Two differing impressions from two people who live(d) in California...what's a Canuck to do?
...one thing SP is spot on about is her statement that California is a big place. In fact, California's GDP (gross domestic product) is bigger than the GDP of many developed 1st world Countries; including Canada, Australia, South Korea and India.
California : 1,958,904 (in millions $USD)
Canada : 1,779,635 (in millions $USD)
....these figures are based on 2012 stats.