September 27, 2012

"The Great California Exodus: A Closer Look"

The Manhattan Institute has a new report out with lots of statistics on population shifts in and out of California over the last 50 years. Unfortunately, the data tables are represented in image format so I can't graph them easily.

But one thing that is pretty clear is that over the last half century, domestic migration in and out of California has been sensitive to economic conditions, such as housing prices and unemployment.

In contrast, foreign immigration until recently appeared to be relatively insensitive. It simply mounted upward with the number of chains in the chain migration. After all, California was better than wherever they were from, so why not?

This reminds me of a perceptive bit of indignant criticism I was subjected to a number of years ago by somebody who posited, as I vaguely recall, that the worst immigration restrictionists were the Californians, such as myself, Dennis Mangan, and Mickey Kaus.

Our underlying sin was that we liked California and preferred, all else being equal, that the privilege of moving to California be a perk more readily available to our fellow American citizens than to random foreigners.

I'm fascinated by how rare that attitude is today. Can you imagine a speaker at either party's 2012 convention saying something like that?

Perhaps my assumption that we owe certain debts to our fellow citizens, whether or not we like them or approve of their politics, is simply outmoded. The contemporary mindset seems to be that nobody is more annoying than your fellow citizens who don't agree with you, in contrast to those blank slates from Randomistan.

Maybe my point of view is a relic of the (apparently temporary) bonds of solidarity forged by WWII and the Cold War. Growing up, most people in Southern California had some connection to the Cold War and/or WWII, especially the War in the Pacific, which brought so many Americans to the West Coast. More than a few took a look around and vowed that if they got through the war, they were coming back here. My mother, for example, moved from St. Paul, Minnesota to Los Angeles during WWII to be near her first husband, who had enlisted in the Marines and was stationed in California. (Not everybody came back, of course. He was killed on Iwo Jima.)

P.S. The photo above is of the sixth hole on the North course at Torrey Pines north of San Diego.

46 comments:

Tom Regan said...

Whatever happened to your dedication to Occam's Razor? The reason most Americans want restrictions on immigration is that on a macro level, an influx of foreigners makes a town/state worse, while internal migrations of Americans often make things better.

Anonymous said...

Yes.

It does seem rather strange that the posessors of the finest piece of real estate on the earth's globe would wish to turn out their little paradise, here on earth, to become the new Calcutta, or the new Lagos (as if we don't have enough of those already).
"There shall be no borders!" - the immigrationists (this time the WSJ prop.) cry in full throat, but it is curious that none of the extreme immigrationists would ever countenance renting out *their* own beautiful homes by the room, or even having the great unwashed bivouac on the lawns of *their* mansions.
"Oh no, no no", they will hum and haw, "don't be ridculous", "property rights", "blah, blah, blah", but these dumb putzes are either wilfully blind or too damn ignorant to see that whatever privege they might now hold, they will, inevitably, be compromised in the course of their lives by the public goods that are above and beyond price.
Sitting in 3 hour traffic jams, horrible mariarchi and rap assailing the ear drums, paying shit-loads for bad schools to 'educate' thugs in making, Rodney King riots, the endless brown tide of munchkin uber proles, the world's largest prison system (as the lefties never tire of pointing out) etc.

bjdubbs said...

That's why the 1965 immigration law and elimination of the military draft during Vietnam are both part of the same phenomenon. There is no genuine opposition to immigration because citizenship has no costs. The recent spectator sport wars (Libya being the worst example) only reinforce the sense that citizenship amounts to nothing more than documentation, so why shouldn't the undocumented have the same rights as citizens? After all, the only thing they're missing are documents.

agnostic said...

It's shocking to watch L.A. Story (1991) and see how Southern California was still pretty much intact that recently. That must be the last movie to capture the Golden Age, right as it's fading into twilight.

Point Break from the same year show that winding-down even among the surfer dude culture. It wasn't only a splintering of the more elite group shown in L.A. Story.

Basic Instinct from a year later seems like the last one to capture that same twilight period in San Francisco. Even under the layer of caricature, you can't help but be struck by how glamorous and free-spirited the place still was. Now it's full of self-conscious culture nerds and killjoy snobs.

agnostic said...

The influx of Californians into the Mountain West is just as palpable here as their disappearance must have felt to those who stayed behind. Seems like every other young person near a city of any size is a refugee from California.

When you ask where they're from, they have a dejected tone in their voice, sometimes bordering on embarrassment. They realize that SoCal is no longer thought of as the coolest place to be.

These Millennials probably have little or no memory of what their home state was like in the good old days. It's like they can read it on the older generations' faces, and hear it in their voices. ("Older" meaning even Generation X.)

On the bright side, though, at least they're sticking to the Mountain West, where the culture is about what it is on the West Coast, minus the great weather. And the cohesion effect from fighting against the Indians on the frontier is still here.

I wouldn't be surprised if all the Californians pouring into Arizona, along with the more restless natives, ultimately reconquer California. Probably not for decades, of course, maybe a century. But that's the current hot-spot for social cohesion.

I'm sure by then they'll have grown somewhat attached to their adoptive state, but then after another summer of more than 110 degrees, they'll probably look forward to seizing back America's Mediterranean paradise.

Natrium said...

I don't think its outmoded, its just that the media and academia have been shifting further left and silencing all critics.

Most Americans would agree with you, but who cares about them, right? The GOP and Dems would rather Hispander to a small pct of the population than seek out the majority.

sunbeam said...

Okay, this is just an impression, and obviously just an opinion.

But the bloom is off the California Rose.

Particularly Southern California. It doesn't seem like THE PLACE anymore.

Watching shows like the Rockford Files it seemed like a place where even the average dude could make it, and let his freak flag fly.

Great weather, the beaches, beautiful women. An economy to die for. And if your 40+ year old ass decided to take up roller skating no one blinked an eyebrow.

The great weather and beaches are still there. The beautiful women too I guess.

The economy sucks now unless you are already rich, or into crap like real estate. Heck real estate sucks there now, and will for a while. Though there is always a dollar to be screwed out of someone in that field.

The impression now is that the place is the personal playground of rich yuppies or SWPL's (what the hell does that acronym stand for?).

Whether liberal or conservative they come across with a vibe that lesser people do not matter. The entertainment industry is an example. For all the liberal rhetoric they seem like a bunch of bloodthirsty cannibals that fall upon the weak and consume them like ghouls.

The women come across as stuck up, and shallow despite some being well educated, and having possessed great natural advantages in upbringing. When you get to the point that you start doing things like anal bleaching, you know some kind of rubicon has been passed.

In some undefinable way, at least for me, I don't feel any envy or desire of anything in California anymore.

Leaving immigrants out of it, California seems like some strange foreign country. Pretty well off, but the people are dicks. Hopefully that earthquake will happen and they all fall into the sea.

Anonymous said...

"More than a few took a look around and vowed that if they got through the war, they were coming back here"

That doesn't actually sound like much of basis for communal solidarity that is the basis of effective politics - I mean it was composed of people who had forsaken where they came from.

Tertius Lydgate said...

Is life better in CA? I sometimes wonder. I've lived my whole life in the Mid-West, and, recently, the East Coast, although I was born in SF. Can you get by without a car anywhere in SoCal? I hate having to drive. Winter is a drag here, though.

beowulf said...

"Perhaps my assumption that we owe certain debts to our fellow citizens, whether or not we like them or approve of their politics, is simply outmoded. The contemporary mindset seems to be that nobody is more annoying than your fellow citizens who don't agree with you, in contrast to those blank slates from Randomistan.
Maybe my point of view is a relic of the (apparently temporary) bonds of solidarity forged by WWII and the Cold War."

Sad but true. Grover Norquist put it a little differently in 2004.

Two million people who fought in World War II and lived through the Great Depression die every year. That generation has been an exception in US history, because it has defended anti-American policies. They voted for the creation of the welfare state and for obligatory military service. They are the Democratic base, and they are dying.
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/chatterbox/2004/09/grover_norquist_en_espaol.html

beowulf said...

I should parenthetically that Grover Norquist has it exactly backwards. Its insane to think that the decline of civicmindedness among Americans (whether natives or immigrants from Randomistan) somehow means the decline of the Democrats

JustAClown said...

that torrey pines is right near Black's Beach, which was a nude beach back in the 80s. I was stationed in san diego more than 30 years ago and visited the beach a couple times. A fellow sailor went swimming in the nude there and got washed downshore by the current into the non-nude portion of the beach. When I visited Black's beach, I never went nude.

I doubt it is still a nude beach there. The nation is so much less trusting of its fellow citizens that it was in 1980 and thereabouts. Another effect of the mass immigration that has crippled american social capital.

Anyway, I was an electronics tech and sub nuclear power plant operator in the navy, and when I was being mustered out in san diego in 1981, a recruiter for civilian employers called the debriefing room and offered me a job over the phone for 8 dollars an hour. Pretty good pay for 1981. I turned it down and went back to san antonio texas. Wish I had accepted the offer and stayed....

Anonymous said...

Of course, the Book of Genesis tells us that Adam and Eve were ejected from Paradise because they fell for the blandishments of the 'serpent' who told them a lot of trashy lies in order for them to be kicked out of the paradaisical home, (as I recall a 'flaming sword' was posted to prevent them from returning).
Well, in the case of post-war California, the 'serpent' happens to be such evil-doers as the WSJ and 'The Economist', with lies about 'economic growth' as the bait. As for the 'flaming sword', well state government is doing a remarkably good job.

peterike said...

Perhaps my assumption that we owe certain debts to our fellow citizens, whether or not we like them or approve of their politics, is simply outmoded.

Worse, your notion of "citizen" is outmoded. As the Left insures us, "there are no illegal people." So how dare you draw a distinction between some so-called "citizen" and everybody else.

The demand for unlimited immigration is the single most prominent display of what many have called the "Liberal death wish." It is, literally, self-genocidal.

Yes, the Third World had started to overflow its banks, and the West was its sewer. -- Jean Raspail

Dahinda said...

"the privilege of moving to California be a perk more readily available to our fellow American citizens than to random foreigners."

When did the people of California become so big headed about their state? I lived there for a while, in Camarillo, and never felt like it was a privilege! It has some nice scenery but so do a lot of states. If you grew up there I can see you having some home state pride and buying into the hype but more people are moving into Texas and the Carolinas these days.

Anonymous said...

Liberal, multicultural-worshiping Californians have taken the best real estate on Earth and are busy converting it into a Third-World Hellhole, with the accompanying poverty, conflict, and social and environmental pathologies.

Their children could have inherited a beautiful, prosperous, uncrowded land, but they instead decided that California should be inhabitated not by their children, but by the people of Mexico, China, and India.

Anonymous said...

Great post Steve!

Dutch Boy said...

The 1950s was a time when a healthy nationalism was forming among Americans. Our poohbahs managed to put a stop to it and created the multicultural mess we now have.

Anonymous said...

It's shocking to watch L.A. Story (1991) and see how Southern California was still pretty much intact that recently. That must be the last movie to capture the Golden Age, right as it's fading into twilight.

I remember those early 90s movies about life in SoCal... The Valley girls in 'Clueless' and the white dorks in 'Encino Man' comes to mind... Hard to think that movies like these can't be made anymore in the same location.

Rohan Swee said...

OT (but not completely), the GalliaWatch blogger has a post today on a Le Monde blog from a couple of days ago, which dealt with the French manifestation of phenomena of perennial steve-o-spherian interest. (Housing, class, race, "diversity for thee but not for me", etc.)

Anonymous said...

Internal migration also manages to not come from places whos population went parabolic over the last century.

helene edwards said...

Steve, try this photo of Charley Hoffman on the 6th at Torrey North.


http://www.pbase.com/jeffryz/image/141146501

Anonymous said...

It's too bad all the blue states aren't bunch up in the SW territory. Mexicans would take over all of them and that would be that. But most blue states are way out in the northeast corner, far from sw corner.

Btw, all those white liberals moving to Co and etc will just spread the California liberal disease all over.

Anonymous said...

The transformation of white folks.

In the 19th century, white folks had the guts to spread out to SW territories and take land from weak and lazy Mexicans.

Today, whites are cowards who support policies that lead to their ruin. And when Mexicans and Asians take over CA, what do whites do? They run like chicken.

If whites had been like this in the 19th century, they never would have created America.

dirk said...

I think I mentioned Mencius Moldbug and Michael Savage as well.

dirk said...

I think the rise of childlessness for SWPL folks has a lot to do with the detachment many now have from cares about what the USA will look like a generation from now. If I had children, I'm sure I would worry much more about the country they would live in. Since I don't – to the extent I give a crap at all about the future – I'm inclined to care more about the development of the world at large rather than a single country which I will have no ties to once I am dead and gone.

Perhaps Robin Hansen's “near/far” dichotomy explains the difference in attitude between those with children vs. those without toward the future beyond their own deaths. Those with children feel the near-term future of the USA to be near and care about things like education in their region, immigration, etc., whereas those without children view the future beyond their death as a hazy passing of thousands and then millions of years, with countries coming and going, and think disinterestedly about which policies they might view as best for the world at large. The sun dies in a blink anyway.

Perhaps people without children shouldn't be allowed to vote. Although, in my case, I don't bother.

sunbeam said...

dirk said:

" whereas those without children view the future beyond their death as a hazy passing of thousands and then millions of years, with countries coming and going, and think disinterestedly about which policies they might view as best for the world at large. The sun dies in a blink anyway."

You've pretty well nailed my world view.

But:

"Perhaps people without children shouldn't be allowed to vote. Although, in my case, I don't bother."

I'm not so sure that having "skin in the game" leads to better decisions on a macro level either.

China did pretty well for a long time with eunuchs in leadership positions. Maybe there is some wisdom in a perspective in which getting little Puggsley into Stanford isn't viewed as a major coup.

Anonymous said...

Immigration and overpopulation ruined California, especially the southern and coastal parts. California would be better off in every possible way, in my view, had its population been 'capped' at 25 million. Even 'just' 20 million might have been better.

jeanne said...

So, I left Woodland Hills for Montana in 1975.

It's changed a lot since then, I take it?

Eric said...

Perhaps people without children shouldn't be allowed to vote. Although, in my case, I don't bother.

Restricting the franchise to people with skin in the game was a key element of early American democracy. They didn't do it on a whim, either.

sunbeam said...

Eric said:

"Perhaps people without children shouldn't be allowed to vote. Although, in my case, I don't bother.

Restricting the franchise to people with skin in the game was a key element of early American democracy. They didn't do it on a whim, either."

That's pretty glib. I presume you think it was a good thing?

What is your definition of someone who is worthy of a vote?

What is the modern definition of someone with enough wealth or property to deserve a vote? I want your take on it. One million? Two? A six figure property tax bill liked the agriculturally minded founders intended? If your money is in stocks and bonds you are SOL?

Or is is simply a poll tax thing? You might not be as worthy as someone else, but you really want to vote so you spend more money? I mean what is your vision here?

Is this on the open market? Can we set up things to resell voting priveleges?

Wait I got it, we have a vote auction every election. That will fix the budget deficit. Plus it will really help China with the decision of where to park their dollars.

Will there be something like at-large votes? I mean so brainy physics phd's get to make some input? You know the kind, too busy pondering the universe to do God's work getting rich.

I'm trying to wrap my head around why a system designed to give all power to a select class of people in the early days of this country is a good idea now.

If you extend that idea logically, that means Paris Hilton is more qualified to make decisions about the course of this nation than anyone I've known in my life.

And that just seems all kind of wrong.

By the way, is there some evidence or rationale that having children leads you to make better decisions, about issues other than children? If you are going that route?

Does having a greater number of children make you linearly better able to make decisions about what is best for a society? Is it a non-linear thing? Quadratic? Cubic? Power law even? Heck that means that people in India are making awesome decisions about how to run India.

All we can say for sure is that it isn't an inverse relation.

On a more serious note, it seems to me that in general, more intelligent people have less children.

Is there some link I'm not getting?

Anonymous said...

Divide and conquer. Sad truth is, the elite doesn't need educated, capable masses within the borders of any single country, even the one they carry passports from. Keep them stupid, squabbling and afraid. All the better to bilk them.

What's the point in an educated, active, critical populace when the only jobs you really need most of them for are to to sell stuff, assemble stuff, move stuff and clean stuff (and buy stuff).

E. Rekshun said...

@Anon. "I remember those early 90s movies about life in SoCal... The Valley girls in 'Clueless' and the white dorks in 'Encino Man' comes to mind... Hard to think that movies like these can't be made anymore in the same location."

Tom Petty's 1989 Free Falling video had some good shots of So Cal

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gqT6En2O78

Eric said...

That's pretty glib.

Do you understand what that word means?

What is the modern definition of someone with enough wealth or property to deserve a vote?

I think working age people who don't pay federal income tax shouldn't be voting in federal elections. They have no interest in restraining the growth of state services, because they're expecting everyone else to pick up the tab.

The way the system is set up now we're guaranteed to go broke. It may take a decade or two. God knows California is proving you can delay your day of reckoning far longer than I would have thought possible. But it's inevitable. Not only will we go broke, but at the time as a society we'll have a high percentage (maybe 30% or so) of people who don't know how to do anything that doesn't involve the government. It will take generations to recover.

Anonymous said...

Well, seeing prices rising again in Orange County because of Asian Foreign born with cash in places like Irvine, the housing dropping didn't drop enough for whites to be interested in Orange and San Diego that are usually better than La except for beach areas or hill areas in LA.

Anonymous said...

Well, personality I seen some ugly white women in La and Orange most are the white trash that lived in Motels, so I doubt that California women are all that good looking.

Anonymous said...

Well, I would not blame it all on the liberals, the conservatives in Orange and San Diego who own business pushed Ronald Reagan to legalized millions 1986. Ronnie was getting most of his money from California from Orange County like Mittens is now.

Anonymous said...

Your right Steve why should California only attract Hispanics and Asians? However, this process has went on for some time and its to late.

Anonymous said...

Kibernetika napisal:

We must suffer and self-flagellate more than primitive single-cells on meth! More -- apparently we haven't met the threshold yet. It's never quite enough penance while we still exist, we Americans of the 20th century.

When I visit SoCal these days, it's not so different from visiting South or Central America. I pretty much feel like a foreigner/gringo. Luckily there's the Asian population to help Cali. Gotta go to Brasil to see what we used to have.

My sentimental mind thinks of the 60s and 70s Cali with working-to-middle class interests like motocross, desert races, cool cars and high-tech satellites; defense tech outfits that used to line the highway from LAX to downtown. Well, it was and is remembered.

Da, da, ia eto skazal :)




Anonymous said...

In 1994, California voted 59% to 41% to start kicking out the illegals, via Prop 187.

But California died because A SCOTS-IRISHWOMAN NAMED MARIANA MACPFAELZER issued a "permanent" injunction against the bill, which held for FIVE YEARS, until the DEMs could get Gray Davis into office to drop the lawsuit.

The death of California was caused by pure, unadulterated Scots-Irish perfidy.

Plain and simple.

Whiskey said...

Its Status Mongering Steve. As you've noted, Whites are deeply divided on that. Divisions and using foreigners who come and stay and rule are also a Celtic failure, from the Romans to Strongbow and King John.

The WSJ and the Economist cannot beam mind rays into hundreds of millions of Americans. There are no borders because most Americans don't want there to be borders much. Vast pools of Lagos/Tijuana immigrants make easy and permanent welfare schemes with SOMEONE (read: women) to administer them a way to move up status wars. Sandra Tsing Loh in the Atlantic in her latest screed against White guys in her circle's lives inadvertently hits on that. One of her gal-pals is a "warrior" who makes $600K for a non-profit. Ahem. Who the hell makes THAT kind of money at a non-profit? Oh yes a connected, old money elite. [I know that type very well.]

Oh yes the mind-rays of "the Jewsssss!" or the Frankfort School (the late Andrew Breitbart's explanation). You can't sell someone something they HATE HATE HATE. You just can't. Prop 187 failed because most people did not care passionately enough to end careers, intimidate, and punish those who crossed it.

I am born and bred here. I hate the Mexification of California more than most, I saw just the tail end of what was lost.

But lets get real, and bluntly honest. Mexification happened not because elites alone, but a fairly large chunk of Joe Average wanted it or did not care to intimidate and create fear over stopping it.

Matthew said...

To th guy who quoted Grover Norquist:

Norquist is an asshole. He has no concern for this country as a people or a culture. He is 100% in favor of amnesty and open borders. His only ideology is to to do anything he can to make rich people richer, and shit on the middle class.

If the problem with today's GOP could be summed up in a single person it wouldn't be Mitt Romney or Sarah Palin or Todd Akin or one of the Koch Brothers or even Bill Kristol. It would be Grover Norquist.

Anonymous said...

Rich you say, the white population in California actually has a higher poverty rate than Texas 10 percent versus 8 percent. Its not high, near the national norm but a lot of Californians are not richer than nice burbs in Texas and other places anymore. California I believe isn't in the top 10 anymore in income. It probably was in the top 5 in 1980. The overall poverty rate not adjusted for cost of living at think 2010 or 2011 was 16.4 and Texas 17.4 both states are growing closer on that measure since they are growing more Hispanic.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes the mind-rays of "the Jewsssss!" or the Frankfort School (the late Andrew Breitbart's explanation). You can't sell someone something they HATE HATE HATE. You just can't. Prop 187 failed because most people did not care passionately enough to end careers, intimidate, and punish those who crossed it.

59%.

41%.

Then your fellow co-tribaless intervened, and it was all over for the state of California.

BTW, note the Freudian projection inherent in the "end careers, intimidate, and punish those who crossed it" fantasizing: Intimidation, punishment, and the ending of careers are PRECISELY the tactics of the Frankfurt School and the Marxist Left.

Jesus Christ, that account is like a walking, talking self-parody.

Anonymous said...

Well, Texas which is doing most things right but doing one big thing wrong which is why its not California of 1980. Texas needs to bury the Bushes and Rick Perry. Now Texans will complain of California liberalism but a Berkeley study show some California cities still conservative, its these towns that are mainly heading to Texas with the exception of Austin.

Anonymous said...

Well, I liked prop 200 and the other iniativie Arizona better since they just didn't attack welfare which doesn't work since most illegl immirgants have US Born kids. If 187 would have cut the job magnet by fining companies that hired them it would have spared the state of California at least antoher 1.5 million folks and the rest of the US about another 6 million.