It seems rational to think that people that leave California are unhappy with the Golden State. However, it appears that many are not — or at least not in a way one would think.
Recent data on expatriated Californians suggests that they leave mostly because California is just too expensive; many of them do not harbor the expected ideological grievances. On the contrary, California "immigrants" become emissaries of the welfare state when they settle in their new homes.
Empirical data suggests that transplanted Californians demand progressive policies wherever they go. The impact of the Golden State's proliferation of entitlement values is exacerbated by the fact that many Californians are moving to conservative states with a lower cost of living like Texas, Colorado, Utah, Tennessee, Montana and Idaho.
Settling there, they often advocate for subsidies and welfare state policies that they are accustomed to.
Derek Thompson, writing for the Atlantic, points out that recently Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a stern admonition via social media addressing Californians relocating to Texas: "…those high taxes, burdensome regulations, & socialistic agenda advanced in CA? We don't believe in that." This warning was repeated in various warnings in Texas newspapers about the evil "California-ing" of Texas.
Colorado, a historically conservative state, faces similar predicament to that of Texas. Migration of Californians to Colorado has dramatically impacted major facets of daily life there. From significant increases in taxes at the local, county and state levels to gun control legislation that rivals that of Illinois, it appears Californians have transplanted not only themselves but also the very policies that made the Golden State ultimately unlivable for them.
While expatriated Californians may be seeking lower taxes, more affordable housing and better job opportunities, they fail to see that in seeking the benefits of conservative-leaning states through handouts, they are killing off their hosts by bringing with them the same progressive social policies that turned California into a dysfunctional economic reality show.
Bottom line: Red states like Colorado and Texas are at risk because expatriated Californians fail to accept a value system that made those states successful. As long as California's exodus of welfare state values continues, the uniqueness of American individualism and market economics will be at an increasing risk of being marginalized.
-- Yuri Vanetik, May 3 Newsmax column