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Californians – Fix Your Own State. Enough Already.

*Note to all my Conservative friends in California. I am not talking to you.

I have one thing to say to almost all 53% of Californians considering leaving the state. Fix your own house. Unless you are willing to move to another state and vote for the policies that keep housing costs low, homelessness under control, businesses interested in locating there and personal freedom at the maximum level stay where you are.

A new survey, the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer only reaffirms my position. Judging by the responses, it is as if citizens of this state by and large see themselves as victims. Like they have completely forgotten they put the yahoos in office who have made the policies that have caused housing prices, homelessness and other problems to skyrocket.

One of the things I love about federalism is that each state gets to be a little policy laboratory. And from what I see in this study, deep blue progressive policy can create learned helplessness across the entire population of a state.

Not surprisingly, Californians have seriously low trust scores across a range of institutions. In some cases the scores are double digits below the national average:

I guess this is not surprising if you live in a state where:

  • 62% of residents feel the best days of living in the state are behind them
  • 72% think the cost of housing is too high and see this problem as the biggest stumbling block to further economic growth
  • 62% see homelessness as a very serious issue
  • 53% of residents, including 63% of Millennials are considering moving out of state

Real great advertisement for progressive policy, right? The kicker is 53% of residents feel it is up to the federal government to fix California’s problems. The same California that stands in open defiance of federal immigration law and refuses to allow its National Guard to help protect the border. That California.

Now Kamala Harris’ ridiculous rent subsidy legislation makes sense. Apparently, the rest of us who don’t have state and local policies that drive housing through the roof should subsidize California’s disastrous policies. Just like taxpayers in low tax states are supposed to subsidize high SALT deductions in deep blue states. No thank you.

The resident’s trust in state and local government is so low, that a 66% see business as responsible for leading improvement in California. A full 63% say business owes it to the public to contribute more. Owes it. Yet they are increasingly ambivalent to the same businesses that drive their economy.

Still, fixing California is up to business. Not Californians through their elected officials:

  • 59% feel corporations need to contribute more money and time to address community issues
  • 67% think business leaders in the tech industry should be doing more to improve California
  • 68% think the tech industry is underregulated with 58% wanting more regulations.

What do they want these companies to do? Build corporate housing like the mills did back in the day? Specifically, other than handing more money over to the ineffective state and local governments that have created the current mess, what do residents of California want from businesses?

Tech workers in the state apparently don’t even feel like they can get up off their couch to be active in their own community unless their employer “empowers” them:

My employer has never needed to “empower” me to be active in my community. Whether through the church, my children’s schools or my own interests, participating in the community you live in does not require anyone else to “empower” you. Use your free time, your money and talent and just do it. You don’t need peermission and businesses are not charities.

The overwhelming impression from this study is that California has some serious and endemic issues. And the residents are looking outward towards business and relocation to solve them. I have a different prescription.

Stay where you are. Do something to fix the problems that caused this. California has a robust referendum system. Use it. Give yourself some legitimate policy choices in your elected officials by stopping the top two election system. Repeal the ballot harvesting law that allows activists to manipulate your elections. Open up voter registration so that residents do not need to declare a party to vote.

Nothing in this study leads me to believe the majority of residents or those who want to relocate see that their elected officials and policy preferences over a period of decades caused this mess. That is just disturbing.

The only bright spot for me is I live in a state 2500 miles away. There is a lot of space for these refugees from the great blue failure to invade before they get to mine. Plus 53% of Californians think marijuana fuels some or a great deal of their local economy and that is not even possible in Georgia.

Sorry, Colorado. You just may be destination #1.

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