Wednesday, February 15, 2017

California's "Real" Calexit Problem

Taking its cue from Britain voting to secede (Brexit) from the European Union, some in California want to do the same by seceding from the United States; or, "Calexit" as it is known.  In fact, in the latest polling, 32% want to exit. At the heart of the issue is that the rest of the United States doesn't share California's values.  Of course, the election of Trump reinforced that belief since Hillary Clinton received more than 10 million of the State's nearly 15 million votes cast.  In any event, California's Secretary of State has authorized the collection of nearly 600,000 signatures to put Calexit to the vote on the next ballot.

For all this talk about "values",  California seems to be ignoring the fact that there already is a kind of Calexit  taking place.  From 2004 to 2013, 5 million people left the State; mostly over high taxes (including property taxes) and high costs of living.  In another study, California lost 9,000 businesses in a 7-year span.  Most citing a "hostile business" environment of high taxes and regulation.

California also has some serious structural problems that may accelerate the number of those wanting to do business elsewhere.  The State has the highest poverty rate in the nation at 20.6%.  Contributing to the poverty problem is the fact that the unemployment rate is almost a full percentage point above the national average. Further, thanks to the voter initiative passed into law that essentially emptied the State's prisons of supposed low-level criminals, there has been an "explosion" of property crimes across the state.  In addition, cities like Los Angeles have seen an increase of violent crime after decades of decline.

Exacerbating the exodus is the fact that California's lawmakers just keep piling up regulations.  In 2016, 800 new laws went into effect which the LA Times said "touch on broad aspects of California residents’ everyday lives, or address major issues such as voter participation, and life and death."  And, for 2017, hundreds of new laws also went into effect including a $15 minimum wage by 2020 which is sure to accelerate the business exodus.  In addition, employers are banned from asking any prospective employee if they have an arrest record or court detention prior to being 18.

The bottom line is that Californians, themselves, are making it less hospitable for people to live and work in the state; and they just can't see it.

A final note: While many of the laws on the books are beneficial to some or all of California's residents, many are very burdensome to businesses and contribute to what many already are calling a "hostile" business environment.


Supporters for 'Calexit' initiative start collecting signatures:

California's ballots have all been counted — more than 14.6 million:

An explosion of California property crimes — due to Prop. 47:

'Calexit' would be a disaster for progressive values:

5 Million People Left California Over the Past Decade. Many Went to Texas:

California lost 9,000 business HQs and expansions, mostly to Texas, 7-year study says:

Why Does California Have The Nation's Highest Poverty Rate?

Violent crime in L.A. jumps for third straight year as police deal with gang, homeless issues:

California Unemployment Rate:

California's new laws for 2016: See how you are affected:

How will California's 2017 Laws Affect You:



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