The Californians are coming. The Californians are coming.
Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez recently looked at why so many Californians are leaving the beach, beautiful weather and even their extended families. His conclusion: “They’re leaving California for Las Vegas to find the middle-class life that eluded them.”
Even with a growing economy under President Donald Trump, California’s high cost of living has made many parts of the one-time Golden State unaffordable. Young urbanites face an unpleasant trade-off. Either spend most of your income on housing close to your job or endure a brutal commute to live somewhere affordable. Home ownership is more fantasy than dream.
“But what’s going on here seems different,” writes Mr. Lopez. “People leaving not for better jobs or pay, but because housing elsewhere is so much cheaper they can live the middle-class life that eludes them in California.”
Lopez finds many of those folks attracted to Las Vegas, where home ownership is within reach. Not having a personal income tax also boosts take-home pay.
In the past few decades, Las Vegas’ dramatic growth has mostly come from transplants, people looking and finding better opportunities. Many of them came from places where government regulations and taxes had limited their opportunities.
That’s a lesson Nevada’s politicians need to remember. New Nevadans fled California, because our state offers better opportunities. Remake our state into California’s image, and those folks will have to go elsewhere.
But ex-Californians have a responsibility, too. Vote for elected officials who’ll preserve the opportunities you came for, not for those who want to turn our state into the place you left behind.