Political Aftershocks Of An Economic Earthquake

From its earliest days, California has relished big jobs. The state was in its infancy when 10,000 workers--many of them from the first wave of Chinese immigrants--built a 127-mile railroad over and through the Sierra Nevada. Later, as the Golden State kept drawing hordes from across the continent and oceans, it didn't flinch at providing a premier system of roads, aqueducts a Roman emperor would envy, munificent social programs, and a standard-setting system of higher education. If there were bumps on that 10-lane California freeway, they soon were smoothed by a relentlessly booming economy that grew to rival all but a handful of the largest nations on earth.

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