California: America's High-Stakes Experiment by Peter Schrag

By Peter Schrag

Peter Schrag takes at the immense issues--immigration, globalization, and the effect of California's politics on its caliber of life--in this dynamic account of the Golden State's fight to recapture the yankee dream. long ago half-century, California has been either version and anti-model for the kingdom and infrequently the area, first in its excessive point of presidency and public services--schools, universities, highways--more in recent times for its dysfunctional govt, deteriorating prone, and occasionally regressive public guidelines. Schrag's incisive research of the state's political, demographic, and monetary realities vividly demonstrates that it's been being affected by a number difficulties for a new release. the writer deftly indicates that California's skill to forge its culturally and ethnically diversified inhabitants right into a profitable democracy could be of an important value not just to the United States, yet to the realm. He additionally explains what number present "solutions" exacerbate the very difficulties they're purported to remedy and analyzes a number of attainable country and federal coverage possible choices to revive dependable govt and an important democracy to the nation's biggest kingdom and world's 5th greatest economic system. one of the concerns that Schrag tackles:* The influence of Latino and Asian immigration and the emergence of California because the first huge majority minority kingdom* The globalization of California's economic system and tradition* The turning out to be reliance of electorate at the initiative, referendum, and bear in mind tactics* The expanding instability of elected govt * California as cultural avant-garde, from hippies to homosexual marriage

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Standards, they represent cheap labor doing the backbreaking work that has made the Valley what it is. They’ve had another major effect as well—helping to shrink the United Farm Workers, Cesar Chavez’s old union, to a sad shadow of its former self. The union was once a major force, morally and economically, in California agriculture and in the national imagination. The union, run since Chavez’s death in 1993 by Arturo Rodriguez, Chavez’s son-in-law, is now engaged in a dozen other enterprises, some operated by a spin-off called the National Farm Workers Service Center directed by Chavez’s son Paul.

The parent companies pay no import duties on those goods and, of course, take advantage of the cheap Mexican labor now crowded into the colonias that the workers have erected on nearby vacant land, eight people to a room, without running water, proper sewers, or other basic services. In recent years, the maquiladoras have been under pressure from competition in China—“that great Chinese sucking sound”—where labor is even cheaper and production is getting more efficient every day. S. S. neighbors.

Can it be done without first revitalizing the authority of local government, much of which was enervated and in some respects destroyed by the nearly absolute prohibition on local property tax increases and by the supermajority-vote requirements for other local tax or fee increases brought by Proposition 13 and its successors? That task of revitalization is further complicated by California’s shrinking sense of community—by, on the one hand, the withdrawal of a large and growing number of residents into gated privatized residential enclaves and by, on the other hand, the global economic and social relationships in which growing numbers of “resident expatriates” with dual loyalties and, perhaps, dual citizenship now live.

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