Why I’m Leaving California

Or maybe it is “have left” since I’ve spent as much time living in Florida as California in the last decade… just need to move my stuff, really.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in Economics - Trading - and Money, Human Interest and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Why I’m Leaving California

  1. ossqss says:

    I only made it through 5 min of the video. At some point, do they talk about the millions of illegals that moved in they pay for?

  2. Martin C says:

    . .wow . . Chief, I understand your thoughts on leaving.

    Amazing, I grew up in Eagle Rock and La Crescenta (in the LA area) from 1960 to 1978. AND I just went back to La Crescenta for my 40th high school reunion a month ago (FYI, I have been in the PHoenix area since 1978 . . .).
    Not as much ‘despair’ in La Crescenta as the video showed. Not sure if it just was ‘hidden’, or maybe that area is a bit more ‘insulated’ from the problem; OR, because I don’t live there, maybe I just didn’t see it.

    Regardless, it is ‘saddening’ to see what is going on . Cailfornia used to be a great state. Let’s hope someday, it will be again . . .

  3. Sera says:

    Paying gang members not to shoot each other? Really?

  4. Larry Ledwick says:

    Serious question:
    Do these politicians actually believe their BS or are they just con men with no conscious, milking the last pennies out of the mark before they leave them sitting destitute on the curb?

    I find it very hard to believe they are financially that clueless unless one of two things are true.
    1.) They don’t do details and really have no clue what is going on and depend on ethics free experts to figure out how to pay the bills until next time
    2.) They really are total lunatics who have no grasp on reality and literally do not see the bus heading toward them as they saunter across the cross walk.

  5. beththeserf says:

    Movin’ yr stuff, lol….mebbe
    camel train?

  6. Ian Macmillan says:

    It is amazing! Complaining about high taxes 15% or less. Cast your eyes on Australian tax rates:
    Income tax rates for 2018/2019 financial year
    $37,001-$90,000 32.5% $3,572 plus 32.5 cents for each dollar over $37,000
    $90,001-$180,000 37% $20,797 plus 37 cents for each dollar over $90,000
    $180,001 and above 45% $54,097 plus 45 cents for each dollar over $180,000
    God help us if we get a socialist government!

  7. Graeme No.3 says:

    Larry Ledwick:
    Many years ago in 1989-1990 South Australia had a major problem when the State Bank went bankrupt. Initially the (left wing) politicians tried to cover up and did so for close on 18 months. Then it turned out that not only the State Bank had collapsed, the State Insurance was loaded with debt which was unrecoverable and various other financial problems.
    In the course of the investigation the judge found one Minister not responsible as she couldn’t read a simple balance sheet. The local paper published an article savaging the State government (bear in mind that Australian libel laws are very protective of public figures) as incompetent, lying, and deceitful. It concluded “that we must give them credit for their affirmative action employment policies as so many intellectually handicapped have been gainfully employed in the State Cabinet”.
    This was way, way beyond what you could print in Australia and not be sued, yet not one member of the Government dared to sue or even defend themselves in public”.
    Sadly the public didn’t learn and a few years later voted back Labor for 16 years. It’s a nice place to live although the population is ageing as the young leave for better prospects in other States (as I did years ago). Indeed I think that the State is close to bereft of intelligence in the public arena. Big business has shut down, also a lot of medium businesses even those that were founded in the (very severe) depression in the 1930’s.
    You’ve possibly heard that our electricity costs even more than Denmark or Germany as both parties think that ‘renewables’ are wonderful (and cheap). Just another sign of leftish mental aberration.

  8. corsair red says:

    @Larry Ledwick :
    Put me down for 2. However, it isn’t simply the politicians. There are an unbelievable number of people out in the real world who aren’t in the real world. Many years ago, when I drove a long haul truck, I was sitting in the lounge at a plant waiting for the loading day to start. Three employees were sitting at the next table discussing something the federal government did, or was supposed to do. One of them ended the conversation with a firm, ” well I don’t know why they haven’t done
    ( whatever it was ). They’ve got plenty of money. ”

    I am still surprised by the number of reasonably intelligent, reasonably well-educated people who cannot connect taxes to the money governments spend. They can’t see that all fees, tags, permits, licenses, whatever a government takes from you is a tax. Some have told me, ” no, that can’t be right. ”

    I just turn my pretty head and walk away. ( apologies to the James Gang )

  9. E.M.Smith says:




    Yes, really.

    @Larry L:

    Think about it from the politicians point of view:

    You are given a check book with a nearly unlimited credit line behind it; and where someone else pays the checks and their name is on it.

    You are given a huge credit card with someone else’s name on it, told the bill comes in a few years after you are gone, and someone else will have to deal with it.

    You are told you must keep 51% of the people happy or you lose your job.

    You know that about 75% of those people can’t do math well and don’t know they pay for bonds. Or even what a bond is.

    You desperately care about your “legacy” and have things you want to do.

    So what do you do?

    Pretty simple. You write checks and issue bonds to keep 55%+ of the people liking you while you spend more on the stuff you care about. Nothing else matters. It is someone else’s problem.

    Want to stop it? Make it a law that the pay of legislators and Administrators is docked 1% for each percent the government expenditures exceeds the revenue. (So expenses run $100 B and revenue is $95 B, that’s a 5% shortfall, everyone gets a 5% dock of their pay. Notice this is NOT budget dollars, it is expenses, actual money spent from any source be it bond or loan or gift or taxes or fees or…) Want to cure the debt? Let them have an extra percent pay for each percent of revenue over expenses – though I’d put a lid on this bonus at about 5%… otherwise you would see gigantic tax hikes immediately.

    @Ian M:

    That’s the State taxes only. Up to 13% for the State on top of about 38% Federal income tax. Then of the half that’s left, you get an additional 10% sales tax if you buy stuff with it… If that stuff is gasoline, you get to pay gas taxes too (and sales tax on the gas tax…). Your car “registration” fee can run into the $Thousands as it is at the same rate at sales taxes, BTW. It does drop over the years ending at about $175 at the end of life (another reason I don’t buy new cars. A $40,000 “cheap” car will get you about a $4000 tax bill at sale and almost that much the next year when you register it again. (Or at least that is how it worked last time I had a new car in about 1986…)

    Then there’s property tax (about 1%/yr) if you own a bit of real estate. There’s a half dozen ‘special’ taxes on the bill too for various “districts”. Then there’s the half dozen more taxes on your water bill and phone bill for God Only Knows what. It is basically impossible to add up all the taxes and figure out the full load. One example: I bought a stick at the hardware store. Just a bit of wood to fix the fence. What did I discover on the receipt (that had not been there before…)? A “California Lumber Fee” of 2 ¢ in addition to the sales tax.

    @Corsair Red:


  10. Larry Ledwick says:

    Oh I understand the “from the politicians view” I just have difficulty dealing with the fact that there are people out there that really do not give a crap about others and are willing to destroy the lives of thousands of people as long as they can build a nice little mansion in the hills.

    I am just trying to resolve the question are they knowingly evil or just clueless and have no concept of consequences for their actions.

    Is it a case of clueless
    1) “this time it is different”
    2) “what problem I don’t see a problem?”
    3) “sure it is going to crash but these idiots deserve it, and as long as I get mine and happens after I collect – not my problem”

  11. E.M.Smith says:

    I’m sure it is some of each depending on the politician.

    Democrats are more #1 (they have worked up this whole – IMHO Bogus – economic theory that governments can just print money in unlimited amounts and it does nothing bad). There are some of them in #2 & #3 though. The “theory” has a catchy trendy lying name:

    Modern Monetary Theory (MMT or Modern Money Theory) is a macroeconomic theory that describes and analyzes modern economies in which the national currency is fiat money, established and created by a sovereign government. The key assertion of MMT is that sovereign governments that are the sole supplier of national currency can issue currency of any denomination, and in physical or non-physical forms. Consequently, these governments have an unlimited financial ability to pay for the things they wish to purchase and to fulfill promised future payments. The real limits to a currency issuing government’s spending are the availability of natural resources, goods, assets, workers and services in the real world. MMT claims that these governments also have an unlimited ability to provide funds to other sectors, and that because of this, it is not possible for a government that issues its own currency to be bankrupt

    Republicans have a fair number who worry about it, but then vote for more money spending anyway just to stay in power. Sometimes they get sold the idea that “it is just for this once then we’ll fix it”… and someday never comes. For that I think you need a 2.b.

    2.b) I see a problem, but not now, and we can fix it later.

    But when later comes it’s 2.b all over again.

    I think that is most Republicans, though a growing number are in #2 and a few in #3.

  12. John F. Hultquist says:

    We visited California a couple of times. Last, I think was 1982.
    There was a big storm, rain, flooding.
    Note the “we” — Years later, my wife went to a conference in SF,
    I stayed home.

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    A couple of numbers:

    California Population (per wiki) 39 Million (and change).
    California State Public Debt: 175 $Billion (and growing $9 Billion / year)
    California State & Local Debt: 1.3 $Trillion

    A bit of math:

    State debt / capita – $175,000 Million / 39 Million = $4,487 / head. $8974 for a family of 2.
    Combined debt / capita – $1,300,000 M / 39 M = $33,333 / head. $66,666 for a family of 2.

    Most of the population has nearly zero money saved for retirement or more income than outgo. The rich can just leave. So who is going to pony up that cash? Eh?

    This does NOT include the unfunded pension costs of the State & Local governments…

    I think it may be time to start writing the name of the State as Καλιφόρνια

  14. John F. Hultquist says:

    Via various reasonings, and with luck, I should be around another 11 or 12 years.
    There is also the possibility that I will be alive long past that time, and not know the difference.
    It does sadden me somewhat that I likely will not see the end of either the economic movie, nor the CAGW movie with its famous cast.
    Soros is now 88, Hansen is ~78, Gore is ~71. Al Gore, Senior lived to be 91. If the young Mr. Gore lives another 20 years he may see the demise of both California and CAGW.

  15. E.M.Smith says:

    Well the CAGW bunch have the goal post set at about 12 years out now, latest and the need for drastic action immediately. I think the next 6 years will likely see the implosion of it as the ever longer history of dire predictions become ever more ludicrous in a cooling world. They’ve already lost most of the American people (vis how many were happy with Trump and the Paris Fraud Agreement dump…)

    I’m also hoping that Soros gets himself in some legal trouble Real Soon Now and his “Organizations” find them selves in an asset forfeiture RICO position… Several countries have already figured this out and acted on it (Russia, Hungary, India that I know of…) and more are catching clue each day. Not beyond the pale for the USA to join the parade…

    For California, it will take a lot more local bankruptcies, some bond defaults, and a failure of the economy to fund the Next Big Thing; then it will go under or change. So far the State has been able to make it by jumping on the Next Big Thing every few years / decades. Gold, Oil, Farming, Arms makers, movies, TV, electronics parts, nuclear R&D, computers, personal computers, medial devices & drugs, “hand computer like devices”, software. But now the things that let it do that are ending. It is very “business hostile” and new business will form elsewhere. Lots of it going to Texas. (It has been China the last dozen years but that’s now off – though Tesla just announced their second factory is going to be in China…)

    So if the next big thing is robotics, I’d look for that to come from Japan and Boston, with significant Texas contribution. California not so much… Our historically “Great Universities” are getting reputations as places brats go to scream and have tantrums. Not the place to learn what it takes to change the world of commerce. (I had to hunt to find the ONE UC campus that was still remotely conservative for my Son to get his Business degree). What use is a “gender studies” degree or any of the other SJW Indoctrination degrees in building The Next Big Industry, eh?

    So were I starting out now would I set up shop in California? Nope. Nevada maybe. Texas certainly in the running. Tennessee has potential too along with the Carolinas. Power relatively cheap. Housing affordable. Laws business friendly. Climate relatively nice. Yeah, you can attract smart folks with big ideas there… and your venture cap funding will go twice as far. See Research Triangle Park as an example of what did not go to California (or most of the growth in Dallas Ft.Worth in the last couple of decades…)

    So as the present crop of cash cows run down (and all industry ages and runs down…) the economic engine of California, oops, Καλιφόρνια, will “do a Greece” and then the debt crushes the last of it. Nobody with a brain will then be building businesses here for a decade or two as things limp along and fester. (Look at Detroit as an example on a smaller scale). We already have a very shrinking middle class and a rising welfare / minimum wage class. You can’t build an industry on The Filthy Rich and the Dirt Poor. Whatever industry you pick. Why hobble your new industry under a 13% tax rate and 2 to 3 times as expensive electricity bills and higher wage costs and incredible compliance costs? Why not remove those impediments (and get a home that’s 3 times as large for your paycheck while you are at it)? And that is before you realize that the “soak the rich” taxes needed to pay off that $1.3 Trillion of debt coming due will be taken out of the “rich” corporations too…

  16. Graeme No.3 says:

    Don’t forget Greenpeace who are running very close to the edge. Fervent ratbags often lose in court and it can only be a matter of time before their Government targets (everybody to the right of Bernie (to use an American point) decide to cut them down.

  17. Steven Fraser says:

    @EM: If you pass through DFW on your migration, I’d be happy to buy you (and yours) a steak & a beer.

  18. Pouncer says:

    Regarding where to set up a new business — for any activity requiring lots of semi-skilled labor I’d be looking at suburbs of Detroit. Lots of vacant housing, fair (if too-long-neglected) infrastructure, and a small-ish city hall to buy off. Amazon warehouse, Dell PC assembly, turning spools of wire into cable-harnesses … Elon Musk really missed a bet by NOT building Teslas in the vicinity.

    Anything that depends on fast internet for my consumers — trying to bump off Netflix, for instance — I’d set up in Houston or Dallas or a city rolling out 5G ISP/LAN services.

    If I were trying to bring to market my anti-gravity drive — I’d be in Tuscon AZ, where the world’s largest junkyard of air-tight but obsolete jet aircraft is standing around in the Mojave. Rip off the jets, install the Dean Drive, and boost into low orbit. Why re-invent cabins and air pressurization systems and traffic control electronics etc?

    My point is, picking out where to open a business sort of depends on the business, right?

  19. John F. Hultquist says:

    Fox New dot Com is reporting:
    Texas Dems under investigation after sending voting applications with citizenship box pre-checked to non-citizens

  20. E.M.Smith says:


    Noted! ;-)


    While there are specifics that drive large segments, there are also general things that matter to all companies. They set a basic barrier level.

    On the news it was just shown that Netflix has bought / started / expanded a film operation for $Billion or so and 1000 jobs starting now. There is no place with as much skill and varied terrain and shooting locations as California. It has ALL the specific advantage for media (including warehouses full of hard to find props and Foley kit). Netflix is doing this in Albuquerque New Mexico…

    Now New Mexico has some nice scenery, but limited variety. It also lacks a lot of the ‘prop shops’ and related. Just the “car collectors” choices of era of vehicles in California is stunning. But it is “good enough”. So what swung the deal? What was being talked about? N.M. has spent a few years reducing tax burdens, cutting regulations, becoming business friendly…

    So yeah, specifics matter; but only after the basic level of sanity and sanitation are met…

  21. E.M.Smith says:

    Odd… this comment by John F. Hultquist went to SPAM

    Yet had the same name, email address & IP as others that didn’t get flagged. I can’t see anything in the text that would be an issue:

    Fox New dot Com is reporting:
    Texas Dems under investigation after sending voting applications with citizenship box pre-checked to non-citizens

  22. philjourdan says:

    NO matter how stupid, or idiotic, the collapse of California will be blamed on Republicans.

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