In a word: Marxism.
The people of California mistakenly believe they can use Marx’s ideas to help the middle class.
But that’s as insane as arguing you can use Hitler’s ideas to help the Jews.
They’re antithetical philosophies.
Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto as a recipe to get rid of the middle class. California has adopted his ideas - from a progressive tax code to doing more things by hand to dissolving the border.
And then everyone wonders what happened?
So now you’re left with Communism: a rich, upper elite running a system for the happy little peasants.
Want the middle class back? You’ll have to dump the Marxism.
Good luck doing that in California.
There it is in a nutshell. BRIBE the voters in the lower income group with money STOLEN from the kulaks (middle class). Works fine until
(a) you run out of the middle classes, or
(b) the middle class run out of cash.
Hat tip to Maggie Thatcher.