• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

California is full of myths and legends, but its political system shouldn’t be. In this refreshingly critical take, Edgar Kaskla brings an analysis of power—how it is distributed, how it is used, and to what end—to bear on California’s political system and the many troubling issues it currently faces. Starting from the premise that California is in deep crisis politically, economically, culturally, and environmentally, Kaskla traces the state’s economic and political development as a process controlled by and for the elite, be they land barons, the Hollywood glitterati, or Silicon Valley execs.Kaskla focuses on what he calls growth machine politics—elites and their land use as promoters of development and redevelopment—to show students how the gap between the rich and poor in California continues to widen. As minority communities increase in size, as the cost of campaigning in the state balloons, and as the state’s debt crisis mounts, the socio-economic and cultural issues at play in California add up to a real threat to democratic governance. Kaskla clearly outlines how each of the state’s institutions are organized, but also shows how they are affected—indeed distorted—by a host of serious economic and social inequalities. Not one to mince words, Kaskla is in places irreverent, but his text is thoroughly researched and well argued, never crossing the line into the polemical. Tables, figures, maps, and lists for further reading help reinforce the book’s substantive points and critical approach, and a host of student and instructor ancillaries help with study, review, and preparation.

“The Chronic”: California's Permanent Budget Crisis
“The chronic”: California's permanent budget crisis
The Addiction Redefined

Beginning with the recall election of 2003, Arnold Schwarzenegger's stump speech has included a line about legislators being “addicted to spending.”1 There is a chronic problem in California's budget, but it is not spending that has caused it. Rather, governors and legislators have chronically been addicted to the neoconservative tenet of taxation being the original sin of government. The image of a huge, wasteful, and irresponsible state bureaucracy that conservatives like to conjure up continues to justify the antitax climate that was established with the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978 and the other laws that place serious constraints on creating new revenues through taxation and limit the legislature from being able ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles