Chapter 13. An Orange Squeezed

Orange County, California, is located just south of Los Angeles County. With 2.5 million residents, it is the fifth most populous county in the United States. The home of Disneyland and sunny beaches, it is also a popular tourist destination. The economy in Orange County is strong and diversified. In addition to tourism, the county boasts aerospace, real estate, and oil-refining industries. Indeed, the economy in the county is one of the strongest in the nation. If Orange County were its own country, its 1993 GDP of $74 billion would have ranked it the eighth largest in the world.[1]

This county also holds another distinction. Among all this prosperity, it had to file for bankruptcy protection—the largest municipal ...

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