- If given the choice of living in today's LA or the Los Angeles of a generation ago, which would you choose? I'll stick with today's Southern California.
For the glass is half-empty crowd, let's start with the common complaints – many of which aren't as bad as they seem at first glance.
Take gas prices. As much as they hurt, UCLA researchers note that we pump a smaller portion of our incomes into our cars than we did in the 1980s.
What about LA's smoggy reputation and awful air quality? The California Air Resources Board finds the number of days that LA has exceeded the 1-hour ozone standard has dropped from 192 in 1975 to 75 last year–an impressive 61 percent drop.
And then there's the crime. Outsiders often regard LA as one giant playground for gangs, but the serious crime rate has been cut in half since 1980.
LA Present Edges Out LA Past
Last week I mentioned a piece I wrote for the LA Business Journal. It's now reprinted on reason.org: