People leaving CA a ‘success’ story?

People leaving CA a ‘success’ story?

Detroit homeJoe Mathews presents the counter-intuitive thesis that people leaving California for Texas is a sign of Golden State “success”:

Yes, California has an above-average unemployment rate and other economic problems, and many of our people and companies are relocating or expanding to states like Texas that offer cheaper living and generous economic incentives. But there’s another way to look at these departures of Californians and California companies: as a colonization of Texas and the rest of the country. 

This colonization is not a sign of decline but of our success. Texas and other states are trying to steal our culture, our companies, and our jobs because we have so many things worth stealing.

If that’s the case, then Michigan is an even bigger “success.” When I got out of the U.S. Army in Feb. 1982, I returned to my native Great Lakes State. Unemployment was a Great Depression-level 16 percent. People were streaming out for Texas or wherever, bringing with them our Michigan charm and tolerance for cold weather.

I drove my father’s car around the Detroit area for weeks looking for work. This was a place where, just nine years before, anyone with a heartbeat could get a great factory job paying the equivalent in 2014 dollars of $120,000 a year. Nothing.

Eventually I ended up back in journalism — but in Washington, D.C. Then I came to California in 1987 during the boom times under Republican President Reagan, who cut national taxes; and Republican Gov. George Deukmejian, who in 1987 actually refunded to taxpayers the tax money the state didn’t need.

By contrast, Michigan’s population actually declined in the last decade. Detroit just went bankrupt, and in 60 years has lost 2/3 of its 2 million population.

If that “success” pattern holds for California, its population will drop from 38 million today to 12.7 million in 2074. That will please anti-people environmentalists and the California Coastal Commission, as the state, as actually has happened to Detroit, returns to the wilderness.

Tags assigned to this article:
DetroitJoe MathewsJohn SeilerMichiganTexas

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