Patterico's Pontifications


California Conservatives: Why Do You Still Live Here?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:20 pm

In the wake of Jerry Brown’s election, Barbara Boxer’s re-election, and now San Francisco banning Happy Meals, of all things, Allahpundit asks:

Semi-serious question for California conservatives (this means you, Patterico): Why are you still there? If it’s a money thing, where you simply can’t afford to leave right now, I understand. If it’s not a money thing, then why? The weather can’t be so great that it’s worth enduring another four years of single-party Democratic government driving the state deeper into a financial sinkhole at the behest of their union patrons.

Of course, there are more California conservatives than just me . . . and I think all of them (all five of them) read this blog. So rather than answer the question, I throw it open to my conservative readers who live in California: why are you still here? (I saw that some of you touched on this question today in comments to other threads, but even if you already answered the question, please do me a favor and repeat your answer below. I’d like to have a collection of answers in one place.)

P.S. For some of you, the answer is: “I am moving away” (or “I already moved away.”) I am interested in hearing those stories as well.

P.P.S. I do answer the question in comments.

195 Responses to “California Conservatives: Why Do You Still Live Here?”

  1. As for me, the answer is complicated. For one, I don’t let politics run my life very much. I am married to a Democrat, which some people would find unthinkable, and I enjoy the company of Democrats. As I have said before, I don’t like making politics personal. (Did you hear what he just said?? GET HIM!!!)

    Which is a separate issue from the fact that the state government is running us into the ground. I’m not sure how that affects me personally all that much; taxes are high, sure — but I have to weigh that against the advantages. And I suspect that a failure of state government will result in a federal bailout. (I have seen a bunch of people claim today that yesterday’s election results rule out the possibility of a bailout, but for the life of me I don’t understand why.) So our inevitable failure is going to end up a national problem. Count on it.

    Los Angeles is a pit, and in other ways a wonderful place. The traffic and crime and pollution and government are god-awful. But the cultural possibilities, the people, the weather, and the ocean are wonderful. The area where I live is fantastic and quite different from the city. And I enjoy my job very much.

    So that’s the short answer. I’m sure this all marks me as an inauthentic conservative to the demagogues. But they will just lie about me anyway, so I pretty much just keep telling the truth and don’t worry about them.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  2. My parents and sister have to stay here (in L.A.). My parents would like to move away, but must stay for my sister, who has special needs.

    So, my wife and I are staying to fulfill those obligations. But, we are planning to move to WA or TX when the future becomes the present. It is a perverse incentive, in order to move then my family obligations must come to an unhappy end.

    TimesDisliker (65c738)

  3. I don’t have enough capital gains built up to justify moving away for tax purposes… but after the inflations that sure could change

    happyfeet (42fd61)

  4. When I moved to California from Brooklyn in 1971 I was a far-left, ant-war, hippie. But I had a good job.

    Sometime after starting my second business, first while in California,I had to fight off attempted unionization. It was ugly. My business was in Oceanside, California and most of my support came from workers and friends who were military or ex military (mostly Marines). Reagan was ending his second term as Governor and I started to pay attention to politics. I think the old Churchill quote about heart and mind applied to me. I slowly evolved into a Republican and even received a birthday card from my wife titled: “I Married A Republican.”

    I have a family and a first grandchild on the way. We are Californians and this is where we are. It’s not the California I left Brooklyn for, but I do live in a very, very red city in an almost red county (Riverside). I would move to the southeast in a second if not for family considerations.

    Despite living in California, I don’t have a single friend who is a liberal or leans left.

    I’ll make do…for now.

    PC14 (4a4ed3)

  5. My immediate family and I (parents, brother) have lived here my whole life, and up until a few years ago, I couldn’t really imagine living anywhere else. Now, I’m thinking I’d like to see what Texas would be like, but it is a money thing for me. I just don’t have the money to escape the downward spiral.

    Sean M. (4c619a)

  6. As I have said before, I don’t like making politics personal

    If I may interject with an irrelevant anecdote:

    there’s a woman in my patent law class who is struggling in criminal law, so i gave her the outline i wrote when i took it. she was very grateful.

    but she did say last night, when we were talking about election results, that she hoped i’d still like her when i found out she was a conservative.

    i told her that (a) i already knew that and (b) it didn’t matter, because in a reasosnable society we can see and support the good in each other regardless of politics.

    The fact that you don’t like making politics personal is a big part of why I’m still commenting here, seven years after the recall.

    aphrael (8883ae)

  7. Two fold:

    1. This is all I know. I was born here and I have lived here my entire life.
    2. My parents live here. My fiancee and her family live here. Most of my friends live here.

    Leaving California would presumably mean my fiancee left with me. That would require her to leave a jobs she loves and disregard family obligations she has.

    All that, and I am a glutton for punishment.

    crh (ffb088)

  8. Well, I have a successful tax practice and was happily living in OC. I’m lucky enough to be able to move (my practice is national in scope), and I’m definitely considering it for 2011. I might lose 5% of my clients, but my take-home income figures to increase by 8-10% if I headed to Nevada.

    Yesterday’s election forced me to strongly consider that option.

    Russ (45825a)

  9. You have Animal, and Nobu, and Water Grille, which is a good thing.

    JD (c8c1d2)

  10. We’re just waiting for the kids to graduate high school and then we’ll be off to Texas (assuming we can sell our house). I’ll miss the South Bay, but not California’s politics or the entitlement mind-set that has spread like a cancer through much of the state.

    lasue (ed9852)

  11. I’m from Illinois, but the question looks equally valid here.

    And the answer ultimately is: this is where my friends are.

    Bill Roper (2d1b4f)

  12. I was born in CA and lived there until 5 years ago. My husband and I both retired from the LAPD. I never dreamed I would ever leave the state, but we could see the writing on the wall. Taxes going up, too crowded, too much crime, always feeling that my vote was wasted. At least when I was younger, sometimes my guys got elected, but no more.

    We now live in a very small town in Idaho. A very different mind set! I love the people. Instead of waiting for the govt to take care of them, people get together and help each other.
    Crime is low, people know each other and take care of each other. Hard to find in any big city, especially LA.

    Plus, the cost of living is so much lower. Real estate prices are reasonable, as well as energy costs.

    I miss some of the cultural things and the great places to eat, and my friends I left behind, but I would not go back.

    415woman (654ef8)

  13. I lived in LA from 1993-2000.
    I always told people that LA was a great place to live you just wouldn’t want to visit. But visiting is great too. Where else can you hop in your car and be at the Pacific, or in the mountains, or in the desert, or listening to some awesome music or checking out the non-stop show at Venice Beach etc. your choice, within 30-60 minutes (maybe more depending on time of day and where you live etc.)

    If you wanted to drive a little you were 2-6 hours from anything outdoors from whale watching to Sequoias to the high Sierra to Baja Mexico which is a mind bending place, especially once you get down to about Catavina.

    Incredible place, really the whole state is pretty amazing.

    Not a big surprise that zillions of people still want to live there, even with the traffic and the gangs and the insane prices for a piece of land.

    Too bad Cali is in such a tough spot fiscally.

    EdWood (b0937d)

  14. And Miss Peaches!

    gooey butter cake make you slap your mama

    happyfeet (42fd61)

  15. sorry mom

    happyfeet (42fd61)

  16. I love that you ask this question of readers, Patterico. I’m always curious about it. Either we’re all just gluttons for punishment or there really still does have to be something good and fine here.

    For me, we live in a little oasis of Southern Cali, in an historical district of grand Victorians, old money and lots of culture, community involvement, amidst a recognized urban forest which lends great beauty to what would otherwise simply be a desert. I’m grateful for this place. It offers insulation from the stark reality of decay that has become so much of California. But clearly there remain pockets of beauty and almost old-fashioned graciousness tucked here and there in California (Southern).

    The hub will retire in 4 years and we would like to leave Cali for the Oregon coast where trees meet the sand. (The disparity in coastal living of Oregon v. Northern Cali is stunning). We just have to figure out how to actually leave three kids behind that we absolutely adore and get an enormous kick spending time with (and vice-versa).

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  17. 2. I’m a 5th generation Californian. I own a house and my family is here. IOW, roots.

    2. It’s a money thing. I own a noticeable piece of a seemingly successful startup, and need to see it through. Although I may go live for a year somewhere there is no state income tax when it comes time to cash out.

    Kevin M (298030)

  18. Ummm .. having trouble counting today….

    Kevin M (298030)

  19. 415woman how did you decide on that town?

    happyfeet (42fd61)

  20. I love my very low property taxes (thanks Prop 13!).

    I suppose if Jerry and his kids come after me with a wealth tax I’ll be out of here in a jiffy.

    Otto Maddox (a7e648)

  21. I told my wife I want to retire in Arizona. She said we can’t because all our family and friends live her.

    I told her I hate my family and I can make new friends.

    Arizona Bob (e8af2b)

  22. Not that I’m really a conservative, except maybe by California standards, but…
    I grew up here, and have family here, and most of my business connections are in and around Silicon Valley. So… moving away would be somewhat problematic (even without the issue of transporting all my Stuff), and it’s not like I’m anywhere near rich enough just to move to the boonies and live on my savings.
    Besides, if I did leave, I’d have to find a suitable new place to settle, and I’m guessing that most of the areas with the necessary combination of industry, hikeable hills, mild climate, and Asian supermarkets aren’t all that much better politically.

    Eric Wilner (3936fd)

  23. Speaking as a liberal – i’m more of a cultural liberal than I am a fiscal liberal. I have a social community which is widely accepting of same-sex marriage, of polygamous relationships, and of kink; where veganism is considered perfectly normal; where paganism, hinduism, and other minority religions are more common than christianity; where pot and hallucinogen use is open and accepted. It’s the space between the tech industry and the burning man crowd, and it is home, emotionally.

    I may be moving in the fall; my husband wants to go to grad school and the best schools for his program are elsewhere. But we’ll come back, because this social environment is right for us, and because our friends and family are here – and that’s more important to us, at the end of the day, than the state’s finances.

    aphrael (8883ae)

  24. Russ–

    You bring up a point. Why in God’s name would you move from OC to Nevada? Are all the nice places overrun by Dems?

    Kevin M (298030)

  25. And Miss Peaches!
    gooey butter cake make you slap your mama

    Oh happyfeet, we’re lovers of soul food and regularly make the drive to Roscoe’s in Hwood for chicken and waffles. The menu looks divine for Miss Peaches. Thanks for posting that.

    One thing for Southern Cali, you cannot find a wider array of fabulous places to eat!

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  26. Left in 2004. Had lived there/owned a home there (I was bi-coastal for a while) since 1987. Loved the weather, the people and the old car culture. I am a small time collector and CA does have rust-free cars.
    I lived in the heart of LA, up in Laurel Canyon just south of Mulholland. Then it all got so crowded and the folks got more angry. Road rage everywhere. It was no fun anymore. A few days before we left I needed to get a few more boxes from my removal company which was 5 miles away on Pico Blvd. The round trip took 2 hours. I could have walked it quicker.
    I now live in a small western town in Arizona with no traffic lights. It is heaven. The neighbors are awesome and we are staying.
    Patterico, your reliance on a federal bail out is touching but I think the mood of the nation is changing. By electing the folks you do, you are committing suicide as a state. You will not be missed. (California I mean, not YOU personally, before anyone gets crazy) Quite simply, the money is not there.

    Gazzer (1b7d21)

  27. ____________________________________

    For one, I don’t let politics run my life very much

    There’s more to life than just ideology and politics. There are socio-cultural, economic and environmental — as in the quality of life and climate, NOT BS like AGW — qualities and characteristics too.

    There is the very specific issue of demographics. If the “Golden State” ends up with too many of the type of people whose academic goals revolves around dropping out of school ASAP, among other uplifting features, than that combined with mindless leftism will be a deadly duo. The worst of both worlds. IOW, a society like Mexico or Venezuela.

    How patient and tolerant a variety of California’s limousine liberals — of all races and ethnicities — will be with such a circumstance is anyone’s guess. But I know a good number of them will put on a smiley face, feign innocence, and then head for the exits when harsh reality hits too close to home.

    A very liberal society — including its government — is analogous to a set of very permissive, naive and foolish parents. The only thing that will prevent such a household from burning and crashing is if the children (ie, the demographics) of the household are intrinsically resourceful, diligent, reliable and talented. But if many of the kids instead are prone to being goof-offs, slackers and delinquents, you can pretty much kiss that household (ie, society) good-bye.

    Mark (411533)

  28. I made a similar move on the other coast — from high-tax, unsustainable, politically hostile MA to low-tax, sensible NH. In my case the move was under fifty miles, so it doesn’t really compare to what a CA resident must do. And my work is highly flexible and mobile, unlike, say, an attorney, who’s invested in knowledge of one jurisdiction’s law, and faces all the artificial barriers to market entry that bar associations were created to ensure.

    In my case, the 2008 election occasioned the move, as my fellow citizens voted against a tax rollback measure by 70-30. That told me that the state had passed irreversibly from the control of the tax payers to the tax eaters, by about that margin. (Indeed, another tax rollback failed in MA yesterday). CA is in the same place, I think: the “public-service” unions own the legislature.

    I think that sooner is normally better than later if one is exiting a failing state. (I had friends in the old Rhodesia, and the later one stayed the more one lost, up to and including family members’ lives). I do believe that California’s leaders have no more fiscal sense than Zimbabwe’s dictator Mugabe does. Google Zimbabwe banknotes to see where you’re headed. It really doesn’t matter if your Canute is a king, a dictator who took power by the gun, or some demagogue you elected: the tide still comes in anyway. You can no more dictate to the market, than you can dictate to the tide.

    As far as a Federal bailout is concerned: consider Greece. It got an EU bailout and now the whole EU is sick. Should Spain or Portugal follow, there’s nothing left in the piggy bank to execute Bail Out II with. There will be a lot of economists and a lot of people worried about the fisc that will oppose a bailout on the facts. The majority of the public will, most likely, oppose a CA bailout on grounds of perceived fairness. Tom Joad can just hit the trail back when it gets to that point, but it’s his problem, not mine.

    And if a bailout succeeds, which would mean, really, that it temporarily arrests the decline and restores fiscal order: CA will blow the bailout money on fripperies, and on workers who are overpaid and underworked even compared to the unproductive Greeks. A bailout just kicks the can down the road. It would take a very irrational Federal government to pay such a danegeld; California would take it as a first installment and come back for more.

    Frankly, why should unborn grandchildren of frugal people pay for the convenience of idle wastrels? I can’t really think of a good reason. Idle wastrels rioting in the streets and killing people (c.f. Greece) hasn’t warmed anyone’s heart to these bums. If we saw it happening in CA (like, say, 1992), how would we react?

    I do remember that most of the world wanted the guy who tried to kill Reginald Denny to fry. It was his fellow Californians that turned him loose (and I bet he’s had other felonies since).

    If you guys want to return to the Hobbsean state of nature, that’s your prerogative.

    Kevin R.C. O'Brien (e8df4b)

  29. Happyfeet, my husband’s brother moved to the area (around Pocatello). We would visit each autumn. He would go hunting (I was rooting for the elk, lol), then we would explore the area. It is beautiful here, with seasons! You can tell I am a transplant, I still like the snow! Most of the natives here think we are nuts for leaving the warm climate. We now have a small, 75 acre ranch and are raising beef cattle. The town is called Lava Hot Springs and has a population of about 500. But, we are only 21/2 hours from Salt Lake City, and 40 minutes from Pocatello.

    415woman (654ef8)

  30. And, you have Dot’s and Yummy’s.

    JD (c8c1d2)

  31. In New Orleans/Westbank, I’ve got similar thoughts, even though it’s not really that terrible here….yet….

    Our cost of living is not bad at all, and state/local taxes aren’t terrible, but, there is way WAY too much dependency in the Greater New Orleans area….and now that Katrina/Rita/Ivan and the oil spill have added the new type of dependency (someone else will pay you if you THINK you’ve lost something) there will be toooooo many left here that will wait and take advantage….I tried to tell alot of people that the BP bailouts would not be a good thing, but, when they see the check, they don’t understand how those things hurt capitalism….

    But, then again, family, friends, children returning….hard to leave, even if you want to…

    reff (b43ea5)

  32. I miss seasons. I’ve seen dicentra’s Utah pictures and that part of the country looks really beautiful. I really really hope not to die here in California but I’m not sure where I’ll go next.

    Dana Roscoe’s is good but this place is intimate and… they have bottomless kool-aid served in canning jars.

    happyfeet (42fd61)

  33. Money, the lack of it, keeps me in this Godforsaken state of imprisonment. I hate California. I hate her politics, I hate the backstabbing nature of its citizens, the nannystate mindsets, the padded playground mentality, etc, etc. I’m an East Coast gal where people say what they think and mean what they say and don’t run to big brother with every little issue. I believe in independence, personal responsibility and entrepreneurship. But…I’m also beyond retirement age and partially unable due to several fractured vertebrae. I am unable to work outside the home as much as I would love to, even if I could find someone to hire me at my age, so I live on a poverty level fixed income that most months does not even cover my most basic necessities. I cannot afford the housing, the excessive taxes and fees, the high cost of living in general. Yet, I cannot afford to move. I’m trapped here. I need a minimum of $5000 to move and find housing in another state. I manage to save a couple hundred and then my registration fees are due and I’m in the hole again for months. I live where the temps can reach into triple digits for days at a time, but I have to suffer through it since running my air conditioning, or in the Winter, my furnace, is beyond my financial ability to pay for the extra that shows up on my utility bill. A social life is out. I cannot afford to meet a friend for dinner if I have to pay and I cannot afford the gas to get out anyway.

    I am just one step short of being on the street and fighting for my own shopping cart to push around for lack of $5000 to move. I could move across the state line to Nevada and triple my disposable income. Double it with a move to Florida. I cannot even afford the gas to make such a trip, let alone rent a UHaul or put a deposit down on an apartment.

    I saved and invested and planned for retirement. What I didn’t plan on was having to take 6 years off to care for an elderly parent and in the process break my back and also find out that when I was able to return to work, no one wanted me anymore because I was too old.

    So it is money that keeps me trapped here.

    Sara (Pal2Pal) (4d3f49)

  34. I don’t miss the crime, corruption or the pollution. I was born in California and lived there for forty years. The last place I lived was Lodi. I am unstuck and loving living in Middle Tennessee, my children are thriving and they wont Have to move out of state to start their own lives when they are grown.
    The hardest adjustment has been dealing with people who are genuinely friendly.

    I agree with Kevin, CA is going to end up like Zimbabwe.

    Refugee From CA (a5321c)

  35. Three things seem to hold people back from moving:

    1. Family.

    2. Work.

    3. Cultural stuff.

    4. Inertia.

    Everyone understands and symps with #1. If you have a family, at the minimum it’s not a solo decision, is it?

    #2: It would take some daring in this market, but have you ever met anyone who quit a job and really regretted it, long-term? I haven’t.

    As far as #3 is concerned, don’t underestimate a new area until you’ve tried it. Yeah, the magically unique little restaurants and live-music venues you love won’t be there. But you know what? There will be other ones, and other neat stuff. I’ve found something to admire and enjoy every place I’ve ever gone (and I’ve spent lots of time in real stinkers for work).

    #4 is on you. It’s normal. One guy mentioned dreading having to move all his stuff. Yeah, it’s a hassle… but there are guys in the phone book who will do it for you and their efficiency will surprise you. If you can solve it with a check, it’s an expense, not a problem. Problems are things you can’t solve with your checkbook.

    I don’t mean to minimize the difficulty of even a small interstate move for anyone with normal human entanglements. One of the things I lost was the relationship I had going… at first it seemed like she was well worth a 100 mile round trip. That didn’t last.

    In my case, though, the bulk of my extended family made the same move over a period of years. It’s toughest on the first to move and easiest for the last. We’re all closer together up here than we were “at home.” But I think we’re very fortunate and might not be typical that way.

    Kevin R.C. O'Brien (e8df4b)

  36. I said…

    Three things seem to hold people back from moving…

    Something messing up Kevins counting today.

    Kevin R.C. O'Brien (e8df4b)

  37. Kevin: I’m also hearing a lot of “I actually like it here, despite the politics”. There’s something to be said for that.

    aphrael (8883ae)

  38. Another reality is, if one sells their home and moves out of Cali, the chances of moving back (which some people do actually try to do), is slim to none.

    Kevin R.C. O’Brien @ 8:24,

    It’s toughest on the first to move and easiest for the last. We’re all closer together up here than we were “at home.”

    That’s encouraging. My secret hope is that my unencumbered kids eventually sour on Cali and what it costs for them to live here (unless with a slew of roomies), and want to have a bit of an adventure and head north, too…

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  39. So rather than answer the question, I throw it open to my conservative readers who live in California: why are you still here?

    If an outfit in another state were willing to commit to hiring me, I’d be gone. Promptly.

    Blacque Jacques Shellacque (609d83)

  40. I lived in Monterey for a couple years. The cost of. Living on the Peninsula was incredible back then, and I assume it it is still the same. Or worse. But sweet baby Jesus is the Peninsula God’s playground.

    JD (c8c1d2)

  41. I’m the last of my family, and have elderly relatives to care for who want to die here. We’ll see after that.

    I have lived here 54 years, and love CA. But they won’t just leave us alone, the control in day-to-day life continually becomes more intrusive. I’d be happy to avoid politics in my daily life, but it seeks us out. For instance, we are fighting a giant solar plant proposed in the middle of our valley. It’s a beautiful valley in the southern Sierras, at least for now.

    jodetoad (7720fb)

  42. jodetoad – who owns the land where they’re planning to put the solar plant?

    aphrael (8883ae)

  43. I stay in SoCal primarily because of three reasons:

    1. The weather – I abhor cold and rain. You cannot top the weather here, especially right on the coast.
    2. The sailing – We have good constant wind where I sail and live and can do it year round. Not to mention the Newport to Ensenada regatta every year.
    3. Family. They live up in central California which is close enough to visit and far enough away to keep them at bay.

    gogman (7753eb)

  44. Here because my 89 year old great-aunt will not move. (If it weren’t for here I would have never moved back here in 94.)

    She’s very ill right now and I’m taken care of her at home.

    Straight up: when she goes, I go.

    baldilocks (f3badc)

  45. A San Francisco company offered me a job before anyone in Utah, Texas or Idaho. So, I’m here for now. But I plan to move as soon as it’s practical. My girlfriend would be happy to move to Idaho or the pacific northwest–and so would I.

    As for moving back… if the state goes the way it looks likely to go, it probably won’t be too hard to move back. How hard would it be to move to Detroit these days?

    Annaeus Seneca (5b3675)

  46. Raised here, family here, friends here, business here.

    As for my being a ‘conservative’, I can only answer that by repeating a quote: “Look, don’t attribute to me your conventional view of ‘what a conservative believes’, because I’m not a conservative – I’m a believer in freedom.”

    Look, I’m also a believer in accountability, which is why the election results for CA aren’t necessarily bad. They make possible the delineation of the difference between single party (Democrat) rule and more free market solutions. Patterico will argue that destruction is a poor way to lead by example, but I don’t see any other choice.

    The comparison with Venezuela is incorrect, as a State does not comprise its own country, and as such is still accountable to the other 49 States. After the Rampart scandal, the LAPD was controlled by an outside Federal body as a corrective measure. The collapse of CA will not result in return to Mexico, nor a floating island adrift. It will result in a large shift of power away from local control to an outside body appointed by those who hold the purse strings.

    The outcome of such an arrangement will depend entirely on the political makeup of said outside body. One thing’s for sure, without strings attached, any bailout will simply be flushing money down a hole, and many voters outside of CA will most likely not accept it.

    There is no future history written for CA as of yet, and none that can be predicted. What may appear as disaster may actually be the only course possible.

    What cannot go on forever, doesn’t.

    Apogee (49749b)

  47. I was born and grew up in California. I am an alumus of UC Berkeley and Western State, College of Law. Other then ten years in the Army I have lived the bulk of my life in California. I retired on November 24, 2008, and purchased a new home in Las Vegas on December 5, 2008. I havent regretted the move for a second.

    Phu Bai Phat (7ff971)

  48. Like a rich and beautiful woman, a rich and beautiful state draws interest from undesirables. California drew every sociopathic element from Charlie Manson to Scientologists to Harry Bridges to the Raiders to Schwartzenegger,

    I’m not even going to recite the institutions and services that have gone south over the last 30 years.

    Now the bill has come due, and we all watched it happen. I’m telling my friends not to be in the second quintile on the way to the exit.

    Harry Bergeron (7bc307)

  49. I love the comments on this thread, as there are a lot of people who don’t normally comment.

    I grew up in Utah, and went to the Bay Area in 1994 to pursue a career. I lived there until last year, when a job opening came up in Reno. I had always planned on moving to Reno when I retired, but when I realized I could move here now, I did. Now I’m at a happy medium between CA and UT, geographically and politically. I am a libertarian, and Nevada is the most libertarian state. (Utah is too socially conservative, and I never bought into the San Francisco liberalism.)

    I could have bought a house in the Bay Area, but refrained. I thought they were overpriced. Even after the real estate crash, when a nice house could be had for half a mil, I didn’t want to pay $5000 a year in property taxes. This in addition to a 10% state tax on income. Furthermore, one of my favorite things to do is take walks at night, and California did not allow me to carry a firearm for protection. (Speaking of Reginald Denny, as #28 does, I doubt Reggie would have been pulled from his truck if he had a gun, or at least he would have taken a few with him.)

    Here in Nevada I bought a nice house for 255K, pay $1500 a year in property taxes, and obtained a concealed-carry permit. There is no state income tax. Come tax time, one just completes the federal return. No state!

    Reno is just the right size for me–not too big, not too small. It has mountains, lakes, and rivers. It also has Trader Joes–I don’t think I could ever live in a place that doesn’t have that store. It’s easy to visit Sacramento or San Francisco if I get the urge.

    The only things I miss are the excellent restaurants and Chinese people. (Reno’s demographics are about the same as California, except that there are few Chinese here.)

    If I was wealthy, I would live in California, but I’m not.

    (To pre-empt the obvious question, I still use “norcal” because a lot of people know me by that name.)

    norcal (6d5553)

  50. I’m guessing that most of the areas with the necessary combination of industry, hikeable hills, mild climate, and Asian supermarkets aren’t all that much better politically.

    Not sure about the industry, and most of the hills are too low to be hikeable, but Florida definitely has the mild climate and Asian supermarkets. Also Russian and AfroCaribbean supermarkets if the mood hits you that way. Plus a governorship, state cabinet, and legislature that’s been dominated by the GOP for over a decade now.

    kishnevi (2c3adb)

  51. Outside of the politics, I love it. I live in San Diego which is a little different than living in Los Angeles. Actually, as far as politics go, my city, down to my neighborhood is Conservative. I live around Vietnamese refuges, so…
    It’s not right that Boxer is our Senator. In fact, Fiorina won SD by 9 points. Anyway, I’m not going to let LA and Frisco chase me away from friends and family in the city I love. My life is here.

    Stacy (ba5844)

  52. I am a 4th generation Californian and feeling like I’m on the bridge of the Titantic. I would move but wife can’t part with the kids and grandchildren. I blame the subversion of the Inititive Process and the Govt Unions. Plus the lack of a robust two party system. After they sink the system there might be a small shot of starting over. Hope springs eternal. That or we freeze in the water clinging to the debris.

    Edmond Dantes (3f687d)

  53. We bought a home in the midwest a few months ago. She retires in June; we’re gone. Maybe by then, it’ll be furnished.

    We’ll keep one home here — or maybe buy one in Palm Desert — for use as a winter residence only. (Lots of people in colder climates do that.)

    It was a good run. 34 years. We’ll miss some things, but it gets to a point where you don’t really want to live in a place where a continuing and increasing majority of the residents don’t share your most fundamental values. And all my friends with any money have left or are leaving within a year or two.

    It doesn’t take any brains to see the edge of the cliff. But I’m happy to just let the people whose votes precipitated the situation bear the costs when the fecal matter hits the fan.

    I will say that it would have been interesting to hear Meg Whitman issue the following concession speech:

    “Californians have chosen to continue policies of fiscal disaster, higher taxes, unsustainable debt and public employee costs, and deteriorating education and infrastructure. You just blew your last chance to fix the problem.

    My husband’s a brain surgeon — he can work anywhere in the world. So can I. And we don’t want to be part of the upcoming disaster, nor do we want to foot the bill for it.

    So thank you to everyone who voted for me, but we’re gone. Come see us in Texas.”

    Steve (b39188)

  54. Family. My Mom, Grandma, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and Kids all live here. My wife and I tried moving away for a couple of years but we didn’t last. Family always trumps politics, crappy government and taxes, for me at least.

    Brian (515fed)

  55. Because–if no one has said it yet–Californians (or what’s left of them) will be ready for change after four years of the new/old Governor-elect–we can hope.

    Brent (087e1f)

  56. I was born and raised in Santa Cruz, which was actually a very conservative community before UCSC came to town. I have lived in Socal, the DC metro area, Chicago, Phoneix, & Naples FL, returned 2 years ago because it is my home and the most beautiful of all those places I’ve lived in the past decade – and I’m lucky to have more work than I can handle. I love running in the redwoods one day and along the ocean the next, love the fresh seafood, the temperate climate, and yes, many of my earnest and honest liberal neighbors – and the earnest but idiot ‘progressives’ at the very least provide entertainment while helping me sharpen my own understanding of why they are so very wrong. The home my parents raised us in and left to us, purchased at 68,000 in the 60’s, is still worth around 1 mil, with an ocean view and access to Nisene Marks state forest. Bottom line is I truly love and feel attached to this place, think California is SO worth fighting for, and as long as I possibly can I’m going to make it work – while continuing to campaign for and fight with the McClintocks we are still capable of producing. I am tentatively hopeful that the redistricting that will be initiated by the passage of prop 20 will make many districts competitive that haven’t been for decades. On the other hand, the passage of prop 25 and its threat to prop 13 may mean we won’t be able to afford the property taxes on our home in the near future.

    Bottom line, I’ve enjoyed living in those other places, but this is home, gonna stubbornly stay and fight – why should this prime real estate be surrendered to liberal fascists, deadbeats and union thugs? plus, I like challenging the status quo politics of this “tolerant” town. They like to write off their ideological opponents as a certain type of untouchable, and smashing those false icons with my congenial crunchy-con organic libertarianism is fun :)

    Anne (7021eb)

  57. Trying to help keep my mom in her home. I think if she were away from familiar surroundings it wouldn’t be so good, and she loves her garden. If she has to move into a nursing home, I don’t see any reason it has to be in California. I’m gearing up my professional life to be more portable.

    Peter B (901cd9)

  58. Trying to help keep my mom in her home. I think if she were away from familiar surroundings it wouldn’t be so good, and she loves her garden. If she has to move into a nursing home, I don’t see any reason it has to be in California. I’m gearing up my professional life to be more portable.

    Peter B (901cd9)

  59. _______________________________________

    The collapse of CA will not result in return to Mexico

    It will be the mindless liberalism combined with the socio-cultural quirks of a society like Mexico that will make California sort of a northern extension of that nation. However, if by some miracle of miracles a large percentage of the Latino community starts displaying greater respect for academic achievement, then the future won’t be quite so bleak.

    However, I’m always running into statistics and reports that indicate a huge amount of mediocrity persistently plagues both new and older generations of Latinos, referring to those of school-age in particular.

    Another interesting stat I saw not too many years ago was one that noted the white/Anglo population of Los Angeles County — in both percentages and actual head count — is now lower than at anytime since the 1940s. I know that if it weren’t for immigration, largely from south of the border, the “Golden State” would have seen a noticeable decline in its population. Of course, that assumes some of the transition in demographics would have occurred even without a new group causing an older group to head out the door.

    Mark (411533)

  60. two bottom lines! I must mean business.

    and gotta say Harry, loved this:

    “Like a rich and beautiful woman, a rich and beautiful state draws interest from undesirables.”

    But beautiful states, like beautiful women, also have true and noble lovers who she needs to fight for her honor and save her from being ravaged :)

    Anne (7021eb)

  61. I was born in Ohio in 1947. Moved here in 1955. I’ve lived in the sanest area of California ( Orange County ) ever since. My wife was born here in 1948. We are hanging on. As soon as we retire we’re moving to Arizona. I’ve done my best to keep at least a small area of the State conservative. It’s someone else’s turn.

    Ken Hahn (2acf7e)

  62. I am a 50 plus year (lifetime) resident of this beautiful state. Many good reasons to stay, but many more also may compel me to leave.
    Tennessee, Nevada, or Utah are at the top of my personal list.

    What does trouble me most is the difference between the in-migrating versus the out-migrating resident demographic. Education and income.
    This does not bode well.

    Andrew (fa9964)

  63. My wife had always said she wouldn’t move away from ou daughter and the rest of our extended family. We own a business that can’t be readily moved, and we need to work at least another ten years to have enough saved for retirement. But last night, she came into the rom and told me “I had to turn off the TV, what with the election results and projections. What states would be better for us to live in besides Ca.?” I never thought I’d hear her say that. We’re now looking for a future retirement to another state.

    Dave (ce2b8f)

  64. We are waiting for our children to graduation from High School and then we are moving out of state.

    Scott (f92f8e)

  65. I’ve lived in Southern California for 55 years; I’m married to a second generation San Diegan and our two daughters were born in San Diego. One now lives in London, but the other lives in Los Angeles where the wife and I live. No way Jose will the wife leave Los Angeles where her daughter lives–even though I’m not fond of LA traffic.

    That said, some ongoing medical problems keep the two of us (and particuarly the wife) tied to hospitals and doctors at UCLA Medical School.

    And there’s also the fact that Los Angeles, with all of its ethnic communities, is an interesting restaurant town. You’re not going to get a choice of 10 different Chinese regioonal restaurants on a Wednesday afternoon in Topeka Kansas.

    Of course you’ve got Boxer, Brown, Lockyer and Feinstein to take the edge off a fine fall afternoon, but I suppose that one can always “shut one’s eyes and think of the Queen” to get one through the bother of it all.

    Mike Myers (0e06a9)

  66. Honestly?

    I feel pretty tied to my current employer. I kind of lucked into my current position, have learned most of what I need to know on the job, and doubt I would be able to transfer those skills to another job.

    malclave (9684f1)

  67. Anne,

    Your comments were fun to read. You write well, and exhibit great humor. Santa Cruz is a delightful place. Ever been to the police building and seen the photos of cops on the beach and in old cars from decades ago?

    norcal (6d5553)

  68. Yep. The “California Upside” is long gone.
    Jobs, family, and an upside down house are about the only things keeping most of my middle income friends here in the state.

    Andrew (fa9964)

  69. I think about leaving every day. California income tax is too high, unions and government workers run the show, the democrat legislature is insane (and it will be worse without even a RINO to veto the most outrageous laws, pensions are bankrupting the state, politicians are insipid or evil or both, and on and on.. The ONLY reason I remain a California resident is that i cannot bear to pull my child away from her high school and her friends. As soon as she le3aves for college, I am out of here (will definitely come back and visit often)

    Barry Davis (437e61)

  70. Mike Myers,

    You wrote:

    And there’s also the fact that Los Angeles, with all of its ethnic communities, is an interesting restaurant town. You’re not going to get a choice of 10 different Chinese regioonal restaurants on a Wednesday afternoon in Topeka Kansas.

    So true. Chinese people in San Francisco always told me that the best Chinese food in America is in the Los Angeles area.

    norcal (6d5553)

  71. I’m a Bronx boy that moved to L A as an adult in the 70s. I’m a conservative living in the Pico/Robertson neighborhood. Except for a couple of years before coming here, I have not worked for any governmental agency. For me almost everything here is geographically convenient. I run by the beach in Santa Monica 3 or 4 evenings a week, play softball on Sundays with our Santa Monica/Hollywood Hills forming a backdrop. Wonderful eateries for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and plenty of beautiful women walking by dressed for WARM weather. Friends, too, with even a few being conservative. Yes, traffic is a BURDEN for many people. The politics here have degraded for years and years. Crime, while having decreased city-wide for years and not a major threat in my neighborhood, does poison the atmosphere for the entire city. Speaking of the atmosphere, the air quality here has improved spectacularly – so obviously government regulation has worked in at least some respects. Politics here has degraded for years and years. Government fiscal irresponsibility and politicians’ unending willingness to dissemble currently have us on course for local and state-wide financial calamity. All things considered, I’m staying as long as possible.

    Ira (28a423)

  72. As long as I can make a decent living here, I won’t pick up and leave.

    But I certainly won’t invest in starting my own business! I know the politicians who run things here see businesspeople as nothing more than sponges to be squeezed. They take success in business for granted, and assume it’s due to greed (or at least to exploitation of the virtue of others, but not the virtue of the businessman). The business environment in California is largely risk without the possibility of reward.

    And I know they are massively hurting for money, and will be even more so in the future. They are going to squeeze harder and harder, including expanding their reach beyond taxing income and into taxing assets (property taxes for one thing–they just need to convince a majority of Californians that OTHER PEOPLE are going to pay the extra property taxes, and prop 13 goes away).

    And until California has a plan to deal with out of control spending + out of control entitlements + out of control pensions + economic downturn caused by all this uncertainty + economic downturn caused by high tax policies to pay for our shortfall –> there will be no end to the uncertainty/recession.

    Californians are not going to vote for change any time soon. They have a strong affinity for liberalism and the Democratic Party. They don’t want to fix things, they want to ride it into the ground. Then they will travel to YOUR state and try to make it more like California.

    Daryl Herbert (97ab31)

  73. Water polo, outdoors, in February.

    Fritz (ac48cc)

  74. Show biz

    Hawkins (d4d5d1)

  75. JD #40: I lived in Monterey for a year or so too, but it cost me bupkus. I was in the Army at the Defense Language Institute. I concur that it’s an absolutely wonderful place to live.

    I was making about $400 a month before deductions, but my barracks room (shared with one other guy, with a bay view) was “free”. If I’d had to pay to live there, never would have done it. And yeah, I can still get by in the language (about the only school that beats it for language learning, IMHO, is BYU. And it’s OK to drink a Dr Pepper at DLI, good luck on that at BYU).

    I did not bother going to the cities. There was too much to do within 25 miles of Monterey, and most of the stuff in the cities you can find in any city. There’s only one 17-mile Drive. Only one Pebble Beach. Only one Laguna Seca for that matter.

    I have many fond memories of CA. My great-uncle was a chauffeur for a Hollywood name. Some of the DLI instructors (all exiles in those Cold War days) were outstanding people.

    But there are excellent things and fascinating people anywhere you go. You just have to bestir yourself and find them.

    Kevin R.C. O'Brien (e8df4b)

  76. People at work are mostly lefties and I take a lot of crap from them. Except today.

    Arizona Bob (e8af2b)

  77. Daryl Herbert said: “Then they will travel to YOUR state and try to make it more like California.”

    That’s what’s happened here in Colorado. So my wife is urging me to do long-term planning on where we’ll move next (Texas, Kentucky and Tennessee have been on our list, and right now Pennsylvania seems to be getting better).

    Calvin Dodge (c24b9e)

  78. Kevin,

    I went to BYU. You can drink a Dr. Pepper at BYU. You just can’t buy one on campus. :)

    It’s the only place I’ve ever seen decaffeinated Coke machines (gold, just like the cans).

    By the way, you’re right about the language learning at BYU. I majored in Chinese, and have had a blast with it ever since.

    norcal (6d5553)

  79. California once had Reagan as its Governor, and if things get bad enough here in California, the people will (eventually) come to their senses. Hell, California kicked out Gray Davis just a few years ago, so if Brown lives up to his reputation, that may be in the making again. Hopefully it doesn’t take California falling into a financial and moral blackhole first to reach that point.

    JM (d3772e)

  80. For me, friends and my job are keeping me here for now. But if my company wanted to move me to Texas or Florida, I could easily see leaving. And trying to retire in L.A. with the prices for an apartment may not be possible. Depressing choices indeed.

    BobD (f6fd0e)

  81. Good grief, people! Staying for the Chinese food? You really need to get out in the world. Of course, I realise you are just rationalizing your plight, but still…

    Gazzer (1b7d21)

  82. I can’t find my keys…

    steve (973316)

  83. I have had to live in California cause my ultimate boss the American Tax Payer via my intermediate boss, the US Navy says I am to be stationed at NAS Lemoore. Located in the lovely Central Valley. As soon as this three year tour is up, I am going to try and beat feet away from here post haste. Probably go back to my place of birth in Washington State.

    Charles (4f8b94)

  84. I own a condo in the Beach communities so I’m more or less stuck with Californicate taxes no matter what I do. If I sell it I pay a very nasty tax bill on the profits over when I bought it in 1982.

    My partner owns the home he grew up in in Cucamonga. He seems disinclined to leave. It’s 2.5 acres with an ancient former grove house on it. We could never receive proper value for it. But that’s a modest blessing in that the taxes on the sale would be lower.

    I keep wondering if I should take the bath and where I should move as a retired person. Nothing looks really enticing. If I had better facility with languages I’d leave the US. As it is some parts of Texas or Arizona might do. Except those parts may already be “Californicated.” Here in Cucamonga we’ve grown used to seeing something other than bare sky when we look around. Flat Oklahoma just might not work for us in that regard.

    As you can see, we are contemplating it. Sharply raised taxes could finish the contemplation. On the other hand, there is a temptation to use the “retired” status to help drain and finish off the state where two plus two equals “whatever”.


    jdow (98e9d7)

  85. I know some former Southern Californians who have moved to a small town in Tennessee. They love it. The best thing is not having to live behind walls. I was told that in Southern California they had lived behind walls in a gated community.

    Anyone contemplating a move to Tennessee should go ahead. You will enjoy it. Tennessee has plenty of interesting places to visit.

    Tennessean (322684)

  86. So our inevitable failure is going to end up a national problem. Count on it.

    Rick Perry and Greg Abbott may have something to say about that, should Jerry Brown come begging.

    Moved to DFW after 18yrs in Bay Area, 15yrs in SF. Left dozens of friends and professional network behind, but I couldn’t see enrolling my daughter in failing public schools, paying $600/sq ft for 40+year-old bungalows (vs. <$100/sq ft for new in good school districts here), having my taxes raised or refunds withheld by the incompetents in Sac'to to pad the obscene salaries, benefits and pensions of their public sector union patrons, or — what really brought it home — not being able to sport a Bush-Cheney bumper-sticker without fear of having my car trashed.

    I miss walking down Stockton Street in Chinatown on a Saturday afternoon, watching the downtown lights twinkle from Bloom's on Potrero Hill and the sunset from the Beach Chalet, the round trips from Stanford to Half Moon Bay on my old Raleigh and from my apt on Geary to the top of Mt Tam on my old (no-Shox) Rockhopper, the easy day trips the Valley of the Moon wineries, the Republican (as in "Irish") bars in the Outer Richmond, and the Ocean Beach surf and GG foghorns being my "white noise" backround.

    But there was that pesky Bible verse about putting away childish things, and my wife, from Chicago, was never enamored of Cali and eventually tired of the stench and squalor in SF.
    So here we are in a place where the school district is thriving (art, PE, Music, ROTC), the local, county and state gov'ts haven't driven themselves over a cliff, and the public spaces belong to the wagon-pulling public instead of the panhandlers (added bonus — no urine smell!). I used to miss Cali alot, but now, not so much. Except in the summer, when DFW is a mile from the sun.

    Best of luck to all who are staying. You're going to need it.

    furious (71af32)

  87. because my wife said we’re not moving….

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  88. I love California.

    Why should I move???

    Dave Surls (3266a6)

  89. I’m hot and cold on the subject. Like “Anne — 11/3/2010 @ 9:26 pm”, I don’t feel like abandoning the most beautiful land on the planet to a rampaging horde….but like “Kevin R.C. O’Brien — 11/3/2010 @ 8:00 pm”, I don’t want to be the last person to get out — or not — by the skin of my teeth.

    I’d always figured that I would have to move when I retired, to take advantage of the differential in living costs — and I’m in my late 40’s and have been unemployed for over two years. I’m unsure how much of the drive to get out is emotional and how much is rational — and my usual response to such a question is to stall for time to see if a resolution presents itself.

    California is a seriously weird place, though — there’s a bit of wildness to it. Even as bad as it was in the early 70’s, it gave us Prop 13….even as bad as it was in the later 70’s, it gave us Reagan. Having Jerry Brown in the Governor’s seat is like a bad acid flashback, but stranger things have happened.

    cthulhu (f8a8dc)

  90. I left Kali in early 2005. I moved to Texas and did things I never could have afforded to do otherwise.

    I paid off my home (I moved back into a house we had rented out) and started a business. Which has grown into two businesses.

    California’s a beautiful state. But I would never move back there. I think some people are convinced that nice scenery, refined culture, or good weather don’t exist anywhere else. I have news for you; it does.

    I live far better than I could had I stayed in CA. I get all the sunshine I can stand here in North Texas, and I don’t have to suffer the sunshine tax you all pay in Kali to get it.

    Steve (8df63f)

  91. Just to be clear, the reason I could afford to do those things in Texas is because I sold my house in Kali at the top of the market. I knew the bubble was going to burst; I didn’t know when but I figured it couldn’t be far off.

    I made an obscene profit. Hence the paying off of debts and financing a business.

    Steve (8df63f)

  92. Others have listed my reasons: weather, beautiful women, food, ocean, outdoor sports year-round, culture (so to speak). Oh, and beautiful women.

    Interestingly I heard a Democrat friend of mine admit that he is probably leaving the state when he retires in a couple of years. He says that he and his wife would do so much better with their retirement funds in Arizona or New Mexico. He also acknowledged that our state is likely to end up declaring bankruptcy at some point, and that the future is very murky here. I presume that he voted for Jerry Brown, Barbara Boxer, Gavin Newsome, and Kamala Harris yesterday.

    JVW (eccfd6)

  93. For me, it’s a money thing. And unfortunately, in San Francisco, the price to be paid for what Navin Gruesome calls “universal health care” are increased fees and additional taxes up the wazoo. Those on top of the so-called “living wage” that S.F. businesses must provide employees makes a start-up an nearly impossible option for those without steady cash flow from another source. I had to pull the plug on plans for a home-based business once I realized I would have to hire somebody, and that a worst-case scenario would delay profitability for a year at the least.

    I can’t wait to see how many ways Governor Rerun and Gavin Newsom — our next Screwtenant Governor — try to get blood from a stone.

    L.N. Smithee (a71440)

  94. Have been contemplating a move for a long time – almost twenty years. The inertia thing is a killer.
    Went looking at property in NV last year and this, and now it’s just a matter of making a deal, and getting somewhere where I can afford to live.
    Both my folks, and most of their families, came to SoCal during the Thirties, it was the Land of Dreams and Opportunity.
    I’ve lived here in the L.A.Metro area for most of my years, with a side-trip to San Diego during the Eighties where I started a business.
    I now live in the house my parent’s bought in the mid-Fifties, and without Prop-13 grandfathering, I couldn’t afford to hang on,
    and would have left long ago for somewhere between the Sierra’s and the Mississippi.
    Next year I’ll be gone!

    AD-RtR/OS! (3e686d)

  95. I was born in Los Angeles in 1945.

    I HATE cold weather.

    I am afraid of hurricanes/tornadoes which happen every year and about which I have no context or preparation.

    My friends are here.

    My doctor (Michael Hirt) is here and there is no other one like him (Center for Integrative Medicine in Tarzana)

    I like the weather.

    I’m too old to start over.

    Isn’t it better to fight than to give up?

    Since no one will have any Republicans to blame anymore (like Arnold the big disappointment), it will be absolutely clear that it’s the Democrats who bring the state to ruin and they’ll finally have to come to their senses.

    My cat loves our house and so do I.

    I hate moving.

    I love my acupuncturist and massage therapist and chiropractor who are all within several miles of where I live.

    The grass is always greener.

    My luck would be that I move and then everything turns Democrat…or something.


    Linda Starr (7f850a)

  96. It’s all about the benjamins.

    I’m trapped until I can begin collecting my pension. Then it’s goodbye Commiefornia and hello Free America!

    Brad (85cd09)

  97. Although I may go live for a year somewhere there is no state income tax when it comes time to cash out.

    Florida, Kevin. Not quite as good as Texas, but if you stay north of Orlando, you’ll be ok in just about every way (Jacksonville, if you like a large city, is still largely conservative).

    Weather much like Cali, hurricanes in place of earthquakes (but, unlike earthquakes, you know a hurricane is coming days ahead of time).

    It’s flat — real flat — no mountains at all, but lots of ocean and sun.

    And not only does Florida not have an income tax, the legislature CAN’T put one in place — the State Constitution expressly forbids it — so you’d have to change THAT first.

    Good luck convincing 50% of the people to vote themselves a new & huge tax. There’ve been enough idiots in some liberal dominated areas stupid enough to pass local-option 1% type sales taxes, but a full multi-percent income tax? Not going to happen.

    IgotBupkis (9eeb86)

  98. Dave beautifully demonstrates brevity as the soul of wit:

    “I love California. Why should I move???”

    precisely. fight fight fight!

    @norcal, no I haven’t – I’m assuming you mean the prison-looking county building? I’ll look for them next time fate drives me to its doors :)

    Anne (7021eb)

  99. I don’t live in California; but I live in Brooklyn NY, which has pretty much all the same drawbacks as California, without the compensating climate. So why do I stay? Because the only other places in the USA I can see myself living are LA and Miami Beach. And Miami has hurricanes and huge bugs, and the locals (as opposed to the state) are lefties too.

    I hate snow but at least it goes away after a while without doing too much damage, and the biggest pests I have to worry about are cockroaches and mice. I’ve long thought of moving to LA, but for all the reasons you give not to. Also in LA I’d probably have to own a car, and go to all the expense and trouble that entails; at least here there’s an excellent public transport system and a car is more trouble than it’s worth so I haven’t got one. And the one time I seriously started looking for jobs in the LA area, I couldn’t find any.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  100. Your a lucky sod to be born in the USA – you can just hop in the car if you want less socialist government.

    In New Zealand, you have to use a boat to get from one half of the country to the other, and it’s all equally socialist.

    scrubone (3cac02)

  101. I will cite for you the Prophet Heinlein:

    But, then again, family, friends, children returning….hard to leave, even if you want to…

    “Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances
    which permit this norm to be exceeded–here and there, now and then–are
    the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often
    condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people.
    Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or, as sometimes
    happens, is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into
    abject poverty. This is known as ‘bad luck’.”

    – Lazarus Long(R. A. Heinlein) –

    “The abolition of the pauper’s oath as a condition for public charity
    insured that habitual failures, incompetents of every sort, people who can’t
    support themselves, and people who won’t, each of these would have the same
    voice in ruling the country, in assessing taxes and spending them, as, (for
    example) Thomases Jefferson or Edison, Andrews Carnegie or Jackson.
    …And ‘Bread and Circuses’ is what invariably happens to a democracy that
    goes that route: unlimited spending on ‘social’ programs ends in national
    bankruptcy, which historically is always followed by dictatorship.”

    – Robert A. Heinlein, ‘To Sail Beyond the Sunset’ –

    “A [total] democracy, a ‘warm body’ democracy, in which every adult may vote
    and all votes count equally, has no internal feedback for self-correction.
    It depends solely on the wisdom and self-restraint of citizens… which is
    opposed by the folly and lack of self-restraint of other citizens. What is
    supposed to happen in a democracy is that each sovereign citizen will always
    vote in the public interest for the safety and welfare of all. But what does
    happen is that he votes in his own self-interest as he sees it… which for
    the majority translates as ‘Bread and Circuses.’
    ‘Bread and Circuses’ is the cancer of democracy, the fatal disease for
    which there is no cure. Democracy often works beautifully at first, but once
    a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or
    parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the
    plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without
    limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them,
    they will do so, until the State bleeds to death, or in its weakened
    condition the state succumbs to an invader — the barbarians enter Rome.”

    – Robert A. Heinlein, ‘To Sail Beyond the Sunset’ –

    “…but there seems to have been an actual decline in rational thinking. The
    United States [has] become a place where entertainers and professional
    athletes [are] mistaken for people of importance. They [are] idolized and
    treated as leaders; their opinions [are] sought on everything and they
    [take] themselves just as seriously — after all, if an athlete is paid a
    million or more a year, [they] know [they are] important… so [their]
    opinions on foreign affairs and domestic policies must be important, too,
    even though [they] prove [themselves] to be both ignorant and subliterate
    every time [they] open [their] mouths. (Most of [their] fans [are] just as
    ignorant and unlettered; the disease [is] spreading.)”

    – Robert A. Heinlein, ‘To Sail Beyond the Sunset’ –

    “There is a ready solution for ANYONE on the public payroll who feels that
    he is not paid enough: He can resign and work for a living. This applies
    with equal force to Congressmen, Welfare ‘clients’, school teachers,
    generals, garbage collectors, and judges.”

    – Robert A. Heinlein, ‘To Sail Beyond the Sunset’ –

    “Stupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education, or by
    legislation. Stupidity is not a sin, the victim can’t help being stupid.
    But stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death,
    there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without

    – Lazarus Long(R. A. Heinlein) –

    IgotBupkis (9eeb86)

  102. What states would be better for us to live in besides Ca.?

    I’d say Northern Florida (much more conservative than the Southern part) or Texas.

    The former for the reasons stated above, the other for obvious ones.

    IgotBupkis (9eeb86)

  103. CaBizguy

    I live in a red county. It’s a money thing. But, it’s getting worse and taxes are cutting us in half. I and other guys plan to move our companies out of CA. Yes, moving your company out of CA can be done and done economically – and still operate in CA. Just look at the Japanese and Chinese.

    CaBizguy (4cccf2)

  104. I’ve never understood the attraction of California. A friend lives in Marina Del Ray and he seems to spend his life planning every activity around the times of low (or what he calls “low”) traffic.

    For people who can live and work anywhere, there are so many locations with a higher quality of life. We spend half the year in a small town in Michigan and the winters in the Palermo Soho district of Buenos Aires. Together, both homes probably cost less than one reasonably comfortable home would cost in California. I have no idea where the key is for house in Michigan, as it has never been locked in the 18 years since it was built.

    I believe most Californians (along with NYC residents) buy into the hype, not realizing how much better and less stressful their lives could be elsewhere.

    jwest (ff7f52)

  105. I’m still here because I had a wonderful 50 year working life 40 of it in a great manufacturing company (which is gone now) and retired with a pile big enough to last till I die.My home is paid for, we can manage all the social issues by ignoring them. For a young person the choice would probably be to leave. As one of my kids has.

    glenn (0af9f1)

  106. Those who choose to stay and fight I can understand, but some battles just can’t be won.

    20 years in the navy and by the grace of god never stationed there. Love to visit the place, alot to see and do, just couldn’t stand most of the natives.

    Out here in the midwest, we actually have seasons. The leaves have changes, birds have flown south already. Wouldn’t trade it for the world. My dads family immigrated in the mid 1800’s and settled in Wisconsin, guess I’m use to cold.

    Though I currently stuck in Illinois for family reasons, I will leave at the first opportunity. The stench of Chicago effects the entire state.

    Just remember we are all descended from immigrants. Somewhere in your past, an ancestor pack up all their stuff and moved alot farther with less knowledge.

    Gerald A (5b55e9)

  107. It always amazes me how people can afford to stay in California.
    Louisiana is fairly low cost to live in but we are considering getting a home on the Texas side to get away from state income tax.

    is a useful link to compare the taxes in different states. If your state is not on this link change the “RLstate1.html” to RLstate2.html or 3.

    VOR2 (c9795e)

  108. A better question would be – why is business still there?

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  109. I have tears in my eyes from reading some of the comments here. My other and I left as soon as we retired and traveled the country for six years in our RV. That has restored our faith in our country which, if we hadn’t sought, would have sunk us into deep depression after the 2008 election. We both were transplanted to CA when it was less liberal and spent our decades in more conservative Northern towns but still, we would never return. The liberals destruction of CA is a heartbreaker.

    Susan (kneeland, ca) (1897fc)

  110. Jerry Brown again? I was there the last time he was gov and it wasn’t pretty!

    Seriously! (1897fc)

  111. Over time, we long-time Californians seem to have developed a love-hate relationship with our state.

    Some manage to make a clean break and free themselves angst and turmoil of this unhealthy relationship, and fall in love with the sanity and sanctuary offered by other states.

    And then those of us who are still here continue to ride the emotional roller coaster of unrequited love, and keep telling ourselves that in spite of the exorbitant cost of living here, high taxes, crumbling infrastructure, misbehaving children running the state, continual traffic jams, porous southern border, etc., this state is still golden.

    What a hold it has on us.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  112. Not a Californian, but I can understand the affection. We all love the things that are familiar.

    The house I’m living in is the 18th place I’ve lived in my life – not counting college dorm rooms. But they’ve all been in Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Still, every town I’ve lived in had people who complained about it. And in every place I’ve found new friends, stayed connected with long distance family, and identified neat places to hike or canoe or attend musical and cultural stuff.

    While we’re working it’s easier to ignore the cultural political differences. We all tend to live in a bubble of friends. But once you’re retired I suspect it gets harder. Many of those friends start to not be there, and your left with the neighbors whose view of the world is so fundamentally different.

    I don’t know. I think if I were a Californian I would seriously be considering my options. Maybe its the blog the helps Patterico handle it all. He’s got a virtual community of like-minded people.

    Gesundheit (cfa313)

  113. I was born in Oakland, but moved away from Antioch. Of course, I was seven years old at the time, so I don’t know if that really counts. :)

    The Dana in Pennsylvania (3e4784)

  114. I just moved from Idaho to Illinois for a great job, and so I stay, for now, and will see how things look when my kids hit school-age.

    I would thing that some conservatives in CA have the same situation, but the number of sicko’s and bums in So. Cal have to scare any parent, even as we both probably have the same deranged teachers/unions.

    Smarty (eed5d4)

  115. I grew up in California and spent more than four decades living there.

    I moved to Colorado. Colorado suffers at times due to too many left-wing Californians invading and trying make Colorado politics match what has screwed up California. Nonetheless, I’ll never return to California.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  116. How much of the cost is California, and how much of the cost is just urban? I grew up in a small town in Kentucky, and couldn’t wait until I was graduated from high school and could leave that podunk place.

    Well, it took me 31 years, but I finally realized just how good I had it in that small town. And when my darling bride and I went house-hunting in Jim Thorpe, we found one for just $87,500 that would have cost us $287,500 in the Philadelphia area. (This was 2002, when housing was still booming.) So, instead of being mortgaged up to my genitals, we owe less on our home than we take home in a year.

    And, of course, our property taxes are lower because the purchase price was low.

    The Dana in Pennsylvania (3e4784)

  117. PS, we need to allow states to fail, but then how to keep the liberal idiots from moving and Californicating the next state?

    Smarty (eed5d4)

  118. Amphipolis asked:

    A better question would be – why is business still there?

    Your question is being answered: businesses are leaving!

    Of course, once all of those evil businessmen and wicked capitalists have left, the people of the workers’ paradise of California might find themselves wondering why there are no jobs left.

    The economist Dana (3e4784)

  119. Dana, take my advice. Do whatever it takes to pay off that mortgage.

    There is nothing like the freedom of a paid-off home.

    Another thing no one can have in California.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  120. I lived in LA (unanticipated job change) for just over a year in the 90-91 type timeframe. Even then I thought the writing was on the wall. I had a 25 mile commute to work that took over an hour (and was one of the closest in my group to the plant). Got raped by a $300 “non resident vehicle smog impact fee” to bring in a tiny Subaru hatchback (gotta love all those ‘taxation without representation’ fees, when they’ve got you over a barrel because you have to come in to get a job and can’t afford to sell a functional, economical (and low-emission) car and buy a new or newer used one with the right sticker on it to avoid paying). Got to endure about 11% effective state taxes on my income (single, renter – no major shelters to speak of). Had to share an apartment to make ends meet, when I’d lived in an apartment twice the size, alone, within my means before moving.

    During that just over a year, enjoyed two minor earthquakes, the riots over the acquittals following the Rodney King situation (was flying back to LAX from San Jose that day after a biz trip, our flight actually got diverted to John Wayne because of reports of people taking potshots at planes in the landing path), watched but luckily was not directly affected by droughts in the summer, followed by fires in the late summer, followed by mudslides taking down homes in the spring….and watched the anthill build it all up again early the next summer to restart the cycle.

    When the opportunity came to get back to TX, I didn’t hesitate, and haven’t looked back once. And I’m a scuba diver, so you’d think I’d like to stay near a coast instead of being landlocked in DFW.

    (Diving off the islands is reportedly great, but I couldn’t afford to do it while I lived in L.A. Now I could easily afford to fly in, do a weekend dive package, and fly back home to rest in my 3000 square foot, $140k mortgage home in TX).

    There was some good there – the weather was mostly nice (not that you’d want to open your windows with the noise and pollution and invitation to crime). The beaches had sand and silicone galore to enjoy. I know I shouldn’t judge all of CA by L.A., as I have visited other places and found them nicer by contrast…but I still wouldn’t consider relocating there. The present economic situation is simply untenable – no one could afford to pay me enough to begin to equate to my quality of life here in TX (and I’m not hugely compensated here – into six figures, but *barely*) and with the politics it’s only going to get worse.

    But look on the bright side, Californians. When your state needs a bailout, the rest of us will be for all practical purposes helping pay for your frak-ups just as we are for the GM bailout. So you’ll get to tax me again, regardless. You have no idea how much that thought pisses me off.

    And just in case someone thinks this is a case of a born Texan being homesick – I was born in Ohio. Ended up in TX unwillingly because it was the best job offer I got out of college. It’s kinda grown on me since then. I’d happily consider several other locations both inside and outside of TX (as I said above, scuba diver, and with more disposable income these days as the kiddo get out of college and hopefully doesn’t boomerang, I’d like to be able to do it more frequently/casually)…but CA ain’t one of them.

    rtrski (336865)

  121. When fairy queen and the check bouncer got elected Senators in the year of the woman, I thought things were bad. But in the same year, the voters of Santa Clara County voted to keep a temporary $0.01 surcharge on the sales tax to synchronize traffic lights… that made it continued 8%…. I didn’t see how things would get better when the electorate has no idea of self interest. I hit the eject button. The kids got better schools, better house, smaller commute. We got less taxes and weather that isn’t as nice.

    jkstewart2 (ba0506)

  122. I bailed out in 1998, returning to Texas (but just to make sure I was still living in a people’s republic, I moved to Austin).

    I have never figured out what happened to California, what turned it from a Ronald Reagan-electing state to whatever it is today– a liberal petri dish where liberal ideas are proven not to work every single day, yet no one cares.

    The best explanation I have is the redistricting that took place after the 1980 census, when the state supreme court rejected the new districts until they guaranteed a Democrat majority forever.

    All I can say is there are tons of great states to move to, call U-haul today.

    spincut (8a483e)

  123. Awhile back, I was standing in line in a Starbucks when a guy playing on his iPhone physically cut in front of me in the line shouldering me out of his way.

    I said: “So how’s the weather in LA?”

    He turned and said: “How did you know I was from LA?”

    SPQR (26be8b)

  124. Oh, and a few more things:

    1. Gavin Newsome?!? The drunk Boy Mayor who bangs his friends’ wives — Lt. Gov?

    2. Kamala Harris?!?! The SF DA who refused to press Capital charges against a gangbanger who murdered an on-duty SFPD — AG?

    3. Prop 25? Removing the last brakes on Sac’to taxing power? Why not just arm the Homeless?

    WTF?!? I’d feel differently about a mudslide or earthquake or wildfire, but y’all CHOSE the above outcomes. There’s no help for that, and no sympathy, either.

    A mystery to me how the Southland can acquiesce to the dominance at the top-of-ticket (Gov, Lt Gov, AG, both US Sen’s) by the Bay Area, when the numbers and the money are down South.

    furious (71af32)

  125. We live in IL, which im(ns)ho, is worse than Cali. At least you guys have the Pacific, and the natural beauty of Cali, while we have……um…….what? We have been here 2 years, and my lovely bride still asks why we moved here again. My job moved to St Louis, and the housing/commute was easier from the IL side of the river, but this state is just a mess. The people are great, but I am sick of the unions and Chicago.

    Crusader (707bd8)

  126. While a Libertarian and not a conservative, I’m also distressed at the far-left turn California has taken. But I’m a native Californian, and native San Diegan. I love the city.

    Most of my friends are here. I have an interesting job that I love, and that’s very hard to find in the news business. Plenty to see and do. The unbeatable weather.

    I still have hope California can turn around. We need tough love from Washington — no bailouts — and the new GOP-controlled House will probably deliver that tough love. The lefties will have to live do within the state’s means, and I will love to see them trying to do that.

    San Diego voters overwhelmingly rejected the tax-hiking Prop. D, so the corrupt city leaders won’t be able to kick the can down the road. There’s a chance that the city will be compelled to do what’s needed declare bankruptcy, ridding itself of its unaffordable public employee pension benefits.

    Redistricting is being taken out of the hands of politicians and given to an independent body, not only for the Legislature, but for Congressional districts. This should make for massive changes in the 2012 elections.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (fb9e90)

  127. I saw greater opportunities back east, which put me in the only state more hopeless–Maryland.

    jaffanese american (1fa571)

  128. As for me, the answer is complicated. For one, I don’t let politics run my life very much. I am married to a Democrat, which some people would find unthinkable, and I enjoy the company of Democrats. As I have said before, I don’t like making politics personal.

    This is true for me as well, Patterico. I talk politics on the internet because I don’t in real life.

    I love California. I always wanted to live here, and now I do. I love my house (underwater though it is), I love my little city, I love going into LA for great food and haircuts, I still gasp when I see the ocean driving over the mountains to Malibu.
    I love my friends. I love the weather. I love the schools and universities.
    My kids get to do things like go to the Whisky A Go Go. When friends are in town I can take them to see a tv show being taped.
    The traffic is frightening and the fiscal condition of the state is too, but hey– my family is from Michigan, which is in no great shakes.

    MayBee (212d1b)

  129. Oh- and while I’m fiscally conservative, I’m pretty socially liberal. Not liberal in the “let’s ban Happy Meals” sense, but in the gay marriage, freedom of speech sense.

    MayBee (212d1b)

  130. I am a 3rd generation Californian who at age 44 packed up the wife and child and moved to Pittsburgh, Pa. for a job opportunity. After 3 years in western Pennsylvania, I would do anything to move back to my home state. However, my age and line of work make it difficult to move back.

    We miss our families, lifetime friends, surfing, and the outdoor/active beach lifestyle. We get home to visit a couple times a year, but nothing compares to being close.

    william (789855)

  131. MayBee,

    Freedom of speech is “socially liberal”? Are people in California still allowed to speak of things in public that are not approved by the PC police?

    You’ve probably got a few years before meat and salt are banned statewide. Enjoy those restaurants while you can.

    jwest (ff7f52)

  132. Freedom of speech is “socially liberal”? Are people in California still allowed to speak of things in public that are not approved by the PC police?

    That’s why I mentioned the Happy Meal thing. A lot of current liberals seem to think that control = liberalism. I guess the old time prohibition progressives thought that, too.

    But yeah, at least where I live, you say what you wanna say.

    MayBee (212d1b)

  133. In my case, I’ve been unable to convince my wife to move. Our extended family are all in SoCal, and she is devoted to them.

    Since I’m rather attached to her, about all I can do is to keep working the problem.

    I am a self-employed consultant, so I could work about anywhere with fast Internet access. Plus, the idea of some other state (or no other state) getting the deferred taxes on my 401K and IRA plans has a nice ring to it.

    GaryS (8351a3)

  134. I was born, raised and (mostly) educated in Southern California. At the time of my childhood it was a paradise. I got my BA at UCLA and both an MD and a PhD.

    But by the early 1990s the medical situation was becoming intolerable and the doctor’s lounge was starting to look like the U.N. with a parallel decrease in the quality of care rendered to an unsuspecting populace who have been sold a bill of goods to the effect that physicians are fungible.

    I leave the hospital late on April 29, 1992, and find out that there is a riot in progress. That was it, I moved to Boise in 1993 and never looked back. I now only return to visit my parents and children.

    Flashman (b976d5)

  135. Simple, I still have a job here, and I will stay until that is gone. I understand that the chances of that job remaining viable are reduced in today’s environment and am actually looking forward to that fact forcing me to move. I should be looking for a job elsewhere, but am close to retirement and for now it makes more sense to hang in there and hope for inertia to carry me through.

    thomas (24de1f)

  136. I grew up outside LA, college was UC San Diego, where son now attends. We live inland, in the central valley farming area where residents are much more conservative. Nature is not forgiving and it takes hard work to keep live stock and crops healthy.

    As a college student, with some friends, we crossed from San Diego into Tijuana,Mexico, went East re-entered the US at Calexico, took turns biking through the desert. It had rained recently, so lots of plants were blooming. We drove up into the mountains where we had a snowball fight and ate in a lodge by a roaring fire, then drove home and had a midnight swim in the ocean. Where else can you do all that in one day?

    It is a beautiful state with wonderful people of all kinds. Having said that, my husband and I plan to retire in about 3 years. Texas is looking very inviting. I’m hoping the housing market here will have recovered somewhat by then. They overbuilt in our town and houses are not selling, even at 50% off the peak prices a few years back.

    HChambers (be46f5)

  137. “And I suspect that a failure of state government will result in a federal bailout.”

    I think the bailout is already happening. It’s in the form of grants, edu-jobs, etc., and it’s dispensed without fanfare and without media announcements, but it’s happening.

    And let’s not forget the federal bailout of hospitals by Medicare paying for ERs going broke–that’s been going on for five years.

    Patricia (9b018a)

  138. Igot Bupkis–constitutional amendments in Florida require a sixty percent supermajority, not just fifty percent.

    Milhouse–Miami Beach? You don’t need Miami Beach. Fort Lauderdale has an even better beach, not quite so much traffic, and enough conservatives to vote Alan West into Congress. Also, unlike Miami Beach, Spanish is not mandatory. It’s almost as hip as Miami Beach, too: the European element in MB is replaced in FtL by the gay community.

    And of course it’s got the same subtropical weather. Today’s the last day of above 80 degree weather before a cold front comes in tonight/tomorrow to finally bring in cold weather (lows in the 50s).

    This comment has been brought to you by the Broward County Chamber of Commerce :)

    kishnevi (fb9343)

  139. I live in Marin County, which makes the rest of CA look conservative. My wife and I, sharing a bottle of wine on election night to drown our sorrows, seriosly talked about moving away for the first time. The problem is work…I am in the financial services business, so my other option is NYC, which is the same , but with worse weather, lifestyle, etc.

    Cankle (af05c0)

  140. I work for the City. I’m eligible for early retirement in 5 years. With that pension, I can look for a second career without worrying too much about whether it will pay all my bills.

    Yes, I’m one of those highly-paid government workers, and I’m aware that my benefits have a big target painted on them. As a result, I find myself in the position of the fellow who prays, “God grant me chastity, but not just yet.”

    Karl (ff486c)

  141. A lot of current liberals seem to think that control = liberalism.

    I have a rant coming about the voters of San Francisco, who recently made it a crime to sit on a public sidewalk. (?!)

    But yeah, at least where I live, you say what you wanna say.

    Here, too.

    A lot of it is really about cultural context rather than law, though – it’s not that you would have legal trouble for saying unpopular things, it’s that people would look at you askance and not want to interact with you in response to you saying unpopular things.

    aphrael (9802d6)

  142. I’m aware that my benefits have a big target painted on them.


    I know of several really smart people who worked hard expecting these absurd benefits.

    Someone at Karl’s intelligence level surely thought about a private sector job and opted to stay with the government for these benefits. I wonder how many brilliant people were kept out of the private sector… the engine of our economy, by this understandable factor.

    It’s one thing to change the deal after the government got their labor. It’s another to tone down a lot of these benefits for the future and see a drain of the most talented go into direct wealth generation.

    Loquacious D (b54cdc)

  143. Redistricting is being taken out of the hands of politicians and given to an independent body, not only for the Legislature, but for Congressional districts. This should make for massive changes in the 2012 elections.

    I think this is overstated.

    I mean, look at Tuesday’s results: in the statewide races, other than AG, the Republicans are down by 9.5% in one race and more than 10% in all of the other races.

    Statewide races aren’t effected by gerrymandering.

    Now, some of this is clustering – there are 80% democrat neighborhoods but there aren’t really 80% republican neighborhoods – but even accounting for that, if you draw fair districts, odds are you end up with a democratic majority in both houses.

    This isn’t to say the commission is a bad idea; I voted for it, because I think it’s independently valuable to not have politicians choosing their voters.

    But the promises of competitive districts are to some degree an illusion. There will be some, sure, but not very many (because the goal, written into the law, was geographic compactness, not competitiveness).

    aphrael (9802d6)

  144. Just to clarify, that Karl above is not me.

    Karl (f07e38)

  145. I came out here in the ’70s for college and stayed. It was a paradise. Everyone was from the Midwest or East and were excited to be in this new, seemingly well run and corruption free, state. Good will towards your fellow man ruled the day.

    Today I drive through LA and see where friends and family had apartments then–now it’s completely trashed. Iron bars on windows. English not spoken. Complete capitulation to multiculturalism. That’s what’s sad. We knew California when…

    Now I stay because of family and a job I like. And property taxes back “home” are nine times ours here. Most of my young friends have left, to start their families and careers somewhere more affordable.

    So, for me, the answer is to find some way to do something about the decay. Tea party training maybe?

    Patricia (9b018a)

  146. I have a good job. All my family lives here. I am 4th generation Californian. My wife won’t move out. So, I am going with the flow. Besides, it is easy to feel like a superior being living in a state that elected Jerry Frickin Moonbeam for the third time, and apparently thinks Barbara Boxer is a smart cookie. Beside, my 4 years living in Dallas convinced me that one cannot put too high a value on good weather.

    Stu (3b4dcd)

  147. Our eldest daughter , her husband and two grandchildren live fewer than 20 miles from us. If they actually move to Texas as they have considered doing, we will do the same.

    Bar Sinister (d47790)

  148. As my nic implies, I was born and raised in L.A., but spent my last seventeen years in the San Diego suburbs.

    Lived through the earthquakes and fires and mudslides – went to Jr. High with most of the Brat Pack and got through my teens and early 20s going to those Hollywood venues where Motley Crüe started out, head-banging my way through the 80s. It was fantastic.

    Fast-forward to late ’06 and my husband, an electrical contractor, was getting a glimmer of what was coming in the housing market and thereby the trades. It was going to be bad.

    Six months later we put the house on the market and five months after that we were driving out of state for the last time headed to rural Central SE Texas.

    We have friends and family in California, but to us, the ability to live as opposed to just surviving became more important. The pleasant surprise was I was able to keep my job – doing all the same stuff via the Internet.

    I miss real Mexican food – Tex-Mex ain’t.
    Other than that, I don’t miss much.

    X_LA_Native (8cf3bd)

  149. Just to clarify, that Karl above is not me.

    Comment by Karl


    Loquacious D (b54cdc)

  150. I’ve lived here for 60 years. Family keeps me here. We actively speak of moving (all of us) at every get together. Our quality of life would improve dramaticallly in other states with lower costs of living and more conservative politics. Maybe it will happen. I love this state, but it seems hopelessly mired in liberal quicksand and is sinking lower at each election cycle.

    Mary (45e919)

  151. I was born and raised here and most of my family lives within 10 miles of me. I have a great job with the same company for 15 years that would be hard to give up, but I’ve received job offers from Florida. I can’t stand the weather in Florida and it would put me too far away from my family.

    On the other hand, Arizona is looking more attractive to me every day.

    Gary in San Diego (f49ad5)

  152. I came here in the 50s for college and you cannot believe what a wonderful place this was. I avoided the worst of the subsequent decline by moving to Orange County after my training.

    After I retired in the 90s, due to an old back injury , I moved to New Hampshire for a year. I went to Dartmouth for another degree. I loved it. It was 26 below zero Thanksgiving morning but I didn’t mind. I seriously considered staying as they offered me a job. But my kids are in California so I came back.

    This year, I seriously thought of moving to Arizona where I have some friends and where homes are cheap. I saw the bubble and would have sold in 2006 except I had a daughter in high school. I finally sold $300,000 poorer last June. I think house prices will continue to fall.

    Frankly, I think a lot of people would leave CA if they could sell their houses. I was talked out of moving to AZ by my family because of grandkids, etc. I think I should have gone. What I did was buy a distressed house in the mountains, Lake Arrowhead, figuring that the rioters will not be able to find me. I don’t mind the winter, which is mild here although there was a lot of snow last winter.

    I probably should have left but this was a compromise. I’m not so subject to taxes as I used to be. I expect the services to continue to deteriorate. The contractors working on my new house this summer told me that San Bernardino County has laid off all the inspectors but one up here. We were lucky to get him to come by without long delays. Typical bureaucrat thinking.

    I expect California to continue to deteriorate. It will eventually be a bit like living on the beach in Rosarita Beach, Baja. Beautiful but you have to watch out for the crazies and the services are non-existent. Watch the power blackouts next summer. Brown stopped the last nuclear power plant under construction when he was last governor. “Small is beautiful.” Then he stopped building freeways. That was 10 million people ago.

    Mike K (568408)

  153. SPQR said:

    I moved to Colorado. Colorado suffers at times due to too many left-wing Californians invading and trying make Colorado politics match what has screwed up California. Nonetheless, I’ll never return to California.

    National Review had a really interesting article several years ago (during the Howard Dean craze, I believe) about how Vermont was similarly ruined by transplants from socialist Massachusetts. Vermont used to be a staunchly Republican state (“As Maine goes, so goes Vermont“), with a mind-your-own-business New England conservative ethos. When Massachusetts lefty refugees started fleeing the Bay State for less crowded cities, better schools, natural wildlife, and, yes, lower taxes, they inevitably started running for town councils and school boards, then for state legislature and, finally, Federal office. That’s how you get from Calvin Coolidge to Bernie Sanders inside of seventy-five years. As a native Coloradan who remembers what it used to be like, I fear that you are right, SPQR.

    On the other hand, at some point it is going to be conservatives who start fleeing California, but I guess they will just end up increasing the conservative majority in states like Texas, Idaho, and Utah.

    JVW (eccfd6)

  154. Re: California being bailed out by the Feds (i.e., by the rest of us taxpayers)

    Not hardly. Oh, Obama can drain the slush funds he’s already got, but no bail-out will get past the House, because the taxpaying voters in the rest of the country won’t have it.

    Besides, it would just be enabling the continuation of the existing bad behavior.

    Now as for State bankruptcy, I’ve already thought about that. So, here are my terms:

    1. Everybody employed by the State is fired. Governor, Legislature, Judges, bureaucrats, everyone.
    2. All obligations owed by and to the State are wiped out.
    3. The law books, regulations, etc are wiped clean, down to but not including the State Constitution. That stays, and only that.

    There you are. Basically the State starts over, as though it just came out of Territory status.

    LarryD (f22286)

  155. LarryD, I think you are on to something, but what would have to happen is that those requirements are imposed upon California as conditions of a Federal bailout. Because of that, I would hope that we can hold out until Obama leaves office, and maybe if our bankruptcy is administered under a Republican President and Congress they will have the fortitude to demand that we put an end to our shenanigans (such as outlandish pensions, ballot-box budgeting, deference to racial grievance-mongers, etc.)

    JVW (eccfd6)

  156. 141 Aphrael: I have a rant coming about the voters of San Francisco, who recently made it a crime to sit on a public sidewalk. (?!)

    Even San Francisans are annoyed by having hordes of professional beggars camped out on sidewalks. Most of them are able-bodied youngsters who see migrant panhandling as a valid “lifestyle” in the vein of 60s hippiedom, and frequently harass or insult “straights” who won’t give them money. See The Sidewalks of San Francisco by Heather Macdonald at City Journal.

    Rich Rostrom (f7aeae)

  157. Yes, I should have added my last initial or something.

    I’ve worked in the private sector, including as an office temp. (One of the few they had who, in the late 1980s, could walk up to a random word processor and produce usable documents without extensive training.) After several years of “paying my dues” with the City, I’m now in a position where I get fun assignments, including a term on the Speakers’ Bureau. That experience has me considering teaching as a second career.

    Or maybe start yet another microbrewery.

    …..Karl L.

    Karl (ff486c)

  158. The first slide of this presentation tells some of the story.

    In House races, the GOP gained a lot of ground in California. It just isn’t enough ground when we have so far to go to actually see a conservative California (heh). While a red blue state chart indicates liberalism is concentrating on the coasts, that’s not what’s going on.

    California has much farther to go to emerge from being a deep blue state. The entire country is emerging relatively together. Blacks whites and hispanics voted more conservative. Men and women did. Rich people did. Poor people did.

    2010 was a huge shift that was substantial in nearly every category and location, towards Republicans. California’s problems are severe and it’s deep underwater, and I don’t think it will emerge as Republican before the next shift back towards the left, but it didn’t get more liberal.

    Whitman and Fiorina are simply not the most accurate proxies for this.

    Loquacious D (b54cdc)

  159. BTW, if the NYT was always this straight with information, free of editorializing, they would be making a hell of a lot more money.

    Loquacious D (b54cdc)

  160. If all women in California were as lovely and charming and smart as MayBee, it would be a much better place.

    JD (681598)

  161. My family moved from Tennessee before 1960 to LA. So I went to school. Went to Los Angeles City College and got a degree from Humboldt State (beautiful place), where I was a hippie. Met my wife in LA, got an aerospace job. Bought a house.

    Even in 1990 it was clear that California was on the way down the tubes, so my wife and I moved. We finally ended up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. We love it here. Most of the advantages of Florida but cheaper.

    OK, we got hurricanes, but you get plenty of notice when one is coming. There are many good restaurants, golf courses. The weather is nice, though the summers are hot there are plenty of beaches and air conditioning.

    The people of the gulf coast are tolerant of others (we get lots of visitors) but fiscally conservative and patriotic. The Gulf Coast symphony plays the Star Spangled Banner before each performance and everyone stands up and signs along. Try to find that in LA!

    The real kicker: Taxes. Our 3000 sq ft home is $600/yr and there is no income tax on pensions or Social Security.

    OldeDog (cbe55d)

  162. Our 3000 sq ft home is $600/yr

    You forgot a zero there, right?

    Good grief. I’m jealous.

    Loquacious D (b54cdc)

  163. We paid slightly over $9000 in property taxes on our 9000 sf home in taxes will be capped at 1 percent of assessed value for homesteads.

    JD (681598)

  164. I have lived here for all of my 50+ years and have never missed a vote. The only vote that I cast that counts is POTUS and Propositions. I was married to a moderate Dem for 28 years so my goal was to just cancel her out.
    I plan to stay put so the only option is more cowbell

    SacTownMan (d941e4)

  165. I have a house bought in the 90’s with an ocean view that’s paid for. I have another house in NH. So I can retreat to NH whenever I want to engage in random gunfire or free expression. I am retiring next year after long service as a sex crimes prosecutor, and want to walk around CA during the winter collecting PERS, on which I will not pay CA income taxes because I will be a NH resident. Living well is the best revenge.

    Andrew (597b9b)

  166. Rich – I understand the annoyance.

    But the fact is they passed a law which would make it illegal for someone who is waiting for a bus to sit down while doing so (if the bus shelter is full), and which would make it illegal for a construction worker to sit on the sidewalk next to the construction site while eating his lunch, etc. The police have promised not to enforce the law that way, but the law as written gives them the power to do so – and the voters are depending on the police to selectively enforce it against the people they don’t like and not against the people they do.

    It’s one of the most illiberal things I’ve ever seen an electorate choose to do.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  167. If we withdraw, the left will continue to chase us. Where, exactly, should we draw the line, if not in California?

    Which is a separate issue from the fact that the state government is running us into the ground. I’m not sure how that affects me personally all that much; taxes are high, sure — but I have to weigh that against the advantages. And I suspect that a failure of state government will result in a federal bailout. (I have seen a bunch of people claim today that yesterday’s election results rule out the possibility of a bailout, but for the life of me I don’t understand why.) So our inevitable failure is going to end up a national problem. Count on it.

    why is a bailout necessary?

    What, exactly, could go wrong if the state government shuts down due to lack of money?

    A very liberal society — including its government — is analogous to a set of very permissive, naive and foolish parents. The only thing that will prevent such a household from burning and crashing is if the children (ie, the demographics) of the household are intrinsically resourceful, diligent, reliable and talented. But if many of the kids instead are prone to being goof-offs, slackers and delinquents, you can pretty much kiss that household (ie, society) good-bye.

    And after society collapses, responsible people will have an opportunity to take over and take care of the problems.

    He also acknowledged that our state is likely to end up declaring bankruptcy at some point, and that the future is very murky here.

    Bankruptcy will be good, as creditors can take over and make much needed changes.

    PS, we need to allow states to fail, but then how to keep the liberal idiots from moving and Californicating the next state?

    Allowing the state to fail would be a good thing. It would be a great opportunity for a private corporation to go into businesses providing some of the services that were provided by the state. And regulation would not matter, since a failed state can not obviously enforce them.

    Michael Ejercito (249c90)

  168. #

    It always amazes me how people can afford to stay in California.
    Louisiana is fairly low cost to live in but we are considering getting a home on the Texas side to get away from state income tax.

    is a useful link to compare the taxes in different states. If your state is not on this link change the “RLstate1.html” to RLstate2.html or 3.

    Comment by VOR2 — 11/4/2010 @ 5:40 am

    and yet you vote for and defend the same types who are primarily responsible for the California mess: high taxes, out of control entitlements, and over compensated permanent government employees

    quasimodo (4af144)

  169. Not only do I live here with wife and 3 daughters, but I moved her 2.5 years ago by choice from North Carolina. It is hard to live here, and getting harder, but we do not want to move.

    We love the parks, the landscape, the great food, the culture – basically, life is rewarding here. When I lived in NC and we had a night out without kids, we had trouble thinking of what we wanted to do. In CA,it’s the opposite. There are so many fund things to do and enjoy, compared to the rest of the country, that we have regrets on what we have not had the chance to do yet.

    Did I mention Yosemite? Did I mention wine country?

    PDH (c55c3a)

  170. What, exactly, could go wrong if the state government shuts down due to lack of money?

    It will have some serious ramifications for the economy.

    I am not suggesting Cali is ‘too big to fail’. A bailout is not going to solve the fundamental problem of spending money that isn’t there, after all.

    I strongly suggest being prepared for California to default, when considering where your investments are.

    Loquacious D (b54cdc)

  171. I lived in Long Beach for 2 years as a youngster fresh out of college a decade ago, lured away to the big city from the sleepy surburbs of central Virginia. I had a lot of fun the first year, and gradually grew to despise the place over the course of the second year. A lot of the LA area is falling apart and grimy (at least, unless you have money, which I didn’t). The traffic was infuriating – 30+ minutes on my daily commute between Long Beach and Torrance. High taxes, brownouts, enormous electric bills….near the end of 2000 I called my landlord and asked him if I could get out of my lease, he said yes (but he was keeping my deposit). I gave my notice at work, packed up, and exactly two weeks later I was flying down 10 on my way back to Virginia.

    radar (98f691)

  172. We keep talking about “a bailout” for CA when it’s my thinking that we are already being given lots of little “bailouts.” Bush gave us the first one in 2005 with the Medicare bailout of ERs.

    I work in education. Believe me, we are being bailed out.

    Patricia (9b018a)

  173. I’m with Anne – I’m staying and I intend to FIGHT!

    While many people will HAVE to move to support themselves, for the others, do you want to be the “summer soldier and the sunshine patriot”?
    I moved here from Florida in the 70’s – Pensacola in fact, the most conservative city in a conservative state. My first home was in Marin County where Boxer started her career as my county supervisor. After Marin came San Luis Obisop (“Make-the-World-Go-Away Land”) and now San Jose in Silicon Valley.

    It is indeed a great place with many good people. But all good people have to do is stand by and let evil prevail.

    I have phone-banked for my Republican candidates every election. I flew the Gadsden flag on election day. I talked to my neighbors and colleagues. I voted straight-ticket GOP and against the dumb/stealth propositions.

    I’ll do the same next election and more.

    What are my fellow Californians doing?

    Joseph Somsel (ac62d4)

  174. Awwww, JD. That’s so sweet.

    MayBee (2ac8b3)

  175. Reading these comments, I cannot help but think how quickly the blood thins. Almost all of the commentors are likely to be the children or grandchildrem of people who packed up everything and left their homes for California and those people were the children or grandchildren of people who packed up all they could take and left their native countries for America. In both cases these people were seeking a better life for themselves and their families. The offspring of these people now seem to be saying, that by and large, they are being held in place because it is easier to stay than to seriously, and I mean seriously, consider what life in another place may have to offer.


    Thresherman (0c804a)

  176. Kevin M. asked me, You bring up a point. Why in God’s name would you move from OC to Nevada? Are all the nice places overrun by Dems?

    I could live anywhere in the country (for my work). Nevada has no state income tax (for a tax professional, a huge plus), and the Las Vegas area has good transportation (for travel anywhere). Additionally, over the past several years I’ve had more friends move to Vegas from Southern California than remain here.

    I love the climate here, but I can do without the government, the taxes, and the business environment.

    Russ (45825a)

  177. The offspring of these people now seem to be saying, that by and large, they are being held in place because it is easier to stay than to seriously, and I mean seriously, consider what life in another place may have to offer.

    Yeah, not me. I’ve only lived here a few years, moved here after living two places in Asia, and 6 different states in my adult life. My kids have had an….adventure.

    MayBee (2ac8b3)

  178. by and large, they are being held in place because it is easier to stay than to seriously, and I mean seriously, consider what life in another place may have to offer.

    Ah, but a big part of the reason that the people who picked up everything and moved to America did so was that the life they were leaving behind was really, really bad. For most of us who are staying in California, that’s not the case.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  179. Very true, aphrael.

    MayBee (2ac8b3)

  180. Why is my family still here? I can only think of one reason– inertia.

    okonkwosyams (a23e16)

  181. and yet you vote for and defend the same types who are primarily responsible for the California mess: high taxes, out of control entitlements, and over compensated permanent government employees

    Comment by quasimodo — 11/4/2010 @ 11:49 am


    VOR2 (c99b2b)

  182. I was born and raised in SoCal, and loved the area and didn’t plan on leaving. A few years ago I closed my business and moved to South Florida (I had a new job lined up). I still occasionally go back to visit, but I have no intention of ever returning.
    Miami is probably the most similar big city to L.A. – the main differences are that down here we have rain, humidity, and no mountains. Hurricanes, like earthquakes, don’t happen often. Oh, and housing is far cheaper here – figure 1/3 the price of something comparable in L.A.

    The rest of my family is still in SoCal. My parents are too old to want to move, and my sister is considering it at times.

    NickM (90c402)

  183. The question isn’t really addressed to me, since I’m not politically conservative, but it’s a chance to reflect on why I love my native city

    My answer is similar to Patterico’s. There is certainly the physical appeal of the place — the ocean, the mountains, the sunshine. And Los Angeles is also culturally rich — incredibly so. The diversity is part of it. Los Angeles is a world city, a fact I love.

    Granted, there are enormous problems — sprawl, traffic, environmental degradation, crime, dysfunctional public schools. My children attend the same Catholic schools I did, which spares us from the last. Perhaps I would feel differently about staying if that were not the case.

    My wife is watching “2012” on DVD as I type this. A silly movie, but maybe I shouldn’t complain about traffic. I’ve had some bad experiences west of La Cienega, but nothing like the John Cusack commute I’m watching now…

    Angeleno (6ef5f9)

  184. I kind of alluded to this on another thread, but I have some really serious questions for Californians.

    What are you going to do when the money actually dries up and goes away? This is a serious question.

    You are already so far in debt that, I believe, the federal government can’t bail you out.

    What happens when there is no money to pay police or sanitation workers or teachers. I’m pretty sure you can keep the lights on for a while, but eventually, the out-of-state power providers will expect payment.

    What happens when there is no more money left to pay the government?

    There are many fine and good people in California, but Californians, through their electorate, continue to spend and spend regardless of the consequences.

    What happens when somebody says no more?

    That’s not idle thinking, that is a hard reality.

    Because, quite frankly, despite the wonderful fruits and vegetables you supply, at some point there has to be an accounting.

    Ag80 (743fd1)

  185. My wife and I are at a point in our lives where it doesn’t make sense to move. We’ll be retiring in a few years (maybe ten). We decided when we bought our current house that it would be our home until we retired. It’s a big house in a beautiful area nestled up against the Santa Cruz Mountains. We’re within driving distance of skiing, wine country, Monterey, SF, etc. As much as it pisses me off to think about how stupid the voting public is here, it doesn’t affect us economically enough to pick up stakes. I do miss Spring and Fall on the East Coast, and how green and forested it is, but CA has its charms, too.

    CraigC (4d0b7b)

  186. Many of you mentioned family but they can follow you after you get established elsewhere.America is full of nice people so you can make new friends anywhere.most of my family left the frozen north for the southwest [az,new mex,and cal] and settled in az.Still go back for visits in the summer.

    dunce (b89258)

  187. My wife works in LA-area-based animation and can’t find similar work elsewhere. Should that change, however — and it may — we’re outta this pissoir of a state.

    Mitch (8f369c)

  188. I was born in Pomona, CA in 1970. From 1979 until 1989 I made my home in Rialto, CA

    I love CA, always have. In 1989 I joined the CA National Guard and went for training in South Carolina and then Georgia. Upon completion of training I came back to CA. I found it difficult to find a job I enjoyed that made enough money for me to live on my own.

    So exactly one year after I left for basic training, I left again for training at Ft. Leonardwood, MO as I transferred to the Regular Army. I served in Desert Shield/Storm, then was assigned to Ft. Sill, OK.

    After the Army I returned to CA for about a year, and was unhappy with the jobs I was able to find. Cost of living was so much more than I was used to. So I moved around.

    I’ve lived in MI (1 yr), AZ (7 yrs), MN (1yr), CA (1 yr) then back to AZ for 5 more years.

    My parents had moved from AZ, back to CA to fix and sell my childhood home in Rialto, then retired to AR.

    Almost 3 years ago, my wife and I moved to AR to live around them.

    I always figured I would someday move back to CA. I’ve always considered myself a Californian.

    The entire family I had there (Parents, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins) have all moved out of the state.

    However, I really don’t think I ever will. The CA I grew up in, is gone. I’ve visited my old neighborhood in Rialto. I would not want to raise a family there with the way it is now.

    Dustyn H (c93423)

  189. elation tempered
    by state voters decision
    to bankrupt our state

    ColonelHaiku (beb613)

  190. Almost all of the commentors are likely to be the children or grandchildrem of people who packed up everything and left their homes for California and those people were the children or grandchildren of people who packed up all they could take and left their native countries for America. In both cases these people were seeking a better life for themselves and their families. The offspring of these people now seem to be saying, that by and large, they are being held in place because it is easier to stay than to seriously, and I mean seriously, consider what life in another place may have to offer.


    Comment by Thresherman — 11/4/2010 @ 3:30 pm

    Excellent point, Thresherman. We are all descendants (except for Native Americans) of people who looked around at Europe, Asia, Mexico, and other benighted parts of the globe and decided to take a risk on improving their lives in America.
    As in the case of my wife’s ancestors, those who did not leave in time were consigned to the gas chambers. My Irish grandparents left a life of poverty to come here and raise a family of five, and now there are about a hundred grandchildren and great grandchildren.
    You have to know when to leave. It is a very underrated skill to possess, but crucial nonetheless.

    orcadrvr (5daf3f)

  191. to #184 Mr. Ag80,

    Most of the physically important functions of government – water, sewage, local streets, police, fire – are provided by local governments or special districts. These have separate funding sources – water bills, local sales tax, etc – but not property taxes which are sent to Sacramento first and then returned to the counties and cities.

    We did pass a proposition to prevent the state from stealing more of the local funds – we’ll see how well that works.

    So the “state” could go bankrupt but local government can go on, at least for the important vital parts.

    That’s my HOPE at least!

    Joseph Somsel (ac62d4)

  192. Howdy, I found you on Yahoo but I wasn’t sure I would enjoy this post since it was about but I was so incorrect and thought it was cool. Thank you and I’ll be back as you post more.

    [note: spam link removed. –Stashiu]

    Warren (4a5d6f)

  193. Oh, wonderful; we can’t wait.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (de8c31)

  194. Drew, that made me literally LOL.

    My keyboard is safe, though.

    Pious Agnostic (6048a8)

  195. Because they like it.

    DohBiden (d54602)

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