The website New Geography used Census Bureau data earlier this year to create a demographic profile of major cities. It found that from 2020 to 2021, Los Angeles and its immediate suburbs saw over 200,000 residents flee.
According to columnist Joel Kotkin, this exodus is due to a history of progressive policies that have left the city in ruins.
Crime and homelessness are rampant
Kotkin also pointed out how in addition to losing population, Los Angeles has also seen a decline in its corporate sector, with major businesses opting to relocate.
He noted that whereas the city “was once a magnet for investors,” such entities as Northrop Grumman, Occidental Petroleum and Hilton Hotels have since chosen to move their offices elsewhere.
What’s more, those changes have come as Los Angeles and neighboring areas have seen a marked decline in the quality of life that they offer.
“Anyone visiting some of the most famous districts of urban Los Angeles – notably downtown, Hollywood and Venice Beach – sees clear signs of destitution, including sprawling homeless encampments, vast numbers of people living in vehicles and rampant crime,” Kotkin wrote.
“Last year, a UN official compared conditions on LA’s Skid Row, a poor downtown neighborhood, to those of Syrian refugee camps,” he continued. Instead of being “a vibrant hipster paradise,” Los Angeles has become “dominated by the homeless, the poor, government workers and a few creative types.”
Democrats maintain a stranglehold on local politics
However, despite the city suffering from abysmal conditions, Kotkin is skeptical that there will be any break with the leftist policies they stem from.
He attributes this to the Democratic Party’s “powerful machine” which wields “well-organized might” in local politics and is able to effectively preempt meaningful change.
An example of that could be seen in how Democrats were able to rescue the notoriously soft-on-crime District Attorney George Gascón from a recall effort.
This was despite the fact that Gascón has presided over sharply rising crime rates, with Los Angeles seeing 397 murders in 2021, up from just 258 in 2019.
Kotkin concluded by saying that it is possible that the leftist death grip on local politics will one day be broken. “But,” he added, “if LA and other cities shift further left, or at least what passes for the left these days, the prospects of this happening are beginning to look bleak.”