Of course, the Googles, Facebooks and Apples of California are all still swimming in profits and growth. If you do happen to have a job already among the highest fifth of California income earners, your weekly wages are up 1 percent since 2006. But every other income group has experienced sharp earnings losses.
California is rapidly becoming a near-feudal society. On one side is an older, educated, landed, wealthy elite that lives on California’s beautiful coasts. Then there is a much larger, younger, less-educated, indebted mass living inland, many of them working farm jobs at subsistence wages.
The good news is that both of these groups seem content supporting a Democratic Party whose policies (which I outlined in the series last week) reinforce these trends. And if any of the current Californians don’t like what the new California has become, they are free to leave.