California Crackup

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-08-04
  • Publisher: Univ of California Pr

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Is California beyond repair? A sizable number of Golden State citizens have concluded that it is. Incessant budget crises plus a government paralyzed by partisan gridlock have led to demands for reform, even a constitutional convention. But what, exactly, is wrong and how can we fix it? InCalifornia Crackup, Joe Mathews and Mark Paul provide clear and informed answers. Their fast-paced and often humorous narrative deftly exposes the constitutional origins of our current political and economic problems--from the ugly 1879 constitutional convention to Hiram Johnson's Progressive reforms to the Proposition 13 property tax revolt and its legacy of voter initiatives. Mathews and Paul then furnish a uniquely California fix: innovative solutions that allow Californians to debate their choices, settle on the best ones, hold elected officials accountable for results, and choose anew if something doesn't work. Concise, lively, and provocative,California Crackupoffers something new: a genuinely democratic operating system for the state.

Author Biography

Joe Mathews is Irvine senior fellow at the New America Foundation. He is the author of The People's Machine: Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Rise of Blockbuster Democracy, a columnist for The Daily Beast, and a freelance journalist.
Mark Paul is senior scholar and deputy director of the California program at the New America Foundation. He was formerly deputy treasurer of California and deputy editorial page editor of the Sacramento Bee.

Table of Contents

List of Figuresp. ix
Prologue. Out of Luckp. 1
Building and Breaking California
Crisis without Exitp. 7
History and the Constitutionp. 16
Empowering and Shackling Sacramentop. 35
From Teachers to Janitors: Direct Democracy Demotes the Legislaturep. 58
The California Fix
Budgeting without Shacklesp. 79
The Architecture of Political Frustrationp. 105
Remaking Elections and the Legislaturep. 126
Government from the Bottom Upp. 151
A More Direct Democracyp. 166
Epilogue. Good Rules to Match Its Mountainsp. 185
Notesp. 193
Acknowledgmentsp. 211
Indexp. 217
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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Customer Reviews

Fantastic textbook August 11, 2011
This was a great read. If you want to really understand what is happening in California, then this textbook is a perfect fit. The future of California may depend on some influential political actors picking up the ideas in this textbook. This textbook is very well priced compared to similar textbooks. It is an easy read that is straight to the point and easy to understand.
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California Crackup: 4 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.

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