California Dreamin’

For my entire existence I’ve lived in California. Up North mostly—from Oakland, to San Francisco, Sacramento, and all the way down the coast to Los Angeles. The older I get, the more my mind wonders if California loves me as much as I—or it’s inhabitants have. It’s an interesting thought. Think about it, we rep this state to death with tattoos, shirts and hats. From social media, to in person bravado; we are damn near arrogant about a place that we can barely even afford to live in. It’s borderline comical. Despite the overpriced, ever shrinking square footage, people are dying to move here. Mostly, because they think they’ll become famous [LAUGH… OUT… LOUD], or they have dreams of lying on the beach and surfing.

The irony of it all…Natives are moving out in record numbers, while people from other states are moving in. Those that are left are the ones stuck and or destined to spend the rest of their lives here…

Inconvenient Truth

Lets speak openly and candidly shall we? California’s income tax is 13.3%, highest in the country. What does our hard earned money go toward? Let me know when you find out—because I still don’t know. If one doesn’t understand why a free agent in any of the four American major sports considers NOT moving here, you are delusional. Regular citizens are barely keeping their heads above water, due to this tax rate—believe it or not.

You see, the misconception about California is, everyone is rich and having a great time—while snorkeling on weekends and rubbing elbows with our celebrity friends. Truth is most of us work, and the majority of us commute—for hours, before we ever get the chance to actually work. Idealing with the other thousands of cars stuck on the freeway, burning this $3.75 a gallon gas.

Yes jobs here can pay more than whatever you would make in your native land, but between taxes and astronomically high rent and housing,  at best, it evens out.

Example:

Bus Drivers in San Francisco make up to $31 an hour. The trade off is, average rent is $3,000 a month for a studio. A fucking studio apartment! The cost of living is trickling into cities all across the Bay Area including, the beautiful Oakland, Ca where hipsters think it’s cool to roam around downtown, live in apartments where there aren’t anyone of color and brag about living in Oakland.

Oh California

Ah yes my beautiful state where the government believes they know whats best for your life, even though they’re inept but no one wants to rock the boat —yet somehow the citizens end up drowning. About one-third of those surveyed by the Bay Area Council say they would like to exit the nine-county region sometime soon. Why? Taxes, traffic, unnecessarily high cost of living, , the over crowding, and did I mention traffic.

Nobody seems to notices the decline and diminishing middle class, no, never seems to bother anyone—and it leads one to believe no one cares. If greed is mans biggest downfall, then what do you call it when a person is content with their state giving them the short end of the stick—daily?

The new eastern span of the Bay Bridge was made with cheap Chinese parts (cause ‘Merica), that are corroding as we speak, governor Jerry Brown wants to build a “high speed rail” costing tax payers $64 Billion, oh and don’t forget the so-called drought going on.

We haven’t really scratched the iceberg on problems in the Golden State, but I just wanted to paint the picture for Non-Californians that it’s not all sunshine and In-N-Out Burgers.

Little Rays of Sunshine

There’s plenty of reasons to move, but there are just as many to stay.

In Sacramento there are over 300 days of sunshine, even more in L.A. If you are in the market for gluten-free, grass fed, organic dog food this is the state for you. San Francisco has arguably the best transit systems in America—with a bus or train touching almost every corner of The City.

Los Angeles boast the best Mexican food outside of actual Mexico, plus the best beaches, and is a fashion mecca. Silicon Valley goes without explaining, and you can make a pretty penny in the Bay Area doing regular blue collar work, like driving a bus. Rent is out of control, but you’ll make a pretty penny none the less.

There are 18 professional sports teams in California. 5 Baseball teams, 4 Football teams, 4 Basketball teams, 3 Hockey teams, and 2 Soccer teams.

There’s always something to do, for all ages, from the Hollywood walk of fame, Pacific Coast Highway, to the beautiful scenery all the way up in Redding. Calling California Esthetically pleasing is a tremendous understatement.

However…

One day this tech bubble will burst, and when it does things will be ugly—for the citizens. My theory is all these government lifers are setting themselves up for fantasy style retirements, while setting the people up for failure. We endure stupid laws, and plenty of our public schools are…lets just say they could be ALOT better.

This article isn’t meant to change your mind whether you’re coming or going, I just wanted to write about the not so glamorous things going on here. In my travels, peoples eyes light up when they find out where I’m from. They make me realize how powerful media is.

I guess all those commercials with Arnold Schwarzenegger worked. As for me, I’m going to treat this like free agency and figure out where I’m going to take my talents.✌🏿

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4 comments

  1. Wow Dave!
    It’s really very interesting to hear the ‘real’ of what’s going on in Cali.

    You are right, you guys do rep your state– so one would think that everybody was pretty cool over there.
    I love the fact that you point to important truths like bus drivers making $31/hour yet still catching hell trying to afford the rent. That $31 ain’t worth nothing when the rent is running upwards to $3,000/mo–for a studio no less–now that’s some bullshit.
    I saw a documentary that talked about something similar in Seattle where gentrification and things of that nature have pretty much priced poor people out.
    Some folks there are having to live in tent cities.
    Side note, I’ve seen the traffic in Cali on TV and thought, ” Oh hell to da naw!”
    Anyway, I am glad that you decided to make the best move for yourself and your family.

    Like

    • Hahaha ahhhhhh the traffic! You literally have to prepare to sit in traffic for 2 hours if you want to go anywhere. It’s so over crowded, it can be a parking lot on the freeway. Always, always leave 2-3 hours ahead of time. $3,000 is actually cheap rent in the Bay Area. San Francisco charges $5,000 a month. It’s crazy. Anyway that’s what’s going on out there, and I spent way too long just surviving for the sake of being in my home state. In the grand scheme of things a state doesn’t matter.

      Liked by 1 person

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