Friday, October 23, 2009

Time Magazine: The Dream Endures

Time magazine takes a bit of a drubbing in the Ramparts book, but at least it has the good sense to quote Carey McWilliams in its current piece, "The End of California: Dream On!"

Michael Grunwald's article falls back on the (seemingly) ancient tension between utopian and dystopian representations of the state. In the popular imagination, California is either heaven on earth or an apocalyptic mess.

Sometimes the reality is more prosaic: for example, the predictable volatility that results from relying on sales and income taxes to fund public services. (Texas, which doesn't tax income but manages to collect sensible property taxes, seems to be doing better.)

Sorry, did I kill your buzz?

I'll probably get plenty of the prosaic version today when I attend a UC Berkeley event called "What Ails California?" It's a mini-conference hosted by the Institute of Governmental Studies and Department of Political Science.


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