Why Smart Folks Are Fleeing California in Droves

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Today’s state feels a thousand years from the nostalgic, sunny California filled with farms and movie stars. Now, housing and gas prices are the chief reason for residents to leave. For decades now, Los Angeles has felt like a worn out lady still sticking to the style of her youth.

But as the state continues its decline, California has become the home of the very poor and the very rich. No middle class working person would want to struggle with the laws and disorder. California is great if you’re living on the beach, and it’s great if you’re living in a $10 million mansion in Beverly Hills.

For the majority of the people living on the left coast, it’s looking better each day to give up and go back home. Nobody living in the big cities were born there, after all, and I don’t just mean the Mexican aliens.

Leaving California

The weather is beautiful and there’s always something to do, but lower income and middle income residents are packing up and saying their goodbyes to the state.

The trend is being attributed to several factors from housing prices and high taxes. I’m sure the filthy roads, homeless and overwhelming lack of English speakers in the cities is influencing the exodus as well.

According to the Census Bureau, California has lost over 138,000 residents who moved out of the state but stayed in America in the year spanning July 2016 – July 2017. Popular destinations for these movers are more affordable, still warm states including Arizona, Texas and Nevada.

Interviews with Leavers

Speaking with media, one fixed income Californian said that he plans on moving to Las Vegas. While the weather is the best in the country, he said:

“Rents here are crazy, if you can find a place, and they’re going to tax us to death. That’s what it feels like. At least in Nevada they don’t have a state income tax. And every little bit helps.”

The 65-year-old man said that he once lived in east San Francisco Bay and says that housing and gas prices are “significantly lower in Las Vegas.” He went on to blame the government in the Californian state for his troubles.


During the 2016-2017 window, Texas saw an increase of 79,000 residents. Arizona saw 63,000 net new residents and Nevada added another 38,000 citizens to their rolls.

A realtor in Las Vegas said:

“You can literally have a lot of buying power for the dollar in Southern Nevada versus Southern California. So it has been a major trend over the year, year and a half, and we’re seeing it increase.”

Housing Issues

Continuing with Census Bureau information, the trend of leavers is showing that it’s lower income Californians who choose to pack up, not the high income earners. One consultant on economics, Christopher Thornberg, said that house is the “chief reason” that people are choosing to leave the state. There are usually bidding wars that follow houses put on to the market.

Rent price for a one bedroom in Los Angeles is over $2,200 per month. In foggy San Francisco, that same apartment can cost you $3,400.

In comparison, renting a one bedroom in Vegas is $925 and it’s about the same in Phoenix. Two bedrooms are steady at $1,100.

New Gas Tax

Here at Joe For America we’ve been following Gov. Jerry Brown’s new gas tax that will incrementally hike the price of gas to one of the highest in the nation.

The tax on a gallon of gas in California is scheduled to reach $0.657 by July next summer. Only Pennsylvania will be more expensive.

According to Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, California has the highest taxes in the USA.

California Has Worst Quality of Life

At the beginning of the month a new report card was handed down by the US News that ranked the state as the worst in the nation in terms of quality of life. The trend that came up in this study showed again that yes, unless you are very rich or homeless, you’re better off moving elsewhere.

Split The State, Take The Best

Joel Kotkin of Chapman University in Orange, California has been working with conservative media to spread the message that conservatives in rural areas are working on solutions to split the state up into pieces, letting the liberals have the coastline while maintaining the inland for themselves. Read more about it here, along with a quick recap on the geo-political history of the golden state.

Sunny California

For decades the state has been the subject of songs and movies giving the virtues of the sunny warmth and open skies. We had Al Jolson’s California Here I Come and the later east coast influenced California Dreaming, but since the 1980s and 1990s most California-loving music has been hip-hop that dedicates itself to how rough it can be.

Is gentle nostalgia all we have left?

Sources: MSNBC

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