The Canary in the Mine

Whatever starts in California unfortunately has the inclination to spread.

—Former President Jimmy Carter

Maybe he had a chip on his shoulder. After all, California voted for Republican Gerald Ford in Carter’s 1976 presidential victory and for Republican Ronald Reagan in Carter’s 1980 failed effort to gain re-election. Still, Jimmy Carter’s observation is not without merit, although not always in the negative manner that he implies.

California is a trendsetter, not consistently, but so much of the time that it pays for ...

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