To make a long story short, the same political constituencies that have made Brown’s Democratic Party invincible at the ballot box have also made the state unable to compete economically. California public employees, who are represented by the nation’s most politically powerful government unions, benefit from some of the nation’s most generous compensation packages. These unions have made it nearly impossible to keep spending down, thus making debt and higher taxes inevitable.

These unions also make it impossible to improve how government services are delivered to taxpayers. As a result, while California once had the most admired education system in the nation, it now ranks near the bottom in almost every measured educational category.

The state’s powerful environmental lobby has secured a slew of green energy regulations, including strict clean air rules, the nation’s first carbon cap-and-trade program and an ambitious renewable energy mandate. As a result, energy prices have shot up, consumers now have less to spend on everything else they need to survive, and many manufacturers can’t stay profitable in the state.

Finally, wealthy urban environmentalists have completely inverted the infrastructure spending priorities that once made California an engine of economic and population growth.