it blunders on wildfires, NIMBY all over the state, bad roads, is the state really as badly run or beholden to special interests as it is presented?

every story I hear about Californian governance is negative

You'd think even a blind squirrel, right? Maybe soon.

If the weather sucked they would look like Michigan.

So you're saying Michigan is California but worse weather? Big if true.

Unless you consider earthquakes, wildfires, mudslides, drought and flooding to be weather, in which case it depends on whether you prefer your bad weather to be predictable and relatively mild as opposed to unpredictable and potentially catastrophic. In Michigan, you can build a house on a hillside without worrying that it may someday slide down to the bottom or in the woods with little fear that it'll ever end up a smoking pile of ash.

Yes, California is a bad, bad place, stay away!

That's what the people of California want. The problem is that they also have a large voice in federal government. It's why we need to expel leftists from the country.

Continuing the descent into parody?

The only joke is believing that we can continue to coexist with these people.

Of course, even on a site supposedly known for its unorthodox approaches to problems, I hardly expect the TED Talk commentariat to approve. Likely because, in spite of their affectations, they'd ultimately be part of the group packing their things to leave.

The stories and information posted here are artistic works of fiction and falsehood. Only a fool would take anything posted here as fact.

You fell for a meme, dude.

Yeah California is so terrible nobody lives there anymore. It would totally be michigan except it has the port of LA/Long Beach. #1 in population, #1 in gdp. #1 in manufacturing. #1 in exports. #1 in venture capital. #1 get the idea...

Its a Pacific Rim nation-state and has unique problems and challenges but would easily fit into the G7 and make it the G8.

California has a worse rate of net domestic outmigration than Michigan: 3.95 per 1,000 inhabitants leaving California compared to 1.68 per 1,000 leaving Michigan.

And Michigan has the notable disadvantage of being a cold-weather state, which means a natural tendency to lose some of its retirees just due to weather.

Yet the population keeps growing.

Have you tried a large vertical structure running east and west at the southern border?

I think LAX probably has more to do with it.

You rent and hire trucks at LAX?

California gets the majority of its immigrants from the other 49 States plus territories.

But yes, illegals from India, Britian classic (eg, Canada, South Africa, India, Hong Kong), Europe.

Eg, student visas, temporary work visas where people worked illegally and overstayed visas. California has lots of immigration lawyers on corporate payrolls.

The most iconic illegal is a shithole African who passes as white who got rich off government money profiting by paying thousands of workers to kill the jobs of real Americans profiting off nearlly free government land.

Elon Musk defines how horrible California is. Pure evil in destroying jobs in West Virgina and soon in West Texas. Time shifting solar and wind power from peak production to peak demand kills great jobs destroying public land or rendering private land worthless.

California's population is not growing.

Along with NY, they are losing an electoral vote.

Texas and Florida are gaining 3 and 2 for a total of 5.

It is not a nation-state. It’s a state.

A great one, but with terrible governance.

Back when I lived in California, my observation was that everyone tolerated the state and local government as a cost of doing business. If it weren't for the concentration of tech talent, venture capital, universities, and good weather all in one place, no one would put up with it.

They can afford to enforce a "paradise tax" in a way that wouldn't fly in say Tennessee.

My experience in California:

- Sales tax was the highest rate I've ever seen.
- Income tax was the highest rate I've ever seen.
- Budget crises
- Various fees were the highest I've seen.
- Despite all the $$$, DMV had inadequate capacity, I had to take PTO to travel to get one available.
- And you have to change your driver license to CA before you finish unpacking or face a surprise draconian fine.
- Gross public transit
- Housing shortages
- Mandatory sign on apartment complex warning that there might be cigarette smoke on premises which is known to California to cause cancer
- Bars close after public transit closes (SF specific) and laws preventing adequate taxis (which I think was since solved by Uber)
- huge homeless population causing lots of problems (SF and LA specific)

CA has some things going for it (weather, huge industry hubs, some aspects of culture are good). But government is indeed terrible.

Governance wise it is the worst state in the union. Worse even than Illinois (where at least some aspects of the process for Joe Public make isn't a thicket requiring specialists and you can navigate it on your own).

There is no other solution for CA except to let it fail WITHOUT federal assistance, and that day is coming.

And will always be coming.

You forgot low property taxes on real estate owned by long term property owning Californians.

If you want to move into California you must pay for all the public capital (infrastructure) first. That's what the fees do. But those fees must first benefit those who have lived in California for a long time without the benefit of paying very low taxes on property they don't own, that's what the regulations do.

It's the right-wing free lunch system voted into the California constitution controlled by the same voters determined to get the free lunch Reagan, Jarvis et al promised.

Will conservatives make up their minds?

Should government be like in China where neighborhoods get bulldozed to quickly build infrastructure supporting factories and distribution funded by government in so much excess it's impossible to profit from a monopoly on production and distribution? That was how NYC and Boston and LA and SF and Seattle were made "great" from about 1935 to 1985.

And that's what Gov Walker and President Trump tried in Wisconsin. But that's Chinese development that requires masters of pork shoveling of the likes of Sen Shelby and Sen McConnell. But the right-wing got rid of all the great pork shovelers who crushed individual property owners for the greater good of the corporations and the leftist workers they import to maximize the use of public capital.

"Is California really as dysfunctional as it seems from the outside? I"

Generally speaking a lot of press gets distorted. The bad stories get repeated, and obviously they are the exception or they wouldn't be News in the first place.

So assume that things aren't as bad as they appear. However, that being said:

California, after decades of prosperity and advantages, now has the highest PP poverty rate in the US. That's shocking. The state of Mississippi has historically been very poor and some parts are close to a 3rd world country, and Yet statistically California is now worse, when you adjust for the cost of living.

Having just moved here, I find it an incredibly regressive state.

A lot of the programs hurt the poor and help the rich. For example the low carbon fuel standard raises gasoline prices and then cities spend the revenue on...rebates for people who buy Teslas.

It's very screwed up but in a dystopian capitalism sort of way.

The labor unions only represent 15% of people and somehow are allowed to take their cut of many projects.

NIMBYs get everything they want.

10-20% of California is comprised of highly talented individuals working in various industries (tech, law, biomed, academia, film, agriculture, etc) which allows California to have great economical performance. Unfortunately the rest of the population is leftist to its very core and enact various insane laws and regulations, plus an overly bloated social net which should normally be the responsibility of the Feds. If California didn't have the world's best weather it would be a failed bankrupted state, as everyone with a shred of talent would escape that mess as soon as possible.

How does California have the world's best weather when it repeatedly suffers from drought?

Droughts are actually good weather as people don't like the rain :) As long as there's water in taps, people will continue enjoying the weather.

+1, droughts also tend to keep the pests down.

Yeah, if you define dysfunctional as high GDP, most opportunity, most dynamic, then Callifornia is the fifth most dysfunctional state globally

1. United States $19.391 trillion
2. China $12.015 trillion
3. Japan $4.872 trillion
4. Germany $3.685 trillion
5. California $2.747 trillion
6. United Kingdom $2.625 trillion
7. India $2.611 trillion
8. France $2.584 trillion
9. Brazil $2.055 trillion
10. Italy $1.938 trillion
11. Texas $1.696 trillion
As of 2018 when Trump was winning less than he's winning today.

The complaint of Alex is that of economists trying to install streetlights at night but doing so where streetlights provide light for the workers.

It's easy to build new housing in California in places like California City, but California City has so many vacant lots, more vacant lots than LA or SF has in built on lots, but the lack of capital scarcity, ie, housing, inn California City means capital scarcity profit can't generate economic monopoly or rent seeking profits.

Profits are the free lunch promised by Milton Friedman who was opposed to the zero economic profits of Keynes policy.

Keynes laid out how public policy could destroy the conspiracy Adam Smith warned of, the conspiracy over drafts in the pub to increase profits by restricting trade.

Friedman argued the moral imperative of a corporate manager is to conspire to create economic profits by making capital scarce.

Government investment was declared "wasteful spending" because building roads, water and sewer, and schools on vacant land increased the supply of private capital that drives down the price of old capital.

Eg, old housing in LA and SF was driven down in price before circa 1980 by the massive California and Federal investment in capital like roads, transit, water and sewer, schools on vacant land.

Conservatives wanted old capital to inflate in price by restricting public capital supply by blocking "government spending" building public capital.

Look up vacant lots in Californnia City and you'll see that you can easily build housing in California. It's just impossible to reap economic profits.

You think Prop 13 was the work of leftists? Though considering the world we live in, where Reagan is now a RINO, maybe Howard Jarvis was a leftist, just like Paul Gann.

Obviously not. But prop 13 really has nothing to do with regulations that restrict new construction. And also note that despite complete control of California state government by Democrats for many, many years, there has been no serious attempt to repeal or reform prop 13, so the left in California must have grown to like prop 13 pretty well too, no?

This is a an incorrectly placed response to Shark Lasers, not to Alex.


In that case... of course it was. Who do you think owns property in California?

"You think Prop 13 was the work of leftists?"

California is firmly under Democratic control. If the state population wanted it removed, they would remove it. Apparently California Democrats don't object to it enough to vote it away.

It's not that the leftist base doesn't object to Prop 13, it's that they are unconcerned with government beyond what the government can personally provide for them.

California is just a model for what the left wants for the rest of the nation. A corrupt, overreaching government that serves the interests of and provides for the upper class, pays lip service to the nanny-state demands of the Outer Party, achieves permanent governance by bribing a vast, apathetic underclass, and regulates anyone who objects out of house and home.

Note that while they were cut sharply initially, California property tax revenues have since grown spectacularly under the Prop 13 rules:

While Prop 13's effects went beyond the simple dollars involved, it's a misconception that property tax revenues are low. Here is data from 2016 showing California's relative ranking of 17th among states for per-capita revenues:

Given that property tax revenues are now approaching $2000 per California resident (versus $1559 in 2016), it's possible we've moved up a few places in this ranking.

The problem is that comes from home values increasing and little of that revenue is from new housing and development.

So people's home values skyrocket but the increase in their property values are capped at 2% per year. And they don't want to kill this golden goose for themselves.

And in fact California compared to other states is one of the lowest in property taxes per capita terms.

Property taxes are too low to fund services and schools for new people in new houses

And of course they impose many draconian environmental and "affordable housing" requirements which function as price controls that make building prohibitively expensive

"And in fact California compared to other states is one of the lowest in property taxes per capita terms." Not true -- did you look at the Tax Foundation link? You're also neglecting turnover, homes are reassessed at the market price when sold. And given the elevated CA housing prices that have obtained for decades, even a semi-frozen vintaged housing value can cause a substantial tax bill, particularly when supplemented by new local or regional tax measures, or bond issue costs -- which are exceptions to Prop 13 limits if approved by voters.

Agree that many of the restrictions on new building are highly problematic, harm us extensively etc. But either way, the resulting property tax revenues are a lot of funding by any measure.

But the effective property tax rate is 0.76%, 16th lowest

They only rank high per capita because houses got expensive due to lack of development.

They are in a trap. Cities can't afford services for new development due to low property tax revenue, and homeowners won't accept anymore taxes to pay for them.

Of course the answer is higher property taxes which will incentivize cities to develop housing which will moderate housing prices, but getting there isn't simple

Maybe you should think about this a little more, rather than assume it is a NIMBY protection statute.

My first thoughts were: The Courts may be closed; or the City permitting agency may be closed. That would make filing a complaint or having it acted upon by a City futile. So, let's do some research.

But, you don't find that in the Reason article.

Just do a little research:

"The ongoing COVID-19 situation has resulted in many courts in California closing or severely limiting access. Many have also restricted the ability to file all but the most time-sensitive matters, such as restraining orders.

The table below summarizes the current situation and indicates whether One Legal is able to deliver court filings at this time. Many courts have declared their closed days to be court holidays for the purposes of calculating deadlines. We strongly recommend that you consult the website of the court you are filing in for the detailed information. "

Don't assume that the voices of a trade association are telling you the truth. Or those that quote a trade association's lawyers aren't spinning.

Go out and check the facts. Be empirical.


You misread it.

The law has become a favored tool of NIMBYs and other self-interested parties to delay unwanted developments or to extract concessions from developers. Anti-gentrification activists use CEQA to stop apartment buildings that might cast too much shadow. Construction unions use the law as leverage to secure exclusive project labor agreements.

Nothing you said refutes the article. The CEQA is the NIMBY statute. Shutting down all construction indefinitely due to closing the courts is a consequence.

No, you misread it. And, you did not understand.

We are not talking about CEQA, we are talking about the 90 day extension.

I will go back and quote large parts of the article and post below if you continue not to understand.

I think you can safely say that the limit to NIMBY damage is lifted by removing the time limit.

So, how can someone challenge if the courts are closed or the city offices are closed?

That’s the entire point. Is this just semantics? Obviously the CEQA is a NIMBY law to prevent development.

There’s a NIMBY statute that has a time limit failsafe. The failsafe has been removed due to the virus shutting down courts.

The law (the statute) is inherently NIMBY but had a failsafe, which is now gone with an indefinite timeline.



I see your point,
They shut down the courts
To prevent development.

Sometimes you just have to laugh.

It’s frankly astonishing that a lawyer could have such poor reading comprehension skills. Pity your clients.

The law is obviously a NIMBY law. We can agree on that part.

The state then made a decision to close the courts due to the Rona.

This temporarily removed the timeline failsafe from the law.


Believe me, I wouldn't want you as a client.

How does it work in practice? Because the courts are closed are projects proceeding? The deadline is set to after the state of emergency is lifted. If someone proceeded with the project they would face the risk of having the thing shutdown once the emergency is lifted.

They had the same risk before, but it was extended by 90 days. That's what statutes of limitations are all about. As is there extension.

You are sounding like a bureaucrat Bill. 90 days plus the length of the emergency status. No big deal.

No, Bill's a lawyer. This, from a lawyer's perspective, is more business for lawyers.

I have a couple big issues with your answer, Bill.

(1) If the normal deadline is 30 or 35 days after final approval, why is it extended until 90 days after the state of emergency ends? The deadline could be tolled (i.e., state of emergency days don't count) or the deadline could be 30 or 35 days after the state of emergency ends. Either should work OK for people who want to file a suit. Even with some courts closed, everybody else still has phones and computers. Lawyers should be able to work from home really well.

(2) I've looked at the list of CA courts' status for filings - . Some - admittedly not all, but some - of the courts in the larger counties in the state are accepting e-filings: L.A. County, Orange County, Santa Clara County, and San Mateo County. Why aren't extensions done on a county-by-country basis depending on whether the courts will accept filings?

(1) Re: Even if courts are closed.... and you could "toll"

Dave, the definition of tolling is:

"Tolling is a legal doctrine that allows for the pausing or delaying of the running of the period of time set forth by a statute of limitations, " From Wiki

So, what you are saying is 35 days v 90 days.

2. As for (2), I have no problem with that. But, it would probably not make the folks happy because the larger counties, and not the rural ones, are the one's developers are interested in.
As for tolling, what you get is the same effect as the extension.

On the other hand, if there were no extension, the outcry would be that plaintiffs are still going to court, even during a pandemic.

A statewide shelter in place order puts things on hold, film at 11:00.

And California haters .. what losers. You know they just wish they were here.

"You know they just wish they were here."

Cuba is too hot, so yeah, California.

The month I spent in the Bay Area and northward to the Oregon border was more than enough to convince me that living in California would be no more desirable than living in NYC.

Would that lack of appeal count as hating?

Thinking California is one city is a big flag for somebody who's visited just once.

Another thought occurs: have you ever seen a Californian complain about any other state?

Of course not. Why would we care.

California is a great state.

The governance is a mess though

It is mostly just Wagner's Law in action.

Nah. Spending isn’t a good axis.

Rent seeking. That’s the yardstick.

'Thinking California is one city is a big flag for somebody who's visited just once'

Did you miss the north part? I spent a fair amount of time in Redwood City too. And I am fully aware that northern California is not the same as LA/San Diego - places which have even less appeal to me, and thus have never bothered to visit.

'have you ever seen a Californian complain about any other state'

Absolutely - a southern Californian I used to work with complained quite often that there was never a dry season on the East Coast, that winter was too cold, who likes snow, summer was too humid, etc.

The "Bay Area" *and* Redwood City, the Redwood City that is actually on the "Bay"?

lol, do a drive up the 395 sometime.

One of the only functional sectors in BC is construction. It among many others is considered either essential or low risk of transmission. The equivalent to OSHA here has come up with procedures and guidelines to keep the workers safe.

There are two large projects going on in my town where the province is funding low cost housing, and the construction continues.

There is a better way.

We didn't have lockdowns here. Social distancing and limits to the sizes of gatherings, and some businesses were closed as a result. The approach was do everything except this, which in practice looks like a shutdown, but there is quite a bit of activity.

Specific and well implemented safeguards for nursing homes and hospitals.

It seems to be working.

B.C. has 1,445 cases, and I see that doubling rate was 4-5 days in mid-March. That's a bad combination. I didn't see a later number.

Where the rubber meets the road is in your current doubling rate. Orange
County has stretched it out to 10 days.

There are about 20 new cases a day right now, and more than that recovered. I suspect California has a higher testing rate. You need to be symptomatic to get a test here, tests are done if it will change the course of care.

This isn't done yet. The hospital capacity is being maintained, which was the goal. Lots of people who were sitting this out elsewhere are coming home now. There is a recommendation for US citizens to come home as well. Quarantine provisions are in place in BC for those people.

Population wise the deaths in California are higher. We have 1/6 the population of California, and 1/10th the deaths. Not sure if that is an artefact of recording or not. The large urban centers in Eastern Canada have similar restrictions to Los Angeles, that may be necessary, but the western cities Vancouver and Calgary don't.

An interesting thing I learned about Alberta. They have a provincial travel restriction, where if you go outside of your region and return, even within the province, you are required to self isolate for 14 days. They seem to be doing reasonably well, they are about 2 weeks later than BC, Washington State and California.

A friend and business owner said to me yesterday about the plans to re-open the economy: "it might not be tomorrow or next week, but knowing that it is coming is helpful". A good proportion of effective public health administration is psychology.

I messed up my first link,

You’re a month late.

Almost all residential construction in California has been stopped.

Maybe I don't believe that because I heard a lot of noise yesterday?

OK Skeptical, post your support and links.

Others did.

Dare you.

I am not Skeptical.

But, the reporting I see is that construction is moving forward in a lot of the state - it's essential in the statewide order - but largely suspended in "the Bay Area, where health officials stopped nonessential construction through May 3. That stoppage includes hotels, commercial buildings, and residential buildings that don’t have at least 10 percent affordable units, according to the San Francisco Chronicle."

Then you are just talking about San Fransisco, correct.

Skeptical said: "Almost all residential construction in California has been stopped."

It's interesting, because "the Bay Area" isn't a political entity. But in this case they have a consortium going on:

"The order applies to Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa and Marin counties, as well as San Francisco and Berkeley."

For reference, a California County Map with County Seat Cities

Lawyers are limited in the work they can do during the lock-down, and the clerk's office, which would accept filings, is closed. It would be Kafkaesque if claims had to be filed but there's no place to file them.

I doubt that the closing of the Clerk's Office to visitors presents much of an obstacle. If I am not mistaken, electronic filing is mandatory in California. For once, Tabarrok has a point.

I love California. According to libertarian/right dogma, it should not even exist. And yet it does.

It not only persists, it prospers. There it is: rich, bold, vibrant, arrogant, educated, healthy, attractive, prosperous - at the forefront of the nation culturally, economically, technologically.

People want to come there. They want to be there. They want to visit, and build things, and go to college there, and create businesses. People will pay a premium to do so. Again and again.

"But this should not be!" howl the libertarians, just look at it: it's got REGULATIONS! It's got TAXES! It's got LIBRULLLS!

Libertarians complain bitterly and make excuses. They keep predicting California's imminent demise, and crowing about this or that anecdote of its decadence. And yet California refuses to die.

It's like the Social Security program. It's success and continued existence is inexplicable and an existential threat to the entire libertarian/right worldview.

And so it must be killed.

Every year for the past decade (and probably longer), more people have moved out of California to other states than went the other way:

See the graph here:

And all this during the longest economic recovery, and boom times for Silicon Valley. What now when the economy is tanking fast?

Like I said, crowing about anecdotes and predictions of imminent doom.

What exactly does net migration prove?

Could be people cashing out their amazing house price appreciation and retiring to a nice place in some other blue state with a fat nest egg.

George: the two largest recipients of Californians - both gross and net - were Texas and Arizona, for the last year for which information was available. After that were Washington, Nevada, and Oregon. Sort of a mixed-bag politically, though I will note that 3 of those states (TX, NV, and WA) don't have a state income tax.

Interestingly enough, some other blue states were among the relatively few states from which Californian actually gained residents on net: New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Maryland. (Ohio is also among the top 5 on that list.)

No, they’re mostly moving to ‘red’ states like Texas and Arizona, which tend to have lower costs of living, being much less regulated and taxed; and it is disproportionately poor people doing the moving because they can’t afford to live there anymore, so they’re not cashing out anything. There is net migration now out of New York, Illinois, and Michigan as well.

This is the perversion if the “look at our city/state’s GDP, it must mean we’re right” canard. When you price poor people out of the Bay Area and LA and they all move to Phoenix, it drives down Phoenix’s per capita gdp relative to California’s, but it is not evidence of California’s success, but rather the opposite (unless the goal was to drive the poor people away all along).

It's not "anecdotes", it's numbers. Net migration figures.

It's not "predictions of imminent doom", it's merely a reality check on your over-the-top boosterism.

You say "People want to come there." But as the linked article notes: “California’s real population challenge is getting other Americans to move here.”

Also “people want to come there” is vague. I want to drive south and take the kids to Disneyland and see the redwoods up north and hit the vineyards, but I certainly wouldn’t want to there.

Indeed. Net migration is just a data point. Could be retirees cashing out and moving to the sun belt. Could be tax protestors fleeing taxes. Or homeless people getting out of the Bay area. Maybe ts people seeking the superior pubic education systems of the red south. It's useless without analysis.

And yet it was cited here as a rebuttal, despite the uselessness of it.

Net migration indicates nothing to rebut my point, which is that California continues to exist, despite decades of predictions of its imminent demise from the right.

Libertarians continue to fall down around the conundrum that the attractive successful places have more regulation, higher values, and are usually blue. And they refuse to die.

How is a place attractive if it's not an attractive place to live, because it can't actually attract people to live there?

Like I said, Libertarians grasping at straws.

in 2018 690,000 moved away, but 500,000 came, maybe the half of a million people who moved there missed the announcement that CA was hell on earth.

That net change of 190,000 is less than one-half of one percent of the population. That's all you've got?

Buck Knives, perhaps by some measures the premier consumer product in the US, began in San Diego in 1902 but finally gave up and moved to Post Falls, Idaho in 2005. Of course the Raiders NFL franchise has decided that two different locations in California weren't good enough and has decamped to Las Vegas.


An anecdote about a manufacturer who moved its 260 jobs. And another about a long-struggling pro sports franchise, one of four in the state and two in the same metro area.

"job growth outpacing the nation"


Brazil's Science Minister, Lieutenant Colonel Pontes has officially declared Brazil, under President Captain Bolsonaro's correct leadership, has discovered a medicine which has over 94% efficency when used against the coronavirus in cell cultures. A Manhattan-style project has been initiated to test it in humans.

As an old Brazilian song says, "again, Europe bows before Brazil".

California is two states. A northern white/asian elite playground, and a southern largely Mexican shithole centered around LA. The economic indicators between the two are widely divergent. The only thing they share in common is a governor and homeless shitting in the street.

Dude, do you even eat a breakfast burrito?

Unlike, say, Florida, Texas, or Georgia. Which resemble a piece of dry white toast.

Not really true. Although SF / LA county median income:

$112k / $68k

San Francisco is a "consolidated city-county." The mainland portion is like 47 square miles. Los Angeles County is a bit bigger, at 4751 square miles, and contains 88 incorporated cities.

This might make direct comparison a bit difficult.

I am not even sure I would call California progressive.

Unless you call favoring special interests like labor unions, environmentalists, and NIMBYs progressive.

But I guess that's what the Democratic party is, after all, just a collection of special interests rather than a coherent ideological movement.

Because the result is a mix of hyper capitalism, regressive fiscal policies, and subsidies to favored groups.

Adding a data point here.

When I came out of UC Forestry school in the Boomer mid-70's CEQA was brand new, and the only job I could get was writing EIR's. I must have written fifty of those things. Part of the law said it had to be done by an interdisciplinary team, but I just wrote them out, a team of one, and faked the list of experts. The law also said that you had to have an appendix, so I just took my Table of Contents and alphabetized it and put in in the back of the book.

Writing EIR's was a slog, but the great thing about it was that you got the last word. The NIMBYs were allowed to comment, but then you got to respond to comments. And that was fun, because the NIMBYs were just yahoos, inspired by gimmie and as generally ignorant of detail as MR commenters, a lot of them writing in with fountain-pens on schoolbook paper, and you were a professional getting paid to deal with them.

The beauty of CEQA was that it was entirely toothless. Even if you found that something was a "significant" environmental effect, and that was true, the "decision-making body" had only to file a "statement of over-riding considerations." For example, a county planning board could say, yeah, this go-cart track is gonna be noisy, but people need to race go-carts, so screw you. To hear the earnest wide-eyed statement in these comments that you could close down a project because it cast shade is certainly a wake-up for me.

I don't doubt that since those early days various ignorant judges have set precedents that make the law seem a bit more powerful. But on the whole I think that it is just a whipping-boy of development interests, and that taking it seriously as some sort of driver of California development is just weak Matthew Yglesias, or poor Alex here letting himself be bullshat by somebody's talking points. Take heart, Alex! Take heart, disinterested doodz at Reason and at the board of real-estate salesmen! CEQA is and has always been pretty much a paper tiger! Take heart. It never took no genius to beat it CEQA down to pretty much nothing.

Yup, it's all something that looks consequential from the peanut galleries in Virginia and in psychic flyover country, but no, CEQA is not limiting growth in California and it never has.

What we're really worried about out here is all the people moving away. They're leaving in droves. They're moving to Kansas or some other place. This loss of population, it's like looking into the dank bottomless pit of despair. As someone whose grandparents hobbled in on wagons in 1850 and faced the lack of growth, I am anguished every time I hear about a family moving back to Sioux Falls to re-establish that dentistry practice. How is California going to survive? Can California survive? Can any place survive with mild climate and Bad Governance? It is all up in the air.

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