Poll: Golden State not so golden

March 18, 2011

The Golden State has apparently lost its luster. California residents ranked their quality of life at its lowest mark in 20 years because of the continuing economic downturn. [San Francisco Chronicle]

The poll by UC Berkeley and Field, conducted in February, showed that only 39 percent considered the state “one of the best places to live,” compared with the glory days of 1985, when 78 percent gave the state the highest rating.

Californians’ self-assessment has gradually declined since then, with occasional spurts of optimism, until the appraisal rock-bottomed in 1992 at the tail end of a national recession.

Jon Christensen, the executive director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University, said while the poll reflected personal financial woes. Californians are also bothered by a dysfunctional state government mired in a budget crisis.

Most voters – 47 percent – said immigration had no real impact.

Yet of those who said immigration had changed California, 39 percent said it lowered their quality of life, while 10 percent said immigration made life here better.








  1. rogerfreberg says:

    Well, we are an immigrant country.

    I think one of the most interesting issues about immigration is that it is the one thing that the federal government retains as their right. They decide who gets to come in and who has to stay out. This is an issue that never goes before the public…. which means that it is an internal political decision by definition.

    The important issue is the decline in the ‘happiness’ index — so to speak — in California… and this should not be a surprise to anyone. High taxes, high unemployment, declining public schools at all levels, and insensitive public officials contribute significant to poor public morale. Can you blame companies for leaving California ( BTW, did you hear about the huge Microsoft-size company leaving?)

    Immigration is a non-issue… folks go where things are happening… like Brazil.


    (-2) 8 Total Votes - 3 up - 5 down
    • justme says:

      Well of course happiness is the issue. The elephant in the room is environmental. We dwell in an overcrowded, paved over, noisy, polluted, burdened by corruptionand mass immigration We’re hammered by the unceasing scream of BUY THIS and GET THAT!! commercialism with nothing but the promise of more of the above in the future. We try to fool our kids into thinking education is the key, but we really know it won’t change anything. What, go to school to learn how to NOT build more crap? They’re not buying it anymore anyway, as we really don’t. Their response is no longer to change the system as with my generation, it’s now “screw everything, let’s get drunk and forget everything for awhile”.
      Who could blame them.

      (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
  2. unlisted says:

    While you xenophobes think all immigrants are unskilled laborers, immigrants started 39% of the businesses in California. Remember, Rupert Murdock is an immigrant. So is the founder of eBay and a co-founder of Google. In addition, 42% of the PhD holders in the California workforce are immigrants.

    (-4) 20 Total Votes - 8 up - 12 down
    • danika says:

      By your own posting, 61% of the business in Ca weren’t started by immigrants and 58% of the PHD holders in the Ca workforce are not immigrants….works both ways.

      (7) 11 Total Votes - 9 up - 2 down
      • unlisted says:

        danika, If you’re glad that 58% of the PHD holders in the CA workforce are native born Americans, you’re probably ecstatic that American high school students (15-year-olds) ranked 25th out of 34 counties.

        (1) 9 Total Votes - 5 up - 4 down
        • unlisted says:

          opps… that’s 25th out of 34 counties in math.

          (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
    • justme says:

      (1) I don’t believe your figures. (2) You know as well as I do what fact you’re leaving out. Try again.

      (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
      • unlisted says:

        Yes, and some people believe that the moon is made of blue cheese. I don’t waste my time argueing with such fools.

        (-1) 5 Total Votes - 2 up - 3 down
    • Typoqueen says:

      There are also studies that show that if all the illegal immigrants left tomorrow that this state would go bankrupt. They pay taxes but don’t get all the benefits of those taxes. They pay into Social Sec. but they don’t get SS. They provide business for merchants and work at jobs that Anglos won’t take.
      This is nonsense about them being the cause of the high medical costs. I read recently that the majority of illegal immigrants pay for their medical care in cash and that they do pay.

      (-3) 13 Total Votes - 5 up - 8 down
      • justme says:

        Typoqueen, where does that tired old “They take jobs that anglos……” .come from? America was built by Anglos, ditches, coal mining, assembling, housecleaning, ALL CRAPPY JOBS for Christ’s sakes. Who did ’em before??????? IF there are jobs that “anglos won’t take ,(now hear it comes so listen carefully, Honey), it’s because the THE ILLEGALS HAVE DRIVEN THE WAGES DOWN FOR THEM!! DUHHH !Jesus, what’s more obvious.?? If they never showed up then those jobs would still be high paying enough to be viable like they were before! You would do landscape for 28 bucks an hour which is what it would be IF YOU DIDN”T HAVE ILLEGALS DOING THEM!! They drove wages down for Christ’s sake, of course anglos HAVE TO keep looking. You think one white guy is going to go into the fields with 100 Latinos? C’mon, Darling. Take care of your own, THEN worry about people who sneaked into your country to drive your fellow Americans wages down and took their jobs.
        Look what Latinos do in Mexico do when others try to take their “jobs” (see drug cartels) you have 30,000 murders. That “whites won’t do those jobs” garbage is enough to make me explode, sorry.

        (6) 16 Total Votes - 11 up - 5 down
        • Typoqueen says:

          What’s with the ‘honey’ and ‘darling’ crap, get off your redneck lingo, I’m not your honey or darling, save that for your unfortunate partner.

          Why wouldn’t a white guy work with Mexicans picking crops? That’s ignorant. Farm workers make decent money. White people don’t do it because they don’t want to.

          You are wrong in regards to your understanding regarding who did these jobs before Hispanics were here to take those jobs. At one time in history it was the Afro Americans that did the dirty work, it was the Chinese labor that built the railroads, dug mines and did other work that white Americans didn’t want to do. Never in the history of this country has the dirty work been done by the white citizens.
          ” Take care of your own”,,,,my own? You mean the people that don’t have brown skin? What a stupid thing to say. They are human, why would care about white people more than the brown people?

          Drug cartels are allowed to flourish due to a corrupt govt..

          Don’t explode, Karen and Dave are the only ones around on weekends to clean you up.

          (-3) 11 Total Votes - 4 up - 7 down
          • justme says:

            Let me intro you to reality, I grew up in government housing projects back east. Those projects are now demo’ed due to violence. They were built to house steel workers thus all races migrated there. We did not get along, intermarry or socialize. We fought and claimed territory, People are different colors because for tens of thousands of years they stayed in groups and generally avoided eachother if possible. It works out best for everybody. It’s called nature, the root word for natural. And it’s still that way today, Here in Los Osos you don’t see the Phiipinos hangin with anybody but other Phlipinos, ditto the Mexicans and whites. You don’t see whites in the fields. How about prisons? Any mixin’ there? Nope, they’re in survival mode. You’re not because you haven’t been obligated to.
            You’re like other whites who never lived with other races but you are supposed to have all this social knowledge, from where? TV? From your imagination, that’s where. You wouldn’t have lasted a week in your dreamworld, you would have been taken for whatever was available from you. You wouldn’t have survived. You’re clueless. Look in the mirror, do you have an explanation for why you are a member of particular individual race? Because your ancestors did what was best for their survival, thus you’re here. But with that invalid, inaccurate, wishful thinking, and nasty attitude I’m sure you’re genes won’t be continuing, see how that works?

            (0) 6 Total Votes - 3 up - 3 down
            • Typoqueen says:

              Oh my, we have a certified racist in the group. It’s always uncomfortable calling someone that but we must call them as we see them. Burned any crosses lately? Betcha don’t think Obama is American.
              So how do you know how I grew up? You shouldn’t assume as it makes you sound racist and just plain stupid. Bet you have southern cross flag on your car.
              I grew up around a lot of races. I grew up on military bases. I had neighbors from all of the world and lived in other countries. My dad was extremely conservative but he always said that when he was in WWII it didn’t matter what color the guy was next to you in the fox hole, they were all the same and bled the same color blood and they were all brothers. Something tells me that your parents never taught you that. The difference between those in the fox hole and you is education. When people are educated they don’t segregate, they do “mix” (whos say’s ‘mix’ in this day and age). When they have parents that aren’t racist and provide their children with knowledge then the do “mix”. If you hang out with the prison crowd and gangs then yes their will be separation of races in part out of survival but when people are raised right and they are educated that goes away. In your inner circle Mexicans only hang out with Mexicans and Filipinos with Filipinos. In my neighborhood it doesn’t work like that. You have your ‘real world’ but it’s not real for everyone. Crazy cr@p here, remind me not to debate you again, you aren’t worth trying to have an intelligent debate with. I don’t waist time with people like you.

              (1) 9 Total Votes - 5 up - 4 down
              • justme says:

                Dammit, that was a good comeback. OK, be interesting to check the voting here. Game on,Typoqueen. Whoever gets more “likes” gets to be righter?
                Sorry for disrespecting you last nite, Ma’am. Peace?

                (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
                • Typoqueen says:

                  If we go by votes then I’m dead in the water.

                  (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
    • whatisup says:

      unlisted – what is your source for your self-serving statistics? They seem a little to-good-to-be-true in favor of your argument. You also are mixing legal immigrants vs. illegal immigrants.

      (-3) 5 Total Votes - 1 up - 4 down
      • unlisted says:

        The survey was about IMMIGRANTS, not illegal immigrants. Rupert Murdock is obviously not a “wetback.”

        (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
        • whatisup says:

          Where are your statistics source? You made them up didn’t you?

          (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down
          • unlisted says:

            No, I’m not blowing smoke up your a__ like Fox does. (BTW, Fox was created by an immigrant.)

            The percent of CA businesses started by immigrants comes from the Kauffman Foundation (www.kauffman.org). This and other similar stats, along with examples of immigrant entrepreneurs and their contributions, are highlighted at http://www.creditloan.com/infographics/innovation-through-immigration-by-the-numbers.

            The statistic on CA PhDs is from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) (www.ppic.org). I can’t find the the specific source of the PhD stat, but the following PPIC fact sheet reports that 41% of all adults who received PhDs (as opposed PhDs in the workforce) are immigrants – http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/jtf/JTF_ImmigrantsEducationJTF.pdf. Their general fact sheet on immigrants in California is at http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/jtf/JTF_ImmigrantsJTF.pdf. BTW, since only 27% of Californians are immigrants, the facts that 36% of the businesses were formed by immigrants and that either 41% or 43% of PhDs are immigrants are quite impressive. Will that suffice for now?

            The educational ranking of American students comes from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Their website is http://www.pisa.oecd.org.

            (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
            • whatisup says:

              As it turns out, according to the Census PhD statistics for 2006, the latest I could find, there was a total of 99,110 people with PhD degrees living in California which was 2.7 PhD degrees per 1000 population.

              Given that foreign PhD holders are extremely heavily weighted in Engineering and Computer Science, which is big in CA, the 42% number could be accurate, but I can’t find the specific statistic either (I suspect that the 42% number might apply to the percentage of PhD degrees awarded to immigrant students at CA universities, but most of these students go back to their countries after they graduate.)

              However, even if the 42% number is true, as a portion of the total 36,000,000 population of CA it is not significant because 42% of 2.7 means that 1.13 out of 1000 people in CA are immigrant PhD holders.

              In addition, I once again bring up the fact that if there is a problem of immigration in the U.S. it is with illegal immigrants, not legal immigrants and your attempt to confuse the two, while quite good, will not change the reality.

              The question should have been, “Has illegal immigration had an impact on the quality of life in California?”

              (-3) 3 Total Votes - 0 up - 3 down
              • unlisted says:

                So in the end it doesn’t matter that 1) more PhDs in California are IMMIGRANTS than native born Americans or 2) that more California companies were started by IMMIGRANTS than native born Americans or 3) that IMMIGRANTS started companies like Fox, Google, eBay, Intel, SUN, Wang and other more large, innovative and successful American companies.

                NOW, you only want to talk about ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT, which was never the topic.

                I think you should change your handle to Rosanne Rosannadanna… oh never mind.

                (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
                • whatisup says:

                  Read my original post below. The study is meaningless as virtually nobody thinks legal immigration is a problem.

                  Unlisted, let me ask you straight out, “Do you think illegal immigration is a problem?”

                  (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
                • zaphod says:

                  you only want to talk about ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT, which was never the topic.

                  (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
                • unlisted says:

                  I’m not mixing “legal immigrants vs. illegal immigrants,” you are. The survey question in the article is about IMMIGRATION, not illegal immigration.

                  Just because you and other xenophobes assume that the word “immigrant” is always preceded by the word “illegal,” doesn’t make it so.

                  When CCN posts an article on illegal immigration, I’ll comment on it.

                  (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  3. choprzrul says:

    “Most voters – 47 percent – said immigration had no real impact.”

    Me thinks those 47 percent are decedents of, or actually are, illegal aliens.

    Health care has gotten so outrageously expensive because these medical facilities have to make up for all the free care that is being provided through emergency rooms to illegals. Same thing with education, remove the 35-40% of enrollment of children of parents that do not contribute to education $$. Drop the case load by 40% and health care and education would both be able to float their boats again. As it is, they are sunk and dragging the rest of us down with them.

    Welcome to the new PRK.

    (7) 17 Total Votes - 12 up - 5 down
    • brook says:

      Health care has gotten so expensive because Hospitals & Nursing homes (among others) pay the Token at the Top (you know, the one at the Chamber dinners and the expensive adverts) millions of dollars per annum with outrageous bonuses for propping up the profits. When an outfit is labeled a “non-profit” that doesn’t mean someone’s not making beaucoup bucks.
      You know – I could go on – but there’s no excuse for such ignorance of facts when people obviously have a computer and opposable thumbs. Meh.

      (-2) 8 Total Votes - 3 up - 5 down
      • zaphod says:

        opposable thumbs

        (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
      • whatisup says:

        Choprzrul and brook – You are both correct. Unfortunately, the divide and conquer technique has worked well for both the people at the top and the illegal immigrants vs. the middle class.

        The left blames the people at the top for the problems and ignores illegal immigration and outrageous liability lawsuits as a health care problem.

        The right blames illegal immigration and lawyers for the health care problems, but cheers the people at the top – even want to give them more through tax decreases.

        The bottom line is you are both right, but as long as the top and the illegal immigrants keep the middle class arguing about which of their theories about what is wrong with health care is the “ideologically correct” theory nothing gets done.

        The left and right dupes are so caught up in winning their red vs. blue battle they can’t see the truth – often they are both accurately identifying a problem, but can not admit the “other side” could have a point.

        (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
  4. Typoqueen says:

    How has immigration changed our quality of life? Other than not going into the Walmart in Santa Maria I don’t see my quality life changed by immigration. The people I know have had their quality of live decline a bit because of the economy just as stated in this article as well as lack of proper medical care. Who can afford to go the dentist, eye doc or any doc.? We only get medical help when we are in so much pain that we can’t tolerate it anymore. That’s what I feel has changed for the worse.

    But I don’t trust polls, they are fixed to get the answers that they want. Besides,,wasn’t SLO the happiest place in the country?

    (-6) 10 Total Votes - 2 up - 8 down
  5. whatisup says:

    According to the S.F. Chronicle story the question of immigration was not split into legal and illegal immigration. There should have been the question, “Has illegal immigration had an impact on the quality of life in California?” The poll was a U.C. Berkley pole, so no surprise at how the question was phrased.

    (5) 15 Total Votes - 10 up - 5 down
    • justme says:

      What’s the difference? We’re full, maxed out, overcrowded, packed out, I don’t even want gorgeous blond swedish models immigrating at this point. OK, I’m lying.

      (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
  6. fat chance says:

    47% said immigration had no real impact….didn’t realize there was so many brain dead people in this state! Good or bad it had an impact.

    (13) 15 Total Votes - 14 up - 1 down

Comments are closed.