California Exodus

Pray tell, how has the “Golden State” fallen so far?


Tyler Durden

Road sign along the border of California as someone is leaving the state.

The California Exodus is not a new thing.

Even during the economic boom in 2018-2019, California lost hundreds of thousands of residents. California is known as “The Golden State”; however, recent policy changes have transformed one of the most prosperous and wealthy states into one of the most indebted, complimented by a preposterous wealth gap.

The wealth gap in California is one of the highest in the country, and is only getting wider as time goes on. This is in-part due to the extraordinarily high taxes.

In the past year over 700 thousand people have left the state”

California has an income tax of 13.3%, and state legislators have proposed plans to increase it to as much as 16.8%. They have also put forward a tax on wealth, which will tax a person over a certain tax bracket on hard assets.

This would only effect the ultra-wealthy, and will include houses, boats, and cars, but not liquid assets like cash or stocks. Many of California’s residents have chosen to move to other states to avoid the new taxes, but the California Legislature has solved this as well.

For ten years after an individual leaves the state, they are subject to taxation by the state of California.

Despite being known for its boundless million and billionaires, California has the highest unemployment rate in the country, and it’s only getting worse.

For example, in Los Angeles, one of the largest cities in the country, the homeless rate is an astonishing 12%-16% higher than the last counting in 2018, when the population was 52,765.

Due to the lockdowns from COVID-19, unemployment has skyrocketed and, subsequently, the homeless rate has increased as well. The main contributing factor to one of the highest homeless populations in America is the rate at which the gap between the super wealthy and the “average” is getting wider.

The middle class has all but disappeared, and this is the main reason for the exodus from California. People that have grown up in the state are quickly learning that it is unsustainable to live there and build a family.

Even though California has some of the highest taxes in the nation, people see little of their tax dollars put into improving the community. Decades of mismanagement and waste by the state government has lead to some of the most outdated and malfunctioning infrastructure in the country.

During the lockdowns from COVID-19, Los Angeles County has announced rolling blackouts, partly due to the stress on the power lines and partly because the Californian government has essentially tied both hands behind its back.

California is one of if not the most resource rich states in the union; however, California’s government has decided to slay their “golden goose” by heavily regulating the energy sector. They have imposed high taxes and innumerable policies to regulate the energy industry.

This constraint has lead to many companies leaving, with a state-run institution put in their place. This lack of competition has lead to prices skyrocketing, and of course, more people leaving the state.

This mass exodus is a big issue, as the majority of the people leaving and taking their dollars elsewhere are the tax base of the state. Most settle in places with lower income taxes, like Texas or Nevada.

In the past year over 700 thousand people have left the state, and have made a new life elsewhere. How many more will go?