Joel Kotkin sees the groundwork being laid for a grand political restructuring (i.e. perestroika) in California now that each branch of the state’s ruling class is fracturing.
Environmentalists are split over Governor Jerry Brown’s decision to shield the multi-billion dollar high-speed rail train from California’s tough environmental review process. Facebook’s disastrous IPO means liberals in Sacramento can’t bank on tech industry riches to finance tax hikes. And with serious pension reform being enacted in San Jose and San Diego last week public sector unions are no longer guaranteed to win every election.
All that’s needed now is a Democratic leader to stand up and acknowledge that California’s system is broken and needs major restructuring.
Too bad Jerry Brown is no Mikhail Gorbachev. The latter risked a revolt from his party to save his people from economic disaster. Brown just announced a truce with the public employee unions to raise taxes even higher than he originally envisioned.
Nevertheless, Kotkin predicts that California is fast approaching a moment where the citizenry will be poised to reward “a coherent vision – from either Independents, centrist Democrats or Republicans – that can unite business, private sector workers and taxpayers around a fiscally prudent, pro-economic growth agenda.”
If that sounds impossible, remember that the Soviet Union fell without a shot being fired. All that’s needed is the right man with the right message at the right moment.