California, Busted, and Headed East

When I left Ohio for California in 1964 the old slogan was California or Bust! Since the 1840s California had been considered the land of golden opportunity and that’s pretty close to what I found there. I found immediate employment and access to affordable education. I also found this and more at a price that was within my economic means.

I haven’t been in the Golden State since 1970 but I’ve kept tabs on what the years have brought. Mostly time has brought more people, more traffic, and the cost of living that is becoming increasingly less affordable for working class people. In 1968 a nice two-bedroom starter home could be had for around $40,000. Ten years later that same home was selling for over $100,000. A quick Google of current prices indicates it would take a half a million, or more. The same home in Greenfield, OH can be had for around $80,000.

Ever more evidence that America is becoming two nations. One where the haves can enjoy all the richness and variety that urban life offers, while still having their getaway in the mountains or at the shore, and another where evergrowing numbers of people are relegated to something where options and opportunities are fewer and life is more stagnant.

No one knows for sure what the effects of this division will be but I’m guessing it will further weaken the common bond once felt in this nation. The wealthy cities are becoming akin to those gated communities in which the residents don’t have a clue about the life of the guy they hire to watch over their gate.

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