Whatever Happened to Manifest Destiny?

Dateline: San Diego, CA.
I arrived in California yesterday morning. Friends picked me up from LAX and we drove down to San Diego via a Carrows (sp?) restaurant. A note to Americans: Everyone thinks it's weird that you put maple syrup on your bacon and therefore you have no right to think it's weird that I put ketchup on my sausage and eggs (and pancakes).

One of the things I always notice about southern California is how much space there is out here. Everbody lives in these weird gated communities all huddled up together. Multi-level identical condos line the landscape in San Diego and it's all you can see from the highways. I couldn't get my head around it. There's so much land and so little of it being developed, so why is it so expensive? Why are the people here forced to live in overly buerocratic microcommunities where the idea of community is virtually non-existant like in some kind of anti-kibbutz?

Apparently there have been laws laid down. The state or federal government owns most of the empty land and it has been classified as state or national parkland. I have not confirmed this, I only know what I've been told. Maybe, if I'm not too lazy, I'll do some research.

So the idea is to disallow habitation on a lot of the land to force people into hyperexpensive high-density housing as an attempt to disuade more people from moving here.

That's right. It's now a case of: "Go west, young man, but don't stay too long because there's nothing for you there."