Not just in its finances but almost wherever you look, the state’s vital signs are dipping. …

So why, you might ask, would anyone stay here? …

Another reason to feel hopeful about California is that it’s reaching the theoretical limits of statism. To pay for current pensioners, the state simply can’t continue to bestow comparable defined-benefit pension packages on new workers, no matter how stridently the public-sector unions claim otherwise. And as public insolvencies mount—with Stockton, Mammoth Lakes, and San Bernardino seeking bankruptcy protection a year after Vallejo emerged from it—public blame is finally shifting from supposedly heartless state taxpayers to the unions. The liberal unionism of an aging generation is proving untenable, as we saw in recent ballot referenda in which voters in San Diego and San Jose demanded that public-worker compensation plans be renegotiated.

At some point, the state’s southern border will finally be closed, and with it the unchecked yearly flow of illegal immigrants. …

Without influxes of massive numbers of illegal immigrants, California Latinos could soon resemble California Armenians, Japanese, and Portuguese—whose integrated, assimilated, and intermarried ethnics usually earn more than the state’s average per-capita income.