California is becoming an unlivable state


Fatima Durrani

America has been under a global climate crisis for a long period of time – chaos is now interfering with our livable climate and if we don’t do anything to preserve it, parts of California could submerge as soon as 2040.

California is becoming unlivable, and we’re not just talking about the traffic.

Minimum wage jobs, the cost of living, housing prices, inflation and climate change are all contributors to what is ailing the state of California.

California’s federal minimum wage was just officially increased to $15 an hour at the beginning of 2022, yet two minimum wage jobs are not enough to cover the cost of living for even one individual. Not to mention the surge in gas prices.

Even when California is that high in the minimum wage, renting and buying houses is still a constant problem.

Inflation is one of the main factors of rent increase, which makes it even harder for anyone living in California to survive.

The inflation is currently 6.6% and by living in California, compared to other states, you are paying a huge amount for rent and taxes.

The median price of a home in California is over $6,000 compared to $3,000 nationally. Paying or renting a home in California is way more expensive compared to other states.

Single families, who only have one revenue stream, feel the burdens of low income in California. The poverty rate for single mothers living in poverty in 2020 was 31%.

Most of these single families have children and it’s easy to see that most single families could easily be living paycheck to paycheck.

A study by the California Budget and Policy Center discovered that about four in 10 households have unaffordable housing costs in 2015. More than one in five households statewide spend over half of their income on housing expenses.

A 2022 study showed that California is identified as the third most expensive state in the U.S. following Hawaii and the District of Columbia.

Affordability issues lead to creating a burdensome cost of living, and this has been a clear problem in California for many years now.

What makes things worse, ACA 11, a newly proposed constitutional amendment, will increase taxes by $12,250 per household.

The state of California upholds income and state taxes that are way higher than Texas, explaining why more people are moving out of California and fewer people are moving in.

In 2020, a FOX 26 News report said that increasingly more people are paying high taxes, the high cost of living and even politics are making them choose to leave.

Homelessness is a major, ongoing issue in California. NPR said that as of January 2020 alone, about 151,000 Californians experienced homelessness.

Households across the state are struggling to support their families and continue to capacitate the poverty line. More than a third of Californians live in or near poverty and, eventually, fall into the homeless population.

Unless we consistently advocate for these issues to be resolved and demand change, these issues will grow larger than they already are. The state of California is simply becoming unlivable, and not many people are willing to continue putting up with it.

Fortunately, Governor Gavin Newsom finally created a plan to release $2 billion more into homelessness prevention efforts. Even with the efforts of the stimulus package in 2021, California residents are still struggling with issues of rent and homelessness.

Air pollution is another issue affecting California just as badly. The California Air Resources Board said that air monitoring shows that over 90% of Californians breathe unhealthy levels of one or more air pollutants during some part of the year.

The time to demand Newsom to put further attention to our crippling economy is now. If not now, then when?