I'm told that U-Haul in California can't keep up with the demand from people hiring their trucks and trailers to pack up and leave for greener pastures. That trend hasn't been helped by two recent and very public departures of two very influential Californian residents; Elon Musk and Joe Rogan. Musk, the South African born CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, is one of the wealthiest men in the world. He's also one of the most vocal and was never going to leave quietly. In a series of tweets in May 2020, Musk threatened to move the company's headquarters to Texas or Nevada, where shelter-in-place rules were less restrictive. "Frankly, this is the final straw. Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately," Musk tweeted. A few months later he sold two of his homes in Silicon Valley and announced he was moving to Texas and building a new plant in Austin.
Popular podcaster Joe Rogan of “The Joe Rogan Experience” cited overpopulation, traffic, and “the need for freedom” as the reasons he has been persuaded to move from his current home of Los Angeles to Texas.“I just want to go somewhere in the center of the country, somewhere it’s easier to travel to both places, and somewhere where you have a little bit more freedom,” he explained on his podcast.
Officially, California added 21,200 people from July 2019, to July 2020, increasing the state’s population a paltry 0.05% to 39.78 million people — still by far the most of any state. But the bigger news is that 135,600 more people left the state than moved here in that period. It’s only the 12th time since 1900 the state has had a net migration loss, and the third largest ever recorded. *
That's peculiar when you consider the many positive things California has going for it. Historically, people have flocked to the Golden State for its prosperity, its beauty, its creativity, its diversity and its weather.
So, what are the primary factors people are giving for leaving the Golden State? I'm no expert, but I would suggest at least 5 Big factors.
- Cost of Living - the high price of housing and taxation is driving people to cheaper States
- Progressive Politics - California has been a Blue State for years and that doesn't look like changing soon, which makes Conservatives especially, feel controlled, labelled and claustrophobic.
- Erosion of Morality - Many people have a fear that raising kids in a culture that has lost its moral compass is not worth all the beauty and opportunity that California has on offer.
- De-Urbanization - Covid has swiftly reversed the pull that the urban centers of Los Angeles and San Francisco have had as major companies have allowed their employees to work remotely. Why live in expensive cities when you can earn the same and live in a small town in another State?
- Zeitgeist - This one is harder to put your finger on because there's no stat you can point to. But it's in the air. It's where the mind tends to go and where the conversation tends to flow. It's a pervading mood. Basically, it's become fashionable to hate on the Golden State.
- It should involve people calling on the Lord in prayer to awaken and revive California again
- It should involve Californians consecrating themselves to God's calling on them to make disciples and to 'seek the peace and prosperity of the place where He has carried us into exile.'
- It could involve calling people from other States and nations into the mission field of California.