Advancing a Free Society

The Race to Save California

Monday, October 25, 2010

To inspect one possible future of the Golden State, head to the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Middlefield Road in Redwood City, a suburb on the peninsula some 25 miles south of San Francisco. Making your way along Middlefield, you'll see shop signs in Spanish—several reading "aquí puede enviar dinero a Mexico" (send money to Mexico here)—young women in impossibly high heels, and children sipping a horchata, the sweet rice milk drink. No one will speak English.

Next walk down Fifth Avenue, past the Chavez Supermarket, until Fifth dead ends into El Camino Real. Across El Camino, the border between Redwood City and Atherton, you'll see high fences and closely planted trees, all arranged to obscure the view from the street of fabulously lavish houses. A five-bedroom place will set you back at least $5.5 million.

Working-class Latinos and the very, very rich. Already present in high concentrations, these two groups could dominate California within a generation or two. Why? Because so many others could have upped and left.

Continue reading Peter Robinson in The Wall Street Journal