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When Government FailsThe Orange County Bankruptcy$
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Mark Baldassare

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780520214859

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520214859.001.0001

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The Orange County Setting

The Orange County Setting

Chapter:
(p.33) Chapter 2 The Orange County Setting
Source:
When Government Fails
Author(s):

Mark Baldassare

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520214859.003.0002

Orange County is a place that is widely known but largely misunderstood. Many see it as vastly different from other U.S. communities. In fact, Orange County has a lot in common with many other regions, though admittedly this was more true in the years leading up to the bankruptcy. By focusing on the facts surrounding Orange County, we can better understand why the fiscal crisis happened in this place and the reasons it can happen in other locales throughout the nation. Orange County, California, has a variety of images in the national media. It is best known as the home of Disneyland, the self-proclaimed “Happiest Place on Earth.” Conservative politics has a large role in the public's image of Orange County. This chapter looks at Orange County's rapid economic growth and social diversity, economic recession in the 1990s, middle class, fiscal conservatism and voter distrust, the weak structure of local government, similarities with other county governments, local governments, and local focus and regional apathy.

Keywords:   Orange County, California, bankruptcy, fiscal crisis, Disneyland, politics, economic growth, economic recession, social diversity, fiscal conservatism

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