Unless you’ve been under a rock the past 10 years, you know that California is a Tale of Two Regions.

There are the politically blue coastal areas, where salaries are high, life is generally judged to be swell and the Legislature, along with the governor, pay close attention to voter needs.

And then there is the politically diverse inland California, where salaries are low by Golden State standards, poverty is rampant and a Legislature dominated by Democrats pays little mind to what inland Republicans say about what’s best for their constituents.

But now the high cost of housing in coastal California is unsettling Shangri-La, writes Cal Matters columnist Dan Walters.

“California’s housing crisis has spawned several other socioeconomic dilemmas, the most important being a transportation crunch, Walters opines in his Aug. 28 column. “… even relatively well-paid workers cannot find affordable housing and are forced to spend many hours each day commuting from their lower-cost inland homes to their jobs in cities. One is the $81,000 a year federal employee whose 80-mile, three-hour commute from Stockton to San Francisco is detailed in a recent New York Times article.”

This combination of long, mind-numbing commutes and sky-high housing costs and what to do about both are driving a wedge through the Legislature and among residents in coastal California, Walters adds.

Cal Matters previously documented the housing crisis last week in the special report “Californians: Here’s why your housing costs are so high.”  You can read Walters’ column here. 


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