Tough love from Hoover Institution research fellow Bill Whalen, who writes in the San Francisco Chronicle that we Californians have got to stop thinking of ourselves as anything special:
For too long, the Golden State - and by this I'd include both its elected officials and the people who put them in office - has failed to cope with the present, hasn't adequately planned for the future, and has obsessed far too much over its gilded past. Because we're a nation-state, with one-eighth the nation's population and a world-class economy, the assumption is California is "special."
Granted, we have qualities many other states lack: Silicon Valley's instant wealth, Hollywood's instant celebrity. But in many other respects, we're no different than the rest of America. At least 38 other states have imposed budget cuts that severely impact vulnerable citizens, according to the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Nationwide, 14 states are facing 2010 budget gaps that exceed 20 percent of their gross domestic product. California was one of eight states that had an unemployment rate of more than 11 percent in June.
So much for California dreamin'.