“Mike, please jump in the California governor’s race in 2022. You’re the only candidate who can restore sanity and balance to California’s governance. And you can win. You are this season’s Schwarzenegger, Ventura, Trump,” Forbes publisher Rich Karlgaard said in a column Tuesday.
“California is cruising for a bruising. The economy is lopsidedly dependent on a shrinking base of major industries. You can count them on one hand: technology (but only tech that rapidly scales from startup to global footprint, along with the vaults of the capital to do so), biotech, entertainment and tourism. That’s a narrow base for a $3 trillion economy. Energy, banking, and aerospace have largely flown the coop. Agriculture would love to if it could; maybe global warming will give it more options. Manufacturing? Good luck with that.”
Who is Mike Rowe?
Many know Mike Rowe as “the dirtiest man on TV,” from the show Dirty Jobs, a show devoted to showing the many different difficult, odd, gross, disgusting, or very messy jobs typical Americans do for a paycheck.
Rowe made doing a dirty job cool, and brought a much needed focus back on trade schools and the trades.
But people connect with Mike Rowe because he honors the average bloke who makes an honest living. And that is sorely lacking in California today, with most lawmakers in the majority party coming from government or labor unions, rather than private sector jobs. The average bloke feels totally disconnected to California government.
Rowe for Governor, Why?
“And you can win,” Karlgaard said. “You are this season’s Schwarzenegger, Ventura, Trump.”
“Hasn’t California been running budget surpluses since 2011?” Karlgaard asks. “True enough. But while we’re on the topic, hasn’t the stock market also gone up since 2011? Yes. And California real estate values, too? Yes, again.”
California has been riding a stock market wave along with the rest of the country. And in the United States today, with President Donald Trump’s economy, the Dow, the S&P and Nasdaq have set new records, buoyed by strong corporate earnings, a possible trade deal and the widespread belief among sophisticated investors that the US economy will continue to chug along handsomely, the NY Post reported in November.
Karlgaard also notes, “the state’s water system is stuck in the 1960s. The highways and roads are “some of the poorest in the country.”
“So what’s the problem?” Karlgaard asks. “Well, California’s state budget is disproportionately dependent on capital gains taxes. It loves capital gains taxes – the rate of 13.3% is the highest in the U.S. by far. But when that day comes, and stocks and California real estate prices return to earth, as they will, capital gains will shrink. Black will turn to red. Consider that 2010 to 2019 was one of the best decades for stocks in U.S. history. The odds thus favor a mean reversion, which means 2020 to 2019 a decade of low returns, as were the 1960s, 1970s, and 2000 to 2009.”
Karlgaard even addresses California’s public employee pension crisis:
“Yet another sobering fact related to the California’s pensions: California’s population is aging at a rate 50% higher than the U.S. average. Stunning as that is, it is overlooked by most economists and pundits. California may be okay now, but its leading indicators are worrisome, to put it mildly. The buzzards will come home to roost, rapidly, when stock and real estate prices stop rising.”
“The state’s two largest public pension funds, CalPERS and CalSTRS, are short about $140 billion and $110 billion respectively between assets and obligations. CalPERS thinks it will catch up with greater-than-market returns in a mix of stocks, bonds and alternatives. Seven percent annual return? No sweat! Let’s go for seven point five.”
“But the rest of us have you, Mike.
Bring it on. Mike Rowe, 2022.”
Mike Rowe is a TV host, writer, narrator, producer, actor and spokesman. His performing career began in 1984, when he faked his way into the Baltimore Opera to get his union card and meet girls, both of which he accomplished during a performance of Rigoletto. (from his bio)
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