A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


Opinion – California’s high cost of living is a paradise tax worth paying

Illustration by Anthony Solorzano

My parents bought me my first car when I was 18. It was a previously-owned 2001 Toyota Corolla with super low mileage. As a budding adult, I was ready to drive up the mileage cruising up and down the freeways of California. During my first weekend of mobility freedom, my friends and I took a trip to Laguna Beach, Mt. Baldy and Lake Elsinore all in two days.

California is truly a kaleidoscope of terrains in paradise clothing – very expensive, fine clothing that a lot of people can’t afford.

According to RentCafe, the cost of living in California is 38% higher than the national average. In comparison, the most affordable state in the US is Mississippi. According to the World Population Review, the cost of living is 17% lower than the national average.

What’s there to do in Mississippi?

After a quick Google search, Visitburg.org had the birthplace of Elvis and Chuck E. Cheese listed as a state attraction.

The difference in cost of living is a paradise tax that every Californian pays to soak in the sun in October, take a road trip up the Pacific Coast Highway with a scenic view and be a kid again in the happiest place on Earth.

Is it worth it?

You bet your grizzly bear it is! There is no state I’d rather live in than sunny California.

At the beginning of the month, my wife and I took a trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico where, according to RentCafe, the cost of living is 5% lower than the national average.

Every new city we visited had us fantasizing of living in it and leaving behind the state we grew up in. The conversation around New Mexico ended rather quickly. To be more specific, the conversation about living in New Mexico ended before we even got to the state.



That’s it. As a couple that prides themselves in following their spirit of adventure, the mood was killed by the state of New Mexico well before we stood in the home state of Heisenberg.

When we got to the Land of Enchantment, the state just reassured us why we shouldn’t complain about the cost of living in paradise.

After a night out in the town, we took a Lyft back to our Airbnb. During our 15-minute Lyft ride, the driver confessed to us that he had been abducted by an alien.

“Meeting someone that’s been abducted by an alien,” was quickly crossed off my bucket list as I simultaneously vowed never to live in New Mexico. I’d rather hear the adventures of my Lyft driver’s appearance as a background actor for a made-for-TV movie than be scared for my life as the driver talks about his fascination with the dark web.

After years of renting, I started my search to set my roots in Southern California and buy a home. According to RentCafe, a house mortgage in California is 97% higher than the national average. Every house that meets our accepted loan is a fixer-upper. In order to have a nice house, I would have to invest money into it.

According to Zillow, the value of a house in my hometown of Pomona has gone up by 9.1%. RentCafe reports that utilities in California are 22% higher than the national average. Affording a house in SoCal means getting a second job.

Forbes reports that in 2022 California gained 475,803 new residents but lost 817,669. The shift in demographics impacts the increasing cost of living in California.

Is it really worth paying the paradise tax?

Yes – I’d rather work a second job than live in a state where Lyft drivers spend their free time figuring out how the aliens probed them.

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About the Contributor
Anthony Solorzano
Anthony Solorzano, Opinions Editor
Anthony Solorzano is the Opinions Editor. He has been pursuing journalism since he realized he hated his job. Anthony loves to tell stories using humor. He finds pop culture to be the truest form of pretentious art.

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