This should be the summer when the population of California finally surpasses 40 million.
We should celebrate by reflecting on just how small we are.
Of course, we won’t. California, like an insecure male lover, is always bragging about how big it is. And so reaching the 40 million threshold—there is no red-letter date, though, by state figures, it’s likely to happen in late summer—will occasion another round of boasting about our size, not merely in population but in economic output and cultural impact. And this moment is likely to produce new predictions—offered either with pride or fear—about how soon we’ll get to 50 million or even 100 million people.
Such projections of massive growth may be fun, but they will likely prove to be exaggerated. To the contrary, this is the moment to consider ...