Is California Over?

Why the Golden State is losing people, business, and a congressional seat


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For well over a century, California was synonymous with the American dream. By the early 1960s, it had become the most populous state in the country. Now its population is declining for the first time in recorded history.

The reasons behind California's decline aren't hard to fathom.

California ranks 8th in combined state and local tax burdens, forcing residents to kick in an effective rate of 11.5 percent of their income just for being alive. What do they get in return? Public schools that rank 37th in the country, insanely expensive housing, rolling blackouts, and power shortages. An above-average violent crime rate and the nation's highest poverty rate.

Gov. Gavin Newsom faces a recall election in the fall partly due to his hypocrisy regarding his own stringent lockdown rules. Rather than grapple with his state's sinking status, he has chosen instead to deny reality.

As California loses a congressional seat, Texas is picking up two; demographers predict it may become the most populous state by 2045. Texas may not have the beaches, the forests, the celebrities, or the glamour. It'll just have the jobs, the companies, the forward momentum, and the people.

Produced by Regan Taylor; written and narrated by Nick Gillespie. 

Music Credit: "You Wanted so Much More Than That—Instrumental," by Assaf Ayalon

Photo Credits: Daniel Lee on Unsplash; Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times/Polaris/Newscom; Matthew Lejune on Unsplash; Paul Kitagaki Jr./TNS/Newscom; Casey Horner on Unsplash; Alessandro Porri on Unsplash; Josh Duke on Unsplash; Brian Lundquist on Unsplash; David R. Frazier Danita/ /"Danita Delimont Photography"/Newscom; Daniel Angele on Unsplash; Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash; Gerson Repreza on Unsplash; Vlad Busuioc on Ubsplash; Joel Mott on Unsplash; Randa Bishop/ / Danita Delimont Photography/Newscom; Reginald Mathalone/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Todd Kent on Unsplash; Robert Holmes/ /"Danita Delimont Photography"/Newscom; Joel Mott on Unsplash; Lance Anderson on Unsplash; Jon Tyson on Unsplash; Florian Wehde on Unsplash; Oz Seyrek on Unsplash; Chris Henry on Unsplash; Brian Jannsen on Unsplash; Kevin Ku on Unsplash; APEX/MEGA/Newscom; Image of Sport/Newscom; Jim Ruymen/UPI/Newscom; K.C. Alfred/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Brittany Murray/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Reńee C. Byer/ ZUMA Press/Newscom; Rishi Deka/Sipa USA/Newscom; Kvnga on Unsplash