California Dystopia

I know I’m not the only one living in a state in crisis, but since I am a born-and-bred Californian, this essay by Peggy Orenstein hit home. The difference in our formerly ideal University system in my own lifetime is dramatic. And then throw in our out-of-reach real estate prices, and I totally get the folks who say, “Forget this!” and move to Las Vegas, Texas, North Carolina, etc. The percentage of your income to the price of housing is totally out of whack. Even in this supposedly flat real estate market, a million dollars can get you a fixer. Unless of course you want to drive 90 minutes to work, then maybe a family home is about $600,000.

I have a few childhood friends who took over their parents’ or grandparents’ homes. Bought out the other heirs, did a little remodeling (or not), and now raise their own families where they were little kids. The first time I heard about this (maybe 15 years ago) I thought it was quaint, practical. Now, I see it as near essential for most people to stay in the parts of California that are job centers.

It’s strange for us, the generation raised seeing our parents do better than theirs, and we are expected to do better than our folks. In actual fact, it’s going to be tough to just rock steady on the same plane they existed on.

Although to be fair, we do have better food and wine than when we were kids. At least there is that.

2 thoughts on “California Dystopia

  1. No friggin’ kidding! My parents were uber poor and on minimum wage when they got married and still were able to get a house (with a little help from family). Fast forward 25 years and I am not even CLOSE to getting a house even though I make a good wage. Even if I could get the money for a down payment, the monthly payments would crush us. I love this state but whenever I go anywhere else (particularly the east coast) I drool over the houses that are twice as big and half as expensive!

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