The Declinists are Wrong, Part 3

“The report of my death was an exaggeration.” Mark Twain 

“the doomsayers and declinists, the Debbie Downers and double-dippers are too pessimistic by half…” Daniel Gross

Part one of this series showed that California is a big state with a big diverse economy to match.  Part two demonstrated that California on average is wealthier than the rest of the nation.

Part three shows that California is a leader in innovation, which derives from the fact that Californians on average are well educated.

California is an innovation leader

Californians are granted a disproportionate share of U.S. patents—nearly 25 percent in 2010.  Moreover, the share originating in California has been increasing steadily since the1980s.

By being home to the Silicon Valley, California receives an inordinately large share of U.S. venture capital investments-about 48 percent in 2010, 51 percent in 2011 and 55 percent in the first half of 2012.  This is about 5 times greater than the next most popular recipient, Massachusetts.

California has a well-educated workforce

California has an above average level of education attainment.  In 2009, only 13 states and Wash. D.C. posted higher levels of college-degreed adults.

California is home to a large share of the nation’s leading research universities (8 out of the top 50).  Most of these are part of the University of California system which also manages three U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories.  This educational system is responsible for attracting many talented people from around the world, many of whom stay here to work and start new innovative companies.

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One response to “The Declinists are Wrong, Part 3

  1. What makes the declinist argument so palatable to so many is that the anti-declinists don’t take into consideration that not everyone is benefiting from venture capital or patents or the like. Most Californians are trying to make it in an economy where the cost of goods and services is pushed up by those who do benefit from venture capital and patents, where those who control the money are unwilling to pay for schools, health care, affordable housing, even parks, ferhevensake. So the declinists can look at the poverty of the majority and blame it on, to borrow a line from the SF Mime Troupe’s Factwino, “anybody not like you.”

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