While You Adios California, Your New State Wants You to Leave Your Bad Policies Behind

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

This young man took to his Twitter account and blog to confess he has become a cliché. Hari Raghavan spent years sneering at those exiting the State of California, but now admits he is making this move. Raghavan is a tech guy (big surprise), who is trampling the wilted rose of the Silicon Valley under his feet for the more lustrous waves of Silicon Beach.

Watch out, new red state: another champagne liberal who contributed to the mess in their own state is coming to make their mark on yours.

From Raghavan’s blog:

**Warning: contains coarse language**

This is not a “f*ck SF” post. This is a lament of what has been lost, and a wistfulness for what could have been.

A year ago I was smirking at the people moving out of the Bay Area. I thought these were fairweather citizens, silly for moving to political train-wrecks like Texas or Florida.

Twelve months on, my wife and I find ourselves packing our life into boxes. Not to run towards a place where we feel greater love, but just to leave. The pendulum has swung hard in the last twelve months.

I didn’t think this change in my mindset would happen, or so quickly. I wanted to share the journey, in part because I’ve been in both camps at various points, and I hope those on most parts of the spectrum will consider this a reasonable, balanced perspective.

In summary — there have been many wonderful things about the Bay Area environment and local tech ecosystem. Some of those things persist. But enough challenges in quality of life have emerged and accelerated in recent years that the benefits are very clearly far outweighed by mounting frustrations.

Progs gonna prog, I guess. After admitting he considered Texas and Florida “political train wrecks,” which state is Raghavan moving to? FLORIDA. Guess he’ll give Governor Ron DeSantis some personal pointers on how to right the train, compliments of California’s Newsolini himself, Governor Hair Gel.

Floridians, be afraid—be very afraid.

The original wave of fleeing Californians were people escaping the destructive policies that were tanking the state, and their personal fortunes. They wanted to pursue the American dream, experience greater freedoms, and greater choice, without the overreaching arm of the government that in states like California and New York, seem incapable and unwilling to leaves you alone in this pursuit.

This new wave are people who were living their dreams, sucking the marrow out of the bones of the state, while others around them barely got a portion. They either voted for policies that maintained the status quo of tax, theft, and social welfare—or ignored those policies—because they felt they didn’t affect them. Until now.

It took a while, but progressives are now experiencing the results of their poor decisions on who to fund and vote for, and the destruction these leaders and policies have wreaked on the state. So, they decide to leave. But unlike their predecessors, they are taking that same mindset with them to their new states. When they start trying to enact those same progressive policies that ruined the place they fled, therein lies the problem.

Check in with Austin to see how well that’s working for them.

If you live in California, you know the California Adios is a real thing. In the last year alone, I have had six people I personally know exit the state for Texas, Florida, and Alabama. Now, certain so-called public policy experts are finally getting a clue that there is no one to replace them. My colleague Brandon Morse wrote about the California Policy Lab report showing that more people are exiting the state than are entering it.

These experts are a bit surprised by this.

“Although a lot of the talk has been about ‘Cal Exit’, we think the bigger story is on ‘Cal Entrances,'” said co-author of the study Evan White.

This is in line with California losing a congressional seat after the latest census, not because of a dramatic increase in people leaving, but rather a slower population growth compared to other states.

White said the biggest changes were in the Bay Area, which saw a 45% decrease in entrances from other states and a 12% increase in exits to other states.

He said his biggest surprise was how widespread the drops in entrances were.

“I guess I was a little bit surprised to see that entrances had fallen so much. It wasn’t so much that we saw it in a particular area. For me, the surprise was that this was a statewide phenomenon,” White said.

As Raghavan outlines in his blog post, the people who are surprised are the people who are disconnected from the reality on the ground: rampant crime, unaffordable housing, homelessness, terrible governance, lack of economic opportunity, hostility towards small business and growth.

We here at RedState have documented the stories for over a year now; the “experts” are still trying to figure it out. This is the problem with local and state government in California, and nationally.

Florida, particularly Miami, which trends liberal, will no doubt welcome Raghavan with open arms. Let’s hope he is open to forsaking the mindset and policy support that helped to make California a sinking ship full of holes. However, from the way Raghavan currently describes Florida, there is much work to be done.

This is such a cliché, but we’re moving to Miami.

I know there’s plenty to be apprehensive about. A sh*tshow political environment on the other extreme… but perhaps a blue dot in a red state will be more moderate than a blue dot in a blue state. A different sort of superficiality and status-seeking… but perhaps it won’t affect us because we won’t be spending all our time in Miami Beach. We’re swapping out wildfires for hurricanes… but perhaps we’ll take that excuse to travel a bit more a couple months of the year. Plenty of critters and snakes and gators and guns, but… welp, probably no mitigation against those things.

But there’s a lot to look forward to. The food is fantastic, often with more richly-flavored tropical ingredients we love. The people seem way more laid back and happier. The restaurants seem actually happy to welcome customers. Most things cost less, and taxes are lower of course. The social services seem somewhat less broken. There are enough friends-of-friends to pull together a network. We get a lot more space for the same price. We feel safer walking around at night. I sense a bit more of the hospitality and warmth that I miss from the Midwest. And last but not least, the sunshine is welcome for a couple of Vitamin-D deficient South Asians.

He might want to be careful where he chooses to sun. I’ve heard the alligators are worse than the homeless.

I’m sure we’ll find plenty to complain about (or maybe we won’t, because hopefully we’ll become less neurotic, too 😉). But we’re eager for a new chapter, to shake things up a bit, and mint a new identity for ourselves.

Here’s to the newest corner of the world where the upstarts are gathering.

Look out middle and southern U.S., the upstarts are invading your states. Better start some reeducation programs at the border to ensure they leave behind the mores and habits that ruined the state they’re fleeing.

In the meantime, the last sane person leaving California won’t have to turn off the lights; they burned out a while ago.