1) Public school enrollments are down and teachers are being laid off.
2) Demand for low-cost housing has dropped precipitously. Poor people have bailed out on their mortgages and left the country. Middle-class people have begun to downsize into smaller houses. Mickey wonders if this is part of the cause of the housing crash.
3) Tax revenue is down about 10% in California creating a budget squeeze that will probably lead to tax increases.
4) Hispanics seem to be more open to assimilation.
5) There is a shortage of unskilled labor which translates into higher wages at the low end of the employment scale and higher prices for consumers everywhere.
Read Mickey's blog here. Scroll around for the stories.
Mickey makes a wonderful point regarding anecdotal evidence:
That has been my experience too, and I spent most of my adult life in academia.
Why do I pay attention to anecdotal evidence? Because academics are always the last to find out what's happening. If you wait until a social trend turns up in some professor's peer-reviewed charts,** you are waiting too long.