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IN MY ORBIT: The California Adios Is a Reality, but We Can Still Stem the Tide

AP Photo/Noah Berger

The 2020 Census numbers show people have been doing the California Adios, and it is costing us dearly. You would think they could have massaged the numbers and fluff them a bit, but according to a San Bernardino Sun op-ed by Howard Jarvis Association President Jon Coupal:

The California gates are open and people are going, well, elsewhere. That fact was made abundantly clear this past week when Census results were announced and California lost a congressional seat for the first time in the state’s history.

As Assemblyman Kevin Kiley put it on Twitter, “We just lost a seat in Congress. If the California Exodus is a myth, apparently the Census Bureau is in on it.” In the last decade, 1.3 million more people left California than came in from other states. And, it’s accelerating. Half a million people have left for other states in the last two years alone.

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-AD07) has been on the pulse of the goings on in our State and its poor governance since he first took office in 2016. Kiley has strongly backed the Recall of Gavin Newsom, and even wrote a book about all the reasons Newsom must go. Kiley often tweets and blogs about Newsom’s corruption and his policy failures which are destroying the people and the State.

Kiley wrote recently in his Capitol Quagmire blog:

For the first time in state history, we lost a seat in Congress this week. If the California Exodus is a myth, apparently the Census Bureau is in on it.

We actually would have lost two seats if Gavin Newsom and the Legislature hadn’t spent $182 million to juice the Census headcount. Florida and Texas, meanwhile, gained several seats.

California’s loss reflects population changes over the last decade. But much of the damage was done by Newsom the last two years. His own Administration reports 136,000 more people moved out than moved in during just one of those years.

Overall, a staggering 53 percent of residents say they’re contemplating a departure. California was once a place where anyone could get ahead; it’s now a place many can’t wait to leave behind. Our state’s inherent beauty and countless wonders are being overwhelmed by the failure of our politics.

When someone decides to shout above the fray and speak the truth, there are those in the status quo who charge out the gate to counter it.

Coupal also alludes to this:

Only more recently have progressive politicians and their media allies started to push back against the narrative that California had lost its golden shine. They cherry-pick statistics showing that California’s economy is still vibrant and that the state remains the world’s center for venture capital and high tech. But high tech was here way before the decline began and even there, high tech firms are gravitating to other states.

One of those “media allies” is Forbes Magazine. They came to bat for Newsom’s failures by poo-pooing all the evidence of California’s demise.

Obituaries for the state of California are written every time there’s a downturn. In the past year, the narrative has been that people are fleeing the Golden State because of the pandemic; the taxes are too high, driving companies and billionaires away; wildfires make life in California untenable; and the long reign of the western paradise the Eagles’ Don Henley called “The Last Resort” is at last coming to an end. But data from the U.S. Postal Service and UC Berkeley’s California Policy Lab show that while people during the pandemic have left urban areas, the vast majority of them stayed within the state. Meanwhile, growth in California gross domestic product has outpaced the country’s in each of the past 10 years, including during the pandemic.

The percentage of Californians moving at all, either within the state or out of it, has been steady since the end of 2014 at about 4% each quarter, according to the California Policy Lab. In the third quarter of 2020, statewide residential mobility was actually 9% lower than it was a year earlier. Over time, the number of people leaving California tends to track the number of people entering the state, but that pattern shifted in the fourth quarter of 2020, when 267,000 people (out of a total population of 39.5 million) left the state and only 128,000 entered.

Forbes goes on to say that there is no “California Exodus,” but merely a shuffle. Of course, they spend a majority of the piece fixating on the San Francisco/Bay area, where the tech industry and a majority of tech professionals choose to live.

I wrote a piece late last year about three tech innovators and funders who were leaving the state and their “whys”. These are the people who create the work and help fuel the economic engines in the state. The abysmal federal Jobs Report reflects that even with employment available, there are very few people taking advantage of it, especially in the blue states like California. California, in particular, has no interest in encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation, but rather in destroying it through draconian legislation like PAGA  and AB5.

Yet, Forbes cavalierly declares:

Irrespective of these trends and the Covid-19 pandemic, California continues to lead every other state in employment in tech, biotech, entertainment, manufacturing and more.

Then why is our unemployment rate at 8.3 percent? Why is the California Employment Development Department still broken and unable to complete the backlog of claims from March of 2020? Not to mention that still unsettled $31 billion in rampant fraud caused by CA_EDD Secretary Julie Su’s negligence.

Forbes interviewed a former advisor to Governor Hair Gel, who bragged about not being worried about the economic engine of California. Pro Tip: The fact that you have “former” in front of your title, along with the precarious state of California’s economy at present, speaks volumes about why your input means diddly squat.

“California’s economic development strategy has nothing to do with getting other people to move here,” says Lenny Mendonca, former chief economic and business advisor to California Governor Gavin Newsom. ”It’s about creating the next wave of companies. And I’m not really worried about the innovation engine in California.”

The innovation engine is doing so well that Newsom has decided to implement a 100 billion dollar “Comeback Plan”. If growth and innovation were still occurring, then there would be nothing to come back from, would there?

A majority of Californians could receive another direct payment as Governor Gavin Newsom prepares to expand the Golden State Stimulus program.

Originally, direct payments were only sent to some of California’s lowest-income residents and those who were excluded from federal stimulus checks. However, on Monday, Newsom announced middle-class families would see payments as well, a move that would create the “biggest state tax rebate in U.S. history.”

The expansion means about 67 percent of Californians will receive a payment worth at least $600, according to Newsom. Families with children will also receive an additional $500.

Indeed. Texas is doing quite well, partly because their leadership opened the door to companies and innovators; some of those companies and innovators who left California! Elon Musk is building his next Tesla plant in Austin, TX, not California. Want to venture a guess as to why?

Miami, FL is also a growing tech sector, dubbed “Silicon Beach”. The leadership of Miami-Dade has strategic plans to keep it that way and make a deeper footprint in order to keep this economic engine humming. That is what good government leaders do. More than a few California innovators, like Keith Rabois (former exec and funder for Square, LinkedIn, Yelp, and PayPal), as well as average citizens, have fled to the Sunshine State, and are not looking back.

This is why the Recall of Gavin Newsom is crucial to turning the course of California’s demise. It will also be an object lesson, not only on the failure of progressive governance, but the power of We the People, as we make it known that the government is subject to the power of the citizen, not the citizen subject to the power of the government.

Coupal ends on this hopeful note:

The good news here is that it is not too late. Rational policies can return California to the days when businesses and citizens were coming through the gate to get here instead of leaving.

The millions of us who signed the Recall petition are still holding the line, researching ALL the candidates who are looking to take over the governor’s chair, and sounding the alarm bells that we need to get it right this time. Many are also pushing back at the local level to ensure we have a say in the direction of our city and state. If we don’t, California will be gone forever.


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