Earlier this year, CNBC reported on a seemingly unusual matter: the California exodus. According to information provided by the Census Bureau, the Golden State lost just over 138,000 people in the 12-months ended July 2017. So what’s causing this mass migration from paradise?
While the weather in regions across the state is to die for, residents are proving it’s not worth paying for. The most commonly-cited reasons for the California exodus involve high housing costs and runaway taxes. And though the California economy provides tremendous opportunities, it’s not enough to offset the cost of living.
On the flipside, states like Nevada, Arizona and Texas received net influxes of people escaping the onerous Golden State. Nevada gained 38,000 new residents, while Arizona and Texas invited in 63,000 and 79,000 people, respectively.
If you thought that was bad, you should realize that the California exodus will continue. Indeed, the migration rate will likely exponentially increase. The biggest catalyst is undoubtedly real estate. In the Golden State, the prices are out of control, and they’re worsening. According to CNBC:
The median monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the Los Angeles area is $2,249, and in San Francisco it’s almost $3,400, according to Zumper. The median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the Los Angeles area is $3,200 and in San Francisco about $4,500. By comparison, the median rent for a one-bedroom in Las Vegas is $925 and in Phoenix $945, and for a two-bedroom in Las Vegas $1,122 and in Phoenix $1,137.
It’s jarring to think that just a few years ago, rent was still affordable in heavily-demanded cities like San Diego. Now, even America’s Finest City is out of reach except for those in the upper echelons of the California economy.
California Exodus Represents the Beginning of the End
But it’s not just rapidly-spiraling prices incentivizing the California exodus; rather, the state has no realistic forecast that doesn’t involve a bleak outcome.
For instance, consider California Governor Jerry Brown’s ridiculous pet project, the high-speed rail. This $100 billion project initially sounds like a gamechanger. Across crowded metropolitan areas across Europe and Asia, high-speed rail is the way to go.
The only problem? Californians don’t f—ing rail! They drive, often like idiots, but that’s virtually their only transportation source. God help the man who tries to take the Californian’s keys away.
Another issue is the single-payer health care system. Otherwise known as free healthcare for everyone who crosses into the border, this $400 billion proposal sounds like a great, humanitarian effort. Except that to provide free healthcare for everyone requires everyone to go bankrupt.
Ultimately, this is the biggest reason why the California exodus will continue: the Golden State is full of stupid people electing other stupid people to commit stupid acts. With such a dire backdrop, I’m surprised we haven’t already collapsed.