Magazine April 19, 2021, Issue

The California Economy vs. Sacramento

California’s State Capitol Mall (casch/Getty Images)
Progressive governance has diminished opportunity and raised costs

Over the past few years California’s plight has taken on mythic proportions — a cautionary tale of progressive woe among conservatives, but a beacon for a future enlightened capitalism among its woke supporters. The current battle over the potential recall of the preening governor, Gavin Newsom, likely will enhance these extreme interpretations on both sides, but likely will not be sufficient to make the changes needed to restore the state’s legendary promise.

Outside observers, and many in the deep-blue California media, have trouble comprehending the perplexing dilemma posed by the state. In recent years California’s relative economic strength in many fields,

This article appears as “Sacramento vs. the Economy” in the April 19, 2021, print edition of National Review.

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Joel KotkinMr. Kotkin is the presidential fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., and the executive director of the Urban Reform Institute. His new book is The Coming of Neo-Feudalism.

In This Issue

I. What Made California Great

II. California's Self-Destruction

III. Can California Be Saved?

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