Magazine April 19, 2021, Issue

Still the Wild West

Death Valley National Park, Calif. (Steve Marcus/Reuters)

Naysayers begone; California is a great place to live. It’s not to everyone’s taste, naturally, as no single state is. But the committed and adoring, the fighters and dreamers, the mad and maddening, remain tied to this Wild West outpost. We have our good reasons.

But first, truth. The Golden State is in the midst of un­precedented political and social upheaval. Many of our elected officials are comically terrible at best and deeply destructive at worst. Criminal offenses like vehicle smash-and-grabs and shoplifting have drastically increased in the state, especially since the passage of Proposition 47, a measure that converted a …

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In This Issue

I. What Made California Great

II. California's Self-Destruction

III. Can California Be Saved?

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The Week

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