A shadow of its' former glory...
I have lived in So Cal for the majority of my life. Over the past 45 years I have watched it go from the absolute most amazing place to live in the world; with kind thoughful people, the best roads in America, education that was second to none, the people were free & crime was super low... to a crime-infested, traffic choked, over taxed, nasty cesspool of malaise, corruption and oppression.
Here are a few simple points to illustrate. The infrastructure is grossly overloaded by unchecked illegal immigration. The freeways/roadways are gridlocked (not traffic, gridlock) from 7am to 8pm more often than not (a 30 minute drive will take 2 hrs on average during the day). Our schools have gone from the top of the nation to the bottom. Taxes are out of control, but there are no benefits from said taxes, the roads continue to rot and are pockmarked with potholes, tax dollars go to dealing with the huge immigrant/homeless population. Housing is simply unaffordable. Crime is ... well, let's just say... Compton, shall we? Getto culture has replaced Surf/Beach culture. Public employees are paid super huge salaries, cannot get fired and do little or nothing to the public good. Our freedoms have all been usurped. We have assinine gun control laws. The police are now a paramilitary force. Fees/dues/license (an alternative way to squeeze tax money out of the brutalized middle class) are out of control. The air is thick enough to chew.
The beaches? Forget it. The water is so polluted most beaches are routinely closed due to the toxicity of the water. Storm runoff and just the simple overcrowding causes tons of sewage to be flushed to sea, right across public beaches.
Mountains, beaches, desert; everything is within driving range ... Except you will never get there through the traffic. And if you do try, make sure you have some money to pay for the upkeep of your suspension due to the extremely poor roads.
Californian politicians took this state and drove it right into the ground with oppressive liberal nanny policies, huge government and free money/benefits/handouts to illegal immigrants (who have brought their backwards, crime infested corrupt culture with them).
Taxpayers that are already stretched to make ends meet are saddled with the whole bill. It is a real poke in the eye when I see folks that cannot even speak the language driving $40,000 SUVs with top of the line smart phones. They can do it, because they don't have to pay taxes, get licences, pay