Most people know that California is in economic decline but may not know how bad it is. With unemployment rising from just over 5% to 13% since 2006, people and corporations fleeing the state, and public employee unions dominating the Sacramento bureaucracy, California is on the verge of becoming a failed state.
So what went wrong? Joel Kotkin answers that question this way:
The answer lies in a change in the nature of progressive politics in California. During the second half of the twentieth century, the state shifted from an older progressivism, which emphasized infrastructure investment and business growth, to a newer version, which views the private sector much the way the Huns viewed a city—as something to be sacked and plundered. The result is two separate California realities: a lucrative one for the wealthy and for government workers, who are largely insulated from economic decline; and a grim one for the private-sector middle and working classes, who are fleeing the state.
See his article in City Journal, available online: The Golden State’s War On Itself — How Politicians Turned the California Dream Into a Nightmare.