When I first moved to Santa Cruz in 1971, it was one of those places described as home to the newly wed and the nearly dead. That's because the cost of living was (incredibly, as viewed in 2012) far less than other places in California.
It's different now. But Santa Cruz County is reflective of something that's happening aroound the state -- a disappearing middle class. Leave it to a demographer -- in this case, Joel Kotkin of Chapman College -- to analyze what's happening.
The Wall Street Journal published an important interview with Kotkin over the weekend. Here's what he has to say: "The state is run for the very rich, the very poor and public employees."
About 40 percent of Californians pay no income tax. A quarter are on Medicaid. High taxes are paid by the rich -- but also by the middle class. So the rich are staying and so are the poor. Those in the middle take a look at high taxes, a high cost of housing and they're relocating. They have other places to go, says Kotkin, because employers more and more are going out of state. Twitter, Adobe, eBay and Oracle have moved staff to Salt Lake City. Apple, Facebook and eBay are building operations in Austin.
Take 10 minutes and read the interview right here.