The California problem

California Surfers Look to Courts for Relief Against ‘Bay Boys’:

…intimidation that has kept outsiders like Mr. Taloa away for generations, a group of surfers is fighting to open up the beach to all comers. A class-action lawsuit filed last month by the Coastal Protection Rangers and two surfers seeks to bar the Bay Boys from congregating at Lunada Bay — similar to the way injunctions have been used against members of criminal street gangs.

The alleged members hail from one of the most exclusive communities in Southern California; many of them are middle-aged; some live in multimillion-dollar homes so close to the coastline here that the morning fog rolling off the ocean leaves their lawns damp.

If you live in SoCal you know there is a problem where rich people basically strangle access to public beaches in some areas so as not to be bothered and annoyed by the populace. The story above is just of a piece with that tendency.

The article I linked to earlier, about pro-growth activists fighting established progressive factions in the Bay Area illustrate the same pattern: entrenched local interests trying to prevent development and growth. The California property tax system is also famously skewed toward incumbents who have been in the state for a long time.

There’s a paradox here. The culturally liberal ethos is now in favor of mass immigration, while the business class of all ideological stripes wants workers of various skill levels. That means more people, who need more housing (and transportation). But the regulatory regime and the social norms are still biased toward skepticism of growth derived from a combination of 1960s environmentalism (on the Left) and anti-tax (property) and classist sentiment (on the wealthy Right).

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