Solace St, San Jose, CA. (Click to embiggen)

Having lived most of my adult life in the San Francisco Bay area, I naturally think of it as home. I’ve been a citizen of California for decades.

I have made life-long friends here, worked here, gone to graduate school here, taught at various universities here, owned a home here, vacationed in the many national parks here. In short, I am a Californian. Therefore seeing what’s happening to it is distressing, to say the least.

Why the decline and fall of California? Questions about complex phenomena that begin with “why” are “over-determined” (as economists are fond of saying.) There are multiple causal factors, none of which are individually sufficient but various different combinations of them could be responsible. These factors could be economic, technological, social, cultural or historical. Analysis of complex phenomena is never entirely settled. In other words, it’s not rocket science; it’s social science. Continue reading “California”

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