As a young man, I traveled extensively for business.  I still remember the way people responded when I told them I was from California.  It was a faraway look, and some variation of, “I wish I could live there…”.  Today, the same interaction results in some variation of “Oh…I’m so sorry.  Why don’t you leave?”  It’s generally followed by a story of someone they know who left and moved to – fill in the blank – and is so much happier, more prosperous, free, etc.

And most everyone I know here in California either wants to, or is in the process of leaving…including me.  I can’t wait to say goodbye to the once Golden State.  Still have some great friends here, and I will miss those I leave behind.  But other than the good people still left, its climate and natural beauty, living here sucks.  The government — including the California Supreme Court — has made it unbearable. Once the hotbed of innovation and investment, every single branch, every department, and seemingly every last bureaucrat is intent on destroying what originally made California great.  Welcome to the great out-migration.

An article in the OC Register says that California will someday have to “confront the reality in places — South Los Angeles, Santa Ana, San Bernardino and Fresno — where the wealth of Facebook, Google, Apple and Disney barely reaches. The state is home to a remarkable 77 of the country’s 297 most “economically challenged” cities based on levels of poverty and employment, suffering the highest poverty rate of any state, well above the rate for such historically poor states as Mississippi.”  Lest you think I’m just bashing based on my preferred politics, the results on the ground speak for themselves.

“‘Today, according to the Social Science Research Council, California now has the greatest income inequality in the nation, suggestive of a disappearing middle class. In the past many people dreamt of moving here. Now it attracts less newcomers per capita than virtually any state; only four states — Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Illinois — fared worse in bringing in new taxpayers.

Today, domestic net out-migration, even after declining in the early years of the recession, has more than doubled between 2013 and 2016. Even worse, according to a recent UC Berkeley study, over a quarter of Californians are considering a move, half of them out of the state, with the strongest proclivity found among people under the age of 50. And contrary to some progressive commentary, those leaving are not necessarily old or losers; according to IRS data, out-migrant households had a higher average income than those households that stayed, or of households that moved in to the state.”

And not to harp on the subject (but everything I read this morning keeps pointing to this), in Ballotpedia today, Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day tells us that “3.5MM people moved from high tax states like California and New York, to low tax states like Texas and Florida. “Over the past decade, 3.5 million Americans have moved from the highest-taxed states to the lowest-taxed states. That figure includes 2.2 million residents who left the high-tax states of New York and California. On the receiving end, Texas gained 1.4 million new residents, and Florida added 850,000. Neither state has an income tax.”

So the future doesn’t look so bright for an already dimming California.

If you’ve spent any time here, you know that California beaches boast some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world.  Sadly, as the economic sun sets on California, I don’t think it’s going to be such a beautiful thing to watch.  Those who can escape, should… before the sun goes down on the once Golden State.

Hat Tip: OC Register

About The Author

Mark Meckler

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.