California Concentration Camp

Oct. 12, 2012

By John Seiler

The Manhattan Institute recently released a study, using U.S. Census numbers, showing that Californians continue fleeing the state by the hundreds of thousands to avoid record high taxes and strangulating regulations. Walter Williams has a solution:

“Given the widespread contempt for personal liberty and constitutional values, there might be a way for California politicians to solve their fiscal mess. They can simply stop wealthy people from leaving the state or, alternatively, like some Third World nations, set limits on the amount of assets a resident can take out of the state. This would surely be within their jurisdiction and would not raise any constitutional issues, because it would serve a compelling state purpose. In other words, if California were to set up border controls to stop people, as East Germans did at Checkpoint Charlie, before they cross the state line, such action would be protected by the 10th Amendment.

“The fact that many Californians have managed to get their assets out of the state complicates the issue. Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution authorizes Congress “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.” This is known as the commerce clause. There’s no question that people who pull up stakes and leave California affect interstate commerce; California has less tax revenue, and recipient states have more. What California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris might do is sue Nevada, Arizona, Texas and Oregon in the federal courts for enticing, through lower taxes and less onerous regulations, wealthy California taxpayers.

“Were California to take such measures and have a modicum of success, one wonders how many Americans would be offended by such an encroachment on personal liberty. After all, how would forcing an American to remain in a state differ in principle from forcing him to purchase health insurance?”

I expect such a plan — “Stay in California — Or Else” — to be part of Gov. Jerry Brown’s State of the State Address next January. It’s the only way to save the state. For one thing, building a California Wall around the state, much like the old Berlin Wall, would create hundreds of thousands of jobs. Unemployment would drop and the state’s economy would be booming again.




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  1. Bill Hough
    Bill Hough 12 October, 2012, 10:25

    Although I’m 95% sure the “Stay in California — Or Else” plan is satire, one can’t rule it out entirely given Governor Moonbeam’s propensity to simultaneously waste money and raise taxes. Please don’t give him any ideas.

    Reply this comment
  2. Cacheguy
    Cacheguy 12 October, 2012, 12:12

    We do get ideas from Gov. Brown. What we don’t get is good ideas.

    Reply this comment
  3. Douglas
    Douglas 12 October, 2012, 13:22

    I took a date to a popular San Francisco bar years ago. Standing room only. Fight your way to the bar to order your drink.

    She told the bartender “You’d get a lot more business if the place wasn’t so crowded all the time.”

    Glancing through the aforementioned Manhattan Institute study, I didn’t see the claim of Californians fleeing to avoid “record high taxes and strangulating regulations.”

    Instead they say “It is impossible to know for certain what motivates any individual decision to leave the state.” “For an individual, the motivator is often a job.”

    They do indicate, though, that from 1960 to 1990, there was a huge increase in population (about double). House prices increased. California had the densest urban areas in the nation.

    Could it be that so many people moved in that it became crowded and expensive and there were not enough jobs for all those people? Like water seeking it’s own level.

    Reply this comment
  4. Debbie
    Debbie 12 October, 2012, 13:35

    I’m with Bill, don’t give Jerry or Kamala any more ideas! We already have enough bureaucratic nonsense now with the legislature and they keep boasting their agenda “Our Way or No Way”. I’m a native of this state and I’ve been looking for a new place to call “home” out of California!

    Reply this comment
  5. David
    David 12 October, 2012, 13:37

    As suspected the state of California is rapidly adopting communist philosophies. Regulating who can and cannot leave the state. That is shear ludicrousness. I for one will not leave this state. I will fight for freedom to my dying breath.

    Reply this comment
  6. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog Author 13 October, 2012, 08:54

    Perhaps Gov. Brown should start with retiring and retired public employees. Many retired state workers leave California with their public pensions for cheaper states.

    Then he can tell recent college grads that since the taxpayers paid for their education, they need to stay in CA and work.


    Reply this comment
  7. Douglas
    Douglas 13 October, 2012, 13:16

    About 14% of Calpers retirees are out of state (not necessarily all in cheaper states, by the way.)

    Who do we want to force to stay here,the 2% who make over $100,000 a year, or the 72% who make less than $36,000 and pay little, if any, state income tax?

    Reply this comment
  8. Hondo
    Hondo 13 October, 2012, 14:20

    Great joke, Douglas. I think I dated that girl too, but I can’t share that story on a family friendly website like this.

    Reply this comment
  9. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 13 October, 2012, 21:34

    Hondo, Dougie took a “date” he never said it was a female.

    I siupport gay Marriage Doug.

    Reply this comment
  10. us citizen
    us citizen 14 October, 2012, 10:19

    The state doubled from 60 to 90…… many of those people are illegal? How many are on welfare and leaching off of the system. Instead of keeping the wealthy from leaving, how about a mandatory banishment system for those. Some one got a magic wand?

    Reply this comment
  11. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 14 October, 2012, 19:12

    And Pixie Dust?

    Reply this comment

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