California Progress


Not to tell the good people of California how to run their business, but from reading stuff like this it’s clearer and clearer that the state desperately needs a new constitution. You never meet anyoen who thinks the institutions of governance in California are well-designed, or even who denies that the existing institutional configuration makes it impossible to solve any of the state’s problems. But nobody quite seems to want to do anything about it. And yet surely it can’t be impossible to change this stuff — state constitutions used to be re-written all the time.

And now that I think about it, I think maybe I should be telling the good people of California how to run our business. It’s a giant state — one eighth of our population. And it’s a state with a pretty progressive electorate — a jurisdiction that should be open to good public policy. But it’s saddled with institutions that make the adoption of good policy extremely difficult. But on areas where California is able to act, it’s a real national leader. Its combined size and progressivity lets it blaze trails and have broad influence. But that influence is being largely squandered by dysfunctional political institutions.