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If California Is Doing So Great, Why Are So Many Leaving?
The New Geography ^ | 12/14/2010 | Bill Watkins

Posted on 12/14/2010 7:34:50 AM PST by SeekAndFind

CAbeach.jpg

Superficially at least, California’s problems are well known. Are they well understood? Apparently not.

About a year ago Time ran an article, "Why California is Still America's future," touting California's future, a future that includes gold-rush-like prosperity in an environmentally pure little piece of heaven, brought to us by "public-sector foresight."

More recently, Brett Arends' piece at Market Watch, "The Truth About California," is more of the same. California's governor elect, Jerry Brown, liked this piece so much that he tweeted a link to it.

The optimist’s argument about California’s future ultimately hinges on the creativity of the state’s vaunted tech sector, in large part driven by regulation promulgated by an enlightened political class and funded by a powerful venture capital sector.

No fundamentalist evangelical speaks with more conviction or faith than a California cheerleader expounding on the economic benefits of environmental purity brought about by command and control regulation.

The more honest cheerleaders acknowledge that California has challenges, including persistent budget problems. Arends denies even the existence of a budget problem, demanding "Er, no, actually. It’s your assertion. You do the math." Let me help you, Brett. The non-partisan California Legislative Analyst's Office has done the math. You can find it here. They expect budget shortfalls in excess of $20 billion a year throughout their forecast horizon. This is on annual revenues of less than $100 billion.

Last week the numbers got even worse, as the Governor-elect, Jerry Brown, acknowledged. The deficit may now be as much as $28 billion this year, and over $20 billion for the foreseeable future. This is more than a nuisance. There’s a reason, after all, why California has among the worst credit ratings of any state.

Most people outside of California haven't drank from this vat of the economic equivalent of LSD-laced Kool-Aid. People know that a state is in trouble when it has persistent intractable budget deficits, chronic domestic net out-migration, and 30 percent higher unemployment than the national average. Indeed, California’s joblessness, chronic budget deficits, governors, and credit rating have made the state the butt of jokes worldwide.

How bad are things in California? California's domestic migration has been negative every year since at least 1990. In fact, since 1990, according to the U.S. Census, 3,642,490 people, net, have left California. If they were in one city, it would be the third largest city in America, with a population 800,000 more than Chicago and within 200,000 of Los Angeles’ population.

We’re seeing a reversal of the depression-era migration from the Dust Bowl to California. While California has seen 3.6 million people leave, Texas has received over 1.4 million domestic migrants. Even Oklahoma and Arkansas have had net-positive domestic migration trends from California.

Those ultimate canaries in the coal mine, illegal immigrants, recognize California's problems. Twenty years ago, about half of all United States illegal immigrants went to California. Today, that’s down to about one in four.

The result of these migration trends is that California's share of the United States population has been declining.

What do these migrants see that so many of California's political class do not see? They see a lack of opportunity. California's share of United States jobs and output has declined since 1990, and its unemployment rate has remained persistently above the United States Average, only approaching the average during the housing boom.

California's unemployment is particularly troubling. As of October 2010, only two states, Nevada at 14.2 percent and Michigan at 12.8 percent, had higher unemployment rates than California's 12.4 percent. California's unemployment problem is particularly severe in its more rural counties. Twenty-five of California's 58 counties have unemployment rates higher than Nevada's:



These unemployment rates approach depression levels. Some will excuse many of them because they are in agricultural areas, but many assert that low Midwest unemployment rates are due to a booming agricultural sector. Which one is it?

California's unemployment problems are not limited to rural and agricultural areas. Most of Riverside County's population is very urban, yet the County's unemployment rate is 14.87 percent. On December 7th, the Wall Street Journal listed the unemployment rates for 49 of America's largest urban regions. California had six of the 19 metro areas with double-digit unemployment. These include such major cities San Diego, San Jose, and Los Angeles.

Just as rural areas are not California's only depressed areas, agriculture is not California's only ailing sector. From 2000 to 2009, the only California sectors to gain jobs were government, education and health services, and leisure and hospitality.

California's cheerleaders claim that the state's future is assured by a vibrant tech sector, but the data do not support that assertion. North Dakota's Praxis Strategy Group has performed analysis by job skills. They compare Scientific, Technical, Engineering, and Math (STEM) jobs across states. Their analysis shows that California is the Nation's ninth worst state in creating STEM jobs in post dot-com-bust years. It has produced far fewer new tech jobs than Texas, and far less on average, than the country over the past decade:



In this respect, California's precipitous decline is really quite shocking. In just a couple of decades, California has gone from being America's economic star, a destination for ambitious people from around the world and abundant with opportunity, to home of some of America's most distressed communities. It has been a man-made, slow motion tragedy perpetuated by a political class that is largely deluded.

The cheerleader’s faith in command and control regulation and environmental purity is so strong they cannot see anything that contradicts that faith.

But that faith is misplaced. Joel Kotkin, Zina Klapper, and I performed an extensive review of the economic impacts of one of California's most important greenhouse gas regulation, AB 32, and found that command and control regulation in general and AB 32 in particular is inefficient, cost jobs, and depress economic activity. California's Legislative Analyst's Office agrees, as evidenced by this report.

More depressing still are the growing ranks of what could be called “the resigned”. They simply have given up. These include a business leadership that is more interested in survival and accommodation than pushing an agenda for growth. Easier to get along here, and expand jobs and opportunities elsewhere, whether in other states or overseas.

Yet ultimately California’s future is what Californians make of it. No place on Earth has more natural amenities or a more benevolent climate. No place has a location more amenable to prosperity, located between thriving Pacific Rim economies and the entire North American market. No place has more economic potential.

But unless policy is changed, California's future is dismal, with the specter of stubbornly high unemployment, limited opportunity, and the continued exodus of the middle class. California's political class needs first to confront reality before we can hope to avoid a dismal future.

Bill Watkins is a professor at California Lutheran University and runs the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting, which can be found at clucerf.org.

Photo by Stuck in Customs



TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: california; exodus
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1 posted on 12/14/2010 7:34:52 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Atlas shrugged, packed and left.


2 posted on 12/14/2010 7:36:59 AM PST by Travis McGee (---www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com---)
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To: SeekAndFind

California - great place to live, just wouldn’t want to reside there.


3 posted on 12/14/2010 7:38:17 AM PST by Jim 0216
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To: SeekAndFind
If California Is Doing So Great, Why Are So Many Leaving?

To make room for the mexicans.

4 posted on 12/14/2010 7:39:31 AM PST by The Sons of Liberty (Psalm 109:8 Let his days be few and let another take his office. - Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin)
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To: SeekAndFind

The spin I heard the other day on our local radio the other day was that CA has actually “gained” population.

Methinks perhaps they are counting illegal alien births in that tally.

The only businesses thriving around here are the U Haul franchises.

It will get much worse now that Moonbeam is back AND the idiots here voted to allow the demtard legislature to force any budget they want on us with a simple majority.


5 posted on 12/14/2010 7:40:14 AM PST by jazminerose (o)
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To: SeekAndFind
Welcome to The Pipple's Republik of Kalifornication...

(The pipple are continually being screwed by the Republik)

6 posted on 12/14/2010 7:40:44 AM PST by Wings-n-Wind (The main things are the plain things!)
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To: The Sons of Liberty

If you read the article, you’ll see that even the illegals are saying “No” to California. Wow, huh?


7 posted on 12/14/2010 7:44:23 AM PST by piytar (0's idea of power: the capacity to inflict unlimited pain and suffering on another human being. 1984)
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To: Jim 0216

You can’t find better weather in any other state in the mainland.

The reason why many still stay is because the great weather is probably still worth thousands of dollars in taxes.


8 posted on 12/14/2010 7:45:07 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
The people who are staying are the people who the politicians of California want to stay. The people who are leaving are the people who the politicians of California want to leave.

In a way, it's a consequence of the fact that Americans can move anywhere in America they like. The scumbags like nice weather and beautiful Pacific ocean views as much as any of the rest of us. More scumbags per capita moved to California, just like more of every other catagory of society per capita moved to California. Only problem is, the scum voted their own into the legislature, and that's making the state kind of unattractive to the non-scum, who don't have the patience to put up with it.

California has to hit bottom. It's always been out front of national trends; maybe it'll be out front with the "hitting bottom" trend too. We'll see.

Full disclosure: I lived there when I was a little kid, and I'll never forget what it was like back in 1960.

9 posted on 12/14/2010 7:45:16 AM PST by Steely Tom (Obama goes on long after the thrill of Obama is gone)
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To: SeekAndFind

Worse yet, the liberals moving out of California are screwing up the states they move into!


10 posted on 12/14/2010 7:45:23 AM PST by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: SeekAndFind
Although I think California is one of the most beautiful states I would have moved a long time ago..Give it to the Mexicans and blacks and lets not forget Jerry Brown..Lets see how the place turns out then..Old Jerry will have a tough time collecting taxes from those dead beat Gangs..Let him have it..
11 posted on 12/14/2010 7:47:11 AM PST by PLD
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To: SeekAndFind

California, which has been run by democrats for decades, is now feeling the effects of all their liberal policies forced on Californians by the legislature and a steady succession of liberal and RINO governors.

California now finds itself in the same boat as Michigan, Illinois, Massachusetts and many other states that are facing huge budget deficits and the distinct possibility of bankruptcies.

If it were up to the democrats, they would have turned states like Ohio and Pennsylvania into a failed state like Michigan which has been dominated by democrats for decades.

Such is the legacy of modern day unions.

The remedy is to get state and federal spending under the strictest of control and begin a nationwide campaign for pension reform.


12 posted on 12/14/2010 7:48:08 AM PST by Ev Reeman
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To: SeekAndFind

No one in their right mind would build a plant in California. You’d go somewhere where they want you.

Like China.

California’s problems are self-inflicted and they have yet to face them. The first step toward fixing a problem is admitting that you are the problem and California keeps heading down the same road as stubborn as anyone can be.

They have oil gurgling up through the ocean floor that they refuse to go after. To sit, bankrupt and unemployed while huge resources sit untouched is criminally stupid, and thats California.


13 posted on 12/14/2010 7:48:33 AM PST by marron
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To: SeekAndFind

I left this month and am not looking back!


14 posted on 12/14/2010 7:49:31 AM PST by JRios1968 (What is the difference between 0bama and his dog, Bo? Bo has papers.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Of course Time, that piece of garbage, ran an article about the state that is out of tune with the rest of the country and far behind.


15 posted on 12/14/2010 7:51:13 AM PST by KC_Conspirator
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To: SeekAndFind
This is a public service announcement:

A message for all libs escaping CA, stay North. Do not go the the South. It's humid and the people are mean. You wouldn't like it there.

16 posted on 12/14/2010 7:53:34 AM PST by central_va (I won't be reconstructed, and I do not give a damn.)
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To: SeekAndFind
California's political class needs first to confront reality before we can hope to avoid a dismal future.

That ain't going to happen. I was born here, and have lived 50 years here.

Liberals own this state. The decline will continue because the middle class has no power or representation whatsoever. Ruling class elitists, government, and Mexicans is the future here. And I say Mexicans as in Mexican/Central/South American nationals. So, we have another leftist, corrupt, "Latino" style country that the scum at the top can play with, being created right in front of our very eyes.

17 posted on 12/14/2010 7:54:27 AM PST by ecomcon
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To: SeekAndFind
CA...the detroit of states...or rather, the mexico of states. anyone that wants to see the future of CA can take a cruise down the Salinas Valley.
18 posted on 12/14/2010 7:54:57 AM PST by paul51 (11 September 2001 - Never forget)
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To: SeekAndFind

The talented techies aren’t stupid enough to stay in California.

However, the bums are plenty smart enough to stay.


19 posted on 12/14/2010 7:56:21 AM PST by Soothesayer ("The vile person shall be no more called liberal" Isaiah 32:5-8)
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To: JRios1968

where did u move to ?


20 posted on 12/14/2010 7:57:46 AM PST by ncalburt (Get Even on Election Day)
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To: SeekAndFind

Notice how the unemployment chart coincides directly with Democrat presidential terms? ;)


21 posted on 12/14/2010 7:58:08 AM PST by Soothesayer ("The vile person shall be no more called liberal" Isaiah 32:5-8)
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To: central_va
Amen,we are the most hateful people in the world..and we own guns, more than one a person..with lots of ammo..Also it is so hot here during the summer it gets hot enough to cook a steak on the sidewalk forget about a little egg..We have 110 every day of the summer..So go East young liberal go East..
22 posted on 12/14/2010 7:59:12 AM PST by PLD
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To: pnh102

You’ll notice that very clearly in the mountain west. Idaho, Colorado, and Montana are full of Californians. You’ll notice a sharp drop in church attendance and a rise in liberal policies. And traffic jams. And real estate prices. And property taxes. And depression of income.

The worst are the second home buyers, who buy up “pretty views,” put a house on them (and thereby spoil them), and leave the land empty for over half the year.

All that is subsidized by over-priced California real estate, and the Californians proudly show up and drive down the standard of living of everyone else. And then demand of others to be more like them, more “accepting,” and more open to the diversity and insane spending policies that destroyed California in the first place.


23 posted on 12/14/2010 8:01:41 AM PST by CaspersGh0sts
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To: Steely Tom

“I lived there when I was a little kid, and I’ll never forget what it was like back in 1960.”

####

When California represented the pinnacle of the American Dream.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QCZ_bv9aLc

Sorry, I always have to post that when the subject of the demise of the magnificence that was once California is brought up.

It is nothing less than a great American tragedy. For ALL of us.


24 posted on 12/14/2010 8:01:50 AM PST by EyeGuy (RaceMarxist Obama: The Politics of Vengeance)
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To: Soothesayer

RE: The talented techies aren’t stupid enough to stay in California.

So, why are competitive companies like — Apple, Oracle, Hewlett Packard, Facebook and eBay among others still in California?


25 posted on 12/14/2010 8:02:47 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: jazminerose

“The spin I heard the other day on our local radio the other day was that CA has actually “gained” population.

Methinks perhaps they are counting illegal alien births in that tally.”

What you heard was correct! Even though there is a loss of native Californians to emigration out of this de-developing, devolving Third World country, the numbers of Mexicans and OTMs into California has created a net gain in population.

Give it another 20 years maybe and “Californians” from Mexico will be screaming for a return to unification with Mexico. They probably have their eye on Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, too!


26 posted on 12/14/2010 8:02:47 AM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Travis McGee

Budget woes?
Simple solution.
Create a “Federal Reserve of California” and do what the Fed does....just print money into existence!

Such Obamanomics has been proven successful where tried (Zimbabwee, Weimar Repbulic)

Everyone can have $100/hour minimum wage thus.


27 posted on 12/14/2010 8:04:25 AM PST by OldArmy52 (Obama & the "Dem Party" have proved America is ready for Fascism/Socialism.)
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To: piytar

“...even the illegals are saying “No” to California...”

Well actually according to the article there is still an illegal immigrant tidal wave hitting Cal...

“Twenty years ago, about half of all United States illegal immigrants went to California. Today, that’s down to about one in four.”

One in four is still a conquering army. It is not good news that now more illegals are going elsewhere and turning hillbilly towns in Tennessee into little Oaxacas. California still has a huge problem and expense with illegals.


28 posted on 12/14/2010 8:06:36 AM PST by Monterrosa-24 (...even more American than a French bikini and a Russian AK-47.)
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To: ncalburt

Milwaukee, WI...got a nice job here as an Engineer with the Forest Service.


29 posted on 12/14/2010 8:07:20 AM PST by JRios1968 (What is the difference between 0bama and his dog, Bo? Bo has papers.)
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To: Steely Tom
California has to hit bottom. It's always been out front of national trends; maybe it'll be out front with the "hitting bottom" trend too. We'll see.

There is no bottom. There will be no bankrupcy, no general crisis, no change. There is now no accounability, no consequence, nothing. The Democrats just keep building the beast, adding layer upon layer of armor. How is it possible to forecast 20% deficits forever and the state doesn't fall apart? Bankruptcy is for the despised middle class. It's like another poster above said, the people who are leaving are the ones the Ruling Class want to leave.

The future is continued decline to peonism for the worker, and good times for government. Not just here, but everywhere, eventually, if we don't stop it.

30 posted on 12/14/2010 8:08:08 AM PST by ecomcon
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To: SeekAndFind

Why? Because the people understand Economics 101, even if their government is willfully ignorant.


31 posted on 12/14/2010 8:09:12 AM PST by cvq3842
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To: SeekAndFind

Although I don’t doubt that the weather in California is good, I think it hyped a tad much. In North Texas we have a
very short and mild winter. There is no “hibernating” here. It’s very common on a sunny day in January to get a high of
65 degrees and see people out playing golf.

Does it get cold? Yes. does it get cold and drizzle? Yes. But, in a couple of days it’s gone. Points farther south like Austin and San Antonio are even better. It gets cold in LA in the winter too. I know. I’ve been there in January and when you go out in the morning you better have a jacket on.

I think most California conservatives would find Texas weather very suitable if they tried it. So come out and visit. Oh and one other thing.....

No earthquakes...... No worries about “the big one”!


32 posted on 12/14/2010 8:09:26 AM PST by NeverForgetBataan (To the German Commander: ..........................NUTS !)
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To: SeekAndFind

Because they didn’t feel worthy to live there.


33 posted on 12/14/2010 8:09:44 AM PST by InvisibleChurch (Stimulus ~ Response / "...and that's why the color yellow makes me sad, I think.")
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To: PLD

Achtung Kalifornians; Did you know that Southerners know what the inside of a church looks like, and most don’t give a rats ass about the Kardashians? Once a year these rednecks walk around the woods, armed, and slaughter innocent deer, rip off their skins and eat their flesh, FOR FUN. They do this because NASCAR doesn’t run in the winter. You would never like living in a place like that, would you?


34 posted on 12/14/2010 8:12:09 AM PST by central_va (I won't be reconstructed, and I do not give a damn.)
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To: InvisibleChurch

RE: Because they didn’t feel worthy to live there.

My Cuban friend in Miami doesn’t feel worthy to live in Havana either :)


35 posted on 12/14/2010 8:15:33 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
You can’t find better weather in any other state in the mainland.

The reason why many still stay is because the great weather is probably still worth thousands of dollars in taxes.

And you think our weather is good now, wait and see whats it like once our taxes double!

All the money is leaving, all the dependents will follow the money (or maybe go back home).

36 posted on 12/14/2010 8:16:44 AM PST by ResearchMonkey (Holding Conservative Country in California.)
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To: Monterrosa-24

True...


37 posted on 12/14/2010 8:16:49 AM PST by piytar (0's idea of power: the capacity to inflict unlimited pain and suffering on another human being. 1984)
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To: JRios1968

RE: Milwaukee, WI...got a nice job here as an Engineer with the Forest Service.

You’re not going to get the nice, balmy California weather there, that’s for sure... just sayin’ ...


38 posted on 12/14/2010 8:17:18 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
So, why are competitive companies like — Apple, Oracle, Hewlett Packard, Facebook and eBay among others still in California?

Because these companies are all on board with the leftist agenda, and are on the government's list of winners, and they don't manufacture anything here. Companies like them are tools of a crony capitalist/fascist system.

They like it here.

39 posted on 12/14/2010 8:20:07 AM PST by ecomcon
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To: SeekAndFind
With all the information in the charts and graphs, it appears La Raza will get their wish soon through default. It appears we are well on our way to this.


40 posted on 12/14/2010 8:20:51 AM PST by Lazlo in PA (Now living in a newly minted Red State.)
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To: central_va
Also, we keep our women barefoot and pregnant, wear overalls, We chew tobacco while carrying double barrel shotguns, and have no teeth. It is an EVIL place.

I have an uncle that retired in Los Angeles, sold his house, made a bundle of money, moved back to Arkansas and has a nice little nest egg.

41 posted on 12/14/2010 8:33:05 AM PST by seemoAR
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To: NeverForgetBataan
In North Texas we have a very short and mild winter.

I don't know what you consider "North Texas", but I grew up outside of Amarillo, and wouldn't describe the winters there as mild. We'd get some terrific blizzards in the Panhandle nearly every winter; the explanation, as the saying went, was that the only thing between Amarillo and the arctic circle was a couple of barbed wire fences.

42 posted on 12/14/2010 8:33:22 AM PST by Spartan79 (Malo periculosam libertatem quam quietam servitutem.)
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To: SeekAndFind
You’re not going to get the nice, balmy California weather there, that’s for sure... just sayin’ ...

I won't get the San Bernardino County "holy cow, please crank up the a/c" summers either...all in all, a fair trade.

43 posted on 12/14/2010 8:35:54 AM PST by JRios1968 (What is the difference between 0bama and his dog, Bo? Bo has papers.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Forbes did a neat interactive calendar a while back which graphically illustrates California’s outmigration. Load it and click on Los Angeles County to see an explosion of red lines representing outmigration, much of it to Texas, as well as some inmigration from the northeast: http://www.forbes.com/2010/06/04/migration-moving-wealthy-interactive-counties-map.html


44 posted on 12/14/2010 8:36:31 AM PST by Spartan79 (Malo periculosam libertatem quam quietam servitutem.)
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To: SeekAndFind
No place on Earth has more natural amenities or a more benevolent climate.

Why do people keep saying that? What a load of horsepucky.

45 posted on 12/14/2010 8:39:43 AM PST by Seruzawa (If you agree with the French raise your hand - If you are French raise both hands.)
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To: Spartan79

“the only thing between Amarillo and the arctic circle was a couple of barbed wire fences”
________________________________________________________________________

HaHa. That’s prety good. No, I don’t consider Amarillo in “North Texas”, although technically speaking it is. We Texans know that’s the Panhandle.

Public Service Announcement:

Attention all Californians... Do not move to the Texas Panhandle. Severe frostbite possible.


46 posted on 12/14/2010 8:41:34 AM PST by NeverForgetBataan (To the German Commander: ..........................NUTS !)
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To: NeverForgetBataan

I’d have to agree about the over-hyped weather. I’m a Southerner (by the grace of God) who’s been living in the San Francisco bay area for three years now. I’d take Texas weather 365 days a year over CA weather. People mistakenly think CA is balmy, but it’s downright cold here!

We moved here for my job, but we’re disgusted by the politics and incompetence of everyone around us. We’re definitely considering TX when we join th others and make our exodus.


47 posted on 12/14/2010 8:58:24 AM PST by kayemmbee
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To: Ev Reeman
California now finds itself in the same boat as Michigan

Except, Michigan has now gone from a blue state to a red state. Its turnaround will be much faster paced then California.

48 posted on 12/14/2010 9:03:06 AM PST by CharacterCounts (November 4, 2008 - the day America drank the Kool-Aid)
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To: Ev Reeman
California now finds itself in the same boat as Michigan

Except, Michigan has now gone from a blue state to a red state. Its turnaround will be much faster paced then California.

49 posted on 12/14/2010 9:03:28 AM PST by CharacterCounts (November 4, 2008 - the day America drank the Kool-Aid)
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To: kayemmbee

“We’re definitely considering TX when we join th others and make our exodus”
_________________________________________________________________________

Don’t go to Austin. It’s San Fran-weirdo Jr. Look at Plano, Allen & Frisco suburbs of Dallas.

Remember to write “GTT” on your door when you leave, as the Tennessee volunteers did in 1835. It means “gone to Texas”.


50 posted on 12/14/2010 9:09:48 AM PST by NeverForgetBataan (To the German Commander: ..........................NUTS !)
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