I'm really digging NPR's "Why California Is So Messed Up" series this week. If you're curious about why this great state is so awful, check it out. It's one of the most comprehensive yet comprehensible indictments that I've heard yet. They devote separate segments to each of the major problems - ballot initiative budgeting, the school system, our insane prison system, and so on.
I love this state and don't plan to leave any time soon. I really do wish it would grow up, though. I'm irrationally attracted to the most apocalyptic solutions: divide the state into two regions (north and south, or coastal and inland) or even three (north, central, and south); call a constitutional convention to toss out our patchwork system and replace it with something that makes sense; stop electing our officials and instead appoint ordinary citizens via a lottery. OK, the last one is silly, but it's hard to imagine them doing much worse than our current legislature.
You know what, though? At the end of the day, even if we run out of money and our infrastructure collapses, this will still be one of the most beautiful places on earth. Worst case, I'll take my tent and my walking shoes and head into the hills. It won't come to that, though. One way or another we'll muddle through... and, five years from now, a new crisis will become "The worst in our history!" and "Proof that California doesn't work!"