The Blue State Exodus Is About More Than Economics; We're Fed up With Being Treated Like We're Stupid

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

Here at RedState, we have all been writing about the California adios for at least three years now. Despite how much the legacy media and lawmakers want to dismiss it, it started with AB5, the rabidly anti-independent contractor law that was signed by Newsom in 2019. Many of the colleagues and activists who were a part of the AB5 fight at the beginning now live in other states: Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina, Texas, Florida, Idaho… name your business-friendly, right-to-work red state, and they found it. It was not because they lacked the will to fight, but because it became a matter of self-preservation. Staying in the fight required the ability to live and work without being concerned about an adversarial government whose only intention is to destroy the livelihoods they worked so hard for.


With the looming Department of Labor rule changes, the push for the PRO Act, and the nomination of Julie Su to fill the post of Secretary of Labor, these same activists were still all in, but now doing it from a national perspective. We were the first casualties in California, and we saw the fallout coming to other states before anyone else was paying attention. It is no mistake that on Wednesday, as chair of the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, California Congressman Kevin Kiley is going to do an accounting of AB5 and the damage it has done to the state — damage spearheaded by Julie Su herself, who is scheduled to begin her Senate confirmation hearings on Thursday. While California independent professionals, small businesses, and the self-employed are grateful to Congressman Kiley and feel as though we have finally been vindicated, in many ways, it has been too little, too late.

Make no mistake: California’s AB5 started the exodus, but now other Blue states are seeing their taxpayer base depart in droves. Whether it be for economic freedom, vocational freedom, protection of family, or better quality of life, the trend that started just before the pandemic is now a massive wave.

From The Daily Mail U.K.

Americans are ‘voting with their feet’ and waving goodbye to eye-watering taxes, high living costs and bad job prospects in Democrat-leaning areas for better deals in red states, experts told

Recent data from the US Census Bureau show how such states as New York, Illinois, and Hawaii saw their populations shrink between 2021 and 2022, while Florida, Texas, Montana, and South Dakota saw big population gains.


Americans who discovered just how adversarial and corrupt their government was, opted to move to parts of the country where economic and personal freedoms were prioritized over government control. You see, while it involves economics for sure, it more pointedly involves common sense. We are not stupid, and we are simply tired of a government that wants to treat us as such.

A similar pattern plays out at the county level. Arizona‘s Maricopa County was the fastest-growing in the US, adding 56,831 residents in 2022, a gain of 1.3 percent against 2021.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles County, California, posted a loss of 90,704 people.

My husband and I are now among this number. We are working to move out of California before Summer ends. The state where my husband was born and raised has essentially bled us dry and left us with nothing to show for our decades of hard work. Between financial crises, illnesses, the fallout from AB5, the government’s manipulation of housing, and the rampant homelessness of which we have no desire to be a part, you can stick a fork in us. We have fought hard, but our fight is now done. I recently spoke with another long-time friend who had to borrow and get help to move out of California to a red state, so this is the reality for many of us who would love to move, but simply cannot afford to do it. This is how serious it has gotten, and how desperate it has become. The Daily Mail makes it sound as if it is a calculated decision, when for many of us, it is purely a matter of survival.


Mark Perry, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute, a think tank, said the overall population drift was from Democrat-run states to mostly Republican-administered boomtowns in the South and West of the country.

‘Americans are moving from blue states that are more economically stagnant, fiscally unhealthy states with higher tax burdens and unfriendly business climates with higher energy and housing costs and fewer economic and job opportunities,’ Perry said.

They’re opting for ‘fiscally sound red states that are more economically vibrant, dynamic and business-friendly, with lower tax and regulatory burdens, lower energy, and housing costs and more economic and job opportunities.’

For another set of friends, couples with school-aged children, it is also a matter of protecting them from the harms the state wishes to inflict. It is the blue states like California, New York, and Illinois that are leading this push toward CRT and transgender ideology. These educational systems are focused on indoctrination, rather than education. Teenagers are now fueling riots and looting in Chicago and Los Angeles. Many of these youth are a product of this destructive educational system that produces grievance, rather than gratitude.

By contrast, counties experiencing the largest influx of people were in Arizona, Texas, and Florida, where taxes are significantly lower. The destination areas typically have more affordable housing and fewer problems like crime and vagrancy.


It boils down to no longer pouring money down the drain as well as quality of life. If you are paying three-quarters of your income on someone else’s mortgage, you have little to no margin for anything else. Couple this with being afraid to go out for fear of crime, Bidenflation increasing the costs of goods and services, and stepping over homeless to get to work. So, for many, moving out of their blue state has become a no-brainer.

The five counties which lost the most residents are all located in high-tax states, namely California, Illinois, and New York. They have also been wracked by homelessness, drug taking and high rents and living costs.

California is the epicenter of America’s homelessness crisis. About a third of the entire US homeless population — 171,521 people — is in California, and Los Angeles hosts around 65,000 of them.

But the icing on this crap cake is a political class that simply Does. Not. Care. This is also reflected in the departure. In California, Governor Gavin Newsom would rather go to red states and point out what is wrong with them than fix the massive issues in California. Then, when he is challenged on his poor governance, Hair Gel has the unmitigated gall to gaslight and obfuscate by claiming this is the land of freedom and people are more concerned with abortion rights and infanticide than they are about their lives and property being stolen, or their children being mutilated.

Yeah, pull the other leg. Instead, Americans are using their two legs to make their exodus from the increasingly untenable situation in blue states to the greater opportunity that red states afford.

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