(National Sentinel) Setting Records: The most populous state in the country, replete with entertainment and technology millionaires and billionaires, also has the highest per capita poverty rates, new data shows.

“Guess which state has the highest poverty rate in the country? Not Mississippi, New Mexico, or West Virginia, but California, where nearly one out of five residents is poor,” says an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times.

“That’s according to the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure, which factors in the cost of housing, food, utilities and clothing, and which includes noncash government assistance as a form of income,” the paper said.

There has been decent job growth in California along with associated prosperity in a number of industries, but still, residents of the state are falling behind in terms of net worth.

The state’s per-capita Gross Domestic Product has increased more than two-fold compared to the national average over five years ending in 2016 — 12.5 percent statewide compared with 6.27 percent nationally.

Given robust job growth and the prosperity generated by several industries, it’s worth asking why California has fallen behind, especially when the state’s per-capita GDP increased approximately twice as much as the U.S. average over the five years ending in 2016 (12.5%, compared with 6.27%).

The op-ed notes that Democrats who run the state have not neglected the poor, per se, but that hasn’t mattered.

“It’s not as though California policymakers have neglected to wage war on poverty. Sacramento and local governments have spent massive amounts in the cause. Several state and municipal benefit programs overlap with one another; in some cases, individuals with incomes 200% above the poverty line receive benefits,” it said.

“California state and local governments spent nearly $958 billion from 1992 through 2015 on public welfare programs, including cash-assistance payments, vendor payments and ‘other public welfare,’ according to the Census Bureau. California, with 12 percent of the American population, is home today to about one in three of the nation’s welfare recipients,” the paper noted.

So, though there has been “generous spending,” it has “not only failed to decrease poverty; it actually seems to have made it worse,” the op-ed noted further.

Other factors are at play as well. California’s restrictions on land use, combined with environmental regulations make housing unaffordable for many. Also, the state is bureaucrat-heavy, employing 883,000 full-time-equivalent state and local employees in 2014.

Notes Michael Walsh at PJ Media:

The progressives who control every aspect of the state’s government are not necessarily stupid people, but they are malign. They understand that increasing welfare spending only encourages the arrival of more recipients on whom to spend it, and the high likelihood that those new constituents will vote Democrat as soon as they are able, legally or otherwise.

They’re not “misguided” — in fact, they’re doing exactly what the progressives designed them to do.

It’s a perfect racket, and one that will continue unless and until the California Republicans get their act together and begin vigorously contesting what has become a one-party state designed to enrich those at the top, beggar the middle class, and keep those on the bottom in permanent penury.

“Aren’t Democrats the ones who lecture conservatives and libertarians about income inequality?” said The National Sentinel editor-in-chief J. D. Heyes. “Seems to me they’re the ones perpetuating it in what they claim is a progressive model for the rest of the country.

“If this doesn’t prove to people what a failure Marxist, progressive economic policies really are, then nothing will,” he added.

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