Watch CBS News

Is High Cost of Living Changing The California Dream?

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A new CBS News poll shows the long list of concerns Californians face right now. From the economy to wildfires to homelessness, they all impact the quality of life in the state—and they impact the pursuit of the so-called "California Dream."

Angelina Caceras is a California business owner, homeowner, and mother who is trying to keep her California dream alive with her two children and firefighter husband.

"I think that I am sick of worrying," Caceras said.

She lost her salon business when the pandemic hit.

Now working from her home, she hopes to open a new Sacramento location for her Deeda salon still under construction in months.

"So I did lose my business but I guess I have this faith that I can build it back? And so maybe that is the California Dream," Caceras said.

"This state is an expensive state," said Sacramento State Finance Professor Sanjay Varshney.

Varshney says for many, the California dream is becoming too expensive to reach. He points to the country's highest housing prices, gas prices, and now perpetual wildfire, drought and homeless problems. California is in a state of crisis.

"I think people are realizing slowly that the glamour and the dream that basically represented California has not only eroded, it's disappearing," Varshney said.

Caceras has lived her whole life in California and said she does feel the changes.

"Just the smoke is just freaking scary and the water situation is scary," Caceras said.

A modern-day California is compromised by climate and a high cost of living.

"But I understand that it's a very complicated dynamic story," Caceras said.

For Caceras, the hopes of finding prosperity persist. Her California dream remains alive.

"I love being here," Caceras said.

Professor Varshney also noted that during good times, California does better than the U.S., and during bad times, it does worse. Right now, California's unemployment rate is higher than the national average.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.