Illustration of school children, education and the pandemic. (Photo: Felipe Sanchez, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: California is dealing with cascading crises the likes of which have never been experienced before. Between February 2020 and today, California’s unemployment rate rose from a record low of 3.9% to 13.3%. Nearly two million Californians who were working then aren’t working now. And California’s clean energy economy — which employed 3% of the state’s workforce before COVID-19 — has also taken a hit.
A homeless man in a wheelchair wiping his eyes at a pier in Oceanside, Calif. (Photo: David Little via Shutterstock)
We are moving into the post-industrial age, an era of mechanized production, where machines can increasingly do jobs that used to pay real people livable wages. In California, we have strong environmental and labor regulations that did not exist at the birth of the industrial age. These rules have improved and saved lives of workers and the communities where manufacturing plants are based. But they have also driven costs of manufacturing higher.