California: America's High-Stakes Experiment by Peter Schrag

By Peter Schrag

Peter Schrag takes at the tremendous issues—immigration, globalization, and the effect of California's politics on its caliber of life—in this dynamic account of the Golden State's fight to recapture the yankee dream. long ago half-century, California has been either version and anti-model for the kingdom and infrequently the realm, first for its excessive point of presidency and public services—schools, universities, highways—and latterly for its dysfunctional executive, deteriorating prone, and occasionally regressive public guidelines. California explains what percentage present "solutions" exacerbate the very difficulties they're purported to resolve and analyzes quite a few attainable kingdom and federal coverage choices to revive govt responsibility and a necessary democracy to the nation's such a lot populous nation and the world's fifth-largest economy.

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Sample text

In the post–Proposition 13 tax-limitation era, and particularly since the legislature started snatching local property taxes to balance its budgets, said Steven P. 41 The globalization of California’s economy is a complex two-tier, or perhaps multitier, phenomenon. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), one of its prime institutional incarnations, has been widely (and perhaps justly) criticized for its negative effects on both sides of the border. S. producers of corn and other products.

13 But that’s hardly all of it. Can public confidence ever be fully restored 18 I NTR O D U CTI O N from the top down, or must it be built from the bottom up? Can it be done without first revitalizing the authority of local government, much of which was enervated and in some respects destroyed by the nearly absolute prohibition on local property tax increases and by the supermajority-vote requirements for other local tax or fee increases brought by Proposition 13 and its successors? That task of revitalization is further complicated by California’s shrinking sense of community—by, on the one hand, the withdrawal of a large and growing number of residents into gated privatized residential enclaves and by, on the other hand, the global economic and social relationships in which growing numbers of “resident expatriates” with dual loyalties and, perhaps, dual citizenship now live.

6 Although many people regard the high percentage of the foreign-born as alarming, it’s lower than the post-gold-rush record of 38 percent in 1860 or the 30 percent in 1890. The growth in the percentage of the state’s foreign-born appears to have slowed and will peak within the next generation, at about 29 percent, and then decline. 8 In 1962, when California surpassed New York as the most populous state in the union, it had just under 17 million people, of whom nearly 83 percent were non-Hispanic white.

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