In April, The Coming of the Fourth American Republic bemoaned the rise of the Special Interest State, and argued that this particular manifestation of democracy is not sustainable. A related piece suggested that China should learn from our mistakes.
Howie Carr characterizes Massachusetts as a "bust-out" a la The Sopranos or Goodfellas -- strip the assets and leave a shell.
And Joel Kotkin brings the California story up to date:
Kotkin lists a number of villains, including the business community, which has fled its civic responsibility to defend over-all economic health against special interest rapacity:
Theoretically, according to business consultant Larry Kosmont, business should be able to make a strong case, particularly with the growing Latino caucus in the legislature. "You have all these job losses in Latino districts represented by Latino legislators who don't realize what they are doing to their own people," he says. "They have forgotten there's an economy to think about."
But so far California's business executives have failed to adopt a strategy to make this case to the public. Nor can they count on the largely clueless Republicans for support, since GOP members are often too narrowly identified as anti-tax and anti-immigration zealots to make much of a case with the mainstream voter. "The business community is so afraid they are keeping their heads down," observes Ross DeVol, director of regional economics at the Milken Institute. "I feel they if they keep this up much longer, they won't have heads."