Why Haven’t You Left California?

I have a question for approximately 39,142,991 people: Why haven’t you left California? I mean seriously, why?

My parents migrated to California back in 1972 from Buffalo, New York, lured by the beautiful weather and abundant job opportunities. I lived there for 20 years, and I’m the first to admire the state’s stunning natural beauty. There are very few places in the world were ocean, desert, mountains, plains, deciduous forest, chaparral and coniferous forest can coexist in such cozy proximity.

I’m also the first to admire the incomparable social advantages of the state, with world-class music, dance, universities, museums and other cultural opportunities.

Yet thousands of small business and hundreds of thousands of residents are now fleeing the state. This exodus has ramped up exponentially in the last three years (half a million and counting), to the point where U-Haul literally ran out of trucks in California. Major corporations (Oracle, Charles Schwab, Hewlett-Packard, Tesla) turned their backs on the Golden State and relocated to friendlier climates.

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Why are people leaving? There are a zillion and one reasons, but here are a few:

  • The state is notoriously hostile to business, with a regulatory climate that can only be called punitive (how dare you try to start a business!).
  • The state has become a taxpayer-funded abortion “sanctuary,” which encourages abortion “tourism.”
  • The state is also positioning itself to become a transgender “sanctuary” where minor children can have their genitals amputated without parental consent.
  • Theft has been decriminalized, with the expected spike in crime. Stores in urban areas are closing in droves because they can’t turn a profit or protect their employees.
  • It’s crowded. There are more people living in California than in the whole of Canada.
  • Mismanagement (not “climate change”) has resulted on uncontrollable and tragic wildfires. My childhood neighborhood was incinerated several years ago.
  • The electrical grid totters on third-world status. In fact, California’s grid faces collapse as even as leaders push aggressive measures to transition to renewable energy sources and start mandating electric vehicles.

So again I ask, why haven’t you left California?

I have so many happy memories of the Golden State, it’s hard to know where to begin. As a child, I roamed the dry hills and explored stream beds near my parent’s house, activities that encouraged my love of wildlife and later encouraged me to study zoology in college. I received what I believed was an adequate education through the state’s university system (U.C. Davis, in my case). As a young adult, I remember wonderful trips to San Francisco, exploring the zoo and parks and museums and tourist destinations, attending concerts and ballet performances and lectures.

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I’ve hiked the mountains. I’ve walked the beaches. I’ve marveled at the redwoods. I’ve explored the deserts. I worked, played, enjoyed my family, grew up, got married – all under the umbrella of California’s welcoming atmosphere.

But then things started changing. Thirty years ago my husband and I saw the handwriting on the wall and decided to make our escape – first to Oregon, then later to Idaho. And never, ever, not once, not in the teensiest amount, has either of us ever regretted our decision to shake the golden dust off our feet forever.

And now multitudes of people are learning what we learned so long ago – that the Golden State is yielding the poisoned fruit of generations of progressive policies. As columnist Solomon Green put it, “This once flourishing, desirable, incredible destination is now a decaying, repulsive, and horrible place.”

What’s more, things may never change in California because they can’t change. In a piece entitled, “Here’s why California may never escape radical left-wing destruction,” JD Washington writes, “California may never learn its lesson. The state has become so entrenched with radical ideology that it’s almost impossible for a conservative, even a moderate Republican, to survive in the state. … Those who are working-class people, working blue-collar jobs, they are fleeing the state and the ridiculous policies. Why though? If socialist policies and radical-left policies are for all Americans, why are they leaving? Even if they do not want to admit it, it’s because those radical policies are failing Californians and their families. They are unable to survive the high taxes and costs of being in a radical state.”

Yet even though the state’s progressive policies destroy economic opportunities and drive out the middle class, voters respond by demanding more of the same. It defies logic. The Golden State is the epitome of the old saying about insanity: trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

“This is the state,” opined Tucker Carlson, “in which crime has been legalized and the only crimes are now thought crimes. If you disagree with the people in charge, then you’re in serious trouble. But if you hurt others or steal, you’re fine. You’re part of a protected class. That’s the definition of tyranny.”

The result, as one pundit put it, is California’s main export is no longer high-tech products or Hollywood films, but people. “The state legislature is dominated by Democrats,” explained Ben Shapiro, chronicling his company’s departure. “California is not on a trajectory toward recovery; it is on a trajectory toward oblivion.”

So to reiterate my original question, why haven’t you left California? This isn’t a rhetorical question; I genuinely want to know. You may have unbreakable family ties (I know two couples who can’t leave because they’re caring for very elderly parents, for example). You may have insurmountable financial restraints. You may – who knows? – be a progressive who approves of where the state is heading. If you live in the Golden State and have no intention of leaving, please explain why in the comment section below. If you are desperate to leave but can’t for whatever heartbreaking reason, chime in as well. The discussion can help many people.

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.


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