Editors’ Note: We’d like to welcome David Franke to Richardcyoung.com. David Franke was one of the founders of the conservative movement in the late 1950s and early 1960s, starting his media career at Human Events and National Review (editorial assistant to William F. Buckley Jr.). His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Esquire, and many other publications. His books have included Safe Places, The Torture Doctor, Richard C. Young’s Financial Armadillo Strategy (as co-author to Dick Young), and America’s Right Turn (with Richard A. Viguerie). He was Senior Editor of Silver & Gold Report in the 1980s, and served as the writer/editor of John Naisbitt’s Trend Letter in the 1990s. A native Texan, David now lives in Virginia’s beautiful Shenandoah Valley.
If you’re not familiar with that rather antiquated saying—“chickens coming home to roost”—it means that eventually, your bad deeds will come back to haunt you, as dependably as young free-range chickens return to their nest at night. “You reap what you sow.” “What goes around, comes around.” Today we’re more likely to call it karma.
So why am I applying this to California?
Preliminary census data suggests that California will lose a congressional seat for the first time in its history after this year’s U.S. Census count and the resulting reapportionment. Texas, meanwhile, is poised to gain three congressional seats.
California and Texas are polar opposites, politically and culturally. California is reliably and increasingly Democratic and leftist, harshly anti-business in its regulatory and tax policies. Texas is Republican and conservative and is generally considered the most business-friendly of the 50 states. California’s Democratic, leftist, and anti-business chickens are coming home to roost.
This is more significant than just our most populous state losing one seat. It’s the trend that counts, and the fact that the tide is now shifting away from states like California. And it is a national trend. States like New York, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, and Rhode Island are poised to lose one seat each. States that are likely to gain seats following the 2020 census include Arizona, Florida, Montana, and North Carolina. As a general rule, the liberal states are losing, while the conservative states are gaining.
Who’s leaving California? And who’s still moving there?
If you’re not presently living in California, why would you want to move there? Granted, it is one of the most beautiful of our 50 states, with a wide variety of terrain, and has what most people would consider the best climate in the U.S.—when it’s good. But it is also a state that is taxing and regulating its citizens like few others, where the cost of living is sky-high and headed for the stratosphere, a one-party (and corrupt) state, and a state hostage to wildfires, floods, droughts, and earthquakes.
A 2019 report from the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office reveals that California had a net loss of 1 million residents between 2007 and 2016—6 million moving out of the state, 5 million moving in. We’ve seen countless stories about those moving out, but those millions moving in (at least the legal immigrants) may be a surprise. The difference between the two groups of migrants is revealing.
The persons leaving California moved primarily to Texas, Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon, in that order. And they tended to be younger and poorer than those coming into the state, with New York, Illinois, and New Jersey leading the way west. In short, lower-income residents moved out, and higher-income folks from high-income states moved in. Presumably they are already accustomed to being fleeced, and can afford to be fleeced because of their high incomes. They won’t be disappointed in California, where the top 1% contribute nearly half of the state’s progressive income tax.
It’s little surprise that a 2019 poll by Edelman Intelligence found that 53% of California residents are considering leaving, citing the high cost of living as the main reason, and the high cost of housing the most serious problem of all. This is confirmed by another poll, taken by the Bay Area Council, which found that 46% of that area’s residents are considering leaving. And again, for the fourth year in a row, the housing crisis was the top reason. Many parents find that their children have had to move to a more affordable place, and now they want to move to be near their children. Where do they plan to go? 61% say out of state, 24% somewhere else in California.
The housing crisis helps explain why tens of thousands of homeless people are now found on the streets of major cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, even as Bloomberg reports that 23 of the 100 richest places in the U.S. are in California, more than in any other state. The situation has become surreal when the median monthly rental price for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco is $3,700. California is fast becoming a state populated by the very rich and the very poor, with those between trying to escape whenever they can.
The News is Not All Good
The problem is that many of those refugees from California keep some of their liberal California viewpoints after they move to their new homes. They don’t seem to understand cause and effect—that California’s leftist policies are the reason they had to move.
A 2019 relocation study by Texas Realtors found that almost 65,000 Californians moved to Texas in 2017. Many of those with IT jobs moved to Austin because of its IT orientation and the jobs available there. Austin is the blue mecca in red Texas, and my hunch is that these displaced Californians will make Austin even more liberal. And Austin is not unimportant—it will likely be the nation’s 10th largest city after the 2020 census. This is just one example.
One solution for Republicans in states like Texas is to get serious about targeting Hispanics (the proper term for Texans of Mexican ancestry is Tejanos). After all, legal Latinos are very entrepreneurial and socially conservative. Now, I have never voted for a Bush for any office, but I have to grant him this: With his campaigns for governor of Texas, George W. Bush courted the Latino vote like no Republican before or after him. The result was that he won 49% of the Latino vote in his 1998 bid for re-election.
Texas is unique, and I don’t see Republicans in the rest of the U.S. achieving that level of success. But even if they did half as well, the Democratic Party would be toast, given that Latinos are now the largest minority group in a nation that’s divided roughly 50-50. It’s worth considering.