Sunday, January 18, 2009

New Beginnings

This story almost got by me entirely. The Associated Press - by way of Yahoo! News - informed its readers that, in light of "rising taxes, dead-end schools, unchecked illegal immigration and clogged traffic," California leads the nation in the number of people leaving its confines for another state.

The number of people leaving California for another state outstripped the number moving in from another state during the year ending on July 1, 2008. California lost a net total of 144,000 people during that period — more than any other state, according to census estimates. That is about equal to the population of Syracuse, N.Y.

The state with the next-highest net loss through migration between states was New York, which lost just over 126,000 residents.

California's loss is extremely small in a state of 38 million. And, in fact, the state's population continues to increase overall because of births and immigration, legal and illegal. But it is the fourth consecutive year that more residents decamped from California for other states than arrived here from within the U.S.

The reasons for all of these peregrinations are explained later on in the piece:

Among other things: California's unemployment rate hit 8.4 percent in November, the third-highest in the nation, and it is expected to get worse. A record 236,000 foreclosures are projected for 2008, more than the prior nine years combined, according to research firm MDA DataQuick. Personal income was about flat last year.

With state government facing a $41.6 billion budget hole over 18 months, residents are bracing for higher taxes, cuts in education and postponed tax rebates. A multibillion-dollar plan to remake downtown Los Angeles has stalled, and office vacancy rates there and in San Diego and San Jose surpass the 10.2 percent national average.

Median housing prices have nose-dived one-third from a 2006 peak, but many homes are still out of reach for middle-class families. Some small towns are on the brink of bankruptcy. Normally recession-proof Hollywood has been hit by layoffs.

I will not belabor points that have been made elsewhere, except to make the following observation: If Democratic local and state-level political leadership inexorably leads to Americans fleeing to more politically moderate or conservative environs, where will we all go when Democrats - emboldened by their executive and legislative victories - exert their malfeasant influences nationwide?

Apropos of nothing much, today was the "go live" day for a new blog that will document the malfeasance of the world's new favorite African American president. Presently, some of my favorite commentary about Barack Obama is posted at "Don't blame me... I voted for the white guy!" But come Inauguration Day (and don't forget to wear your red) and many days thereafter, we'll be keeping up more than our share of noise as we inform, opine and laugh our asses off.

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