The Real Deal on Paradise
Paradise is, to be bluntly honest, a typical small community replete with the nepotism, divisive politics and lack of vision that have inhibited economic and cultural development. Resisting an infusion of new blood and ideas in favor of a good old boy system and business as usual it is a stagnant town and will continue to be so.
Paradise’s myopic view of itself has equated into a lack of economic growth and consequently new employment. What jobs are available, public and private alike, pay a wage far below the cost of living for the area, offer no benefits and all too frequently are filled based on relationships and favors owed. Only neighboring Chico offers any opportunity for employment but, unfortunately, as it is a university town, college students will work for far less “dumbing down” wages and benefits for workers with families. As a result Paradise has been unable to be little more than a retirement community as it and its larger metro neighbor offer no opportunities for its younger residents and, in particular, new residents.
Prices for goods and services in Paradise, including those of the few national chains in the area, are not on par with wages in the area with food and fuel prices exceptionally higher than average. This may be in part due to not only the lack of choices but because Paradise is along no major routes between major metropolitan areas requiring that goods delivered are diverted to the area.
Drug related crimes, such as burglary and theft, as are the case in most economically depressed communities, have been high disproportionately high in Paradise. Methamphetamine is such a major issue that the Butte County Sheriff’s Department exhausted all of its inmate medical funding for one year within a matter of a few months treating “meth mouth” among its jail population.
On the subject of crime and law enforcement, the Paradise Police Department is currently under investigation by the FBI for excessive force. The department’s use of deadly force to its population size is disproportionate and the department has had a reputation for employing “cowboys”.
Those who wish rural mountain retirement ,or are self-employed, with lower housing prices, minimal crime, quiet neighborhoods, a home owners’ association that provides amenities while maintaining a desirable community, including nearby golfing, viewing wildlife, light winter snows and an overall better lifestyle should consider Magalia just a few miles further up the ridge from Paradise.
Jack | Magalia, CA
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