As of last month, the state of California officially is the world’s fifth largest economy.
The Golden State just passed the United Kingdom (Great Britain), and is now only surpassed by four nations: The United States, China, Japan, and Germany.
Who would ever have thought when the US fought Mexico in the late 1840s, gained control of California in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, and saw the Gold Rush begin, starting the development of California population so rapidly, that California became a state by 1850, that this mega state would develop an economy larger than all but four nations?
California today has 40 million people, one out of every eight Americans, and has a technology sector in Silicon Valley, and is the world’s entertainment capital in Hollywood.
California is also the nation’s major agricultural sector in the Central Valley agricultural heartland.
It also has become a major positive in the economy after the collapse during the Great Recession. Financial services, real estate, manufacturing, and the information economy are all major pluses in the California economy.
Its economy is one seventh of the entire nation’s economy, and the job growth from 2012-2017 is one sixth of the entire improvement of the country.
The major areas of economic growth are in San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego.
Its Congressional delegation, by far the largest, consists of 53 House Members and 2 Senators, and a substantial number of them—16 in the House—play a major role in Congress.
The outgoing Governor, Jerry Brown, is seen by many as possibly the greatest Governor in the nation right now, having presided over the revival of the California economy in the past eight years.
California has also led the fight against Donald Trump on such issues as immigration and sanctuary cities; gay rights and gay marriage; and climate change and global warming.
And Nancy Pelosi. the former Speaker of the House from 2007-2011, and Minority Leader since then; and Kevin McCarthy, the House Majority Leader now angling to be the next Speaker of the House if the Republicans retain the majority, are both from California.
So California is, in so many ways, a nation onto itself, and could sustain itself if need be, but at the same time, the future could be three Californias, as the state initiative process has led to a possible ballot question in November, that would set up three states instead of one–Northern California; Southern California; and California, which would consist of the Los Angeles metropolitan area.
Each state would have about one third of the population of 40 million.
Whether this occurs or not, California will continue to be a major part of the world economy and the American political system.