June 02, 2017

When you look at the current political climate, California seems like a completely different world. There’s talk of creating state-wide universal healthcare. It may become the country’s first “sanctuary state.” People are even whispering about secession. To examine this alternate universe, we talked to Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a professor of public policy at the University of Southern California and a long-time commentator on California’s place in the national political scene.

 Three Takeaways:

  • One of the many reasons that California has an outsized influence on the US is the size of the state’s economy. If California was a country, it would be the sixth largest economy in the world.  
  • California’s size and impact mean that, as California goes, often so goes the nation. Its car emission standards are the de facto standards nationwide, since auto companies don’t want to have to create special vehicles just for California. 
  • Jeffe says that back in the ‘70s, people laughed when Governor Jerry Brown talked about launching satellites. When he brought it up again in 2016, people weren’t laughing.

More Reading:

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Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, politics, California

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