The California Strangler
The book Why Nations Fail suggested failed states are a result of the deliberate, purposeful, and premeditated efforts of those in power who act in a way intended to preserve their power.
California has become a failed state, literally.
While I lived on the central coast—and based on the weather, scenery, and my work, would have happily done so for decades—things have changed as a result of ground truths which confirm the Why Nations Fail hypothesis. Here’s a bit on the future of the already-underway California exodus from the Wall Street Journal:
And things will only get worse in the coming years as Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and his green cadre implement their “smart growth” plans to cram the proletariat into high-density housing. “What I find reprehensible beyond belief is that the people pushing [high-density housing] themselves live in single-family homes and often drive very fancy cars, but want everyone else to live like my grandmother did in Brownsville in Brooklyn in the 1920s,” Mr. [Joel] Kotkin [a Chapman University demographer] declares.
“The new regime”—his name for progressive apparatchiks who run California’s government—”wants to destroy the essential reason why people move to California in order to protect their own lifestyles.”
Taxes, cost of living, bureaucratic governmental red-tape (destroying the energy and agricultural sectors), and crony capitalism are working against a California recovery. Where will the exodus end?
Mr. Kotkin lists four “growth corridors”: the Gulf Coast, the Great Plains, the Intermountain West, and the Southeast. All of these regions have lower costs of living, lower taxes, relatively relaxed regulatory environments, and critical natural resources such as oil and natural gas.
Take Salt Lake City. “Almost all of the major tech companies have moved stuff to Salt Lake City.” That includes Twitter, Adobe, eBay and Oracle.
Then there’s Texas, which is on a mission to steal California’s tech hegemony. Apple just announced that it’s building a $304 million campus and adding 3,600 jobs in Austin. Facebook established operations there last year, and eBay plans to add 1,000 new jobs there too.
The lesson is obvious: when freedom is choked by government-led repression, capital flees. And government-led repression is led by individuals within the government.