The chart that accompanied the guardedly optimistic article "Golden State's Luster Not Worn Off Yet" (Jan. 8) presented contrasts between New England and California economics but failed to address some serious underlying problems.
Just because California is not overbuilt, as New England is, does not mean real estate prices won't eventually fall as sharply. Thousands of homes here require two incomes to stay out of foreclosure. Many of these are owned by high-tech, defense and finance industry employees.
Also, housing price structures and income demographics are likely more sensitive here than in New England. Can we support our housing industry with fast-food employees and the small sweatshops of unskilled workers that have sprung up on the backsides of Los Angeles and Orange counties? Mere growth of employment is only part of the equation. A big part is the skills and earning levels of workers.
It is consistent with California's sense of self-importance that we believe that the entertainment industry is a major employer and recession-proof. There is potential for major reductions in entertainment spending as the economy turns sour.