California Politics: The Fault Lines of Power, Wealth, and Diversity

California Politics: The Fault Lines of Power, Wealth, and Diversity

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California is full of myths and legends, but its political system shouldna€™t be. In this refreshingly critical take, Edgar Kaskla brings an analysis of powera€”how it is distributed, how it is used, and to what enda€”to bear on Californiaa€™s political system and the many troubling issues it currently faces. Starting from the premise that California is in deep crisis politically, economically, culturally, and environmentally, Kaskla traces the statea€™s economic and political development as a process controlled by and for the elite, be they land barons, the Hollywood glitterati, or Silicon Valley execs. Kaskla focuses on what he calls growth machine politicsa€”elites and their land use as promoters of development and redevelopmenta€”to show students how the gap between the rich and poor in California continues to widen. As minority communities increase in size, as the cost of campaigning in the state balloons, and as the statea€™s debt crisis mounts, the socio-economic and cultural issues at play in California add up to a real threat to democratic governance. Kaskla clearly outlines how each of the statea€™s institutions are organized, but also shows how they are affecteda€”indeed distorteda€”by a host of serious economic and social inequalities. Not one to mince words, Kaskla is in places irreverent, but his text is thoroughly researched and well argued, never crossing the line into the polemical. Tables, figures, maps, and lists for further reading help reinforce the booka€™s substantive points and critical approach, and a host of student and instructor ancillaries help with study, review, and preparation.Beginningwiththe success of CamdenYards in Baltimore, therehas been a frenzyof stadium/arena construction throughoutthe country, ... In California, renovations anda lucrative ticket salespackage fortheNational Football League ( NFL)team Chargers led baseballa#39;s ... The a€œtraditionala€ hub of growth has beenthe constructionof public institutions, such as the expansion of the University ofCalifornia system.

Title:California Politics: The Fault Lines of Power, Wealth, and Diversity
Author:Edgar Kaskla
Publisher:CQ Press - 2007-07-02


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