They say that if California were a separate country it would boast the world’s fifth largest economy, more out-of-work actors per capita than any other, and the highest insurance rates on earth, but as far as I can tell it already is another country. [Borderlands USA, p. 141]
So begins the first of two chapters of Borderlands USA on the Golden State. As Charlie and I fearlessly descend the Left Coast, enigmas multiply. This post digs deeper into Northern Cali, which almost seceded to join a new state called Jefferson with parts of Oregon – until WWII put the kibosh on that.
California is a carefully run but somewhat aggressive place. I have never seen such a forest of warning signs upon crossing any country’s border, screaming “Safety belt law strictly enforced,” “$1000 fine for littering,” and “Speed checked by radar,” plus a few others I’m sure I missed, such as “Unlawful to not read signs, heavy fines.” [ibid.]
Not to mention natural and man-made disasters… Enter with caution! [please hover over images for captions]