According to the California-based demographer and urban affairs professor Joel Kotkin, a conservative Democrat, California is becoming a failed state because its politics and its economics are badly screwed up.

California used to be more like Texas—a jobs magnet. What happened? For one, says the demographer, Californians are now voting more based on social issues and less on fiscal ones than they did when Ronald Reagan was governor 40 years ago. Environmentalists are also more powerful than they used to be. And Mr. Brown facilitated the public-union takeover of the statehouse by allowing state workers to collectively bargain during his first stint as governor in 1977.

But wait! I thought Thomas Frank told us that only conservatives in states like Kansas voted on social issues, often against their own economic interests. So liberal Californians do it too. Imagine that. More:

Mr. Kotkin also notes that demographic changes are playing a role. As progressive policies drive out moderate and conservative members of the middle class, California’s politics become even more left-wing. It’s a classic case of natural selection, and increasingly the only ones fit to survive in California are the very rich and those who rely on government spending. In a nutshell, “the state is run for the very rich, the very poor, and the public employees.”

The  economic Third-Worlding of California.