Thursday, December 18, 2008

Adios, California

Among other things, this blog follows the state of the California economy; a topic of particular interest to a CA native and former resident. See this Los Angeles Times article about net out-migration from California. The key graf for me is this one:

For the fourth year in a row, more residents left the Golden State than moved here from other states, according to a report released Wednesday by the California Department of Finance.
And the reason for this net out-migration?

Such declines usually occur when working Californians decide better opportunities lie elsewhere.
In particular, expensive housing was a problem:

People started leaving California because of housing prices -- particularly younger couples that (sic) just couldn't afford to buy a house.
I attribute many of California's problems to high state taxes, and the negative impact those have on job creation and employer plant-location decisions. These taxes make CA a high labor cost state in which to do business. As one of the experts cited in the article said:
I think [last year's out-migration] was because of the very high unemployment.

Eventually California may be populated mostly by the rich in gated communities and the poor who clean their pools and mow their lawns. Today's Palm Springs area is a prototype of this bifurcated demographic.