Joel Kotkin on the decline of Los Angeles. An excerpt:
Those “emperors” are the leaders of L.A.’s public sector. As business retreated, power in Los Angeles, largely by default, shifted toward the government and its workers. Through the long decline that started in the 1990s and accelerated after 2005, government employment has climbed. Back in 1990, 13 percent of employed Angelenos worked for the government; by 2008, that figure had jumped to 16 percent. Even after a deep recession, the public sector—both county and city—continues to pull in big payouts. Today, almost 18,000 county workers earn more than $100,000 annually. The city has followed a similar path, with its city council the highest-paid in the nation. In L.A., as in much of California, public employees’ pensions have risen at unsustainable rates.