With the Golden State on the brink of bankruptcy, Chris Ayres at the Times of London wonders how it came to this. "This is a state whose money comes from the most bankable economic assets on Earth - the Long Beach ports, the Central Valley agricultural region, the defence contractors out in the Mojave desert, Silicon Valley, Napa Valley... Hollywood." He adds, "How do you tax all this and end up amassing debts at the present rate of $1.7 million per hour?" I agree. I know it's bad and that Southern California and the San Bernadino Valley in paritcular have been crushed, but the state should be better insulted.
In his must-read cover story in the Atlantic today, Richard Florida argues that California has the kinds of "talent-clustering" cities that should be able to weather tough times. "Los Angeles with film and music, and Silicon Valley with hightech are examples of high-metabolism places," he writes, referring to "urban metabolism" or a community's ability to take in talent and churn out innovation, growth and jobs.
So who's to blame?