People Are Fleeing California

California is hemorrhaging residents. This comes according to a report from the Economist, which says that from 2007 to 2016, a net one million residents left the Golden State. But why is this happening? Cost of living. Take it from California’s governor, Gavin Newsom.

“If there’s one risk factor in this state, it’s affordability. The thing we most pride ourselves on — the California dream, a notion of social mobility that we export around the world — is in peril.”

According to U.S. News, California ranks next to last in both cost of living and housing affordability, edging out only Hawaii. So many Californians are looking for greener pastures. And many of them are finding those in Texas.

The Yellow Rose of Texas

“You may talk about your dearest May and sing of Rosa Lee, but the Yellow Rose of Texas is the only girl for me!”

Or, at least, the only girl for many California expatriates.

Texas has a lot of advantages on California. Most of all, California punishes top earners more than any other state, with the highest bracket for those taxpayers. Texas has no such expectations of their wealthy.

More importantly, though, people can afford to live in Texas. According to U.S. Census Bureau data from 2013-2017, the median home price in Texas was $172,200. In California, over that same period, the median price was $509,400.

Companies are finding it easier to do business in Texas, and easier to find new employees, too.

2020 Implications

These two states provide an interesting case study for the upcoming 2020 Presidential election. California has long been a haven for Democrats, and has long since pushed many of the more progressive policies that the Democrats of 2020 are looking to promote on a national stage. California has been under Democratic management since the centrist Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, was replaced in 2011.

Texas, by contrast, has had three consecutive Republican governors, dating back to the 1994 election of future President George W. Bush.

Whether the political parties of the states’ governors is the culprit or not is anyone’s guess. What is certain is that progressive policies come with high costs. And at the moment, it seems that Californias are rejecting those costs in droves.


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