More and more people are realizing that California isn’t for them anymore. They’re tired of the Legislature pushing policies that don’t align with their own values. They’re tired of putting up with infrastructure failing statewide. They’re tired of the cost of everything continuously going up.
Where are many Californians looking to move? Texas.
Here are 5 reasons why:
1. Texas understands that its residents want to keep as much of their hard-earned money as possible. California wants to take as much of its residents’ money as possible.
Texas understands that quality of life matters. That’s one reason why “the Lone Star State” has zero state income tax.
California, on the other hand, has a top marginal income tax rate of 13.3%, which is the highest in the nation. Further, the base sales tax rate of California is 7.25%, also the highest in the nation. The Texas state sales and use tax is 6.25%.
The savings from having zero state income tax and a lower sales tax quickly adds up.
2. California lawmakers pursue delusional ambitions rather than address far more important and pressing issues. Texas lawmakers want Texas residents and businesses to thrive.
One of the biggest problems California is facing is homelessness.
In 2019, California’s homeless population increased by 21,306 people, more than the total increase of every other state combined. The total number of homeless people in “the Golden State” as of 2019 is estimated to be 151,278.
Does California Governor Gavin Newsom care about the fact that the increase in California’s homeless population is solely responsible for the nationwide rise in overall homeless? Seemingly, the answer is no.
So then, what does Governor Newsom care about?
According to an executive order he recently issued: “Requiring that by 2035, all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California be zero-emission vehicles.”
That’s quite an ambitious goal, considering that California has some of the worst infrastructure in the United States (discussed below).
Even though Texas is the second most populous state in the nation, California being the first, Texas does a much better job managing its homeless population than does California.
According to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, as of January 2019, Texas had an estimated 25,848 experiencing homelessness on any day. In other words, the average daily total of Texas’ homeless is only slightly more than California’s increase in homeless in 1 year.
Texas pursues realistic policies that have a positive, meaningful effect for its residents, such as its policies toward business.
As a result of these policies, it’s no surprise that Texas is continuously ranked as the best state for businesses.
3. California has no interest in fixing and upgrading its electricity grid and other infrastructure. Texas leads the nation with its investment in electricity infrastructure.
California is the only state in the country that operates its electrical grid like a third-world country. No other state intentionally shuts off parts of its power grid during a heatwave, preventing residents from running their air conditioning units when air conditioning is needed the most.
In August of 2020, California had to impose rolling blackouts because the state had failed to maintain enough reliable power from natural gas and nuclear power plants, and did not purchase enough electricity from other states to meet demand.
California regulatory and environmental restrictions make it extremely difficult to construct new power plants.
According to an analysis done by the National Electric Testing, Research and Applications Center at Georgia Tech: unabated power outages in Northern California caused by electric-wire failures could double in the next 15 years and quadruple in the next 30 years.
As a result of California’s problems with its electricity infrastructure, and its overall mismanagement of its power, California residents pay 55.8% more for electricity than the average of all other states excluding California.
How does Texas approach electrical infrastructure, compared to California?
First, of the 48 contiguous states, Texas is the only state that operates its own power grid.
Second, Texas encourages the construction of new power generating plants to meet both current and projected demands.
Third, in spite of the widely-held misconception that Texas does not care about the environment and indiscriminately burns coal for its electricity needs: in 2019, Texas generated more power from renewable energy sources than it did from coal.
With regard to electricity generated by wind-power: Texas leads the nation.
4. In California, only high-income earners can live comfortably. In Texas, earners of an average income can live comfortably.
The cost of living in California, most would say, is insane.
According to a 2020 cost of living index, the average city in California has a 38% higher cost of living than the average city in the United States.
According to the same 2020 cost of living index, the cost of living in Texas is 8% lower than the national average.
5. California will only become worse, while Texas will continue to become better.
California continues to drive businesses out of the state. And, when businesses leave, they take jobs with them.
Already, familiar names such as Joe Rogan and Elon Musk have fled California.
Joe Rogan’s reason for leaving California, specifically, Los Angeles:
When you look at the traffic, when you look at the economic despair, when you look at the homelessness problem that’s accelerated radically over the last six, seven, 10 years, I think there’s too many people here. I think it’s not tenable, I don’t think that it’s manageable.
Elon Musk expressed, as one of his reasons for fleeing California, is that the state has become complacent with respect to attracting and retaining tech businesses in Silicon Valley.
California has shown no signs that it intends to cease pursuing pie-in-the-sky policies or that it will make meaningful improvements to its infrastructure. The cost of living in California will just keep going up and up while the quality of life will just keep going down and down.
The sentiment of residents fleeing California has been summed up in one adapted expression:
Will the last person leaving turn out the lights?