What do Oracle, Charles Schwab, Stitch Fix, Tesla, The Daily Wire, First Foundation, and Hewlett Packard all have in common? They are among the 50 major corporations to have moved their headquarters out of California. What do Billionaire Elon Musk, radio host Joe Rogan, DropBox CEO Drew Houston, Notable California venture capitalists David Blumberg, Keith Rabois and Shutterstock’s billionaire founder Jonathan Oringer have in common? They left California for Texas, Florida, Arizona and Hawaii.
What gives? Why the exodus? It seems the shine has come off the Golden State and those that can are leaving for lower taxes, less business restrictions and escaping on-going lockdowns. The result? California has seen a loss of over $24 billion in adjusted gross income as the rich flee. But they are not the only ones. Over 70,000 net residents moved out of the state in 2020.
“Good riddance!” say die hard Californians. They tout the beauty of the state along with the great weather as reasons to stay home. Oh, they also will readily mention that the economy is the 5th largest in the world. All true of course but in balance, is it still the place that attracted 32 million additional residents from the 1940’s to the 1990’s? Let’s see the issues the California Business Bureau and tourism groups don’t mention:
Public Schools are a mess. California does very little without the approval of the teacher’s unions. And while the kids are still out of school across the state, out of touch school boards like San Francisco are spending their time removing the names of Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and even the once loved Diane Feinstein off of schools. The term “tone deaf” comes to mind.
The California economy is a house of cards. Though they tout it's the 5th largest in the world (China's is large too, would you want to live there?), estimates put the budget deficit as high as $2.3 trillion with pension liability alone of over $1 trillion dollars. This at a time when the state’s unfunded infrastructure needs are estimated to be $737 billion and they already have the highest income tax rates in the country.
Poverty is staggering. 18.2% of residents are at the poverty rate. That is 7.28 million people struggling to get by. A household of 4 making $26,400 per year or less is the federal poverty line. Given the cost of housing, the poor are probably living with many people in a home or apartment to get by or are one of the 100,000 homeless in the state. 27% of all homeless in the US “live” in California.
Deadly wildfires are commonplace. Many would like us to believe that the wildfires are caused from climate change. However, the real answer is the lack of control burns due to “well intentioned” environmental policy short on science. One town waited 10 years for a control burn permit and was eventually ravaged by fire before getting approval. 20 million acres require fuel management with only 13,000 acres being addressed each year. Interesting fact: Carbon emissions from wild fires erased all progress made by solar and electric car power. So much for environmental progress.
One party rule. For several decades, the state has been ruled by the democrats. Liberals have been replaced by woke progressives. Crazy environmental policy including what led to deadly wildfires and excessive housing costs continue to be legislated. Taxes on fuel, income and anything that moves go up. Social policy resembles acts of Nero rather than a representative republic. Leaders like Gavin Newsome operate with a different set of rules than what they dictate to the citizens.
So, if you are a political leader or a member of the coastal elite, you can escape to the beauty still found in places far away from cities or view it through the gated community in which you live. But for more and more residents, California dream'n has turned to California leav'n.
Who can blame them?
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