3rd highest housing costs after Hawaii and Washington DC
2nd highest cost of living, again after Hawaii
In spite of high cost to live and work there, California does better than most nations- Largest state GDP, 66% larger than 2nd largest state, TX. Were California an independent nation, the states' economy would rank 5th, behind 4th place Germany.
It seems to me that California is doing pretty well. Americans, the world seems to agree.