May 11, 2015

EP. 73 — Why California Is Secretly Evil

In 1848, on the eve of the California Gold Rush, there were less than 1000 white settlers living in the California territory. Within the next 2 years, that number would jump up to 100,000, making it the largest mass-migration in US history. In the early 1920s, the film industry would create a 2nd and more lasting population boom in California, as throngs of hopefuls moved cross-country to become rich and famous movie stars. By 1962, California was the most populous state in the union.

The state now balances on a curious precipice. California produces a majority of the country’s fruits, vegetables and nuts, yet is in the midst of a drought that’s turning one region into a poisonous dust-bowl. The libertarian pot-farmers of the north use 8% of the state’s electricity, yet are trying to secede and form their own state. San Francisco has been entirely taken over by the tech industry’s wealthy and the city’s tradition of taking care of its lowest class is falling by the wayside. Los Angeles has been a smog-riddled nightmare from the fever-dreams of John Carpenter ever since the auto industry deliberately razed the public transportation system. And an Austrian-sounding robot sent from the future to destroy humanity served as governor for 8 years.

This week, we give Florida a break and take a look at the dark history of the Golden State. Jack O’Brien is joined by Cracked editors Dan O’Brien and Robert Evans as they discuss the state’s unexpectedly high murder rate, its burgeoning marijuana industry, and why, since 1848, it’s seduced millions into thinking they can get rich quick.

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