Could California’s Population Actually Shrink?

As the Golden State Hits 40 Million This Summer, Trends Point to a Less Populous—and Challenging—Future

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 …

America’s Decline Is Relative but Real—and Potentially Dangerous

The Rest of the World Is Catching Up, and the Nation's Cluelessness About Its Weaknesses Will Accelerate the Trend

Is the United States in decline? The debate on the subject lacks both content and context. To take the conversation about American decline away from arbitrary and subjective claims, we …

The Economic Cost of Isolating Immigrants

Hostility Toward Newcomers Has Always Hampered Investment, Innovation, and Growth

Trump’s immigration policies are a problem for the U.S. economy, and in ways you might not think.

Whether it’s crime, security or jobs—Trump has openly and repeatedly linked many of …

Goodbye to the Dirty Harry of Pruning

My Grandmother Knew That Things Grow So Fast in California, You Always Have to Be Cutting Back

She left us only recently, and already San Mateo has gotten way too leafy.

As I drove through that fine Peninsula city in the Bay Area on the way to my …

The South Los Angeles Future Will Be Shared

In a Stronghold of African Americans and Immigrant Integration, New Identities Emerge Rooted in a Sense of Place as Much as Race

The typical story of neighborhood change, often called ethnic succession, is one in which an incoming ethnic group “takes over” and wipes away the past. But that does not capture …

Raising the Pine

The welwitschia mirabilis

lives, knotted, for thousands of years
out in the African sun. Its two leaves
become a tangled mass of time

as they grow outward.

O Namibia. O …