Even in the 1930s, Woody Guthrie warned America in a Dust Bowl song that the California dream could not be had on the cheap. Yet relative to other places, the state has historically been a pretty good bargain, with a low-cost, enviable higher education system, subsidized energy and an abundance of services for those down on their luck.
But three decades of staggering population growth combined with three high-impact recessions, budgeting by ballot box, federal mandates, an unusual tax structure and the rising cost of social services have finally produced disastrous results, and the ramifications are reaching across every aspect of life in this state.
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