Four vignettes answering that question about the state I once called home:
(1) In a long and interesting article on the insurgent D primary candidacy of blogger Mickey Kaus (son of former CA Supreme Court justice Otto Kaus) against the cartoonishly vapid Barbara Boxer, this short summary:
It’s also a sign of the Times that California, long the butt of jokes about falling into the ocean, has seriously fallen into an ocean of unmanageable debt. Everything and everyone in the state has already been taxed; everyone who has taxable income and the means has either moved or is in the process of moving.
California is a basket case of high debt, high taxes, suffocating regulations–and that’s before the tyranny of public employee unions and their apocalyptic pensions are factored into the equation. As the state has steadily turned from Red to Blue, it’s just as steadily turned from Golden to Tin, from Free to Nanny.
An interesting sign of the times, BTW: the LA Times, rather than offering the usual kneejerk endorsement of Boxer (whom they euphemistically refer to as “lacking intellectual firepower”, which must be the understatement of the year), endorsed neither primary candidate. Kaus — a principled, rational liberal of the old school who seeks to take the D party back to its roots — won the endorsement of fellow D gadfly Victor Davis Hanson.
(2) Speaking of whom, don’t miss his “A tour through recession America” (which is really a tour through recession California). This is another “read the whole thing”.
(3) Here are the first three parts of a series on the decline of Silicon Valley:
(4) Via the comments there, I found the following very interesting site:
Excuse me folks, $600K for an aging 900 sq.ft. house in the LA suburbs… One can buy a house of the same size in, say, the Dallas suburbs for one-tenth of the price (and a fairly new, well-appointed, 3,200 sq.ft. mansion in a good neighborhood for half the money).