California Panics about Losing Businesses and People (to Texas): What the Housing Market Fears Most is Cropping Up in the Data

But Texans Say, “We’re Full.” And Californians, Buckling Under Housing Costs & Congestion, Tell Wannabe Leavers, “Just Do It”

This is now everywhere in the Media. In San Francisco, it was on Radio this morning, a whole discussion on KQED’s Forum about California and Texas, with a good dose of California-bashing, and some Texas-bashing too. The fear is that business conditions and costs of living are driving businesses and people out of California. The panic here is over this question: What can California do to stem the outflow of businesses and people to Texas? At least that’s the official panic.

And there is suddenly some reason for this panic. According the latest data from the California Employment Development Department, the labor force (people who are either working or are actively looking for work) and the number of employed people declined two months in a row, April and May, to form a fairly steep dip, even on a seasonally adjusted bases as shown in the chart:

The labor force peaked in February at 19.582 million (seasonally adjusted) and has since dropped by 103,600 people to 19.479 million, below where it had been in April 2018!

The number of employed people dropped by 104,900 over the same period to 18.65 million, to the level of September 2018.

Given that the labor force and the number of working people shrank at about the same rate, the unemployment rate remained flat in May with February at 4.2%. So this is not a case of companies massively laying off people, but a case of people leaving the state, both employed and unemployed people.

California is nearly always ranked as one of the worst places to do business, and Texas as one of the best. For example, in its 2019 rankings, Chief Executive put Texas in first place and California in dead-last 50th place.

While these types of surveys are routinely brushed off as whining by spoiled-rotten CEOs, the dip in the labor force and employment are now causing some soul-searching here.

On Friday, it was Governor Gavin Newsom who came out swinging. “Every year, the executive magazines come out and say, ‘California is the worst place to do business, No. 50 in the nation,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle. “They say the best places are Tennessee and Texas … but if it’s all about (gross domestic product), we outperform everyone.” The state “is still the envy of the world,” he said.

“Some of the CEOs have never done better in their lifetime,” he said. “They made all their money here, and then move to Arizona before their IPO.”

Also on Friday, Newsom addressed the crowd of executives at the 2019 Pacific Summit in San Francisco: “We’re not going to be the cheapest place to do business, but you knew that 50 years ago,” he said. He mentioned some of the reforms. “We’re making progress, and I hope you’ll start focusing on that rather than the 13.3% damn tax rate.”

And yet California’s population has ballooned to nearly 40 million people, and housing is insufferably expensive. The term “Housing Crisis” is in common use in many cities, and there is a continuous flow of stories in the media about people who work at any of the tech companies in Silicon Valley or San Francisco or Southern California, often as contractors, who cannot afford housing, or don’t want to blow all their income on housing, and so they’re living in cars, vans, and RVs parked in endless rows on some streets.

Other people, who live in slightly less unaffordable areas face horrible commutes. In the Bay Area, these commutes also involve chokepoints in the form of bridges. These people leave their house before 5 a.m. to beat the rush, and since everyone is doing it, that’s when the rush starts.

So, for many Californians buckling under this stress, there is a fervent wish that these people that keep talking about leaving the state should just do it, instead of wasting everyone’s time talking about it. The people that are buckling under housings costs, congestion, and commutes wouldn’t mind if a few million Californians finally packed up and moved to Texas.

About 21% of Americans live either in California (40 million) or in Texas (29 million). No other state comes close. Florida is third with a population of 21 million people (chart via Google Public Data Explorer):

Alas, I just heard from my concerned friends in Texas. And they told me to spread the word here in California that Texas is full, and that the new go-to state is now North Dakota. Pooh-poohing California has become an election strategy by certain Republican candidates in Texas with a battle cry, “Don’t California My Texas,” which is now available on T-shirts.

In San Francisco and Silicon Valley, according to EDD’s not seasonally adjusted data, the jury is still out fretting. In the counties of San Francisco, San Mateo (northern part of Silicon Valley), and Santa Clara (southern part of Silicon Valley, South Bay), the labor force dropped from the peak in February by 31,100 to 2.09 million, with a very sharp drop in April, followed by an uptick in May, taking it back to August 2018 levels. The number of employed people fell by 19,000 to 2.05 million, also back to August 2018 levels.

And since the labor force plunged more quickly, with people apparently heading for Texas or maybe North Dakota, the unemployment rate dropped to 1.8% in San Francisco and San Mateo, and to 2.1% in Santa Clara Country, all of them the lowest rates in the data as far as I can see. So this is not a case of companies laying off people – no, they’re still struggling to hire – but a case of people vanishing.

In Los Angeles County – with a population of 10.1 million, over a quarter of California lives there – the plunge started late last year: From the peak in November through May, the county lost 103,000 people in its labor force and 68,700 employed people.

This shrinkage took the labor force to 5.072 million, a level first seen in June 2017 – nearly two years ago! And employment dropped to 4.873 million, a level first seen in September 2017. So here, the jury is no longer out:

Because in Los Angeles too the labor force is shrinking faster than the number of employed people, the unemployment rate dropped to 3.9%.

For now, there are still hopes that the dreadfully shrinking labor force is just a statistical quirk or a seasonal factor. This could still be the case in the Bay Area. But in Los Angeles County, the data is strong and persistent enough to indicate that there is some kind of trend at work.

And Los Angeles might be the leading edge in this trend, with the Bay Area and other population centers following behind. And that’s what California’s officials and the entire housing industry and other industries are fretting about.

But this would be just what Californians who are buckling under housing costs and congestion are praying for: That this net-outflux might pick up some speed and make some room and take some pressure off the housing market and allow prices and rents to correct.

The Fed has already accomplished more with its verbiage this year than it had last time when it cut rates all the way to zero and did trillions of dollars of QE. My podcast…  THE WOLF STREET REPORT: Stealth Stimulus Has Arrived

Enjoy reading WOLF STREET and want to support it? You can donate. I appreciate it immensely. Click on the beer and iced-tea mug to find out how:

Would you like to be notified via email when WOLF STREET publishes a new article? Sign up here.

  236 comments for “California Panics about Losing Businesses and People (to Texas): What the Housing Market Fears Most is Cropping Up in the Data

  1. weinerdog43 says:

    This will be a fun discussion.

    I’ll start. I’ve lived in Oklahoma City, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, Chicagoland and Wisconsin. And every single place has its pros and cons. I can’t speak for CA, but having visited, yes, it is expensive. It is also beautiful and full of hard working people.

    Texas is huge. There is plenty of room for sprawl. But aside from Dallas and to some degree, San Antonio, the public transportation system is terrible. Getting around in Austin is frequently an exercise in gridlock. Driving is essential when it is 100 degrees because walking means heatstroke. Better have good AC. Really nice in October though.

    • Lou Mannheim says:

      I just left Austin for, uh, Connecticut. Can confirm on the traffic; nice city/area, tremendous nightlife. There is definitely antagonism towards transplants, lotta new houses look an awful lot like places in the Hills or Venice Beach (they all look the same, including the same type of house number signs). And if you’re from CA you’re probably a tech bro, which let’s face it, is not a good look. Plus they have housing issues as well, with regular 10% property tax increases due to ruthless revals by the city.

      I left for the above and because I didn’t like 100+ temps all summer long, it’s just as expensive as nyc except for housing, and I actually like the NE. We might get a snow shower in May, but there is something to be said about the natural beauty around here; it feels more accessible than the West, if more modest.

      • Ed says:

        Lou – Austin is as expensive as NYC? Housing is 1/2 as expensive and all other consumers goods are probably 33% less when including sales tax.

        The NE is still very hot and humid in the summer but it’s way colder in the winter. Is there really a difference between 90-95 and 95-100?

        • The Grifter says:

          Typical summer highs in Connecticut are 80-85 degrees, not 90-95, and the “hot season” is two months, mid-July to mid-September. It cools off at night most nights. That is very different from 95-100 lasting from May to October. And it is still very warm most nights. I live in Southern California but do business in Central Texas and also love New England. Each place is different but all are good. I think the warm nights are the dividing line for many people; a lot of folks just need it to cool off and need a climate where it does that.

        • Lou Mannheim says:

          Ed – or should I say Mayor Adler??! :)

          Kidding aside I stand by my comment, and I did say housing was cheaper. Not sure what you think goes down in CT, but that’s not a typical summer (although the way things are going it very well could be).

        • Ed says:

          The Grifter – The way I look at it is you have to sum up total number of pleasant days ( high temps between 60-85 degrees. CT has maybe 35 pleasant days all year. Austin probably has close to 100. My point is it doesn’t matter if it’s 86, 90, or 100. It’s unpleasant to be outside.

          Sure, you don’t have a long, hot summer, but you do have a long cold winter. How is that any better? I’d much rather have low 75, high 100 for 5 months, then low 10 high 30 for 7 straight months.

      • Jay says:

        Austin was a great place til California moved in and ruined it.

        • D Shinn says:


        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          One could also say California was a great place until all of the Dust Bowlers (TX among the other Plains & Southern states-includes my mother’s side of the family) moved here in the ’30’s. What goes around, comes around when chasing work and affordable living…as Wolf has stated, don’t gripe about leaving CA-just DO IT!

          (About time the rest of the country puts up with some of the immigration we’ve dealt with for generations. Can’t wait to hear general opprobrium about some other highly-successful state. Lookit, folks, if somewhere is THAT great, people will move there! Then more people! And yet more! Until, in the words of Yogi Berra: “…nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded…”).

          May we all find a better day.

      • chris gray says:

        We also left Austin (after living in NYC) Due to cost. Moved mback to California. If you are under the age of 30 and want to live within cycling distance of downtown, a newer 3-bedroom with a garage will run you $1Million. Same with herin Del Mar, San Diego, but at least you have a beach.

        • Chris Zeller says:

          *mouth drops* A million for three bedrooms in TX? Removing Austin from my list now… At this rate I may just ride it out here in CA.

        • Lou Mannheim says:

          Chris – that also comes with about $20k/yr in property taxes. No state income tax though.

      • Erle says:

        Because you mentioned tax, may I offer a modest proposal?
        In keeping with the current flurry of spending schemes, I think that S Corp taxes that are overpaid during the year and getting a long delayed refund should be taxed.
        Heck, if you get a 50k freebie refund for overpaying “estimates” you should have to return at least 30k as you likely don’t need it.
        Think of the suffering school bureaucrat pensioners that racked up thirty years and are only getting 100k in retirement benefits

        • Chris Zeller says:

          Aww poor babies being paid 100k not to work. Oh the humanity…/sarcasm

        • sven says:

          “…you likely don’t need it….”it is the worker’s, not the state’s to take it. capitalism rules
          “…suffering school bureaucrat pensioners….” they earn more than the median income of their districts while not teaching the kids according to world standard testing. they took the job, got paid, got tenure, got unionized, got pension on my taxes. capitalism rules

    • Kevin says:

      This article also describes my situation to some degree. I lived in San Francisco for three years in the late 90s and then in Los Altos in Cupertino for several more years until 2001. I loved my time there and I think San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and the climate in food of the Bay area is unbeatable. But it wasn’t long run sustainable for my family to live there. We could have done it, but the cost was too great, it would have been very difficult to save for retirement, and even then the culture was becoming overly focused on what people do for a living. We moved to Denver Colorado and it has been an excellent fit. Unfortunately many of the same issues are now arriving here in Colorado, although it is still vastly more affordable. There are many things I miss about the Bay area, but on the balance, moving to Colorado was much better for our family. I presume that the majority of the middle class and upper middle class in the Bay area will eventually move to other states or to far-flung exurbs have the Bay area just for affordability. It’s not just Texas, it’s really more the entire rest of the western United States. I believe if you look at the statistics, Oregon is the most common destination for Bay area refugees.

      • alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit says:

        I was in Colorado in the mid-90s and at the time, you could be a working schlub and buy a house. The Springs was an interesting place, conservatives galore but great used book stores, thrift stores, a pretty strong liberal and LBGT movement, just a real mix and it all worked because if you worked at all, you slept under a roof.

        I’m really surprised Denver is experiencing California-level rents etc.

      • D says:

        So californias leave stifling democratic politics just to turn texas blue and elect the exact same democrats to fuck up texas. Smh

  2. Cindy Faithe says:

    This is real. I’m in my late 50’s, husband and I are hanging in. But the people who are leaving are our youngish late 20’s early 30’s. Just recently spoke with and old friend, 3 of her nephews and their young families all moved to Texas. All are college educated, good jobs, but middle class jobs, ie nurses, teachers. They can’t make it in California. They can buy a house there and not have to sit in traffic for two hours. California is for old people who already got theirs ( or ours) and very poor immigrants. The young middle class are the ones that are leaving.

    • Steve says:

      I have cousins (three generations) in the San Diego area. The second and third generation have already moved to San Antonio TX and found jobs even before they moved. The first generation is retired and in the process of selling their condo. With the equity they have they will be able to buy a much bigger and nicer house in Texas for cash and still be near their children and grandchildren.

    • joe says:

      Unfortunately they also left you paying a larger share of the total tax package.

  3. weinerdog43 says:

    Texas has the best BBQ anywhere, though.

  4. Art says:

    Yet another gas tax coming on July 1st. I gotta get outta here, too.

    • Laughing Eagle says:

      Yes California is 2nd in nation for highest gas tax at 54.4 cents/gallon, only 2nd to Pa. at 58.7 cents. Texas has 20 cents per gallon. 30 cents less and only 5 states are lower-Hawaii at 14.4 cents, Missouri at 17.4 cents, Mississippi at 18.8 cents, N.Mexico at 18.9%. So Texas is the place to drive around in that vast state. It is cheaper by far.
      AARP June Newsletter

      • West Hills Austinite says:

        Roads in Austin are utter crap for condition. What fun is that. Sorry Tex aint no paradise at all. Given the property tax one pays in Austin they roads and schools should be far far better. Austin is also the armpit of homeless freedom. Crap little city with a better reputation that it is in reality. Its a dump.

      • alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit says:

        Given the traffic around here, I’m all for $10/gallon gas.

        • JBird says:

          If we had mass public transportation that was not inadequate and over priced, maybe.

          But we don’t and 1/3 of California is out in the boonies with there is no public transportation and not much work. Gas taxes hit the people there the hardest, not the comparatively affluent coastal areas.

          Just wait until the next bust and just like the last few times the traffic will drop like a stone. You will be a much happier commuter.

      • As of one July, CA will PASS PA with the highest gas taxes in the nation. On that date CA gas taxes rise another 5.6 cents. And that’s not counting California’s unique 12 cent “cap and trade” tax on gasoline.

        CA ALREADY has the highest diesel taxes — which are passed through to customers in California.

    • Lou Mannheim says:

      Can’t make such a broad statement due to a small sample size , but I will miss the brisket. Kansas City is damn fine too.

  5. RD Blakeslee says:

    Well, it’s interesting what Texans say about Californians and vice-versa, but I think I know what both say about West Virginians.


    Thank the lord.

    • curiouscat says:

      I love West Virginia! Make sure nobody “discovers” it.

      • WES says:

        RD & Cat: Built my last electric mining shovel in WV!

        I heard that St. Peters has to lock up WVs on weekends and holidays or they will return to WV!

        My crew used to show me pictures of their state champion hound dogs!

        Got to love them Hatfield & McCoy hillbillies!

      • marco says:

        I think all the oxycontin addicts already “discovered” it .

      • RD Blakeslee says:

        Fortunately, the anointed mainline media is continuously reinforcing our negative stereotype, so we remain undiscovered.

        Sometimes good things happen for bad reasons.

      • Winston says:

        “I love West Virginia! Make sure nobody ‘discovers’ it.”

        “They called it paradise, I don’t know why. You call some place paradise, kiss it goodbye” – The Eagles, Hotel California, Last Resort

        • AZRob says:

          The verse from that Eagles song, “the last resort” typifies the state of California perfectly.

        • Seen it all before, Bob says:

          “Almost heaven, West Virginia
          Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River
          Life is old there, older than the trees
          Younger than the mountains, blowing like a breeze” – John Denver

    • DR DOOM says:

      Do not come to western NC we have roving bands of people who carry guns and they kill and eat squirrels and talk funny. Worst part,you might have to eat cornbread and milk and eat beans and taters to survive. It is so bad people get together and try to cook a pig in a dirt hole and then start drinking while armed to the teeth. Escape to the city is impossible due to this tricky thing called socio-economics. We will also stare at you if you look out of place. A must do if you have to visit is to watch the documentry Deliverance before you do.

      • Eustis Beauregard Lee says:

        South Carolina is even worse. Smell of shit is in the air. I can now distinguish horse shit, pig shit, cow shit, goat shit, and bear shit from the typical human shit I used to step in in San Franshitco. All night long in South Carolina, I hear banjos. I didn’t know the greeting ‘boy, you have a purty mouth’ was complimentary. And the sheep humping parties . . .

  6. Paid Minion says:

    Moved from Kansas to Chicago last year. Had a choice……..find a new job with pay starting around $16/hour in Kansas, or make double that in Chicago.

    So far, I’m loving it.

    Yeah, property taxes on real estate are high. So don’t buy a house. Rental properties are higher in Chicago, but not ridiculously high.

    Property taxes are offset by other expenses. Electric rates are a lot cheaper, and because it doesn’t hit 100 degrees much, you use less electricity anyway. They don’t slap property taxes on vehicles. Lots of rental properties close to anywhere you work, so no more 10-20 mile (or longer) commutes.

    Chicago has tons of stuff to do, and even more within a couple hours drive. A three hour drive in Kansas gets you from Wichita to Okie City, or the southwest suburbs of KC, or some God-Forsaken armpit in BFE/Western Kansas. Travel in Kansas is measured by hours, not by miles.

    Of course, you could say the same about Texas. Look up “Clusterf##k” in the dictionary, and there is a satellite view of the DFW Metroplex.

    • TXRancher says:

      Yes North Texas is a clusterf**k. I suggest everyone stay away. /s

    • ru82 says:

      You are correct. Kansas City is not near anywhere and there is not much to do. You have to driver everywhere because of the sprawl. When you go to another suburb, all you see is the same old stuff. Olive Garden, 5 Guys, Chipotle, Pot Belly, Pepper Jacks, Pie 5, On the Border, etc. Hardly any original food. Just the same old same old chain restaurant food. Now the BBQ is great and there may be as many BBQ places as McDonalds. But you can only eat so much BBQ.

      The good thing is that if you have to travel, you are half way to the west coast, half way to the east coast.

      I will tell you what though. There are tons of McMansion going up, Those 2500 to 4000 sq ft homes for $400k to $600k. Also a lot of luxury apartments. I am not sure who is coming to KC but I did read that half of the population growth has been Hispanic. So maybe people moving from Mexico or Texas?

      • Petunia says:

        I traveled to KC frequently in the 80’s. A McMansion in Overland Park, center hall brick with pool, was $45K. A year’s pay for me back then.

      • J7915 says:

        No more Taco Tico, Bueno or Bell?

    • Kevin says:

      Chicago is a great city, but it is being destroyed by higher taxes, and the taxes are going to get much worse than they are now because of their public employee pension crisis. You will absolutely be paying much more in taxes there than in KC, and remember that landlords roll property tax into your rent payment, so there is no free lunch.

  7. interesting says:

    Oh this is fresh…..California panics…….well one way to attract business to your state is to offer higher taxes and free medical to illegals.

    Invite the whole world in for free shit and let businesses pay for…..that makes total sense…..

    • polecat says:

      Bu bu but I thought all those newly to be acquired undocumented sanctuarians were going to make up for the near homeless who’ve had enough of the Democrat’s intransigence !! What happened ?

      I don’t believe one word being uttered from the likes of Gov. Lounge Lizard …

    • Javert Chip says:

      And San Francisco’s population does provide lots & lots of free shit…and urine

    • MCH says:

      The Gavin does not panic, just raise enough taxes on Mark, Tim, the boys in the Valley and the lovely cultural treasures in So Cal. Then CA will be just fine.

      And heck, we don’t need the losers who are leaving anyway. The Gavin will offer enough taxpayer money to the illegal… I mean undocumented…. I mean immigrants, then all will be well.

    • California Nightmare says:

      AGREE …100% …
      California has created this madness with their own people having to escape and leave because they can’t afford to live in California anymore . Not to mention that they are willing to take care of all the illegal immigrates first .. is medical , housing , food stamps, putting blinders on about the housing crisis , HOMELESS folks … anyway don’t want to get started on political views at the moment . But I myself flew the coup from California to Tennessee … where can you live in California and own a home for $710 a month including property tax .. no it’s not California ocean views but who cares when you can’t afford to pay your mortgage and are stressed ? out about how your going to out dood on the table . Finally got my son to move the hell away and is now is Tennessee making more money here and he can afford to pay rent and buy groceries and have money in the bank .

    • ian says:

      We get the same mindless drivel in the UK. Oh, we need 10,000 nurses a year therefore we need net 300k mass immigration, many unchecked illegals, or we won’t have nurses. Really? Just go and look for 10,000 nurses on work permits or whoever else skilled we need. Doh. Oh and maybe we should train our own nurses, perhaps that’s a better idea.

    • Mark Davis says:

      I own a business here in California. The taxes and fees are unreal. We have employees and the cost of having an employee is crazy. We now have to offer paid sick leave. I don’t mind it because I value my employees. It’s the mandatory part I don’t like. We are looking to move our business out of California. I have family in Texas and that very well could be our new home. Plus they are gun friendly and I love that. I love my guns!

    • Demetrius says:

      Exactly!!!! I’m a Californian native about to retire in a few years and if I wanted to couldn’t get the benefits of what these illegals are getting. Damn shame how “They’re” depleting the resources here!! I’m a Democrat but got to give it to Trump on this issue. Really considering on going Republican but that’s another conversation. Anyway I paid my way and dues but California is for the rich, young and single. Planing on selling my house in the I.E. and buying in Durham NC with money to spare. People here are being outsourced due to high rent. Not racist but it burns me up when illegals come here and don’t even try to speak the language but expect you to do for them,..if you were to go to those countries you’re be sh*t out of luck all the way around. It sucks.

      • Wolf Richter says:


        Not everyone who looks different and speaks a different language is “illegal.” You don’t know if they’re “illegal” or “legal” or American citizens since birth unless you check their status, which you cannot do by just looking at the color of their skin and listening to their language.

        • Chim Ritchalds says:

          Solid virtue signalling, Wolf.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          No, just reality.

        • Whatever says:

          Okay, I’ll go one further – anyone legal or illegal in the US who doesn’t bother to learn English doesn’t belong here. Previous waves came here to be Americans and assimilate, and Americans who were already here shamed those who didn’t assimilate.

          Attitudes like Wolf is exactly why they don’t anymore.

        • Wolf Richter says:


          Look, I was “legal” in Japan and China and don’t speak those languages. However, I agree that there should be a language requirement for citizenship. And if bothers me that official election documents come in multiple languages. If you vote, you should be able to read English, imho (or Braille or whatever).

      • mikesmith says:

        Demetrius, I don’t understand. You are complaining about your state government’s policies, yet it is run by the same party you have been voting for all your life. Instead of bringing your voting habits to some other unfortunate state and ruining it too, why don’t you stay where you are and eat your own cooking?

    • Ed says:

      But think of all the newcomers voting democrat … whether they are citizens or not. And then when the Dems succeed in somehow abolishing the electoral college then Cali can decide the next president all by itself.

  8. Steve says:

    Wolf, when I attended the get together on April 30th, I was staying with a friend down in San Jose. He has a condo there and his neighbors are now “tax refugees ” in Henderson NV. The rent they are collecting on the San Jose condo more than pays for their housing expenses in NV.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Steve, the guy who rode his motorbike across the USA from PA to our WOLF FEST! Good to hear from you.

      Yes, lots of people are doing that. I know a few too. But you have to be careful. The California Franchise Board, our tax collector, has figured this out too. They can get snarly if they think you’re avoiding state taxes by having a home in NV but spending too much time in CA.

      • Petunia says:

        NY actually counts the days high earners spend in the state just to tax them. I think 180 days “visiting” makes you a NY taxpayer.

        • Rg says:

          How are they actually able to know the days spent in the state?

        • Prairies says:

          RG: any payment with plastic is monitored. GPS data on phones isn’t too far fetched. They have ways

        • Harrold says:

          Its 183 days. Its an IRS rule.

        • Bay Area Bill says:

          Cash only. Burner phone. Live like a drug dealer. They can’t track you.

        • Petunia says:


          First, they target you specifically because they know you have the ability to earn income or do business in the state, or you own real estate. Then they monitor your travel to the state. It’s easy to look at airport logs and credit card charges. They do this to sports people, financial types, and celebrities.

        • alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit says:

          Bay Area Bill I like the cut of your jib.

        • Rg says:

          Thanks all. Based on the feedback, it appears they must be monitoring the personal records of a huge number of people.

        • d says:

          Should be 183 its an international standard.

          You can beat this by going 176, 176, 14 (vacation any where else) and documenting it.

          Thereby paying only federal taxes in the US and for me legally NO INCOME taxes at all. In the two countries I do 176 PA in. Helps to hold properties in trust/entities.

          Last time one state hit me up about it. I told them, Years ago you robbed me and would not listen when I told you, you were wrong. Fighting you is to expensive, so I just did something about it.. Now you get what you are legally entitled to, which is, NOTHING.

  9. Andrew Malanga says:

    Need to change the politics in Cali.

    • Mch says:

      What???? You mean let the Elephants back in? NOOOOOOOOOOO……

      • jerry says:

        i lived in CA for 45 years and have never seen a tax increase that was not approved – I also never a single person who voted for a tax increase.

        My property tax is $2700 on a million dollar CA shack and $6500 on a 1900 sq ft texas house.

        Gas here in Texas is $2.15 and $3.95 in CA.

        My electric is 10 cents for texas and i use 2500 kwh and 30 cents for CA where i use 800 kwh.

        In calif a new ac is $3,500 and in texas in the summer the same ac its $7,000. Do you like 80F or 110F and high humidity ?

        Texas car reg is $79 in Ca its $379. …texas insurance is much higher.

        texas is only business friendly if your a new type of business, thats not established well in texas …if your gonna compete against a texas business…its a SOB to get your doors open.

        The bottom line is they screw you one way or the other, they screw you coming or going ….YOUR CHOICE …PICK UR POISON

        There is no green grass in Texas or Calif.

        • Art says:

          What’s the poopy sidewalk comparison like?

        • w.c.l. says:

          I’ve lived in Northern and Southern Cal over my life and have been here in N.E. Texas for over twenty years now. It may be “cheaper” to live here, but trust me, you get what you pay for. Hell the county where I live didn’t even legalize alcohol sales till about six years ago. (I had a lot of catching up to do). P.S. the humidity sucks.

        • Winston says:

          “Gas here in Texas is $2.15 and $3.95 in CA.”

          When your state turns blue thanks to all of the refugees from CA who fail to understand that it was their politics that soiled their last nest, expect that to rise. CO has already gone from virtually solid red in 2004 to solid blue in state and federal elections.

        • Ed says:

          jerry – totally agree. The property tax and property insurance is insane in Texas. Almost completely wipes out the lack of state income tax. AC usage must drive up electric bills 6 months per year as well.

          The weather and being stuck in the middle of nowhere are also huge downsides. You can get a big crappy house for cheap if you don’t mind living in strip mall country and driving an hour to work though.

          If I was a middle class bozo, I’d pick Arizona or Utah ahead of Texas.

        • Rcohn says:

          Texas has one of the highest property tax rates in the country right up there with New Jersey @ %2.3.
          Although property tax %s obviously vary by municipality in Cal, it seems to be around %1.1 on newly built houses. However for those property owners who have owned their houses for a long period of time, property taxes can be much lower

        • West Hills Austinite says:

          Well said by Jerry. Texas aint no picnic. Its better to have the beach and low humidity. No matter it will all cost you!

          Roads in Austin are utter crap for condition. What fun is that. Sorry Tex aint no paradise at all. Given the property tax one pays in Austin they roads and schools should be far far better. Austin is also the armpit of homeless freedom. Crap little city with a better reputation that it is in reality. Its a dump.

        • Harrold says:

          Very true. Walmart has been suing the state of Texas for several years now to be allowed to sell liquor.

          Corporations are not allowed to own liquor stores in Texas.

        • Seen it all before, Bob says:

          “My property tax is $2700 on a million dollar CA shack and $6500 on a 1900 sq ft texas house. ”

          Depending how much you earn,you pay $10K in CA state income tax but don’t ever pay any state income tax in TX.

          Not defending TX or CA, but the states get their income somehow.

        • Bobby Dale says:

          What would the tax be on your million dollar shack if not Prop 13 protected, i.e. on the people who buy it from you?

        • Dave says:

          Grew up in SoCal, now in Houston for 25 years. Dual income couple, have thought about going back to CA through the years, but in TX we save $30k per year in state income tax even after factoring in TX property tax. That alone has paid for college education for two children and now fully funds two 401k’s. CA definitely wins for weather and SoCal beach life, TX wins for food (TexMex and BBQ paradise), much lower overall cost of living, and Texans are generally friendlier. We’ll take all of our investments plus home equity to FL in a few years and live a very financially secure retirement. Cheers!

    • Bruce says:

      Yup out the jackasses like galvanic nuisance

  10. Old Dog says:

    I moved to Palo Alto in the 80s when housing was affordable, congestion was manageable and working there was amazing. Today, housing is beyond reach unless you have a combined income of $500k. The congestion is insane and you will most likely work for a greed-driven CEO.

    I bolted out of there 30 years later and I kick myself for not having left earlier.

  11. Satya Mardelli says:

    Memo to Californians pondering a move out of state. Please leave that liberal BS in California. Try the center/right side of the political spectrum. You might find it invigorating.

    Where I live you get to keep most of what you earn. And as an added bonus we don’t allow people to sh*t on the sidewalk.

  12. Brant Lee says:

    I suppose the robot labor for McDonalds, Starbucks and such in California can’t come soon enough. Even at $15 hr, where are you going to live if not with momma or in your car? Fast food and retail could build a second story over the business to house bodies (as they are called by management).

  13. BrianC says:

    Here in coastal SoCal, the cost of living rivals Bay Area prices. But the economy down here is nowhere near the same. It is just not the powerful innovator/wealth creator that is the Bay Area. There aren’t nearly as many high paying jobs. Consequently, the average resident is stretched thin trying to get by. With the Trump tax reform taking effect, effective tax rates for the home owning class are up by 5-7%. That’s ALL of the disposable income for all but the highest earners. This will continue to work through the economy and it won’t look pretty.

    • Just Some Random Guy says:

      It’s funny how SALT restrictions have taken a life of their own. Did it rain on your picnic? It’s Trump’s tax bill’s fault, man!!

      In order to be affected by SALT caps, you have to make a lot of money. If you make a lot of money, you got a hell of a nice tax cut from Trump. So yeah you lost a few $K in SALT deductions, but you made that up and then some from the lower tax rates. And even more so if that high income is business income.

      Virtually every tax payer got a tax cut, including liberals in California.

      • Dave says:

        Just Some Random Guy,

        Actually my retired mother-in-law does taxes as a side gig. My wife and I ended up owing $1600. We usually get a refund of ~$4000. When I spoke with the mother-in-law she stated at least 90% of the tax returns she did ended up owing money this year, and she does quite a few returns.

        I had to increase my withholdings to a ridiculous “single” status from married with no deductions. So yeah, I call BS on the Trump Tax “Cuts” and your opinion on them as well.

        I also do not know your definition of “a lot of money”. My wife and I have a combined annual income of $185,000 just as a point of reference.

        • Wolf Richter says:


          Your tax refund is NOT a measure of how much in taxes you pay. The withholding tables changed for 2018, and so the amount withheld dropped for a lot of people, and they took home more each month, but then their expected refund was smaller, or they ended up owing.

          To find out the total amount of federal income taxes for the year, go to Form 1040 line 15 “Total tax.” This is the number. Then compare this line to the same line on the prior year’s Form 1040. But if your income and other things changed during the year, so would your taxes.

        • Just Some Random Guy says:

          “My wife and I ended up owing $1600. We usually get a refund of ~$4000. ”

          Uuugggghhhhh!!! This line of thinking drives me insane.

          Tax refunds aren’t not taxes paid. They have nothing to do with each other.

          Scenario 1: Tax bill can be $100K. I pay $110K in taxes, I get a $10K refund.

          Scenario 2: Tax bill is $5K, but I only pay $4K and owe $1K.

          In your example I pay more taxes in scenario 2 because I owe money to the IRS.

        • Bay Area Bill says:

          We definitely paid more taxes as a % of our earnings in 2018 than in prior years, but we’re pretty high earners.

      • Bruce says:

        Bingo.if you are smart and not lazy you do well in California .plus it’s beautiful. No needles and crap in the streets that’s stupid. A few blocks in SF and LA doesnt make this state crappy. Paradise friends dont let em fool ya. Business is booming and if you fail here it’s because your a greedy lazy sob. Tons of customers
        People moving out is not near as much as people moving IN!

        • Kevin says:

          I’m a former SF resident and visit family there frequently. It is a beautiful city, but is entirely overrun by the homeless, even in the areas far from downtown. Many good things about SF, beautiful weather, scenic, best food in the country, but no one can claim that there isn’t a serious homelessness issue. And yes, there is human feces on the sidewalk, and it’s not just in the Tenderloin.

      • Ed says:

        Just Some Random Guy – This isn’t true. The lowered tax rate doesn’t offset the cap on SALT in the NE or California for many COI adjusted middle income families. In addition, the cost to purchase a home in these areas certainly has gone up for families not grandfathered in to the $750K cap by more than the lower tax rate.

        The unfunded tax cut is also going away for households in a few years but will remain for corporations. The lowered tax rate disappears for everyone but the SALT limit remains in place. Massive major net increase in taxes for the majority of households in the country.

        • Rcohn says:

          Before the restrictions on SALT , I could not deduct them because of the ALT- MIN tax calculation. After the Trump tax cuts the SALT deduction was irrelelevant

        • Bay Area Bill says:

          Also, since CA taxes are based off the Fed AGI, you get the honor of paying taxes on the portion of state taxes that are non-deductible taxes. People paying property taxes more than max out the $10k limit (at least here in the Bay Area), so the state taxes they pay are taxed again. The liberal CA legislature could fix that, but I’m sure the windfall they’re getting more than pays for the additional benefits for illegal immigrants.

      • alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit says:

        Yeah I think I paid $50 less …. I’d gladly fork over 2X that much to have an adult in office.

      • vinyl1 says:

        It’s simple math. Suppose you were paying 12% of your income in state and local tax, and you are in the Fed 39.7% bracket. Your rate was 34.936% after the deduction. Now you’re paying 37% with no deductions.

      • Mary says:

        Simply not true. Our 2017 and 2018 income and expenses were almost identical, but we paid about 20% more in income taxes for 2018.

    • Frugal By the Bay says:

      Most parts of the Bay Area are not that much better. We live in the South Bay which has a large blue collar population. Yes a small percentage of people are wealthy, but 90% of the population is experiencing declining wages.

      Almost no millennials we know can afford children anymore. If we hadn’t had ours 4 years ago, we could either. We paid our nanny $15 dollars an hour at the time. Talked to a friend today who pays $35 per hour for the same quality.

      California has quickly priced out even the richest millennials. It’s shockingly more expensive here even compared to 5 years ago.

      • Bruce says:

        Do without booze ,weed and starbucks you’ll be fine. We all had to budget to raise a family .its called sacrafice. Millenials today think they should have a life thier parents took 30 years to see into fruition.

        • Frugal in the Bay says:

          Is this a joke? My husband has a PhD. I have a graduate STEM degree. We are extremely frugal. We cannot afford the 2 million price tag on a home in a good school district. No saving $50 bucks a day won’t get us there.

          Millennials are leaving and eventually Prop 13 will be repealed because that state can’t afford that ridiculous entitlement without a working age population.

          Health care and nursing home care will bankrupt Boomers. Cuts to Medicare and Medicaid will continue and costs will skyrocket. I’m sure hospitals and Wall Street will enjoy taking your crapshack that you “worked so hard for” lol.

        • BrianC says:

          One really needs to do the math before making blanket statements like that. For all but very high earners, the math simply does not work. You cannot get there from here. This is part of the Millenial anger that I sympathize with. A $2000/yr starbucks/avocado toast habit isn’t what is coming between these people and a modest starter home in a decent neighborhood. It’s the $1.3 million price tag.

      • Ed says:

        Frugal – I was just thinking this the other day . We are 4 years ahead of the hyperinflation curve that is wiping out any family not earning $500K per year. We scored on the real estate boom and then found a nanny for $15 per hour and a open spot in a preschool.

        If we were 4 years younger I have no idea what we would do. Getting outside of commuting distance to a major city seems to be the only value I still see. We might go hide out in a college town for a few years until the cities implode in the next recession. San Luis Obispo, Tucson, and Charlottesville seem like solid places for people with flex scheduling and work remote gigs.

        • MaxDakota says:

          We are in SoCal and this is our experience as well – a couple needs to be making well into the 6 figures to raise kids OR you have to live somewhere a bit more remote. There was serious sticker and quality shock for us when we looked for nannies.

          Among our cohort (mid-late 30s), only the very wealthy are having kids, and 1-2 kids at most. If you meet someone with plans to have more than 2 kids, you can assume they never have to worry about money!

  14. Paulo says:

    I really liked Texas when I visited my brother down there. However, I would be pretty concerned about climate change in either state to be honest. Floods or drought, drought or floods. Good fishing in Texas, good hunting, and the best music next to Bluegrass! Fewer ‘issues’ . They even have a great Hockey team. But I’ll bet all the great places are long gone taken and held by old families, especially land near water.

    If you want to get ahead somewhere, you have to be in the first group to arrive, not the last or latest. There are other choices out there to be found, and the good ones aren’t being talked about. That’s been my experience.

    • Ed says:

      Paulo – I totally agree with you. The property insurance is crazy as a result. At first glance housing seems affordable and then you add on the extra $500-$1000 per month and it’s no cheaper than the coasts.

      Living somewhere with horrible weather really sucks as well. I’d rather have a smaller house in a place with a mild, dry climate then be in hot, humid hurricane and tornado alley.

      • Erle says:

        That is easy to get past. Just rent a backhoe and dig yourself some digs. Put an inconspicuous roof over it and you are fixed. Don’t forget the long term waterproofing. It is cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter and the taxman might drive past without noticing if yo have shrubbery that blends in with the surroundings. Don’t forget to hang plastic bags in the shrubs so it looks natural.

  15. Marcus says:

    The biomedical labor market in SoCal is tight right now. So hard to find talent.

    • Ed says:

      Marcus – Everything is tight because we are at full employment! In addition, the Fed has been dumping free money on many people for 10+ years. I’ve seen so many people walk away from secure, high paying jobs in the past two years because they have made so much money in real estate and the stock market.

      Why work when you can get money for free?

      • Dan says:

        “Why work when you can get money for free?”
        This is the fundamental issue with monetary systems after the development of the concept of interest. The only logical goal in such a system is to have enough capital invested that the earnings (rents/interest/dividends/etc.) preclude any need for work. Not everyone can get to that point (mathematically impossible, not just improbable) but it remains the goal most aspire to.

    • alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit says:

      Yet you have to have gone to the right prep school with the right ppl to get one of those jobs.

  16. QQQBall says:

    My partner moved here from South Carolina. She says her in-laws spent $600 a month on the A/C in their house during summer month. I don’t have A/C and my heater isn’t even hooked up. I drive once a week and I am protected by Prop 13. When I went back to S.C., the area was rural and the community seemed to gather to eat breakfast at Hardee’s. It had like chicken fried steak on biscuits and gravy. Soda seemed to be the drink of choice with breakfast? Yuck! Lots of “dollar stores.” People looked out of shape and their skin was a funny yellow color. The little cities around there were DEAD; the mills left and they weren’t coming back. CAT plant had closed, but the facility was taken over by a Korean company. I went to Greenville/Spartenburg – parts looked like Socal and it had at least one Whole Foods Market and the BMW plant appeared to have attracted lots of related industries. Real estate was cheap though; very cheap! My partner said she was never really accepted back there and she tried. We drove through Texas on I-20. It looked like The Great Depression. Really dry and barren with cotton fields. We drove straight through to Midland from Columbia, SC and Midland was so depressing, I just went to bed w/o eating and had a breakfast sandwich the next morning in El Paso.I had a place in Southern WA to retire to, but the more I was there the more I realized that the weather was depressing. I could live in Reno. Peeps will continue to suck it up in Sactown and move 2 hours east to Reno, Verdi or 2.5 hours to Carson City and enjoy a better after-tax lifestyle. My buddy in Reno says that the Californians are changing the state from red to blue.

    • Jon says:

      The only reason I am in socal is because I have a cushy job
      I understand in general socal sucks for middle income like me and as someone who has lived in many places all around usa i believe usa has many beautiful places to offer

      Inertia is what holding me back

      • John Taylor says:

        I can identify with that. I’ve lived and worked in a number of states between the Navy, FEMA, and construction.
        Most of my friends and family are around here, and I’m tired of moving around. I have to give up on some things like raising a family or having a place I could invite friends to, but my current job is the most laid back I’ve ever had and I haven’t felt this sense of job security since 2007 (though it was just an illusion then).
        If I won a bit in the lotto I’d leave LA for good – as it is I just try to enjoy life when I can, live for weekends and vacations.
        I’ve often though of leaving the state for good – I sure as heck could never raise a family here – but giving up job security, friends and family to start from scratch at 40 doesn’t sound like something I want to do.
        Having parents here is essential though – a number of my friends still live with their parents, I go to my mother’s house nearly every weekend, I still use it as my home of record, and we still hang out and party a bit at our parents houses as very few people my age rent the kind of places you can spend the weekend.
        It’s all a trade-off, there are no hidden amazing worker’s paradise locations anymore. Just follow a job you can live with and make the best of it.

    • MC01 says:

      I love my native land but with a strange love
      I love her, why I do not know
      The cold silence of her steppes
      The swaying of her boundless forests
      Her overflowing rivers, sea-like
      I love to travel along a country track in a cart
      And, with slow gaze, piercing the shadows of the night
      And sighing for a shelter, to come upon by the wayside
      The flickering lights of sad villages

      -Mikhail Lermontov-

      I have lived in big cities in the past and I am often in big modern cities for work but I just couldn’t live in them anymore. Give me the “flickering lights of sad villages” any day of the week.

      • Gershon says:

        +1 for Lermontov quote. Love his books, especially the stories set in the Caucasus during the Czarist campaign against the Murids in the 19th century.

      • Cynic says:

        Although in much of Europe the village lights are not flickering, but simply going out as rural depopulation continues.

        London is now Hell when I visit: noise, over-crowding, air pollution – I don’t recall it feeling like being in a giant humming machine when I was young.

        Just age or is it objectively worse worse? I couldn’t be paid enough to live there.

        Reading between the lines on US sites, I gain the impression that California’s Golden Age was, as so many places, c 1950’s? Now in decline with an eroding legacy, but obscured by the glitter of superficial wealth.

        • Ed says:

          Cynic – London has always been horrible. Nothing has changed.

          The golden age in California is now. The wealth is not superficial as there are very few places in the world where you will find more millionaire and billionaire households. People like to complain and point fingers when they don’t win or can’t compete. Don’t like capitalism? Move somewhere else and stop complaining.

        • Cynic says:

          In a way quite true about London, although it has its charms, but it as changed greatly to the point of being unbearable.

          As for California’s ‘wealth’: the aim of good government is to create as broad a base of real prosperity among the mass of people (so long as they actually wish to work): boasting about the number of the very wealthy is wholly beside the point from that perspective, which is the only sane and rational one, entirely compatible with Capitalism.

          Wealthy, but not healthy.

        • Dale says:

          California has the highest poverty rate in the US.

          Maybe that is what Cynic meant by “superficial wealth”.

        • Erle says:

          I wonder how well Henry Higgins would be able to sort out the dialects of today’s London and environs.

        • d says:

          “London is now Hell when I visit: noise, over-crowding, air pollution – I don’t recall it feeling like being in a giant humming machine when I was young”

          London was the melting pot of Europe its what made it.

          london was the model for America.

          Problem the current population influx has no intention what so ever of assimilating the basics of English culture, or even the language,.

          Last time I was there was driven down both of the streets my grandparents used to live in. They are both long streets and there were no English looking people in either of them.

          England and definitely London has a BIG problem hence the Brexit madness.

    • Bruce says:

      Nope our beautiful paradise is already blue. They really messed it up. But those of us loyal s will stay and turn it around. Recall galvanic Nuisance.

  17. Just Some Random Guy says:

    Texas will be blue within a decade.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      The big cities already are. And just about the entire Gulf Coast is.

      • Joe C says:

        Yes, but most of the suburbs of these same big cities are red. Hence the Texas and the Gulf Coast to Florida still in the R column.

        • Kent says:

          Hurricane Maria forced the evacuation of 100’s of thousands of Puerto Ricans to Florida. Central Florida along with S. Florida are marching solidly blue. Though I agree that the gulf coast, suburban Tampa south to Naples will remain red for a while. North of metro Orlando will remain red for awhile with the exception of Gainesville and Tallahassee for obvious reasons and Volusia County due to demographics.

        • Keith says:

          For now. Do not underestimate the power of the cities. Up here in WA states, the vast majority of counties are suburban and rural, and still get outvoted by Seattle and Olympia.

        • Eamonn Harter says:

          Are any states doing the opposite, i.e. transitioning from blue to red? If not, why?

        • MCH says:


          I doubt it. Both the jackasses and the elephants are about entitlements now, the only difference is that the jackasses are starting to dump the veneer of even giving a crap about things like balanced budgets. While the elephants still pretend like they care about such things.

          Here is a primer:

          Touch social security: you hate the working class.

          Don’t expand Medicare: you are heartless.

          Earned your money the old fashion way by working: you are leeching off of society.

          Having gotten there first, the jackasses have managed to sway everyone to their cause, surely but slowly. It’s just a matter of time now unless the elephants can come up with even more giveaways

    • roddy6667 says:

      In the Texas school systems, white children became a minority a few years ago. In a few years, all the black and Mexican kids will be old enough to vote. Every elected official from governor down to dogcatcher will be minority. And like Wolf said, the big cities are already Blue. The notion that Texas is overwhelmingly Red is just that, a notion.

      • Escierto says:

        Fourteen seats in the Texas House of Representatives switched from Republican to Democrat in 2016. Another twelve Republicans were elected with a bare majority. In 2020 the Democrats may take control of the House of Representatives. The old white people who have controlled Texas like apartheid South Africa will dwindle to a third of the electorate by 2024. It can’t happen soon enough but then I am an old white man whose seven grandchildren include six mixed race.

  18. Mark Z says:

    I really enjoyed Newsom’s perspective. “Just ignore that damn 13% tax”. Hard to ignore when it’s missing from your check or bottom line. Hopefully executives are sharp enough to realize that the cost of business is more then the totality of balance statements. Quality of life for employees, affordable, not just housing, but food, insurance etc is going to make their business stronger.

    Lived in the Bay Area in the early 2000’s. Received quite the shock in my first check after moving from NV.

    • Mike G says:

      13.3% applies to people making over $1m. If you’re that fortunate, perhaps you should stfu about paying a couple extra percent in taxes.

  19. Just Some Random Guy says:

    “These people leave their house before 5 a.m. to beat the rush, and since everyone is doing it, that’s when the rush starts.”

    So why not wait to leave until 8, when “everyone doing it” is at work? The highways should be empty.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Rush hour is not just an hour. But if it’s OK for you to show up at work at 10 am or 11 am, you’re in better shape.

      • edwin says:

        Easy solution: take a job as an academic @ one of CA’s much (read: over) heralded UC campuses. That’s what i did and never touched a toe @ my office until 10-11am for years ‘n’ years.

    • Kevin says:

      Rush hour in the Bay area is roughly 5 AM to 10 AM, and the evening is 3:30 to 7 PM. But DC is worse.

      • alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit says:

        Yep 3:30 – 7 are “hell hours” it’s when the traffic is particularly psychotic around here.

  20. With the Fed going to slash interest rates to zero there’ll be more people living in tents and vans than in houses in California. More people will pour into Texas.

  21. SaltyGolden says:

    My wife and I are moving back to San Diego after living in Silicon Valley (Mountain View) for a year. We make great money but had no need to stay, so why. California as a whole has however been awesome to us.

    The small town I grew up in in upstate NY shrunk by 12% in the last 7 years. Not many of my cohort (that’s left there anyway) own houses because there aren’t many jobs, even though houses are dirt cheap (think like 90k). Growing up there I had the sense that everything was dying, because it was.

    California is magical. God may indeed bless Texas, but bury my heart anywhere from Muir Woods to Imperial Beach.

  22. Shrike says:

    California is an intensely beautiful state with some of the most insufferable people I have ever met in my life, a horrific bureaucracy, and stifling government-creted problems with illegal immigration, drugs, and homelessness.

    Texas is an almost apocalyptic wasteland populated by mostly nice, reasonable people, with a much smaller government, cleaner cities, very few homeless, and where illegals are mostly punted as soon as they are found.

    Honestly, my answer at this point is neither – Washington State is my next stop (though it is, sadly, trending California’s way).

    • Keith says:

      Sadly, it is. It seems the metro Seattle/Olympia area dominate the legislature. Out here in Eastern Washington, hopefulls for office had campaigned on a “Progressive Tax System,” aka an income tax. They were booted, but for how long will we survive without imposing the income tax on us. The other theme they ran on was a focus on city issues over rural issues. This is coming from the Tri-Cities, which is still quite the ag place, despite growing. Boise has also been overrun. MT might be a safe bet for now.

    • Congress Ave shrink says:

      Sorry but Austin is the pit of homelessness. A pit.

    • Sutter Cane says:

      “very few homeless”?

      In Texas???

      Maybe in the desert on the way to Big Bend, because there are no people there at all. But all the major cities in Texas have a huge homeless problem. Austin especially has reached Mad Max levels, if you want to talk about apocalyptic.

  23. Old-school says:

    Went to lovely residential beach in NC. Real Estate on the barrier island about $600,000 for nice ocean front.

    Stayed at friend of a friends place 5 minutes from beach. A lot of retirees living in mobile homes happy as everything fishing and living the good life putting around all day. We found a nice doublewide asking $96,500 for a weekend getaway. Offered $80,000 and didn’t get. The amazing thing was taxes were $250 per year and water according to neighbors was always under $20 and trash pick up is free.

    There are places where people live the good life on small incomes, but it’s up to us to find the life we want.

    • Nicko2 says:


      • Keith says:

        Overrated. I lived a long time on the Gulf coast, in FL, LA and TX. News loves to hype it up for the ratings.

        The other thing is all areas have their natural disasters. A little forethought goes a long way with them. That is also the nice thing about hurricanes, you know when the season is coming, plus they are extensively tracked in the Atlantic.

      • Hottub_marmalade says:

        Uh, here in Florida, I’ll take hurricanes any day over California’s mudslides, earthquakes, fires, and illegals. At least with hurricanes, we get advanced warnings and can leave for a few days.

  24. Old-school says:

    Enjoy reading everything you do.

    Here is an idea for a story that you might find interesting. A subset of pet care is the on-line pet medicine market. This includes prescription and over the counter meds.

    Each state regulates pet pharmacy. Old days meds were supplied by vet at very high markups. Ticker symbol PETS stumbled into this market and has grown business to around $300 million after 20 years with very strong balance sheet. This year both Wal-Mart and Chewy are going after this market. It’s a case a David vs Golliath as PETS is being forced to drop pricing to compete. To me the fascinating thing is the difference in the companies. PETS has only 200 employees, no debt plus $100 million in cash and is bery efficient vs private equity, goliath Chewy funded by oodles of debt and giant Walmart. PETS short interest is very high and stock is cratering even though balance sheet is pristene. (I am long PETS but might be totally wrong that they can compete.)

    • Rg says:

      I’ve been thinking a PE firm May go after PETS and load it up with debt.

    • Kent says:

      “(I am long PETS but might be totally wrong that they can compete.)”

      Walmart can run pet meds as a loss leader and drive PETS out of business, then move prices up to a profitable range. Competition requires a level playing field.

  25. nofreelunch says:

    Got to love the hypocrisy of people who leave a place in part because of problems created by their own political beliefs, yet they still think they are right in those beliefs, and continue to vote that way and mess up another place. Newsom’s comment is wrong “but if it’s all about (gross domestic product), we outperform everyone.” It’s about GDP/capita rather than total GDP. Which would you rather be: one of 10 people that share $2000, or one person that has $1000?

    • Wolf Richter says:

      So I just looked that up: In 2018, California’s per-capita GDP was $53,987. This put CA in 12th place among the states. Texas was in 13th place, at $53,795.

      • Kent says:

        Median income – average rent/mortgage payment might be a better determinant of standard of living. Though honestly you can’t compare Frisco and Houston.

      • nofreelunch says:

        And worldwide, top 8 are:

        1 Luxembourg $114,234
        2 Switzerland $82,950 (smaller population, think Nestle, Roche)
        3 Norway $81,695
        4 Ireland $76,099
        5 Iceland $74,278
        6 Qatar: $70,780
        7  Singapore $64,041
        8  United States $62,606

      • wkevinw says:

        Yes. Per capita, CA’s economy doesn’t look that great/just OK (contrary to the quotes about it being so large). Highest poverty rate when cost of living is calculated in. Poor public elementary and high schools.

        This was not the case when I lived there.

        Those facts/stats are not acceptable, in my opinion.

        • Fair to Midland says:

          Been to Texas lately. Schools are a mess. They AIN”t better at all. Atrocious roads and the gov here is a nice useless entity. Try 3 hours to get a license. Uh it aint great again. Its a state that has ALL the issues CA does and then some.

    • Aj7f9 says:

      Awful business environment, high taxes, insane cost of living, ultra congested, a huge illegal population, and ridiculous gun laws. What’s not to love?

    • IdahoPotato says:

      “Got to love the hypocrisy of people who leave a place in part because of problems created by their own political beliefs, yet they still think they are right in those beliefs, and continue to vote that way and mess up another place.”

      It is just the reverse actually. I moved from CA to a red state ‘cos high-tax states like CA send more money to D.C. than they get back in federal spending. Most low-tax red states make a profit from the federal government’s system of taxing and spending.

      I didn’t see the point of my tax dollars subsidizing red states while they get to bitch and moan about those horrible libruls all day long. Now Californians subsidize me and all I have to say is Thank You.

      • nofreelunch says:

        I’m not seeing the wealth inequality or unaffordability as bad as in CA, NJ, NY, CT. Please leave that in those states, where their political philosophy created those problems, and please don’t pretend that more of that political philosophy is the cure that existing problem, or for the rest of the US, where it doesn’t exist (yet).

  26. SocalJim says:

    I love living in Newport Breach. Lots of Republicans and we keep a lid on the homeless problem. You should check it out.

    • MCH says:

      Ha, stop shipping the problems to LA, are you? I heard that was happening from LA’s border cities like Culver City. May be Garcetti need to put up a wall to make sure that they keep out the homeless from other local cities.

      The funny thing is this was what happened to Hawaii/Honolulu a decade plus ago, there was a persistent belief that certain states like CA have their homeless a one way ticket to Oahu. And there, it was an entire ocean being used as a barrier.

      But then Gavin would have something to use against poor ol Eric come the next election cycle. CA politics is screwy, they need a more balanced government more than almost any other state, but they instead keep overloading the left side of the boat.

      • alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit says:

        I know a little bit about Hawaii, having grown up there, lived there until I was about 25, and having been back for a few months in 03 and keeping tabs on the place in general.

        I don’t know about shipping homeless there, but a lot of people on their last legs will buy a ticket there, and then get stuck, not having the money, ID (gets stolen etc.) to get back.

        There’s a lot of romanticism of Hawaii, and there’s a segment of the population that thinks moving there will solve their problems.

        Plus there are mental problems, a thriving heroin scene, and the fact that mainstream white American culture doesn’t emphasize discipline, social coherence, and personal responsibility the way the dominant Asian culture there does. As a mainlander, you’ll find it damn hard to rent one of those $300 a month or so rooms around the university, because you’ll get bent out of shape if you can’t drink, smoke, have overnight guests, get in fights, etc. But a local person, used to living in the local culture, will be good to go.

        All states seem to have programs to send homeless people home, if they have friends or family to take them in back home. The problem is a lot of these people are too gone on drugs, mentally ill, etc.

  27. Jeff says:

    It’s interesting to see what people don’t mention. For example in San Diego the majority of New construction in Eastlake locks you into $400-600 HOA fees, 30 year Mello Roos, $45 master association fees God awful drives on feeder roads like Telegraph or Olympic just to head north on the 805 for a couple of hours. Half of my coworkers live there, the other half live 90 minutes north in Temecula and sleep on couches in San Diego for the work week to avoid the commute.

  28. David Hall says:

    San Francisco real estate prices started to drop this quarter.

    SW Florida has one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. Teachers were paid $40k- $50k a year. Taxes are cheap. We do not have to shovel snow. Healthcare costs are high. Deluxe cataract surgery for both eyes costs $12.5k. This area is on a latitude south of the Mexican border.

    • roddy6667 says:

      It’s frikkin’ hot and humid, if you like that kind of thing. And mosquitoes so big they have numbers on their wings. And another thing. Hurricanes. I have a friend who settled into a relaxed, low-cost lifestyle in Largo, FL. A hurricane reduced his trailer into a bare, battered metal box full of rain water and debris. He was hiding in another town in a sturdy building. This happens on a regular basis in SW Florida.

      • Kent says:

        96 degrees hot here at 11:15 am on the east coast and the humidity is high enough that it feels like 104. Walking outside is like having a hot, wet towel thrown over your body that you can’t escape.

        It’s so humid that the rain comes down so hard that your windshield wipers can’t wash it off faster than its coming down even on the high setting. My wife had a 4 foot long rat snake fall out of a tree on her shoulder yesterday. Ever seen someone actually running in the air and going nowhere? That was her.

        So yeah, life is good in the Sunshine State.

  29. breamrod says:

    only been to Texas once and that was enough. Dallas Ftw. is a nightmare to drive in. But Georgia is getting crowded too. 10.5 Mil. vs. 3.5 40 years ago. Atlanta used to be heaven. No more!

  30. Rodney Manley says:

    Not everywhere is expensive in California. Living in the northern valley in the small towns can be way cheaper than the cities of Texas. So Just move up north and you too can live in Cali-bama.

  31. Chris says:

    All the US cities are getting too crowded. Only if the population reduces, the next generation can have decent jobs and housing. With the coming wave of AI machines, there is going to be fewer jobs. With the ever increasing population, it will lead to widespread poverty and unemployment. Most people will not be able to afford housing. You may need a PhD to get an entry level job because of too much competition.

  32. William Charles says:

    Having left the once Golden State of Kalifornimexistan 8 years ago it’s continued to change from bad to really worse. Gavin Gruesome Newsom only has one solution for all of the states many many ills increase taxes, give everything to the illegals for free, do not support ICE and make sure that your state is bragged about as the biggest largest freest money-grabbing Sanctuary state in the United States.

    And that will be Newsom’s Legacy he taxed everybody to the point of ad nauseam until his state will be primarily composed of illegals with their hands out expecting even more.

  33. Ron says:

    I have been reading about the Calif exodus for years whether people are moving to Washington, Oregon or Texas makes little difference but the story is always the same, cheaper housing less traffic congestion but nobody moves for higher paying jobs. The endless issue is high cost of housing which is a national issue self inflicted by the notion that middle class life should include a 3 bedroom home w/1/4 acre lot in an all white neighborhood. High rise apartment living and public transportation is ok for the lower class but middle class deserves the American dream.

    • Eamonn Harter says:

      Housing costs are currently expensive because of government policy and the domination of mortgage lending by non-bank lenders with reduced quality of loan underwriting. But this is temporary and bound to lead to a bust and much lower housing costs in the near future.

      Most Americans will not be forced quietly into Soviet or Singapore-style apartment blocks.

  34. mike says:

    Californians need to change their mindset if they move to Texas. You can’t vote here the same way you voted in California and expect a different outcome.

    • EchoDelta says:

      This is a fascinating narrative recurring throughout this thread to the point that it is a stereotype.

      California produced Ronald Reagan, Mr. Hollywood, and Richard Nixon. Reagan was governor. California has been an economic powerhouse since it was pried from Russian and Spanish hands in the 19th century. California history is filled with all the people conservatives claim as heritage-Stanford and the other Big 4, Sutter, on and on.

      Aren’t there some fundamental flaws in the recurring hippy-dippy narrative? Doesn’t this reflect that fact that the GOP has failed to update its programming to appeal to new people? And isn’t this lack of self-awareness and critical review the reason we are now burdened with impetuous and failed leadership?

      As Yogi Berra said, “nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded!”

  35. Just Some Random Guy says:

    So if I understand Newsom correctly, I can just “ignore the damn 13%”, ie if I choose to, I don’t have to pay it?

    Sweet! I’m moving to San Diego baby!

  36. HollywoodDog says:

    There’s something uniquely magical about living in coastal California–I think it’s in the marine layer. But you need to be incredibly good looking, incredibly smart, or incredibly hard working in order to survive. (A combination of all three helps.) Even then, you’re going to be saddled with the exorbitant housing costs and high taxes that inevitably go along with desirable, innovative places. And despite your personal achievements and financial contributions to the state, you’ll be barraged (and occasionally accosted) by (often) mentally unstable, opioid-addicted vagrants as you try to avoid the numerous pay-per-use electric scooters and other personal mobility devices scattered across the sidewalks. One-party rule at the local and state level ensures these conditions will never change and that new, really stupid ideas will travel at lightning speed through city councils and the legislature. And this might seem really dismal until you realize that a single 7.0+ quake under your urban center might end all your concerns or at least deliver complete financial ruin. But your Italian sucks, so moving to the Amalfi Coast isn’t an option, and you have another sip of your French-pressed organic, fair-trade coffee while the fog navigates the blooming jacarandas.

    • Kevin says:

      Coastal CA is becoming a bifurcated economy, for the fabulously wealthy, it is the best place on earth to live. For anyone from middle class to upper-income, it is unaffordable, those are largely the people who are moving away. For the very poor and recent immigrants, who don’t mind living 10 to an apartment, it is also a very good spot frequently with strong cultural communities to provide support. Coastal California will be a place for the very wealthy and the very poor, but there will be no middle class going forward.

      • HollowMan says:

        Even the nice places like La Jolla, Del Mar and Point Loma arent that nice to me anymore – and it costs a mint to live there – I know, I lived there years ago and left for good 12+ years ago because there was no way I was going to pay 1st world prices for third world living. Just too many people everywhere and the associated problems – traffic, pollution, crowds everywhere, etc. Best bet is to find a nice but unknown place that has some good features and is relatively cheap and then fly here and there to get good health care and just mix it up.

      • alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit says:

        You described the SF Bay Area very well there.

  37. Bobber says:

    Population grows but land availability does not. The future will be very different. Togetherness will take on a whole new meaning.

    • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

      Thank you, Bobber, you’ve stated the longstanding, actual issues. (The fact that we’re living longer, to boot, doesn’t help, either…).

      A better day to all.

  38. Doubtful the service economy is going to suffer, and as Carly Fiorina said about her tenure at HP, “Maybe those [manufacturing] jobs needed to go to China” [or Texas]. SD Mayor visited WH and lies were made about his statement expressing support for the wall. Ca is almost a sanctuary state, for good economic reasons. These immigrants do not compete directly with skilled workers, (H1-1B) do compete and the WH wants to accelerate that program. When lower middle class blue state voters move to red states, immigrants replace them. That reflects the nature of the evolving service economy.

  39. Gandalf says:

    I’ve lived 22 years in Southern California, 26 years and counting in Texas. The cultures are obviously different, each place has its pluses and minuses.
    Texas has its crazy rednecks trying to mow you down in their big ass trucks, SoCal is filled with the entitled rich (and occasional obnoxious entertainment celebrity or family member) or wannabes in their BMWs and C-class Mercedes (and now Teslas) trying to cut you off in traffic.
    California has its income tax and expensive real estate, Texas has tolls and fees for everything and a MUCH HIGHER PROPERTY TAX (CA had Prop 13 that took care of that) that more than compensates for not having a state income tax. Strangely enough, the Republican controlled state government of Texas has failed repeatedly to lower state property taxes, which might surprise Californians. So the tax advantages of Texas are greatly overstated.
    Housing in Texas in the desirable parts of the big cities is not that different in price from living in the less expensive parts of SoCal. Traffic congestion is also bad in Texas cities, but probably about a 10-20 years behind SoCal in badness.
    The major causes of the expensive California housing are the No Growth and NIMBY attitudes of the established Californians, who have generally been successful in resisting further real estate development for the masses, resisting further expansions of the congested freeway systems, and resisting development of more water resources. Established Californians don’t want more people moving in, period, so they are getting what they wished for.
    California an over regulated nanny state? Definitely, but Texas? What to say but that it’s a wild and woolly place by comparison, and that includes all sorts of things like land development, the education and healthcare systems, and judicial system, areas that should not be so wild and woolly.
    Yes, Texas and California are wildly different in many ways, but not so different in other ways and there are tradeoffs for every difference

  40. cookie says:

    Californians are like locusts. They destroy everything every place that they migrate to-Seattle, Denver, Portland. Pretty soon, it will be Idaho, Salt Lake City, Texas.

    • polecat says:

      Don’t put all of us former Calipharnians ( Arnie speak) into the same boat ! Some of us barely managed to grab hold of the Tsunami flotsam, just trying to escape megalopolic and buearucratic cray cray, by the skin of our teeth ! … And we can’t all live in Tech-Bro Nirvana, you know.
      I personally foresee, in the not too distant future, the full-on ‘disincorporation’ of the ‘united states’ to duchies, fieftoms, and city-states, and kingdoms … oh, and lets not forget the waste/hinterlands .. Continual political disfunction and societal inertia practically gaurantee it !
      I hear Antarctica looks good for ‘future’ digs …. once the ice melts.

    • Dallas Native gone rogue says:

      Cookie – You meant humans right?? No human is better than another no matter what land they occupy. Texas has more than its share of GREED and hate. More than enough.

  41. Senecas Cliff says:

    Texans are Johnny-come -lately’s to the California bashing game. We have been doing it for 50 years here in Oregon. For a real blast from the past check out this old Blitz beer commercial from the 70’s.

  42. That realtor that moved to TX from CA has 12,000 CA ppl on her Move From CA to TX facebook, Marie Bailey in Prosper, TX. Im 3nd gen CA born & Im moving to TX. Libs have RUINED my CA. Addicts, felons & illegals eating taxes, & CA is a lawless society!

  43. KGC says:

    I have lived over 30 years in CA. I love the State for a lot of reasons, but never want to live there again. I’m not willing to put up with real estate costs to live where I once did and can no longer afford to. San Fernando, Pasadena, Sacramento, Napa, Saratoga, all are out of bounds compared to what I’m willing to pay.

    The politicians of the major metro areas (who run the State irregardless of the wishes of the rural voters) have sponsored the illegal migrant population while failing to listen to the middle class taxpayers have had to pay for their policies.

    It cracks me up to see the Gov. complaining about people who made their money leaving. And telling them not to complain about the tax rate; hilarious!

    As the population grow older those who own homes will cash in and leave to lower cost of living venues where they can live on their profits, and the State is going to have both a greying population of those unable to leave, and those illegally enticed to migrate in. Current politics (both State and local) are driving out the 30-50 year old breadwinners, so as that portion of the population departs the ability to make up the sums required to continue funding the social programs that too large a population feels entitled to.

    Sadly those leaving are going to be those most likely to have voted to change the politics. Those left behind are, more and more, going to vote to “share” the wealth they have done little to earn.

    All that aside, what continues to amaze me is that, with the huge growth in population, California has done little or nothing to increase energy production, nor put into place any plans for water use conservation. Likewise land use planning continues to be at a fairly low density with few multilevel housing projects outside of major urban centers. And worse, no major transportation projects outside of dreaming about “hyperloops” and fast rail, neither of which are realistic in a State that still, over 50 years since they started it, cannot secure the land to complete the Pasadena Freeway.

    • mikesmith says:

      “It cracks me up to see the Gov. complaining about people who made their money leaving.”

      As Confucius once said, “Bird choose tree, tree no choose bird.” People with options will go where they are treated well.

  44. Rcohn says:

    I offer a different viewpoint than most ; I moved INTO Cal a year ago
    Here are some impressions
    Cal was the the most fantastic place in the world 50 years ago. . It had/has fantastic natural resources, from Squaw Valley skiing to Lake Tahoe to fantastic beaches in both Northern and Southern Cal.
    The problem with Cal is far too many people. This leads to obvious overcrowding and some of the most gnarly traffic jams in the world. Although I had lived in Northern NJ for over 30 years and owned property in Southeast Florida, I never experienced highways with 8 lanes of traffic each way .
    My daughter lives in El Cerrito and works in SF , while her boy friend is getting his PHD in chemistry at Berkeley. Although their prospects are a combined income of over $350,000 , they have no desire to stay in the Bay Area .
    Because I do NOT have to commute , I time my drives to avoid rush hour. Because I have no desire to own property at these silly price levels, I am comfortable to downsize and pay high but acceptable rents. I have sufficient monies to enjoy Cals still fantastic natural resources

    • Paulo says:

      My parents left the Bay Area 51 years ago this August. Best thing they ever did as far as I’m concerned. :-)

      • RD Blakeslee says:

        My kid’s parents left Detroit, Michigan 70 years ago this September.

        Best thing they ever did, as far as I’m concerned.

        But it wouldn’t have been just from Detroit.

        I would have left any city.

  45. Juanfo says:

    The exodus is necessary. It is evolution species adapt to survive. Not enough resources. The exponential population growth is unsustainable. Time for people to start looking for other places to live. We have been moving to California as the promised land for over a hundred years. We can’t all live in California. It is a beautiful state. Too bad now it will only belong to the privileged few. 40 million souls. Think about it all hustling to survive. The game gets played out, eventually.
    Another possibility is the growth continues. To fifty, a hundred million people by the end of the century. Who knows.

  46. Ethan in NoVA says:

    I wish new places along major interstate routes were picked and new big cities planned. Well laid out, modern mass transit, and perhaps ownership limits on number of places to thwart investors buying all the housing. Start from the ground up, and make a few new cities for the future that are well done. Pick a few new spots in flyover versus all population growth in existing poorly engineered cities.

    • RD Blakeslee says:

      These utopian “central planned” living areas historically fail to live up to their promise.

      See the history of L’Enfant’s plan for DC or the more recent history of Reston, VA, for example.

      Elemental reason: individuals will not abide others planning their lives.

      • Ethan in NoVA says:

        I live down the street from Reston VA. I’m not thinking a single manufactured lifestyle development like the eat/sleep/work/play apartment/retail complexes that occupy a couple hundred acres. I’m thinking real cities to cope with the increasing population.

  47. tommy runner says:

    why does gn address execs? its the work force that’s leaving.. they don’t agree w/ your 50yo version of citizenville. its not the tax rate, its who pays it and how you spend it, (the other big idea they kept from the last failed empire). ca leads again w/usa following suit .. export mid class, throw open gates for service sector and lean on student loans to buoy gdp. btw score is 4-4 red/blue here since problem really got going in 70s. we could use a third flavor, most can agree w/ in 2024. (bonus: ans to Q above.. cause he cant play the fiddle).

  48. Michael Engel says:

    All commodities quality in a nonstop plunge, from steel to fine jewelry.
    Open color blue sapphires look like onyx.
    Red blood rubies are busted purple bluish with cracks on the table and the sides.
    Junk, treated industrial diamonds turn blue, after laser bombardment.
    They turn back to junk in 110 F heat.
    Red & blue are rare and very expensive. White diamonds are more expensive than a house.
    Consumers can only afford a mush.

  49. HudsonJr says:

    I left a couple years ago due to cost of living and traffic. My commute went from 30-45 minutes round trip to 80-120 minutes in a matter of a few years. I now work remotely, so I effectively I freed up 2 weeks or more of time by removing commuting.

    I also felt my kids were getting a bit snobby/spoiled. My daughter would say “so and so has a Tesla, when are we getting one”. I would point to her baby sister and explain that her day care cost was 2x-3x a Tesla payment. So we would have to live with our 12 year old Honda that is reliable and 100% paid for.

    I miss the weather, and some of the places to eat.

  50. Nancy Le says:

    Funny, especially after I read that Dallas and Houston have the highest office vacancy rate in the entire country! Where have all the supposedly moved to Texas people go? They all just stayed home? Stupid as stupid does!

  51. TXRancher says:

    Yes maybe Dallas does have office vacancies but the northern suburbs of Richardson, Plano and Frisco are Republican strongholds where most businesses are relocating. Might be because Dallas proper (and Houston) is Democrat controlled.

  52. ooe says:

    I know you like to throw numbers around. Consider this.

    CA per capita gdp $ 66191

    TX per capita gpd $ 57077

    Uninsured rate CA 9%

    uninsured rate TX 19 % (with a lower population)

    Do you who has the highest women’s birth mortality rate in North America? Houston TX ! ; not LA not San Francisco; not San Diego.

    The reason that CA has some problems is that Howard Jarvis Proposition 13 that caps property taxes. thus, govt is not properly funded and cannot invest in proper infrastructure. then, you have a lot fees that that try to make up for that lost revenue. (this was a the Rethug idea!).
    CA beats TX the statistics that matter!

    • QQQBall says:

      yeah, that’s the problem, not enuf taxes! Let’s double the taxes and give illegal aliens free medical for life. Sheesh

  53. Governor Newsom says that “if it’s all about (gross domestic product), we [Californians] outperform everyone.” The state “is still the envy of the world,” he said.

    California DOES have the “5th largest economy in the world.” But that figure in itself tells us nothing.

    China has a much larger GDP than California. Does that make the Chinese more prosperous than Californians? I think not.

    CA is a huge state with a HUUGGGEEEE 40,000,000 population — over 38% more people than the second most populous state of Texas. And CA has an uber-HIGH cost of living.

    Based just on GDP, CA ranks as the 5th largest economy in the world. But adjusted for population (per capita) and cost of living (using the “Missouri” COL index described in the article below), CA ranks lower than all but 13 U.S. states.

    As a consequence, according to the Census Bureau, California’s real (“supplemental”) 2016 poverty rate (the new Census Bureau standard adjusted for the COL) is still easily the worst in the nation at 20.4%. We are 46.5% higher than the average for the other 49 states. Texas is 14.7%. The CA poverty rate is 38.8% higher than Texas.
    Table A-5 on page 27

    • Cynic says:

      Exactly my point above about superficial wealth with wide and likely permanent inequalities being no substitute for broad-based prosperity – in a well-governed society.

      Any idea of the poverty rate for elected and non-elected officials? :)

  54. California is wrong to just obsess over Texas. There are about 40 states that are SIGNIFICANTLY better places to live and work than California.

    Just this week another corporate HQ announced that they are leaving CA for a more business-friendly state (Tennessee). “Only” 200 high paying jobs are departing.

    Why are they leaving? Here’s a clue:
    “Mitsubishi touted the region’s ‘vibrant technology skillset’ and said it expects to save money by moving out of high-cost California and into Tennessee’s business-friendly work environment.”

    Not mentioned are the low property taxes and Tennessee’s disappearing state income tax. Bad Karma for a business to talk about taxes saved.

    So? Who cares if they are leaving? Not California politicians. They will just levy higher taxes on those that remain in the Golden State!

    • ooe says:

      TN is worse than TX. it has a per capita gpd of $ 43700.00, which is lower than CA. The South for all the headlines about companies moving there, it has lagged the country in terms of job growth and development since 2008, per that socialist rag by the name of … The Wall Street Journal. Companies promise TN jobs that never materialize.
      I remember when GM put the Saturn Plant Symra, TN. It eventually closed an left the town in the lurch.

      Also, there was a story about free clinics that opened in TN. Thousands showed up because they were too dirt poor to afford to go a proper doctor so TN is not paradise.

  55. Tim says:

    I’veenjoyed reading all the comments. Lots of hope, dispair, and angst mixed in with politics and economics.

    I grew up in a Chicago suburb and I’ve lived in Arizona, Hawaii, SoCal, and Seattle. I’m now in St. Louis and loving it.

    It’s cheap here. I have a beautiful home in a lovely old neighborhood with great schools and a walkable downtown. I can honestly say it’s the best place I’ve lived. Having kids makes you value the quality of your basic needs far more than the flashy / trendy stuff.

    I can drive anywhere in the city easily and we have a great microbrewery and restaurant scene. We also have fantastic cultural attractions that are free to inexpensive (Muny, Art Museum, the Zoo, Forest Park, Fox Theater, etc). We also have two fantastic universities (SLU and Wash U), excellent hospitals, and a growing tech hub in the Cortex district. There are pockets of regetrification going on all over the place (the Grove, Maplewood, etc). We may have lost the Rams but our Blues won the Stanley Cup and if the Cardinals get their act together they can be competitive once again.

    The stink of Ferguson (much of it was news media fabrication / hype) has outsiders avoiding our city. This used to bother me, now it’s a shield to protect us from the horde of trendy / hip seekers who descend on your city and drive up prices.

    Please stay away…everything is Ferguson here.

    • weinerdog43 says:

      Tim, you made my day. I’ve traveled all over the world and lived in a bunch of places, but I’m so happy to be coming back to Chicagoland. The Midwest has its problems, but I’ll take St. Louis or Chicago over anything in CA or TX thank you very much.

      • HB Guy says:

        And you’re welcome to it. I said goodbye to miserably long winters and oppressively hot, humid summers 3 decades ago and moved to the beach in Huntington Beach (Orange Co).

        I work from home, have no commute, bought my house when prices were cheap and wouldn’t live anywhere else. California’s physical beauty and the OC’s extraordinary weather sealed the deal for me.

        No more snow shovels, winter clothes, exorbitant heating/cooling bills. I hope everyone in Chicago enjoys the coming Grand Solar Minimum.

  56. Ehawk says:

    Ok. So it’s all the white angry people that are suffering in California. Well, you should move to Monaco or Switzerland… oopss you can’t afford it!

    It seems like everybody complaing believes that they’re entitled to live in an all white nabe with 10/10 schools, 3000sq ft houses with large yards and even some walls. You know to keep illegals out… well nobody is stopping you. Go right AHEAD a move to Palo alto, Menlo Park, Los Altos, Marin County, or Pepple Beach, La Jolla, Palos Verdes, Newport Beach or Santa Monica…Oh that’s right You can’t afford it or you just pissed the Asians are moving in.

    I as a Californian-American-Mexican LOVE Cali. Not leaving. If I made it to a 100K job, while growing up in the gettho to immigrant parents, I think my kids will have MUCH easier… thanks

  57. Mike says:

    Californian elite donated their land to preserves so they do not have to pay taxes yet they lock others out…and they also created laws prohibiting the building of 2 floor plus buildings and essentially blocking any modernization effort. They also keep blocking any attempt to modernize roads going in and out of the Bay Area toward the ocean which is just a few miles away…

Comments are closed.