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The Last Great American Builder

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Edmund G. "Pat" Brown - California State of Mind, a biography of the Last Great Political American BuilderMost people don’t remember Edmund G. “Pat” Brown, let alone that he was Governor of California during its rise to prominence nationally and internationally. Pat Brown not only believed in California, he had a love affair with the state.

I was a young kid when my family moved back to California – I was born in Oakland a year after WWII ended – when my father decided to retire from the Air Force. So, there’s a lot I don’t remember or know about California’s history under the governorship of Pat Brown. But what I do know is that California was a great state that drew businesses and massive numbers of residents from all over the country to our shores, our mountains and valleys, our farmlands, and innovative business and educational centers. It was the state where everyone across the country wanted to send their kids to college, or to move to, or to create a new business. And Pat Brown, who led this California revolution, was a Democrat. He left the state with a balanced budget and a vital, growing economy. Imagine that!

It’s not the 1950s or 1960s anymore. Global competition, off shoring of jobs, and off shoring of profits as well as the post-Reagan GOP dogma against all taxes as well as numerous other problems having to do with increased population from other low income, low education states as well as illegal immigrants, enormously decreased federal funds for federal prisoner populations and other federally mandated programs, hugely reduced tax revenues as a result of Prop. 13, and a failure of the Legislature and the Proposition system to revise the state’s antiquated and loop hole ridden tax code to meet modern demands reflects the same failures of government at the federal level.

But when you look back at what Governor Pat Brown achieved, it’s not all that impossible to imagine what California – and the U.S. – could achieve today if the political, and voting public, will still existed.

But, then, the ethos of the American public, along with California’s, during Pat Brown’s era was not “me first and only” as it is now, but rather “all of us together” to make the country, our states, and our people highly competitive, healthy and growing with an eye towards the future, and a belief not in a political slogan of American Exceptionalism but in a deep seated belief that Americans can and will achieve anything.

The linked political biography and following trailer describe not just California, but an America we all once believed in:

California State of Mind, The Legacy of Pat Brown

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Written by Valerie Curl

March 21, 2012 at 12:43 PM

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