DEMOCRATS. NEXT QUESTION? What happened to the great West Coast cities?

America’s urban woes aren’t limited to the West Coast, of course. But the decline there has generally been steeper than elsewhere. Why? How did such golden cities get so tarnished, so quickly? Unlike in the tragic case of the Midwest, the answer is not reliance on declining industries: tech, space, entertainment continue to show promise and could propel growth for decades. Instead, the damage has been remarkably self-inflicted, reflecting the reckless growth of a set of progressive dogmas, tough on police and permissive toward criminals and vagrants while imposing ever more burdens on what is left of the middle class.

The results of these policies are particularly evident in tech-rich San Francisco, where decades of tolerance for even extreme deviant behavior has helped create a city with more drug addicts than high school students; little wonder it ranked last in the US for efficiency in a recent WalletHub survey. In Southern California’s far more proletarian city of Los Angeles, a UN official last year compared conditions on downtown’s Skid Row to those in Syrian refugee camps. Like Los Angeles and San Francisco, Oakland, Portland and Seattle show some of the highest per capita rates of homelessness in the country.

This is Joel Kotkin so read the whole thing.