The Los Angeles Times recently published an article suggesting that the wealthy and educated are moving to California, while the poor and middle-class – and those with less than a bachelor’s degree – are headed out.
“The state attracts a steady stream of college graduates, especially from the East Coast, even as many less-educated residents move to neighboring states — and to Texas — in search of a lower cost of living,” The Times reported.
For years, California has been billed as the Golden State, the place to live, full of sunshine, movie stars and opportunity. People looking for a better lifestyle, higher paying jobs, and to escape snow storms have sought out the region with high hopes and their hard-earned savings. But that dream quickly turns into a nightmare for those not prepared for the high cost of living or the progressive politics.
“The cost of living, especially housing, is what stops the whole world from moving to California,” said USC demographer Dowell Myers. “Otherwise, who wouldn’t prefer California? We have superior weather. We have mountains and oceans. And we have better jobs — better paying and more specialized, whether in tech, entertainment, the arts or medicine.”
But, not all who move to Cali stay there, and not just because of the crazy cost of living. Paul McDermott moved there from Philadelphia but has since moved to Nevada. After paying $1,900 a month rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Huntington Beach, he found a much cheaper and nicer place in Henderson, NV.
“After 22 years in California, the politics, restrictive gun laws and the ridiculously high cost of living drove me out,” McDermott said. His job required he carry a concealed gun, but getting the permit was a nightmare, and then there was the straw debacle: “there was the whole California mind-set: The final ‘straw,’ if you will pardon the pun, was when they restricted straws in restaurants … I mean, seriously?”
Educated In, Middle-Class Out
Let’s face it, to live in the Golden State, you have to have money – or get aid. Rent, utilities, gasoline, food, just about everything is more expensive than elsewhere. It makes sense that those with higher education and more income would move there, as they can easier afford the cost of living. But what is that doing to the state?
“Young people do most of the moving,” Myers said. “They hunt around, and California is a big magnet. But then they face severe housing prices here, so the families are being lost. We are not growing a complete society.”
Also, the baby boomers are retiring and staying around. So, you have the young, career-minded individuals and couples, and then the retired folk, but no families. What happens to the workforce, especially for jobs the better educated won’t do?
“We need low-skill workers too — hospital orderlies, school bus drivers, nannies and gardeners,” Myers said. It’s not likely someone with a B.S. is going to want to drive a school bus for half the pay they’d get in their field of choice.
A large portion of the state, the Central Valley, is agrarian and, due to the recent years of severe drought and other political issues, many farmers have packed up their tractors and moved to greener pastures. Although one of the poorest areas in California, it is also extremely vital not only to the state’s economy, but to the rest of the nation as well. As rent and the cost of living continues to soar, and more families and middle-income leave the area, what will happen to the farms?
They can boast all they want about attracting higher educated and wealthier citizens, but while they’re paying $2,500 for a studio apartment and working on the 15th floor in downtown San Francisco, who will be driving the taxis, teaching the students, tending the farms and ranches, cleaning the posh apartments? Who will work at the stores and restaurants where they want to spend all their wealth?