How California Became Unforgivable Summary

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In the article, “How California Became Unforgivable” by Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine, they basically describe six key factors that made California impossible to govern. They claim that California wields a "power with the damaged machinery of a patchwork government system that lacks accountability, encourages stalemate and drifts but cannot be steered." Basically, elected representatives in California have no authority, yet still hold responsibility. The six factors mentioned earlier include Proposition 13, budget initiatives, gerrymandering, term limits, boom or bust taxation, and the two-thirds vote. But how do these factors make California impossible to govern? To start, Roberts and Trounstine briefly describe these six factors. Proposition 13 changed California's political landscape and takes power away from local services. It "tangled" the relationship between local and state governments by shifting control of the remaining property tax revenue in Sacramento, according to them. Next are…show more content…
In 1990, term limits were about eight years in the Senate and six years in the Assembly. However, in 2010, it went up to twelve years no matter where they are. There was a higher term expectancy, lower switching, and more institutional memory. Term limits allowed for more diversity by representatives and more new ideas to try out coalitions. The problem with short term limits is that there was a loss of “institutional memory” where there is a well-crafted policy and “splashy” policy, to look good in the process. This allowed for more power to lobbyists, special interest groups, and bureaucrats. These term limits were basically a “musical chairs of politics” between the Assembly, Senate, county, and city. How this affects California’s governability depends on perspective. It’s really up to whoever it looking at it because short term limits and long term limits each have their pros and
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