Both have put forth plans to address the state's loss of industrial manufacturing. Neither goes far enough.
For all their differences, Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown agree on one thing: California needs an industrial policy.
For half a century, aerospace was California's dominant economic engine. But then the end of the Cold War led to a radical contraction of the aerospace industry. Since then, the state has subsisted on bubbles, and it has wilted each time they popped. Neither the dot-com industry nor housing — the two chief sources of economic activity in this state for the past 15 years — offered the kind of sustainable and broadly shared prosperity that Californians took for granted in the years between 1940 and 1990. The high-tech companies that have flourished in this state over the past 20 years have created great wealth, but with much of their manufacturing done offshore, that wealth has not been shared with California production workers.