|The Once-Golden State|
As a California native, I can personally attest to every single point that Mr. Kotkin asserts in this excellent WSJ interview. The decline of California is simply breathtaking. Government ruins anything it touches -- even the most abundant, bountiful, beautiful state in the Union...
Like Kotkin, I will never forget or forgive what the state has done to my state:
'California is God's best moment," says Joel Kotkin. "It's the best place in the world to live." Or at least it used to be.Read the Rest at The Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Kotkin, one of the nation's premier demographers, left his native New York City in 1971 to enroll at the University of California, Berkeley. The state was a far-out paradise for hipsters who had grown up listening to the Mamas & the Papas' iconic "California Dreamin'" and the Beach Boys' "California Girls." But it also attracted young, ambitious people "who had a lot of dreams, wanted to build big companies." Think Intel, Apple and Hewlett-Packard.
Now, however, the Golden State's fastest-growing entity is government and its biggest product is red tape. The first thing that comes to many American minds when you mention California isn't Hollywood or tanned girls on a beach, but Greece. Many progressives in California take that as a compliment since Greeks are ostensibly happier. But as Mr. Kotkin notes, Californians are increasingly pursuing happiness elsewhere.
Nearly four million more people have left the Golden State in the last two decades than have come from other states. This is a sharp reversal from the 1980s, when 100,000 more Americans were settling in California each year than were leaving. According to Mr. Kotkin, most of those leaving are between the ages of 5 and 14 or 34 to 45. In other words, young families.
Also Read: My 2010 essay at Pajamas Media: "Missing the California of my Youth"