This marks the first time in the poll's 48 years that a decline has happened three years in a row.
With whole communities across the state seeing record foreclosure levels and home prices having fallen below the cost of their mortgages; over 20 percent of Californians unemployed or underemployed; and state services being slashed left and right thanks to massive budget deficits at the state and local level, it seems the California Dream might have died.
However, even amid the general malaise, there is some optimism. The number of people saying that the state is facing "bad times" was only 95 percent -- which sounds bad, except that it was even higher last year. And only 29 percent believe it will actually get worse, which is the lowest reported since the relatively good times of 2005.
And for those receiving unemployment benefits, thanks to the Employment Development Department delaying system upgrades for which it has money set aside, checks authorized by an extension bill signed into law by President Barack Obama were weeks late in arriving.
Maybe the upgrade would go more quickly -- and cost less money -- if Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's mandatory furlough program didn't have EDD employees working for free on Fridays and returning to work on Saturdays to handle the surge in claims.