Why Monterey’s 250th Birthday Bodes Well for California’s Future

The Peninsula City Has Long Embodied the Golden State’s Ability to Be a Hideaway That Welcomes Both Immigrants and Ideas

Monterey turns 250 years old next month. And the rest of the state should claim the date as its birthday too.

California is an orphan of a state, and Monterey’s beginnings are the closest thing we have to a birth story. Admission Day—September 9, 1850, when California became an American state—doesn’t really amount to a birthday, since California was a province of two other countries, Spain and Mexico, long before that. Other birthday options are problematic, too. We can’t know the exact day, thousands of years ago, when …

Is Orange County Too Rich For its Own Good?

The Political Fighting Over the Southern California Region Misses All the Ways that Wealth Hollows Out the County's Dynamism

California has a peculiar peril: Our state is becoming too rich for its own good.

For evidence, just look at Orange County.

The dangers of too much wealth have not …

My Plan for Building the Perfect California City

Welcome to 'Joeville,' Where the First Rule Is Not to Play by the Rules

Recently a startup founder in San Jose asked me a question: What would you do if you were starting a California city?

My first answer: Get my head examined.

For 40 …

From Voting to Tech Innovation, California Ranks First at Second Best

Whether in Sacramento, Silicon Valley, or El Segundo, Golden Staters Now Prefer to Follow the Leader

The world over, people long to finish first. But in California, it’s better to be second best.

This is the larger truth at the center of the Golden State’s June 5 …

Even Kafka Couldn’t Dream up California’s Surreal Housing Crisis

The Late Prague Novelist Visits the Golden State, Which Is Metamorphosing Into a Nightmare

I keep hearing you Californians calling your state’s housing crisis Kafkaesque.

You are far too kind: I never imagined a bureaucratic nightmare this cruel, absurd, and surreal.

I don’t know …