California, too, spent lavishly in the fat years and issued bonds when state revenues did not cover the costs, bringing its once-sterling credit rating down to the nation's lowest. So, too, U.S. Treasury bonds, T-bills and the American dollar are now increasingly suspect.
Demographically, California is where America will be in 2040.
White folks, who are leaving California as they did in the millions in the 1990s, are below half the population. Hispanics, their numbers surging due to legal and illegal immigration, are well over a third of the population. The African-American share of California's population is also falling, as the Asian share is rising, again from immigration.
Los Angeles, which is what most large American cities will look like, is the most diverse city on earth. Has diversity been a strength?
In the prisons and jails, and among the scores of thousands in street gangs and the underclass, a black-brown civil war is underway.
In October 2006, the Financial Times reported the findings of the famed author of "Bowling Alone" on what diversity has wrought:
"A bleak picture of the corrosive effects of ethnic diversity has been revealed in research by Harvard University's Robert Putnam, one of the world's most influential political scientists. His research shows that the more diverse a community is, the less likely its inhabitants are to trust anyone -- from their next-door neighbor to the mayor."
"In the presence of diversity, we hunker down," said Putnam. "We act like turtles. The effect of diversity is worse than had been imagined. And it's not just that we don't trust people who are not like us. In diverse communities, we don't trust people who do look like us."
"Professor Putnam," said the Financial Times, "found trust was lowest in Los Angeles, 'the most diverse human habitation in human history.'"
Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan carried California nine times. But the state is now a fiefdom of liberalism. John McCain's share of the vote was smaller than Barry Goldwater's. California today believes in Big Government, open borders, diversity, multiculturalism and the politics of compassion. But what liberalism has wrought in California, its native-born are fleeing.
Still, where California is at, America is headed.
Californians who are running away from the communities and towns in which they were raised have Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Utah and Nevada to head to. But when all of America arrives at where California is at today, where do the Americans run to?