Originally published: Newsmax by Yuri Vanetik
It seems rational to think that people that leave California are unhappy with the Golden State. However, it appears that many are not — or at least not in a way one would think.
Recent data on expatriated Californians suggests that they leave mostly because California is just too expensive; many of them do not harbor the expected ideological grievances. On the contrary, California “immigrants” become emissaries of the welfare state when they settle in their new homes.
Empirical data suggests that transplanted Californians demand progressive policies wherever they go. The impact of the Golden State’s proliferation of entitlement values is exacerbated by the fact that many Californians are moving to conservative states with a lower cost of living like Texas, Colorado, Utah, Tennessee, Montana and Idaho.
Settling there, they often advocate for subsidies and welfare state policies that they are accustomed to.
During the height of the pandemic some 267,000 people left California around the end of 2020. For instance, California Policy Lab found a 649% net increase in San Francisco residents moving out since March 2020.
The California exodus quandary demonstrates that California’s welfare state model is not perceived as the cause for the state’s economic death spiral.
Let’s take a look at Colorado and Texas, to illustrate the impact of the California exodus. Texas has been the most popular destination for outbound Californians for more than a decade, consistently averaging about 60,000 to 70,000 new Golden Staters per year. Major California companies such as Oracle, Hewlett Packard, CBRE, Charles Schwab and now Tesla — have all moved to Texas.
Texas’ population continues to grow, while California’s population growth has stopped for the first time in almost two centuries. California and Texas are the biggest states in the union with California at 40 million and Texas at 30 million residents.
Derek Thompson, writing for the Atlantic, points out that recently Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a stern admonition via social media addressing Californians relocating to Texas: “…those high taxes, burdensome regulations, & socialistic agenda advanced in CA? We don’t believe in that.” This warning was repeated in various warnings in Texas newspapers about the evil “California-ing” of Texas.
Colorado, a historically conservative state, faces similar predicament to that of Texas. Migration of Californians to Colorado has dramatically impacted major facets of daily life there. From significant increases in taxes at the local, county and state levels to gun control legislation that rivals that of Illinois, it appears Californians have transplanted not only themselves but also the very policies that made the Golden State ultimately unlivable for them.
Colorado had been, until recent times, a conservative state, especially when it came to political ideology. It was for this reason that during the 1980s and 1990s Colorado was the epicenter of the national conservative movement.
During that time, socially conservative legislation guarding personal liberties — including a Taxpayer Bill of Rights — was enacted, virtually codifying the venerated individualism of America’s Founding Fathers.
However, the migration of Californians to Colorado brought with it the nanny state sensibilities that have so aptly altered the spirit of Americanism in California and rocketed that state into financial abyss.
According to the most current U.S. Census, over 365,982 Californians have transplanted to Colorado. To illustrate the enormity of that number, if they all resided in one place, it would instantly become the fourth-largest city in the state.
Colorado has long been experiencing a population boom. Colorado’s estimated population was around 5.8 million in 2020. In 2010, the state was home to 5 million residents. In 2000, the state was home to 4.3 million residents. In 1990, the state was home to 3.3 million.
In addition to the new restrictions on firearms, marijuana and same-sex marriage have been legalized. An overly expansive family leave doctrine has been embraced. A legislated expansion of green-energy use for rural consumers was enacted.
Moreover, Colorado is now officially a sanctuary state. Colorado, some years ago, legislated in-state tuition for illegal immigrants’ children who have graduated from high school or received their GED certificates.
Colorado’s once thriving oil and natural gas industries have been disrupted by green energy “eco-zealots” who — as in California — protest and lobby against oil production and exploration, as well as anything that has to do with fracking.
By California standards, those fleeing the untenably high taxes of California’s oppressively woke culture consider themselves moderate (or even conservative) and to that end, don’t understand why for years they have received a cold welcome from such states as Texas and Colorado.
While expatriated Californians may be seeking lower taxes, more affordable housing and better job opportunities, they fail to see that in seeking the benefits of conservative-leaning states through handouts, they are killing off their hosts by bringing with them the same progressive social policies that turned California into a dysfunctional economic reality show.
Bottom line: Red states like Colorado and Texas are at risk because expatriated Californians fail to accept a value system that made those states successful. As long as California’s exodus of welfare state values continues, the uniqueness of American individualism and market economics will be at an increasing risk of being marginalized.
Yuri Vanetik is a private investor, lawyer, and political strategist based in California. Read Yuri Vanetik’s Reports — More Here.