California Needs to Get Over Its Fantasy of Constant Growth

For the First Time in Its History, the Golden State Has to Attract Newcomers as Well as Retain the People It Already Has

California has an official state flower (poppy), an official state insect (the dogface Butterfly), even an official state theater (the Pasadena Playhouse). But no official state sport.

Unless you count the great Californian pastime of overestimating our population growth.

It probably should be enough that we’re the most populous state in the Union. But California’s own collective identity—for good and for bad—is so tied up with our size that we’ve become 38.7 million serial exaggerators.

We overestimate our present population; for the past decade it’s been routine for politicians and pundits to …