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Opinion: Futurists Debate Scenarios for California Amid State’s Short-Term Politics


The state flag of California flies on a flag pole in San Diego. REUTERS/Mike Blake When UC-Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies conducted one of its periodic polls of California voters early this year, it discovered that just 36% of them believed that the state is “moving in the right direction” while 54% had a negative view.

The positive feelings about the state had declined by 10 percentage points from a previous poll just seven months earlier and were the lowest recorded in a decade.

OK, so Californians are generally unhappy about the state’s direction, meaning they are sour on its future if conditions don’t change. The negative vibes may explain, at least in part, why the state is losing population.

To be certain, there’s much to dislike about California today, including the nation’s highest level of homelessness, its highest level of poverty, its extreme economic disparity, its housing crisis, its water supply crisis , its epidemic of wildfires, its crime spike and, of course, its extremely high cost of living.

However, if we don’t like what’s happening, or not happening, in California, how would we want it to change? One suspects that the 54% of Californians who dislike the state’s direction would disagree […]

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