Writing in New Geography, Wendell Cox has another great piece about the export business in California – it’s people and jobs.
“Between 2000 and 2009 (Note), a net 1.5 million Californians left for other states. Only New York lost more of its residents (1.6 million). California’s loss was greater than the population of its second largest municipality, San Diego. More Californians moved away than lived in 12 states at the beginning of the decade. Among the net 6.3 million interstate domestic migrants in the nation, nearly one-quarter fled California for somewhere else.”
It’s not complete to say California is a progressive utopia. When it comes to land use and transportation policy, California is a Smart Growth state and has pioneered many of the extreme regulations that other states (e.g., Maryland and Oregon) want to emulate. Steven Greenhut observes that California’s problem is decline by design. Many California leaders point to planning efforts as something that was supposed to have a positive effect on the state:
“California’s elected officials have been doing as little planning as possible, unless one counts planning to spend tens of billions of dollars the state doesn’t have on a high-speed rail line that will partially replicate what the airlines already do now. Our leaders are battling new water-storage facilities and punishing farmers with absurd water restrictions. They impose roadblocks toward building new highway systems and land-use regulations make it nearly impossible to build the homes and businesses necessary to meet the needs of a growing population. One can hardly call that planning.”
Californians chose mandates over markets, and they’re paying the price. Unfortunately for the rest of us, President Obama seems to like the California model so we may end up getting a dose of what ails California in our own states.
Date: May 11th, 2012 @ 22:16