We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
If one name is most important in the failure of California, I'd say it was Jerry Brown Jr. He is only one of many nutcases but he is a charismatic nutcase (how, I don't know). He has led the charge that profit is evil, wealth is evil, and the government is the source of all good things. California was only getting that way when I lived there as a child. Now it seems very much there.
California took in a wave of Southeast Asian refugees in the mid-1970's. These families generally thrived inspite of initially having low English skills and arriving with almost no material goods. The communities banded together to support each other; the broader communities welcomed them (of course there were exceptions). The Cambodians and the Vietnamese and the Laotians became engineers, entrepreneurs, physicians -- by their own labor and their mutual support.
What the heck happened? "Progressives" happened and Jerry Brown has been their face, their voice, their leader. The middle class and many of the wealthy left an environment that became stultifying or hostile. Left behind? Those who wanted government largesse and those who thought they should have it. Too many of both groups.