Aug 27, 2021

California - People Voting With Their Feet

Between 2015 and 2019, 3.3 million people have moved out of California.  The go to states have been Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Florida.  Las Vegas and Phoenix in particular have been big winners.   The loss in people is so bad that California for the first time in its history has actually lost a congressional seat with some of the other states gaining seats.  People are leaving for several reasons; very high taxes of all kinds, very high cost of living driven by crazy regulations, high energy prices, crime, homelessness and in many large cities bad public schools.  

Clearly, moving to any of these other states will allow someone to buy a home for half the cost it would be in California.  And, if moving to one of the no income tax states, the person or family immediately increases their disposable income.  Of course, people who can now work from home can live anywhere; but even if not possible, jobs are plentiful in these growing states.  

California has been losing people and companies for years.  A dwindling number of large companies still headquartered in California do their manufacturing in other states or overseas and or maintain large employee populations in no income tax states to avoid California corporate income taxes.  California is still a very large economy because agriculture and Silicon Valley make up a big part of state revenues; but that source of tax income is threatened because of dwindling water supply.  California has not built a new dam since 1985 so when monsoon rains do come most of that water just runs out to the ocean. 

The Golden States is not so golden any more because of very bad political decisions that drive people away.  Taxes of all kinds are the highest in the nations.  Regulations drive up the cost of new home building, which then creates less supply causing higher home prices.   Energy costs are also among the highest in the nation because of environmental requirements.  California can be fixed; but not if the state continues down the same path, business as usual.  It will take a new direction and some common sense.