California's Gold Rush Has Been ReversedHere in Virginia, there'll be no end to investment in companies that provide sustenance to an ever expanding federal government. It's Big Business to make money off of Big Government. So it's fair to say that Arlington and Fairfax and Prince William will continue to thrive.
By Devin Nunes, writing in the Wall Street Journal
On Jan. 24, 1848, James Wilson Marshall found gold at Sutter's Mill, in Coloma, Calif., sparking a mad rush of some 300,000 people desiring to strike it rich. San Francisco grew from a tiny hamlet to a boomtown in no time, and in 1850 California entered the Union as the 31st state.
With this history at their back, state leaders might have understood that people have a propensity to get up and move when a better life is to be had elsewhere. But no. After more than 150 years of being a destination, California is becoming a place entrepreneurs, investment capital and the hardy workers who made it a global leader in agriculture, technological innovation and scientific research are fleeing. This exodus is the marker of something deeper than a national recession. It's a sign that the attempts by state leaders to spend their way back to prosperity are killing California.
[J]ust as a fallen tree can divert the flow of water in a creek, bad economic policies divert the flow of investment. Entrepreneurs and investors, seeking the path of least resistance, leave when it becomes easier to make a living in more business-friendly states. In 2000, according to the state's Department of Finance, about 150,000 people moved into California. But in the years that followed the in-migration slowed, and in 2005 it reversed, when a net 52,000 people moved out. In 2008, the outflow topped 135,000 people.
Consequently, Idaho, Utah and Wyoming all have unemployment rates around 5% at a time when California is suffering an unemployment rate of 9%. Californians are moving east and creating jobs in their new home states. [link]
But the propensity in Richmond these days is toward more taxes and more regulations and "smart growth" and environmental restrictions and on and on. We're chasing after a chimera in the form of something called global warming. We fight against the development of our massive uranium fields - without a sound basis outside of the comic books to fight it. We latch onto silly notions like carbon sequestration so as to appease leftists, and make coal more expensive - and our coal companies less profitable - in doing so. We look to expand the role of (very expensive) public schools despite the fact that it is generally agreed that our school systems are utter failures. And, less we forget, we ban smoking. And feel good doing it.
All of which make entrepreneurs look to more fertile, less cumbersome ground. But not Idaho, Utah and Wyoming. We're talking China, Indonesia, and Korea.
All of which make us, as time goes on, ... California.
Still got a few investment dollars? Look to the thousands of companies that live off of Washington largesse up in northern Virginia. Beyond that? Look to Shenzhen. Look to the future. A futre that grows ever more dim here.