After Years of Threats, Schwab Joins Exodus, to Move Headquarters from San Francisco to Texas

It has been shrinking its way out of the City for years. And it’s not the first major company to make the move.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

“As we’ve said previously, our strategy is to maintain our headquarters in San Francisco, where the firm was founded,” said a Charles Schwab spokeswoman in December 2016. The company had threatened to leave San Francisco in an arm-twist tactic with its landlord as its office lease was coming up for renewal. It worked apparently, and Schwab renewed the lease on its 417,000 square feet at 211 Main St. for another 10 years, and San Francisco breathed a sigh of false relief.

At the time, it had already made the decision to build a new campus in Westlake (northwest of Dallas-Fort Worth Airport), Texas. In October 2018, it filed plans to more than double the office space at the Westlake campus to 1.16 million square feet to accommodate up to 7,000 worker bees.

Regardless of the official rhetoric, the company has long been moving operations to Colorado and more recently to Texas: In 2014, it opened a 650,000-square-foot office in Denver to accommodate up to 4,000 employees. In May 2018, it opened a 469,000-square-foot office in Austin, Texas, to accommodate about 1,900 employees.

In 2015, Schwab still had 2,040 employees in San Francisco. By now, that has shrunk to 1,200.

So the writing was on the wall, when in May 2019, Charles Schwab himself indicated that moving the company’s headquarters out of San Francisco is being kicked around.

“We’re pretty much a national company now,” he told the San Francisco Business Times. He was “not sure” the company would remain in San Francisco. “We’ll continue looking at that as a possibility,” he said. “The costs of doing business here are so much higher than in some other place.”

And so now it got serious.

In the announcement this morning, Schwab confirmed rampant rumors that it would acquire TD Ameritrade for $26 billion. Part of the deal was the decision that the combined company would “eventually” move the new corporate headquarters to Westlake:

As part of the integration process, the corporate headquarters of the combined company will eventually relocate to Schwab’s new campus in Westlake, Texas. Both companies have a sizable presence in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. This will allow the combined firm to take advantage of the central location of the new Schwab campus to serve as the hub of a network of Schwab branches and operations centers that span the entire U.S., and beyond. Any additional real estate decisions will be made over time as part of the integration process.

With Schwab having shed jobs in San Francisco for years, the move of its headquarters will more or less continue the process, with a difference: Now the top folks will be moving, not just the underlings:

A small percentage of roles may move from San Francisco to Westlake over time, either through relocation or attrition. The vast majority of San Francisco-based roles, however, are not anticipated to be impacted by this decision. Schwab expects to continue hiring in San Francisco and retain a sizable corporate footprint in the city.

The assertion that only “a small percentage” would move to Texas and the assertion that it would “continue hiring in San Francisco” are as subject to change as Schwab’s assertion in December 2016 that “our strategy is to maintain our headquarters in San Francisco.”

Schwab is not the only company to move its headquarters out of one of the most expensive office markets in the US, one of the most expensive housing markets in the US, one of the most congested cities in the US with daunting commutes for employees who cannot afford to live in the city, with a homelessness problem that has spiraled out of control, and with a particularly tough nut to crack in terms of taxes.

On top of California’s corporate income tax rate of 8.84%, there is San Francisco’s tax on gross receipts and payroll. And then there is the new thingy whose opposition Charles Schwab funded with a personal donation of $100,000: Proposition C, which voters approved in November 2018, which raised the gross receipts tax on companies with revenues over $50 million to help fund San Francisco’s services for the homeless.

Texas has a 1% gross receipts tax on corporate income over $1 million, and Westlake has no additional corporate taxes, according to Westlake’s director of communications and community affairs, cited by the  San Francisco Chronicle. But of course, Texas and municipalities have to collect money somehow, and they do it via property taxes.

Schwab is one of the bigger corporate names in San Francisco, and despite the shrinkage still the fourth largest finance company behind Wells Fargo, First Republic Bank, and what’s left in the City of Bank of America, whose headquarters was moved from San Francisco to Charlotte, North Carolina, following its merger with NationsBank in 1998.

Other biggies have recently decided to bail out, including in 2018 McKesson Corp., the biggest pharmaceutical distributor in the US by revenue, which said it would move its headquarters to Las Colinas, Texas; and engineering and construction giant Bechtel, which said it would move its headquarters to Reston, Virginia.

House-hunters who’ve been worn out by the prices in San Francisco are going to get frustrated further: In Westlake the median price of a house is $1.8 million, according to its director of communications and community affairs, which is a notch higher than in San Francisco. But much cheaper homes and rents are available in other parts of the vast Dallas-Fort Worth metro.

Department stores and mall stores get crushed one by one. Read…  Brick & Mortar Melts Down as Ecommerce Jumps by Most Ever

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  195 comments for “After Years of Threats, Schwab Joins Exodus, to Move Headquarters from San Francisco to Texas

  1. Wisdom Seeker says:

    I suppose someone’s gotta leave to make room for the next crop of unicorns?

    Otherwise office rents would be even higher!

    • Richie says:

      SF is crushing it, Schwab will be replaced in a heartbeat. The merger is also a no brainer great for long term value creation for shareholdrers of Schwab.

  2. Going Amish says:

    I haven’t been to SF since the about 2000, but I was overwhelmed by the number of homeless even then. Outside the main city was very nice, and I did like the subways.

    I hear now the city is over-run with tent cities, needles feces etc. Not sure how anyone can tolerate living in the down-town area given the human tragedy you must see everywhere.

    Since California is know to be funded largely by capital gains taxes on their tech companies ( did I read that here?) , I wouldn’t invest a nickel in the state at this point. The whole place is going down in the next recession.

    • Petunia says:

      There’s a guy in the Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert area who does videos on dead strip malls in his area. He claims this is an affluent area, but the strip malls are now all abandoned. Lots of empty medical businesses too, which I found surprising. Scary stuff.

      I find it interesting that he never discusses how the residential values in the area are doing while retail is dying all around him. He still calls it an affluent area.

      • R hughes says:

        As a resident of sun city palm desert perhaps I can explain. The whole Coachella valley is very bifurcated. A high percentage of affluent retirees (snow birds and permanent ) and a high percentage of service workers (landscape, pool cleaning, care giving, house cleaning, etc. ). The first category lives in Indian Wells, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert. In those areas retail, restaurants, consignment stores, patio stores, wealth advisors, etc., are doing well and only minor vacancies in retail space. The other category lives in Cathedral City, Indio, Cochella, etc., where there is an abundance of empty retail space ( example the Indio Mall – virtually closed down ), dollar stores and so forth.

        I could write in more detail, but I think hope this gives a little better picture

    • R2D2 says:

      Those “tent cities”, like in San Fran, are now in every major city on Earth. Only Tokyo and Seoul have avoided them (so far). They are a part of modern life. For example, Paris looks like a warzone, Shanghai still has thousands of slums, Rio feels like civil war. Tents and boxes are everywhere.

  3. Javert Chip says:

    Having lived & worked in both cities, you will miss the ocean & bay vistas, you will miss wine country, you will miss the coastal hills & mountains, you will miss the Mediterranean climate.

    You will not miss the taxes, the traffic, the taxes, the train to nowhere, the taxes, and (most of all) you will not have to walk thru human excrement to go to work.

    • Timothy J McLean says:

      Great post!

    • W.E. Farr says:

      I miss the Fall colors in Connecticut too, but I am in Texas now and not paying taxes out my nose.

      • roddy6667 says:

        Funny you should mention that. I moved out CT after 65 years and live in Qingdao in China. People ask me what I miss most. The only thing I miss are the trees. The mix of hardwoods in CT is quite lovely. Even moving to other states is a big change. I had a friend who was back to CT for a visit from Amarillo, TX. He missed the trees too.

        • Willy Winky says:

          Lived in Shanghai for a year.

          The insane levels of air pollution makes for splendid sunsets!

          Then of course there is the fact that you cannot access virtually all external websites including youtube.

          But that’s life in the totalitarian nightmare.

      • 2banana says:

        Connecticut used to be known as a low tax state. It still had no income tax as late as the mid-1980s.

        It was still affordable to the working man.

        Today – General Electric moved its longtime corporate HQ from Connecticut to Massachusetts to escape the insane taxes. Massachusetts!!!!

        That is how bad the state has gotten.

        I have friends with nothing special houses on a 1/4 acre in a decent school district paying almost $20,000 a year in property taxes. On top of paying a 7% income tax.

        There is no future for their children there. They are all moving to red southern states.

        • roddy6667 says:

          When I was a kid, we called Massachusetts “Taxachusetts”. Now CT residents go over the line to MA to buy gas every week. CT has a reputation of being a liberal state, but it’s about 50/50 liberal/conservative. In every election, the liberals eke out a 1% victory and impose their policies on 100% of the residents. That’s democracy for you. It’s a tyranny of the 51%.

        • California Bob says:

          Your ‘friends’ are only paying (nearly) 7% tax rate on the portion of their annual income–the marginal tax bracket–above $400,000 (married, filing jointly):

          I’d say they’re doing OK (you do know how tax brackets work, right?).

        • Iamafan says:

          Income Taxes. If you don’t have to pay AMT, the high tax bracket is 6.5%. otherwise you pay 6.9 or 6.99.

          Property Taxes. Very high but It depends on the taxing municipality. One of the reasons to want to live here is if you want four seasons with a beautiful fall and you like trees. I live in a wooded area of about 1.5 acres. I have large trees. The fall colors have gone and most leaves have fallen as of today.

          Cars have property tax, too. Onerous Estate tax also.

          Yes, GE has been here forever. I live about 2 miles from GE so I know people who were left behind.
          But I don’t mind them leaving because what was here was mainly finance and HQ.
          Those that actually make things like turbines were in other states. He have Pratt and Whitney and Sikorsky still here.

          We also have the North side of Long Island Sound. So yes it’s very pretty here. Many of the largest hedge funds are actually on the shorelines.

          You can carry in CT. My wife and I and kid have licences. It’s a pain to get, but it’s renewable by mail. Better have a large umbrella and liability insurance here.

        • Keith says:

          I was born in CT. I remember as a kid how the income tax was only temporary due to the issue of the end of the cold war and peace dividend. “Amazing” to see how a temporary tax becomes permanent. Like many, I do miss the scenery, although the Southeast and Pacific NW has their own beauty.

        • Michael Fiorillo says:

          Connecticut is also an extreme case of economic polarization, with some of the wealthiest and poorest communities in the country.

          Bridgeport and Hartford consistently rate among the poorest cities in the US.

      • quack says:

        I moved out and pay no taxes at all. The only fixed is my condo fee at about $50, electricity $10 cell $5 and internet 100 mbt unlimited $7.50
        Substitute S Florida with Bay of Bengal.
        BTW Great blog Woolf! 15 years:)

    • buda atum says:

      “You will not miss the taxes, the traffic, the taxes, the train to nowhere, the taxes, and (most of all) you will not have to walk thru human excrement to go to work” and the taxes.


      • Iamafan says:

        I’m glad you mentioned the train.
        In the NY tri-state area, we commute a lot into Manhattan by train or by bus (usually NJ). Washington DC and Boston have similar structures. Taxes are high here for a reason. Usually government.

        • RagnarD says:

          Just riding either the commuter train in Boston It’s or sibling/ clone, the LIRR
          On Long Island at ~$12 to $15 per one way trip… on a 1980 era, slow moving train is a permanent reminder not to move back.

          To say nothing of the $3 one way subway rides.

      • R hughes says:

        Also the new train from and too no where. Victorville to Nevada border, 3.2 billion bond. LA people drive to Victorville, ride train to Prump and then somehow get into Vegas. Sure.

    • MC01 says:

      I am one of those who lived in California and couldn’t get away fast enough.
      In fact I should be careful typing this because I left the State so fast I had fire streaks behind me which may or again may not have started a wildfire. May attorney suggested caution when mentioning this episode of my life. ;-)

  4. Beardawg says:

    Was once such a beautiful city. I would like to see WOLF do an in depth study of CA’s indebtedness to the Fed / others as compared to other states. If it’s already out there – please let me know where.

    • Trinacria says:

      “They are all moving to red southern states”….hopefully they won’t bring their stupidity with them and transition the red states to purple or worse yet blue ! Hopefully they are smart and won’t recreate what they are escaping from…
      I grew up in southern CA – my parents moved there when I was 2 from Italy as they economy of Italy was still in a shambles in the late 1950’s from WWII. As a 19 year old sophomore in college I could see the trajectory for CA and my old dad even predicted this in 1975 right down to the illegal immigration when it wasn’t on anyone’s radar until probably the 1990’s. Was a beautiful place, I have great memories, but no longer live there (semi retired elsewhere)…what a tragedy. The political leadership is beyond pathetic and even criminal. It will soon become Venezuela.

      • California Bob says:

        Maybe the blue-staters are moving to the red-states they’ve been subsidizing for decades to suck up some of that sweet, sweet blue state cash:

        • Kevin says:

          Those Red state “subsidies” are programs that were inaugurated by Democrats – Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, WIC, TANF, SNAP. So whenever they bitch about it, I ask which should be cut/eliminated.

      • roddy6667 says:

        With the exception of Texas, the Red states all get more money from DC than they pay in. This money comes from the Blue states, who pay in more than they receive. In short, all the Red states are on welfare except Texas. Texas achieves this status not by prudent fiscal policies, but rather from the fact that they can literally pump money out of the ground. Texas is wobbling on the edge of falling into the Blue state category. They have a few critical elections coming up that will push out key conservatives. The public school children who will be voting in 5-10 years are more black and Mexican than white.

        • nofreelunch says:

          Yea, turn blue and have the solutions, just like CA does. So the answer to poor government of CA that fosters high inequality, unaffordability, uncontrolled pensions, etc. is to make sure there are no red states left to escape to? It’s so hopeless in CA, IL, CT, NY that the noncompete scenario seems to be the best solution to sustaining them. If those states are working out so well, then everyone should be moving there. Why not?

        • David Hall says:

          Some of the wealthiest counties in America are in the DC metro area.
          DC, MD and VA are blue states.

          There are better educated people in Boston than Orlando. They have MIT and Harvard.
          There are tech and biotech jobs. It is a blue state. There is innovation.

        • RagnarD says:

          With a $1T annual national deficit,
          The real subsidy is coming to the whole USA via the petro dollar.

          Btw Imagine the size of government if u had real red state ideology enacted

          Not much to distribute in such a world.

        • Lisa_Hooker says:

          So when all the red states finally become blue states all the now blue states will be paying out into … wait for it … Washington, D.C. Whoda thunk.

        • Kevin says:

          CA has significant oil and gas resources which it discourages from recovering.

      • sneakypete says:

        When Trump gets re-elected in 2020, watch for CA to attempt to secede. You heard it here first.

        • polecat says:

          Maybe some enterprising soul will become inspired, and contract with the So. Koreans to custom engineer a colossal sawsall .. with the intent to cut away the State from the rest of the Union … prying off Ashland, Ore. while they’re at it. I’m sure most Oregonians won’t miss it …

      • Lisa_Hooker says:

        I loved SF and Marin. But that was 1971. I occasionally get back for a few days. Every time I go back it is worse.

  5. bezos says:

    In the 1980’s I used to fly there once a month, just for the Italian food, and irish coffee’s

    Post 2000 the place went skank,

    Say what you want, but the city get’s what it deserves, its funny haight ashbury ( hippys, pot-shops, tie-die and all :( ) is gone, but you go back and watch the old ‘last waltz’ movie by the “The Band”, they do a block loop in SF, that was 1977, now it looks pretty much the same once again, urban blight

    I suspect it will turn again, once the population is reduced and knob-hill mansions go on sale

  6. DR DOOM says:

    The first thing that these escaped “worker bees” do when they reach their new destination is to get busy reproducing the same experience they left. The homeless will not be far behind.

    • RagnarD says:

      Ever heard of the concept of “magic dirt”?
      That’s the belief / fantasy That every foreigner who immigrants to the USA all of a sudden believes in the traditional American / AngloSaxon values: capitalism,
      Freedom of speech, small government, etc.

      Imagine a Mexican moving to japan
      An Indian moving to France
      And them all of sudden turning Japanese( French).

      • Michael Fiorillo says:

        To compare the US’ history of accepting and assimilating immigrants with Japan is comparing apples and fish.

        Despite periodic anti-immigrant fevers – Know-Nothingism, Chinese Exclusion Act, Johnson-Reed Act of 1924, Trump, etc- this country has a much better record of integrating immigrants than almost any other. Japan is quite possibly the exact opposite.

        I also know this from personal experience, having taught immigrant students in NYC for over two decades: the overwhelming majority of them yearned to be Americans, while maintaining connections to their home countries. And one of the beautiful things about NYC, the public schools and this country is we gave them an opportunity to do so. We’re wealthier and stronger because of it.

        • RagnarD says:


          U mean that ppl from other countries are not human and should not be held to the same moral standards as Americans?

          That is to say, the widely denigrated as racist white middle class Trump voting AMerican?

          The point is, as anyone who’s had their eyes open for the past 20 or so years, is that when you bring thousands/ millions of ppl from one culture into a different culture (Mexicans in SW USA, Muslims in go zones in Europe) they don’t necessarily assimilate. And thus, the local “tribe” may lose their valued heritage and lifestyle, etc.

          And, yes, of course many immigrants due desperately/ willingly want to become American. But that doesn’t mean that huge Cultural problems have not been caused by excess immigration.

          Do think the Modern Democrats / Merkel wanting open borders (massive immigration) Is because they want to share / convert the ideas of small constitutional govt or because they want those future first generation votes in order to continue their control on power and expand government?

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          @Ragnar-if the U.S. had implemented enforceable employment card-check by 1980, the immigration situation wouldn’t be what it is. Of course wages and working conditions for those ‘jobs Americans just won’t do’ would have improved to a point where ‘Americans’ would do those jobs…but that would have translated into reduced corporate profits and higher prices in general (we are good at believing we can always race to a new free lunch, no matter our elite or prole status. Bitter reality eventually wins that race for the majority of us, and history provides ample illustration of that…).

          May we all find a better day.

        • Arctic Chickens says:

          Yes, I for one feel fabulously enriched everytime my local diversity whips out the Mexican flag and starts chanting La Raza.

          People like you increase the value of my hemp rope stock first.

  7. 2banana says:

    Detroit used to the called the Paris of the West.

    At one time, America’s third largest city. People flocked to it. To work. To build wealth. To live the dream. To make something of themselves and to raise a family.

    Flushed with cash and wealth, Detroit had an amazing growth, amazing neighborhoods, amazing restaurants, amazing libraries, amazing public schools, amazing infrastructure, etc. and was looking forward to an amazing future.

    60 years of one party rule implementing every wacko pro-gres-sive policy destroyed it.

    Taxes – always up and up. Public unions always given amazing contracts. Never a cut to spending. Never a thought to the working taxpayer or their families. Infrastructure ignored to pay for graft and corruption. And then people started to leave all that cool urban coolness. And never came back.

    Detroit was nothing special after all.

    But…but..globalism…destruction of manufacturing…they couldn’t compete…etc.

    But yet, dozens of new huge car factories were built all across America in that time period (to include American car manufacturers). Just not in Detroit or anywhere close to it. Despite the amazing car manufacturing infrastructure and all those trained workers.

    San Francisco is also nothing special.

    They are following Detroit in every way. And will wind up in the same place.

    Bankrupt. A place no wants to live. Dangerous. A place where nothing works despite insane taxes. A place that people, families and businesses avoid.

    And a place that still is under the same one party rule with the same insane policies and laws in place.

    • ooe says:

      Texas is no paradise. Let me count the way. It has a higher than U S average for minimum wage workers.
      it has a higher uninsured rate than the nation as a whole.
      Houston has the highest rate of deaths for mothers giving birth. Higher than LA, higher the Oakland, Higher than Detroit, higher than San Diego, and higher than San Jose Ca.
      Texas is the new CA of the 1970’s thinking that low taxes will bring added jobs and that will pay for services. What is going to happen is that there will be too many people living and no services to keep up with the rate of increase of population.
      has been cutting jobs since Neutron Jack did it in the early 1980’s. It still failing and will fail per Markoplous

      • Gandalf says:

        In fact Texas LEADS the country … !

        … in having the HIGHEST percentage of people with NO HEALTH INSURANCE.

        And it’s Republican controlled state government has refused to sign onto the expanded Medicaid benefits under Obamacare,

        What makes this all possible, in my personal unscientific observations, is that a huge percentage of these uninsured are the gigantic numbers of Hispanics in Texas who

        a) don’t vote (and yes, the vast majority are American citizens)

        b) are devout Catholics who believe that praying to God, Jesus, and Mary, will cure their cancers, and if not it’s God’s Will and they should just submit to It

        That’s why I tell people these days that counting on the Hispanic vote is not going to work, not for a very long time.

        Beto’s near win in Texas was propelled by getting large numbers of formerly Republican suburban women to vote for him, as well as a higher than normal turnout of young educated Texans and black people to come out to vote

      • SimpleLife says:

        Grew up in CA 70’s-80’s. Joined the Army in 1990 for three years, met wife in Army, relocated to TX, both of us earned diplomas and have had spectacular careers here. I have told my children countless happy stories of CA during the 70’s, and exchange the same stories with many expat Californians here in TX. We all still visit frequently for personal and business reasons. These stories always have the same ending though “not the place it used to be”, or “if you purchased there in the 60’s-70’s”, etc. the changes seems to stem from a combination of congestion in urban coastal areas and difficulties in fiscal planning. Still a great place if you can afford it, and love to visit.

        I do agree that TX is the new CA of the 70’s, we have been saying that here for a while now. Life is very good here, and there are currently countless opportunities here. In Houston there seem to be a never ending explosion of people (lot’s of CA license plates btw), Austin is referred to as CA East and is the cool new “it gal” on many lists (billion $ Apple campus) and Dallas has ever increasing highways along green belts just begging for new buildings and tenants from the rest of the U.S.

        TX is holding it’s own for now, you can see some cracks in the system, but it’s still sorting itself out. The difference seems to be a cultural one that demands some self sufficiency of individuals, and we all don’t care to live within a few miles of our coast, so there is still room to spread out and build entirely new communities such as North Dallas. There is also a culture that embraces those who are willing to contribute. We’ll see how long that lasts, but for now TX is definitely on the right path.

        • Non insane California resident says:

          California stopped being a great place to live when they stopped building infrastructure. Or removing it like LA’s subway system. Only in the last decade or so have they tried earnestly building infrastructure like light rail in LA. But then when they do build it it’s a bloated mess like the bullet train that over prices and under delivers(It’s not even going to be a bullet train. I can’t remember the last time they built a freeway in a major metropolitan area. Now the in trend it to have “road diets” and build low income housing, oh yeah like that’s going to fix the conjestion issues LOL. And more often than not when you point this out people will agree with you but still vote these absolute morons into office again anyway. It’s over here, call the game, turn the lights out folks.

    • Unamused says:

      Detroit used to the called the Paris of the West.

      Detroit was destroyed because it was, and still is, a bastion of the labor movement. And yet, the Rivera Court still stands.

      • California Bob says:

        re: “Detroit was destroyed because it was, and still is, a bastion of the labor movement. And yet, the Rivera Court still stands.”

        Yeah, the huge, gas-guzzling, crappy cars the auto manufacturers insisted on building through the Gas Crisis–with Japan producing small, efficient, well-built cars–obviously had nothing to do with it.

        Disclaimer: I have mixed feelings about unions, but you really should widen your perspective.

        • Wolfbay says:

          The auto industry was turned over to the Japanese. GM tried to compete with non union Saturn but the UAW shot it down. We let the Japanese companies open non union factories with something like a thousand dollar a car cost advantage. Are we that stupid? Some politicians must have been paid off big time to let this happen.

        • polecat says:

          Oh come on ! Who doesn’t like owning an AMC Pacer ??

      • Javert Chip says:

        I have been to the Paris of the East, and the Paris of the West is no Paris of the East…and never has or will be.

    • NoEasyDay says:

      >Flushed with cash and wealth, Detroit had an amazing growth,
      >amazing neighborhoods, amazing restaurants, amazing libraries,
      >amazing public schools, amazing infrastructure, etc. and was looking
      >forward to an amazing future.

      What about the weather?

    • timbers says:

      You’re right. Governor George Romney’s one party rule destroyed Detroit just like Ronald Reagan’s one party rule destroyed California.

      With taxes.

      • MCH says:

        That’s right, CA is being saved right now thanks to Gavin. He will make sure the sixth largest economy in the world leads the way for the US.

      • Non insane California resident says:

        Dear god MCH, I hope that was sarcasm.

      • Non insane California resident says:

        You might want to double check which party has owned both houses of the legislative branch since the 60’s in CA. It certainly isn’t the Republicans. We’ve had a few Republican governors but that’s about it. This state when it fails from pension obligations amongst other policy failures will be squarely on the Democrats spin it all you like but anybody with a couple brain cells knows this, hell even out of state know it. It’s time the drop the ignorance act.

        • MCH says:

          I think the problem in the US, especially between the blue and red states is all of this one party rule. When that happens and gets sustained for a prolonged period, what we end up with is arrogance, followed by denial that everything is going to heck.

          It doesn’t matter if it’s red or blue, prolong that one party situation and things go bad. By the way, if we take a careful look at TX history, not so long ago, meaning within the last 50 years, TX was Democratic stronghold. If there is a lock of sense in Texans, they will swing the pendulum a bit back toward the blue, not overwhelmingly so, but enough to ensure there is common sense policy.

          As for places like CA, I would say that it’s probably too late to do that (swing the state meaningfully red) and expect to have any good impacts in the next 20 years. People have become too locked in, very similar to Hawaii, except the situation in Hawaii has lasted longer, and is measurably worse (and not helped by the fact that it is a small island chain).

          p.S. it also didn’t help CA that the last Republican governor was a dolt, and Brown was actually a relatively decent governor that didn’t quite swing as extreme as his first iteration in office.

    • Nat says:

      …. uh, what destroyed Detroit was all the auto jobs left do to globalism to exploit cheaper workers elsewhere. The effect of anything else on Detroit’s decline is just pittance.

      Also however interesting and cultured Detroit may once have been, whomever believed it to be a “Paris of the West” was completely delusional and/or probably had never been much of anywhere else in the world (including Paris proper).

    • Gandalf says:

      Au contraire. There are still American car factories. They use TEN TIMES FEWER WORKERS than in the 1970s.

      I remember visiting a GM car factory near Dallas with my parents in the early 1970s. At every station there was a man (no women) doing some task, sometimes as minor as inspecting and grinding down a slight glitch in the metal frame. Most of the workers had that thousand yard stare and looked bored

      Today, all the car factories will have robots at the stations. A thriving factory that once employed 3,500 workers or more will now have fewer than 350.

      Globalization played a part, but automation had a HUGE role in the loss of jobs in the US and elsewhere in this world. Those jobs are not coming back, no matter what anybody says. Blaming China and Mexico is just a means to scapegoat and win votes

      • Nat says:

        Automation certainly has made a big impact on Auto Job loss, but actually the effect of exporting the jobs is in fact bigger here is a good article on it:

        Key points from that article: 1. US total factory production after removing semiconductors has actually declined – automation is not accountable for reduction of total production. 2. Relative to all countries except those heavily reliant on sweat-shop labor for production (like China) the US factories have gained very little in automation over the last ≈ 30 years – US automation is a joke compared to places like Germany where vast amounts of automation have occurred and yet also have comparatively smaller loss of production jobs relative to the US over the same time-frame.

        Point this out **IS NOT** racist like you seem to imply.

      • Michael Fiorillo says:

        I don’t blame China and Mexico; I blame the investment and managerial class, along with their vassal academics and elected officials.

      • Wisoot says:

        Globalization is anothee word for French invasion.

      • Setarcos says:


        Au contraire, factories assemble the component parts that have been produced. Where are the parts produced? For example, a friend’s company sold fabric for seats that was made in the US, but that ended long before robots.

    • Saltcreep says:

      Places rise and fall with booms and busts, causing a lot of ensuing misery as a result, because we humans can’t restrain ourselves. As soon as the opportunity presents itself we build up unsustainably large and inflexible societies, built with a striking disregard for conservation and good, long term resource husbandry.

      Whether a boom is based on the depletion of natural resources or on evanescent industrial/technological conditions, we model our societies on projecting what’s happening now into the future, and get caught out miserably when the boom has run out of steam or has moved on to the next place. Thus we are eventually left with societies incapable of supporting what they’ve become.

      Our real problem is that we don’t act responsibly in respect of the long term, and we hold exponential growth to be a desirable property rather than an extremely dangerous one. That is so across the political spectrum, so I wouldn’t blame politics. Politics are more a response to conditions than a cause of them, I would claim, but I guess it feels more satisfying to vent on people rather than on an axiom like evolution…

      • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

        @Salt-hands-down best comment I’ve read here. As I believe the saying went: ‘…A people who disregard their history has no past…and no future…”.

        A better day to you, and us all.

  8. michael says:

    The San Francisco/ Los Angeles sanctuary city, homeless haven model is being repeated all over California. Meanwhile honest, hardworking folks are being driven out by crime and taxes.

    • char says:

      San Francisco has a reputation that housing is so expensive that there are large groups of honest, hardworking and sober homeless people. So it is not crime and taxes but house prices that make people flee California. Something that the state can fix..

      • MC01 says:

        As I was patiently explained by a social worker in Germany homelessness in the West has little, if anything, to do with real estate prices.
        It’s actually a pretty complicated phenomenon but let’s just say that the homeless tend to flock to places where they heard or felt they will be able to get “more for their buck” but at their conditions. And generally speaking those cities tend to be the wealthiest ones.

        Now some very wealthy cities like Augsburg don’t like having homeless people around. The police will make sure they don’t stick around for long and local newspapers are full of advice saying “If you see a homeless person please don’t give him/her anything; contact social services or the police immediately”. The homeless know this and tend to give these cities a wide bert: remember most of them are transients.

        Until last year Munich had a serious homelessness problem. These weren’t locals driven out of their homes by insane real estate prices, but overwhelmingly transients and drug addicts being pulled towards the city like iron filings towards a magnet, like it’s been happening in San Francisco, and for exactly the same reasons.
        In May this year they were gone, just like that. What happened? A far from settled election pushed the city government into ordering the police to “clean up the streets” after all sorts of complaints had been piling up. Turns out the romantic image of the clochard wearing an old top hat and living under a bridge is pure literary fiction.

        One one side I know this “San Francisco homelessness crisis” has been exaggerated by the media, but on the other I have seen what Munich was turning into last year. Doing nothing but trying to save appearances by appeasing a very vocal Liberal minority (whose members seemingly spend every waking minute on social media) will only make things worse.

        • Endeavor says:

          Detroit has very few homeless. Street crime is so bad that the homeless avoid it. What homeless there are squat in empty blighted homes that they can hide in and barricade. A 250 million dollar blight removal bond was defeated by the city council. They claim ‘lack of transparency’ in costing out demolitions. Lack of transparency in all Detroit spending has always been a feature, not a bug. Anecdotal evidence suggests large numbers of squatters pressuring council to halt demolitions.

        • Wolf Richter says:


          Just to add some precision to: “‘San Francisco homelessness crisis’ has been exaggerated by the media”:

          Let me reassure you that the homeless are truly everywhere now. Wherever you go, you see them. That part has not been exaggerated.

          What has been exaggerated is the “feces and needles” thing. I rarely run into this. There are a few streets where this is an issue, in the Tenderloin for example, or some streets and alleys South of Market, and I know those streets, and I try to avoid them at night, but outside of those streets and alleys, it’s not there.

          In my experience, all of the homeless I have run into, including the ones behind our building occasionally that I have to ask to leave, are well behaved. They’re humans too. They need a place to sleep.

          And the larger homeless community includes people who sleep in their vehicles and have jobs. This is a very common sight. These are people who cannot afford housing, or don’t want to spend all their money just to stay in a dump.

        • Setarcos says:

          MC01. Just to add to what you heard from the social worker, helping those in need, e.g. homeless, can sometimes work if you pursue it on a personal level. It can be very rewarding to both parties, but it is also fraught with peril because as you say it is a complicated phenomenon. You have to be emotionally connected enough to want to know how to actually help, but getting emotionally connected can be very scary. So most prefer maintaining an emotional distance and relying on institutionalized/state charity to assuage any feelings of guilt. It is “selfish giving” and it doesn’t work. A good read on this is Toxic Charity, which explains with concrete case studies how systematized charity makes the situation worse.

        • Frederick says:

          Same thing happened on my street in the center of Warsaw The Roma children begging and stealing got out of control and one evening the police showed up with a paddy wagon and took them all away A few are back years later but far fewer Regarding the homeless who are mostly alcoholics in Poland many sadly freeze to death every winter as it gets a bit chilly in Central Europe at that time of the year
          They have great home cooking places where you can get a big bowl of hearty hot soup for around a dollar and the poor, elderly and students pack those places daily They are leftover from the communist era and work great to feed the less fortunate

        • Gandalf says:

          Germany is not California. Germany was depopulated by WWII and never experienced a post war baby boom – to this day there are large areas of formerly populated land that lie unused and returned to nature.

          Germany also still has that strong regimented social structure that America used to have in the 1950s where littering in public and jumping into subway trains for free are frowned upon (in the mid 2000s I was in Berlin and was amazed that the subways, which are not free, had no turnstiles or places to drop coins into and nothing to check the passcards).

          California’s fundamental problem is that TOO MANY PEOPLE want to live there and widespread NIMBYism and No Growth laws prevent the development of more housing and the necessary roads and water resources. Even Tom Steyer has said this in his ads (he ain’t gonna win any votes in CA – the homeless poor don’t vote, the rich NIMBYs do, in droves)

          I used to live in Ventura. It was fiercely No Growth. Most of the houses there had been built in the 1950s – early 1970s and building anything new would be met with fierce protests. The town looked old and drab. At least the massive hillside fires there will allow those homes to be rebuilt into glittering modern McMansions.

          House prices and rents in California have long been higher than the rest of the country, even in the 1960s because more people wanted to live there than were houses available.

          That fabulous California weather does exacerbate the problem because it allows the homeless to live out of their cars or in tents year round. For instance, you don’t see homeless people in liberal Boston except in the warm half of the year.

          In Ventura homeless people were rousted out by the police from the town, but they were allowed to live in a tent and RV city at the dry river bottom outside the city. Every few years, the rains would come and wash all their trash out to the ocean

          There have been many, many studies and news stories about the homeless in California. You just have to google this topic to inform yourself about the facts, MC01. The homeless now cross demographics, and include increasing numbers of seniors and working poor, including well educated people working in the low paying gig economy. They are no longer just the mentally ill and drug/alcohol abusers.

        • MC01 says:

          Wolf, thanks very much for setting the record straight with your feet on the ground experience. It sounds a whole lot like the last time I was in Ulm, with people sleeping on the ground 30ft away from the ultra-rich financial district.
          I am not judging these folks, but I live in an area where drug addiction has always been a terrible problem so we are always on our guard when near people who may or may not be of the “wrong kind”.

          Gandalf, here in Europe we’d love to have some of that “depopulation” mass media are full off. The whole Continent is so packed as to defy belief, and things got somehow even worse over the past 3-4 years, even in Spain.
          And try getting anywhere in Bavaria: on Google Maps it may look like the place is deserted but the roads are packed, the highways are jammed and the trains are stuffed to the brim and things are bound to get a whole lot worse.

        • Craig says:


          Most people in Germany rent so housing prices are of no concern. It’s rent that matters. They have rent control.

          Plus they put people in apartments for free. They have plenty of places to build them.

          If they are unemployed,it doesn’t really matter where they live.

          California could do that. Or perhaps set up trailer parks for unemployed homeless.

          The hard to deal with problem is when you get the homeless or van dwellers that need to be their for work. Yet are unable to afford rent.

          Options are a) rent control b) massive minimum wage hikes ($20 an hour) which could raise prices higher c) greater density d) better mass transit and building of new suburbs e) reduce the number of jobs/VCs/Startup and thus the demand. Until supply and demand of housing match.

          Of course those are all unpopular choices. So nothing happens.

      • Non insane California resident says:

        Gandalf you aren’t wrong about Ventura.

        I live in Camarillo and I see it first hand here as well. But you neglect to mention why there is a fair bit of Nimbyism here. The state mandates housing share laws, based on on several conditions but demand and expected growth trends tend to weigh heavy in the mix. So if residents want to keep their town a certain size but the state says build 500 units in Ventura the town has to comply. What’s the point of local governance if a dictator in Sacramento who knows nothing of our area decrees it must be done. Pretty sure we fought a war over a similar power dynamic in our history as a country?. That leads me to my second point they decree the housing must be built but seem completely disinterested in providing any infrastructure to serve the increased population. Yeah that seems fair. “Hey you live in a nice desirable semi affordable area build more houses now and enjoy the detoriating roads and traffic that come with it.” Oh boy sign me up? Meanwhile other parts of the state like for instance Bishop or Lee Vining look about the same as they did in the 1930’s when their counties sold their water rights to Mullholland. Yeah that’s real fair to people who just want a reasonable lifestyle and commute.

        Let’s face it CA central planning and development has been an abysmal failure in implementation.

        • MCH says:

          Yep, tell that to the people of Cupertino. Everyone wants to develop old Vallco park, and when that is finally done, it will make that region traffic hell.

          Most people in Cupertino doesn’t want their city to become the next San Jose or Oakland. But that choice is not up to them, and those set aside low income housing… I doubt if they will be meaningful to the folks who work at Target or Ranch 99

  9. William Smith says:

    I loved the movie “What’s Up Doc” because of all the lovely outdoor scenes. I suppose it has changed a bit since then? I have “driven around” the city in “Watch Dogs 2” game and the vistas are still lovely, not too much homeless either :-)

  10. John Jr says:

    I left San Francisco Bay Area almost five years ago and moved to a leafy
    forest outside of Greenville, SC. I haven’t been back since and thank god
    every day I was able to relocate to a place like this away from all the insanity and politics and insane cost of living there. It sounds like everyone on here feels the same way.
    Both my dad and I were born there, we both left.

    • Setarcos says:

      I traveled to San Fran quite frequently and also have spent time in Greenville, SC and the surrounding areas. Greenville is quite nice as are many places in SC. Over the past decade or two, it is quite obvious that San Fran and Greenville are on totally different trajectories.

  11. Petunia says:

    JPM has also been moving workers to Texas. They moved operations from other southern states there a couple of years ago. Now they are moving more workers there.

    • Frederick says:

      JPM just had a new tower built in the booming Wola area of Warsaw Standard Chartered, Santander, and all the big accounting firms have all built new skyscrapers It amazes me how that area has blossomed I guess that’s what happens when you have access to free cash right? I wonder if it’s all sustainable longer term though

      • Wisoot says:

        If I had access to free money building a new skyscraper would not be on my ‘fix the planet ecosystem to do list’. Those with access to free money are literally destroying us all.

  12. Chris says:

    I’m sure the 1.8M gets you a lot more sqft plus land.

    • Wolf Richter says:


      Yes, but… in SF, for $1.8M you can get a nice 2-bedroom condo with parking for one car, and without yard to take care of, but with view of the Golden Gate Bridge and/or some other part of the Bay, and you can live within walking distance of 300+ restaurants, and the weather is nearly always perfect for walking. It’s all relative.

      • Willy Winky says:

        Wow – a 2 bedroom apartment! Sounds —- ‘comfy’

        There are plenty of places in America with excellent views and good restaurants (does one really need 300 restaurants to choose from?) where you can own a house or significantly larger apartment for a fraction of that.

        And where you don’t pay extortionate taxes.

        To each their own I guess.

        • Cemitese says:

          Does one really need all that extra space to live in?

          Wow , your argument was easily invalidated by using the same tactic you used for Wolfs argument. Like he said “its all relative”

      • Prairies says:

        From the tales I read owning a car in SF is a requirement from the sprawl so the walking weather is pointless when you can’t enjoy it.

        • sierra7 says:

          Have a daughter and a granddaughter living/working in SF. One sold her car when she moved there; the other has a car but never uses it except maybe on days off work to drive to the peninsula. Both use public transportation……possibly for many that live and work in SF the public trans part makes it possible to make ends meet.
          I grew up in SF. Used public transportation almost always to travel to “downtown” for shopping.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Owing a car in SF is only a requirement if have to commute or travel outside the city to places you can’t get to easily by train.

          I walk almost everywhere in SF (though I might take the BART to shorten the long stretches). It’s beautiful. People come from all over the world to see this, and I get to see it for free when I walk to the doctor (8 miles round trip). Wife drives the car to Silicon Valley and gets to fight the traffic every day. I’m the lucky one.

      • Andy Fanter says:

        Wolf, you are right about living the Bay life. However, 800k buys a “McMansion” in north Texas, and the saved million buys some great restaurant experiences in North Texas. I am one of those people that would like to live 30 days everywhere in the US.

      • Alex says:

        For 1.8MM in DFW you can get about three times that much with a huge backyard oasis, good schools and still be near first class restaurants.

        For what you are describing it would be about 700K in downtown Dallas.

    • Harrold says:

      The city of Westlake is very very small. There are not many houses and population is less than 1,000.

  13. Mars says:

    Can’t take the Hanse 388 to many lakes in Dallas metro but you can waterski. Just get a different boat.

    Our family lived in SF when I was PreK-1st grade, early 1960s. We lived at the end of California Street down a block across the street from a cliff. Before it was called “moms day out” the Summer before 1st grade I remember walking one day a week the block to California Street, waiting for the bus, getting on, sitting in the seat behind the bus driver, riding the bus down to Chinatown, getting off and walking to the Y for daycare and reversing the process a few hours later. Alone. 5 yrs old.


    Many times I have marveled at how the world has changed. My parents would be in prison now and/or I would be in a cage in somebody’s basement.

    • Wolf Richter says:


      Kids in SF still take public transportation on their own to go to school. I live pretty close to a school. I see them all the time. No biggie. Kids get street-smart really quick. But I don’t know about a 5-year old going across town to daycare. That must have been an adventure, and my heart smiles on you as a five-year old, but that would be kinda pushing it today, I’d say.

      • Iamafan says:

        Wolf since your spouse is Japanese, you may want to tell some folks here how very young Japanese kids commute or walk far to schools with their leather backpacks.

        Each place is unique. People love SF for a reason other than tech unicorns. Money ain’t everything. Sometimes you need to spend some to live well.

      • Mars says:

        Like you, I see lots of kids running around and riding public transportation just like I did 50 years ago. I meant last two sentences tongue-in-cheek as they were over the top. It implied fear sold by media and other folks that no one is safe. I don’t agree with that outlook.

        Before the trips started my parents walked the route, rode the bus, talked with the bus drivers – it was not a situation where nothing was planned. I felt comfortable and it may have been the seed for my motto “always take the trip”, take the adventure when given a choice :)

        I’ll indicate sarc next time ;)

      • Nocalboy says:

        Yeah, SF kids get “street smart”, lol. I remember as a kid going into the city and the local kids my age were stealing and selling their bodies to smoke “Hubba”, aka crack. I guess that’s progressive to the demented minds that run that city and state!

    • Frederick says:

      Mars I think the same thing a lot whenever I see young children playing partially attended However they can still do that here in Turkey and in Poland as well without getting in trouble That’s one of the good things about living in a homogeneous, religious country The crime is much less and they respect children and the elderly The people wouldn’t allow it any other way

      • Harrold says:

        Never thought of Turkey as being homogeneous when it comes to religion, but then I remember they brutally murdered all of the Christians 100 years ago.

        I guess there are some benefits to ethnic cleansing.

  14. ooe says:

    California still has a higher per capita income than Texas. The south which includes Texas has been boasting to add factories and office headquarters for 50 tears. However because of this or in spite of this, it remains the poorest section of the country.
    Texas still has one of the highest uninsured rates in the country, which is above the national average. Also, Houston has the highest mortality rates for women giving birth, not LA , not Oakland, not San Francisco, not San Diego.

    • My father did basic training in Texas, and I’ve done many long drives across the state. I know Fort Hancock and Van Horn like the back of my hand….. Don’t miss Chipotle Texas in Fort Hancock or Chuy’s Restaurant in Van Horn! What Texas does best, as far as I can tell — apart from teaching exemplary manners to its children — is to keep the costs of government and living very low, so that less income is needed to live well. Texas is in a different universe, politically, from California. And, given peak everything in California, it thus has much to recommend it! (And I do still love California, despite its having been “discovered.”)

    • GrassRanger says:

      Women are still giving birth these days? I thought that had gone out of fashion in the last century.

      • Ethan in NoVA says:

        The religious and the immigrant ones do :-)

      • Wolf Richter says:

        Lots of millennials with babies around here in San Francisco these days. They’re working for Google or Uber or some startup, and they’re getting married, live in little-bitty but expensive apartments, and are raising a family. People do what they have always done.

        • dasripper says:

          My wife and I did that in our apartment on Sacramento St. We lasted about a year with our walk-in closet turned nursery.

          Then we moved to the Dallas/Fort Worth area and when we left we were told, “Once you leave California, you can’t come back”, meaning once you enjoy the lower COL state it is hard to entertain the notion of ever moving back to California.

          Low and behold after we had baby #2 in 2015 in Texas and were sick of the heat (and consequently the ice storms) and slathering our kids in bug spray every morning, we actually did make it back (to very suburban Solano County) and now have a very happy life doing the outdoor things we love to do that we just couldn’t seem to find in Texas.

          Both great states but I found the government will get their lb. of flesh one way or another.

      • Frederick says:

        Only went out of fashion with selfish white women like my ex wife who thought that children would get in the way of their “ lifestyle” Pathetic creatures that they are Politically incorrect but there it is HappyThanksgiving

        • RagnarD says:

          I married a Mestizo. She talked about having 4 or 5 kids. She had one, then realized, this is tough stuff. We Did some research And found out raising only one was in a way harder than two or more, so we had another.

          Then the narcissism reared it’s head.
          I never noticed it before—and I didn’t recognize what it was when it was happening. But when you becOme a Mom, one thing is for sure, life stops being “all about you”.

          Scapegoat for her new found unhappiness ended up being me, of course.

          Seems,, most of the women who have been in my life (or potential LTR prospects) were / are either narcissist or alcoholic or both.

  15. Jane Jacobs explained the cycle well in her classic “The Death and Life of Great American Cities.” Last year’s skidrow is next year’s trendsetting neighbourhood — and vice versa. Having been a California taxpayer for 15 years, I explain it like this: California is unique and beautiful, and that has already been discovered, capitalized upon, and exploited to the maximum. Sadly, the next stage in the cycle is evident, and you can read Ms Jacobs’ book to flesh that out (I used to live down the street from her in an up and coming Toronto neighbourhood, make that 37 years ago or so!). Jane Jacobs started writing about great cities in New York, and relocated to Toronto in a timely manner back in the 70s. She did go on to become a Toronto celebrity.

    The book is available on Amazon and elsewhere, and is a brilliant work.

  16. Mike G says:

    Texas blows, I lived there for two years. An ugly authoritarian culture of gun fetishism and celebrating ignorance — they were still arguing over creationism at the local high school.
    And Dallas is one of the ugliest, most boring metro areas I’ve ever visited.
    And a climate like a sauna half the year. The quality of life by my priorities is abysmal.
    There’s more to life than living in a plastic suburban wasteland just because you can get a bigger McMansion and pay somewhat less taxes.

    • Responding personally, if you’ll forgive me….. I have many political differences with the political mainstream of Texas, including my personal belief that the well-regulated militia should be well-regulated! I much prefer Japan’s system of gun regulation….. However, in my experience, it is not difficult at all to get along with all Texans all the time, and it is to display unrelentingly good manners. No Texan will ever treat a well-mannered person rudely.

      • Ricardo says:

        Well said. And CA is full of guns too, people are just quieter about it due to the heavy handed local laws.

        You raise an interesting point on Japan’s gun laws that stem from the old sword round up. After commoners were relieved of their weapons in feudal Japan, local Daimiyo could and would maintain taxes at “bumper crop” levels even in years of famine. This led to disaster and easily suppressed revolts.
        Kind of like Ireland when the potato famine struck there and the only available food was exported for cash. There was a lot of food in Ireland, just not enough potatoes for the masses of unarmed peasants.

      • 2banana says:


        “Well-regulated” in the 1780s meant “well-equipped.”

        You really think the Founding Fathers, denied the use arms to defend themselves by the British, would make the 2nd Amendment all about making the the new citizens of America defenseless?

        • Gandalf says:

          The untold truth is that the United States was founded on the a thriving hunting and frontier culture that required almost every family to own guns, in order to both put food on the table, and to fight off Indian and other attacks.

          The earliest American gun makers came from Germany and made hunting rifles. When the American Revolution started, the US Continental Congress ordered tens of thousands of muskets from these gunmakers for Washington’s Continental Army.

          Nobody ever connects these dots in high school history. The British did not give or sell these muskets to arm Washington’s army. These were proudly Made in ‘Murica by ‘Muricans and the United States would not exist today without these gunmakers.

          Most likely, the US would just be a collection of southern provinces of Canada

          The US was the only British colony to ever successfully win an armed rebellion to gain independence.

          No surprise that in the feudal aristocracies of Europe and Asia that hunting and ownership of guns and other weapons was severely restricted to the aristocracy.

          Whatever you think about the problem of gun violence today, you have to start by understanding this historical difference between the US versus other countries.

    • Tim says:

      You sound angry. Not a good look.

      • 2banana says:

        As opposed to the atheist theory of everything came from nothing.

        Like poof, there it is.

        And science!

        Which has changed constantly since the age of Socrates up to one minute ago.

        The first gun control laws in America were imposed to keep newly freed blacks from defending themselves.

        Those low IQ gun nuts?

      • sc7 says:


        You’re falling for the god of the gaps fallacy, just because you can’t fully explain the creation of the earth does not mean that a magical sky monster described in a fictitious book (the Bible) is suddenly real.

        And yes, gun nuts are low IQ, there’s a clear correlation between red states and average IQ. Your argument about the first gun control law is a complete fallacy when applied to modern gun controls.

        News flash, with today’s technology, your guns won’t save you from anything if the government wants you.

    • RagnarD says:

      There’s a lot more to life than net take home pay. What matters most is the answer to the equation,
      “What does where I live allow me to do with my life?”

      In my case, with respect to living in TX, it might be, yeah, TX lifestyle sucks but I can bank a lot more $$$ so that I can travel/ live overseas sooner, on that banked $$$.

      I’ve been to Houston and have no interest— seems akin to living on the moon in the summer. Austin seemed a lot better, But by now its no longer cheap. (But what decent city is these days at peak everything bubble – see wolfs charts)

      Anyway, would have been nicer/better IMO, if jobs hAd migrated to more livable geographies, if not significantly better climates, As in, along the coastal South or Rockies/Sierras, as opposed to inland TX.

      • Frederick says:

        Look into Eastern Europe Poland in particular in my opinion Warsaw is booming and a great low cost lifestyle The weather is a bit cold but not as bad as in the past If I wasn’t married to a Turkish woman I’d be living there in a heartbeat But that’s me I like good inexpensive beer and sexy, beautiful blonde blue eyed women Does that make me bad?

        • RagnarD says:

          yeah, I’ve been around. Backpacked Eastern Europe in ’95 for 2 1/2 months, have been back in 2014 and 2016 on shorter trips. I’m a big fan. And yes, Polish women are lookers, too. Not been back to Poland since 1995 though. But Warsaw and Cracow were faves.

          BTW, I literally just got back from Vietnam (MuiNe: Mecca for both Kitesurfers and Russian beach lovers).

          I’m a big fan of SE Asia and Eastern Europe. Eastern Europe for shoulder seasons Fall/Spring, SE Asia in the Winter (High Wind Season), and Skiing in the Western North American Mountains for winter/Spring, and mountain biking in Summer.

          BTW, how did you meet a Turkish woman? I was in Turkey in 2012, and I’m not sure I had an decent conversations with local date-able women. I remember sitting in the town square near the historic site of Efes without a single woman taking notice of me. Neither the young hotties dressed western or the Russian Babushka types.

          Patriarchy? What a joke. Nothing is less empowering than to have ZERO women look at you all day.

        • Wolf Richter says:


          “I remember sitting in the town square near the historic site of Efes without a single woman taking notice of me.”

          OK, I have been stupefyingly happily married for close to 20 years. So I no longer know how to do this, and I certainly don’t ever want to have to re-learn it, and I certainly cannot give you any advice. But let me just say this: the woman I’m now so happily married to didn’t look at me either. She doesn’t even remember when I first started talking to her. She didn’t even react to me or my elegantly-thought-out-at-the-spur-of-the-moment pick-up line. But I kept trying. And at some point, my presence registered.

          This happened in France, and she is Japanese.

          And then it took another 6 years of global adventures and near-misses before we finally were able to get married.

        • RagnarD says:



          Well, I was making a cultural point, not a personal one. For example, when I’m in SE Asia – (just just back from Vietnam) – I’ll get looks / compliments when shopping in stores. Grabbed at and coerced by the massage ladies, etc. etc.

          But in Turkey, in my example, I’m sitting in this town square, and relative to the rest of the population, I might as well be Martian. I do NOT fit in; I am the anomaly of the moment. Yet, NO ONE notices the Martian? My point being, culturally they are NOT allowed to make eye contact with me.

          I met this eccentric book shop owner in Ankra, think Zorba the Greek, who told me that women rule the roost domestically. Men supposedly rule public life. But I repeat, “Nothing is less empowering than to have ZERO women look at you all day”. So that is one shitty version of patriarchy if that’s its end game, socially.

          One interesting point he made was that a women’s male relatives have her back in Turkey – protecting her from being abused. But, he said he knew of an American woman (as an example) who went with a guy, who was nice to her at first, but then abused her because she had no local Turkish familial protection.

  17. Chris G says:

    No mention of the SF/Bay Area job market generally? Source: EDD

    “Over the first 10 months of 2019, the San Francisco-San Mateo region added 29,600 jobs”

    “Over the first 10 months of 2019, the Bay Area added 85,500 jobs, the EDD’s seasonally adjusted figures show. During the first 10 months of both 2017 and 2018, the nine-county region added about 59,000 jobs.

    This means the pace of hiring so far in 2019 is running about 44 percent higher than the gains in the similar 10-month periods for both 2017 and 2018, the EDD figures show.”

  18. fred flintstone says:

    Well….just to throw in a contra idea……..its been well established that the third generation born of immigrants usually starts to shift significantly in their voting pattern.
    Just an example… dad who was an Italian immigrant loved FDR because he claimed the man saved his life during the depression by creating the work programs. Hung a picture of him over his bed.
    His son….me…..voted for Reagan, Nixon, Bush and Trump. With an error in between for Clinton and Dukakis. My sisters still are democrats due to female issues…..not economic.
    So, I suspect that 20 years or so from now California will start to surprise everyone by beginning a shift to the right.

    • sc7 says:

      Sounds like your dad knew the value of a government that supports worker’s rights and a social safety net. Then you, built up by his hard work (and government support during hard times), took your privilege and are now part of the f*** you I got mine crowd.

      • sc7 says:

        Punk? That’s the best you got, and talking about violence? No, I didn’t have violence growing up, neither with my parents nor school. A normal, healthy, non-trash (re: farm) upbringing must be why I cleared well into six figure income and a multiple of that in net worth by my late 20s. Not a socialist in the slightest. Someone whose best retort is to talk like you just shows how poorly educated you truly are. Those rural farm schools sure are terrible.

        No one wants to go near your dump of a farm. Move along now, people with intellectual capability beyond threats of violence are talking about the real issues.

      • Implicit says:

        You tell’em Pops!

      • Craig says:


        Also known as the third generation problem.

        That’s always the one most likely to take their privilege and built up capital and f*** everything up.

        Then the fourth generation has to start rebuilding everything again.

    • Javert Chip says:

      fred flintstone

      “…So, I suspect that 20 years or so from now California will start to surprise everyone by beginning a shift to the right…”

      It’ll be too late.

    • Unamused says:

      My sisters still are democrats due to female issues…..not economic.

      Conservative extremists do tend to be repressive towards women and minorities, with plenty of rationalisations, and have other bad habits as well.

      • Petunia says:

        The crazy side of D is way crazier than the crazy side of R. I say this as a Latina and former D.

        • Unamused says:

          I rest my case.

        • Frederick says:

          Absolutely true I can’t stomach liberal women myself Give me a center right girl anytime and my wife happens to be a secular Turkish Muslim so go figure

      • RagnarD says:

        Conservative extremist in the USA are constitutional/ small government types.

        The other side of that is of course big government, less individualism, less freedom.

        Which sort of extremist do you think led to the bigger body count in the 20th century?

        Thus, Even given your strawman scenarios of the conservative extremist not liking minorities, etc. he’s not using the government as a tool to repress them. He’s inherently live and let live.

        Where as, the liberal extremist/big government, it is forever trying to use the power of the state to bend others to there will.

        The biggest joke going is thAt, while Conservative extremist don’t see much difference between Nazi Germany and USSR (both bad, in case you were wondering)the liberal extremist see the Nazis as bad and the USSR as good.

      • Frederick says:

        Extremists on both sides are insane So what’s your point?

    • timbers says:

      California isn’t right, now? It voted for Hillary. Can’t get more right than that.

      You seem to imply that team blue is left. It’s not. It’s very right wing.

      • panatomic-x says:

        @timbers: yup, left is right now. the dnc is full of war mongers and “anti-fascists” shut down free speech.

      • Frederick says:

        You mean “Can’t get more insane than that” and I’m no big fan of the Trumpster either

  19. Ricardo says:

    Born and raised in San Jose. After living there in SF for 20 years, we left SF in 2017 and we live in Southlake, next to Westlake.
    I love Texas.
    Every morning, I wake up with gratitude in my heart to be out of CA.
    Every morning, I am grateful to be in Texas.

  20. Scott says:

    Hopefully the influx of Californians to Texas doesn’t tip the balance of political power in Texas.

    • freewary says:

      If the influx of Californians doesn’t do it, the kids pouring out of the high schools will. The high schools in DFW are feeding the kids a steady diet of socialism and anti-family garbage. The kids graduating high school in DFW today are eager to hand all their decisions and future wealth over to the big federal government.

      Soon Texas will be just like any other state.

      • RagnarD says:

        And they get it in gobs on social media too.
        Instagram Snapchat Facebook etc etc

        It’s Happening right under parents noses.

  21. Jeff Relf says:

    Money-n-Fame aren’t the only way to keep score.

    I was born and raised in North Seattle,
    North of the UW, and I’m still here, age 60.
    My dad raised 6 kids here, on his Boeing salary.

    For 32+ years now, working a few hours a week
    has been enough to live my way,
    pursuing a simple life of science and tech.

    I don’t let women drag me around by my groin,
    as is done in more insular ( censored ) places,
    like Utah, Texas, Mexico and mainland China.

    • sc7 says:

      Ahh, there it is, some gold old fashioned casual sexism in 2019.

      • Lisa_Hooker says:

        Can’t have sexism. As a newly fashioned liberal I have decided to self-identify as a black lesbian muslim transsexual paraplegic immigrant. That’s a 6-fer hire for all you liberal corporate types out there.

        • Wisoot says:

          Mental health is possibly THE most important change in humans since 2009. Indeed that is what is being targeted by the planets rich to maintain the status quo. Also seen in EU and FED policies as keep the prices stable. Aka keep the population divided and unstable. It really is the vilest of times. The end times.

  22. randy says:

    Frank Left his what?….. in San Fransisco?

  23. David Leigh says:

    Why would anyone buy a company for 2 cents let alone $26 000 000 000 (26 Billion), who gives away their product for free. Didn’t all the discounters announce price reductions to zero last month. Too much Cool Aid.

    • Javert Chip says:

      Too much lack of knowledge.

      They don’t give free cash balances away for free. But then again, cash balances might not be something you have experience with,

  24. Unamused says:

    Clearly, the cost of real estate in much of CA is not entirely due to normal market forces, but is escalated by programs of manipulation by the avaricious who are in a position to screw everybody else for personal gain. Most people who become very rich do so by being complete and utter assholes.

    As for widespread poverty in CA, and in the US, that’s national policy and the wealthy have always insisted on it as a primary means of controlling labor for profitable purposes. Poverty is far less prevalent in less wealthy, more progressive countries where venality is not so well rewarded. Many are the phony, self-serving arguments to rationalise the debasement of the poor, although some people do seem to have their favourites.

    • RagnarD says:

      Ironic? I think not. Rather, when I had kids I thought, “what is the trait I would most want my kids to excel in order to live the best life possible?” Answer: sense of humor.

      Why? Because you never know what life is going to throw at you.

      AND what quality do I most enjoy in other people, and thus Which would make my kids liked by others?

      Answer: Sense of humor.

    • Wisoot says:

      Resorting to insult highlights the weakness in your argument Javert Chip.

      • Zantetsu says:

        Javert Chip has no argument. Only bile.

      • SunnyG says:

        The bile fountains are roughly a third of posters now, shame. I chalk it up to them being stuck in Clownifornia though ;)

  25. Danno says:

    Hola from Cuba Wolf….they won’t allow Zero Hedge but will allow you!

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Wow. Thanks!

      Or maybe it means I’m too small and don’t matter and governments don’t care :-]

    • RagnarD says:

      I don’t hVe the tech skills to enact it,
      But it would seem an easy work Around for such
      No access Website policies would Been to have a program on a USA based server scrape or screenshot/image ZeroHedge pages and send them via email, encrypted or not.

      Also, their clone sites that simply mirror the content just from different links.

      Just thinking out loud.

      And years ago I figured Out most folks don’t really need to pay for expensive phone datA services, rather they could set up feeds via email and WiFi, whereby the sites / things they are Most regularly interested in, get pumped to them continually via email. It wouldn’t offer the flexibility/ freedom that u get from 3G – 5G data, but if A $80/mo Data plan is breaking ur bank…..

    • RagnarD says:

      BTW I’m able to read zerohedge in Vietnam.
      A wolfstreet too, obviously….

  26. RD Blakeslee says:

    Think Schwab could be persuaded to take a ton of turds with them?

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Been reading Zero Hedge headlines again? Tsk, tsk, tsk…


      • DirtyJames says:

        I guess that poop app is fake news then? Life sounds pretty good in your gilded cage bro!

        • Wolf Richter says:

          There are all kinds of apps to report stuff, trash, dead trees, live trees, bugs… there are millions of apps to report stuff, and so someone put together an app to report poop on the sidewalk. Proves what exactly, that we walk kneed-deep in poop?

          But yes, I want all people to believe this. SF is too crowded, too many people are moving here, and too many tourists are here, and it’s too congested, so if you can spread those kinds of stories and keep some people away, that would great.

        • DirtyJames says:

          Wow, you’re swinging that straw man you keep in your purse pretty hard boyo, arms gonna be awfully sore tomorrow! A million apps to report stuff, imagine that. . . Even live trees!?! SF truly is the future, lol.

          Not sure how you get that the existence of a poop app implies that the city is knee deep in it, defensive much? I will contend that it does imply a certain grim reality however. I don’t begrudge the “success” of the Bay Area, I hope the current residents enjoy their utopia and pray all like minded individuals flock there in order to bask in the glow as well. I love it, California Uber alles!

        • panatomic-x says:

          it always amazes me the effort some people make to bash places like sf and, my hometown, nyc. you don’t see a lot of posts by city folk trolling middle america.

          there is a lot not to like here but the positives outweigh the negatives for me and millions of other people. if you prefer life elsewhere, good for you!

        • Non insane California resident says:

          Panatomicx ever heard the term “flyover country”? Liberals talk about Midwesterners marrying their sisters and cousins constantly the moment their version of politics come up. Kind of funny considering many of those states test scores are better than California. Liberals troll the other way their fair share as well.

  27. SF has never been a transportation friendly city. This issue turned into a rant on the street homeless, vs the motorhomeless. Different classes of people, like the Okies who got in their car and went west. Hey aren’t they a lot of old residents in SF now?

  28. jo6pac says:

    Will the Schwab family be moving or just the employees?

  29. WhirledPeas says:

    I headed up a customer service operation for a major corporation in San Fran in the mid 1980’s. I had about 75 employees located on the 4th floor of a beautiful old building overlooking Union Square. My problem was the cost of labor. It was just impossible to get competent help for what I was able to pay. Put a help wanted ad in the paper and only winos and mentally handicapped would show up.
    I finally moved the entire operation to a suburb in the mid-west and was able to acquire educated help with good work ethic for a fraction of the cost. I suspect the labor market in San Francisco remains unchanged.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Yeah, you’ve got to pay a lot to attract qualified workers these days. The labor market is very tight.

      • Craig says:

        Is it? Or is it just high in certain areas?

        Like ones with a sky high rent which thus mean people require sky high wages.

        • Wolf Richter says:


          I replied specifically to the hiring problems WhirledPeas described having had in San Francisco.

          But yes, in general terms, across the US, you’re right.

  30. Iamafan says:

    The real question here is WHY?

    Why will two retail brokers (who, I assume, have big MMF operations that lend cash at the repo market) want to consolidate in today’s trade fee-free environment want or need to move to cheaper Texas?

    What do they see in their future?

  31. QQQBall says:

    well, tomorrow we will go to see the accountant and will send of tax payments to Feds and Cali. I sit here eating my morning oatmeal and as a strict vegetarian I spend at MOST $10/day on food. This always sets me to thinking how much each year I pay in FICA/SS as self-employed, income taxes, utility taxes, phone taxes, internet taxes, gas taxes which are siphoned off to general fund, property taxes, sales taxes, etc. What I pay in taxes, I could live very well off of in many places of the world and as a white male, I would be less oppressed (sarc/). The bullet train to nowhere (Bakersfield to Modesto or something like that) is a joke here, but alot of life energy got sucked down the rabbit hole to pay for that craziness and all the other nonsense like prison psychologists and school administrators retiring on $100s of thousands of dollars each year. Last week, we did a trip to checkout so. utah and mesquite, NV. My four amigos, one who retired at 44 yo, moved to Washington, Montana, Nevada and Colorado. Three of guys were VERY productive. The hardcore Angelinos and Californios will say good riddance to them and me, but I don’t care anymore.

  32. freewary says:

    Houses in DFW are garbage. No limit on property tax increases. Traffic around DFW airport has been jamming up quite a bit more over the past four years. Property taxes and prices of houses have been skyrocketing since I moved here. Of course, there is zero increase in the quality of govt services as the property taxes skyrocket each year. Oh yes and homeowners insurance here is at least 3X what I used to pay in another state due to frequent hail/wind damage etc.

    My family moved to DFW for work and cheap houses several years ago- we are done and eager to move to another place with less taxes and higher quality of life and a house that doesn’t need thousands of dollars foundation/plumbing/wiring repair frequently.

  33. jacob says:

    I live in California and I’m starting to see the mini-exodus, even with tech workers (a portion who are Uber and Lyft drivers on their way to and from work for their long commutes).

    Side note: my brother is an attorney who lives in Marin County and worked in SF for 20 years. He just moved his family to Puerto Rico to take advantage of the Act 20. Now the taxes he pays are less than 5%. I couldn’t make the move because I’m employed by a hospital. I’m visiting right now and there’s thousands of Stateside people moving their business there. They *seem* very happy.

    • Jared says:

      How is the crime rate? I’ve read it was pretty bad, haven’t heard much lately though. I read a lot of ricans moved to the mainland, were those the smart ones or the bad apples?

  34. wkevinw says:

    I have lived in NorCal and TX (and several other places-I’m not a youngster any more).

    California has only the basics of quality of life still available to Joe average. The migration stats show it. As a smart commentator said, it’s Darien, CT next to Indianola, MS. Stats for Joe average are very poor.

    It’s actually sad that few of us are around that recall the golden age there. It was actually slightly before my time ~ after WWII to ~ 1995 plus or minus. (Depends on what is most important to you.)

    By the bust- it was a VERY different place for the 90%.

    • Iamafan says:

      I live “beside” Darien, CT. now. And I used to live not too far from Indianola in Memphis, then Germantown, TN. I have lived in Cal. When the babies came, I went back East for the kid’s education sake.
      You live where you work, most of the time. I am now retired so I guess I go where there is no estate tax, right?

    • RagnarD says:

      For a great look at 1960s California
      Check out the surf classic “Endless Summer”.
      It’s like a different planet.

  35. Seneca's cliff says:

    If Texas is so great how come the roads here in Portland are infested with cars and trucks with Texas license plates? I am hoping that when the jobs hanging sheet rock in the apartment boom come to an end they will all get back in their lifted Pickups and Neo-muscle cars and head back to the lone star state.

  36. Schwab talked a good talk and kept the cat toy jiggling. SF was happy to watch the cat toy and leave Schwab alone. Otherwise, SF and the whole state of CA bureaucracy would pounce and scratch the companies eyes out as it suck as many taxes, penalties and fines out of them as they possibly could. And then once done (if there is a such thing) would bid a final “don’t let the door hit you in the ass” thanks for nothing farewell.

  37. historicus says:

    Note to Charles Schwab…

    Watch your step on the way out.

  38. Jdog says:

    California is dying of the same irresposible liberal economic policies that killed Illinois and New Jersey. Within 20 years California’s unfunded public pensions will necessitate such high taxes, that the exodus from the state will ensure economic demise.
    Public unions are criminal and should be outlawed.

  39. pasha says:

    On the bright side at the rate things are going in SF, they’ll have plenty of vacant office space to turn into condos for low income/secton 8 housing.

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