Op-Ed From the CBP: Growing Economic Divide Threatens California Dream

Yesterday, the San Francisco Chronicle featured an op-ed from CBP executive director Chris Hoene and policy analyst Luke Reidenbach, which examines the fundamental economic challenges facing individuals and families across the state as we head into 2014.

The job growth of the past few years is significant and suggests that California is on the mend from the deepest economic downturn in the post-World War II era. But if we place this recovery in a broader context, one thing is clear: Serious economic issues that California faced prior to the Great Recession — most notably widening income inequality — are continuing during the recovery. Meanwhile, a new study by our organization of what it takes to “make ends meet” shows that amid high costs for housing, child care and health care, many Californians are struggling to afford even basic living expenses. California’s ongoing challenges underscore the need for a multifaceted policy response.

The full op-ed is available on the Chronicle’s website.

This piece drew largely on two recent CBP reports — Uneven Progress: What the Economic Recovery Has Meant for California’s Workers and Making Ends Meet: How Much Does It Cost to Raise a Family in California? — in highlighting why it’s critical that state and federal policymakers make budget choices and other policy decisions that pave the way for broadly shared economic growth. The fact that the current economic recovery is not reaching so many Californians should guide state lawmakers next month as they begin the work of crafting a new state budget.

— Steven Bliss