Californication of America

 
Representative Tim Ryan, back left in tie, organized a bus tour through the Midwest with about a dozen venture capitalists. (via New York Times)

For cancer to survive, once it kills its host it must move on to another healthy body. Forty years of leftist rule ruined the once “Golden State.” You can’t walk through San Francisco without side-stepping human excrement or drive through Los Angeles without navigating countless miles of homeless camps. Meanwhile, California housing costs are unattainable by most everyone.

Now even the enlightened ones can’t cope with the expense and traffic they themselves created so they plan on moving elsewhere. Never learning the lessons of their failures they will, of course, bring along their bankrupt progressive values to rinse and repeat. Watch out Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania — they’re coming.

In recent months, a growing number of tech leaders have been flirting with the idea of leaving Silicon Valley. Some cite the exorbitant cost of living in San Francisco and its suburbs, where even a million-dollar salary can feel middle class. Others complain about local criticism of the tech industry and a left-wing echo chamber that stifles opposing views. And yet others feel that better innovation is happening elsewhere.

In the last three months of 2017, San Francisco lost more residents to outward migration than any other city in the country, according to data from Redfin, the real estate website. A recent survey by Edelman, the public relations firm, found that 49 percent of Bay Area residents, and 58 percent of Bay Area millennials, were considering moving away. And a sharp increase in people moving out of the Bay Area has led to a shortage of moving vans. (According to local news reports, renting a U-Haul for a one-way trip from San Jose to Las Vegas now costs roughly $2,000, compared with just $100 for a truck going the other direction.)

For both investors and rank-and-file workers, one appeal of noncoastal cities is the obvious cost savings. It’s increasingly difficult to justify doling out steep salaries and lavish perks demanded by engineers in the Bay Area, when programmers in other cities can be had for as little as $50,000 a year. (An entry-level engineer at Facebook or Google might command triple or quadruple that amount.)

Venture capitalists, who recognize a bargain when they see one, have already begun scouring the Midwest. Mr. Case and Mr. Vance recently amassed a $150 million fund called “Rise of the Rest.” The fund, which was backed by tech luminaries including Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Eric Schmidt, the former executive chairman of Alphabet, will invest in start-ups throughout the region.

I married into a Pittsburgh family (go Steelers!) and over the past 20-plus years have witnessed the renaissance of a dying steel town becoming a mecca of biomedical research and technology. As any city with a growing academic and legal center, we see the ideological betters and their activist cohorts fully intent on ensuring their blue city invades its red state host and spreads their coastal virus.

The incentive of local economic booms will entice you to welcome the invaders, but don’t ignore what they created and are now running from.

There are 49 comments.

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  1. MarciN Member

    They look like the auto industry locusts who built, destroyed, and then abandoned Detroit (that’s my version of what happened in Detroit–too much nouveau riche money–and I do realize that for every Ricochet member, there’s a different theory as to what happened to Detroit :) ). These people have no idea how wealth is grown and sustained.

    I also think this is about never having to lose another election to “flyover country.” They are ticked off. They want to control the United States.

    • #1
    • March 5, 2018, at 10:27 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  2. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman Post author

    MarciN (View Comment):
    They look like the auto industry locusts who built, destroyed, and then abandoned Detroit (that’s my version of what happened in Detroit–too much nouveau riche money–and I do realize that for every Ricochet member, there’s a different theory as to what happened to Detroit :) ). These people have no idea how wealth is grown and sustained.

    I also think this is about never having to lose another election to “flyover country.” They are ticked off. They want to control the United States.

    In my business travels through the suburbs of Detroit, beautiful areas like Troy and Birmingham have stunning homes and tony hamlets where the auto execs enjoy life. Meanwhile, a few miles down the road, once you go through Dearborn into downtown Detroit, it looks like a scene from a dystopian post-apocalyptic film.

    • #2
    • March 5, 2018, at 10:44 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  3. Spin Inactive

    Side note: I traveled to Pittsburgh a couple of years ago, and expected to see a gray, dirty town. I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed my time there. There is definitely some signs of that old industrial town it must have been. But it’s also modern and enjoyable. Looking forward to going back.

    • #3
    • March 5, 2018, at 10:55 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  4. MarciN Member

    I read a great book years ago by the architect William Shopsin: Preserving American Mansions and Estates. It talked a lot about the difference between ostentatious New York wealth and New England wealth. Unlike the Old Guard wealthy New Englanders, the Vanderbilts and their friends built huge estates but did not leave enough money to care for them. These properties became a burden to their communities. The book talks a lot about how these mansions and estates have since been remodeled for public purposes, but basically a lot of them were simply bigger than even the descendants of their builders wanted to care for. (One reason I have some respect for Trump: his restoration of the gorgeous Mar-a-Lago.)

    These estates were often islands of wealth surrounded by very poor neighborhoods. No surprise.

    I read a really sad book called Unlikely Brothers by the well-known Democrat John Prendergast about the poverty in Washington, D.C. It’s terrible. And the city’s caretakers, our U.S. members of Congress, with their huge staffs and budgets, walk right on by. It turns out that our Congress can’t even manage a city, let alone a huge country:

    The U.S. Constitution provided for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Congress and the District is therefore not a part of any state.

    They just don’t care. The city’s poor are not their problem.

    It’s the same mindset in LA and San Francisco.

    These cities don’t have to turn out that way. The architecture students at Yale one day realized that on the other side of the wall was a lot of poverty. The result was a new program: the Yale Urban Design Workshop. It is devoted to city planning and sustainability. Architecture and site use planning can do a lot to alleviate poverty–which starts with a decaying city and rotting buildings and streets.

    We can see this on Cape Cod. The Kennedy family made these grand look-at-me gestures but never followed through with the money for the maintenance. They paid for the building of a skating rink to much local fanfare, but the town didn’t have the money to care for it. It fell apart twenty years later and had to be torn down. This is how neighborhoods disintegrate.

    There’s no substitute for good management and planning and for not allowing poverty to overwhelm a town or city or neighborhood. Businesses and town or city or state governments and local nonprofits need to work together to set goals and make sure they are met. Poverty is addressed by the old “a stitch in time saves nine” thinking.

    I’m guessing the wealthy people will leave San Francisco and Los Angeles eventually, irresponsibly abandoning the homeless camps to be someone else’s problem.

    • #4
    • March 5, 2018, at 11:23 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  5. Percival Thatcher

    My favorite tee shirt when I lived in Atlanta read “Welcome to Atlanta. Now go home.”

    (My favorite bumper sticker was on a pick-up truck in Smyrna that read “Where is Gen. Sherman now that Atlanta really needs him?” My kind of people, Georgians.)

    • #5
    • March 5, 2018, at 11:26 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  6. Valiuth Member

    Except that these old industrial cities were also hot beds of Democratic support through out their history. Hot bed of Union politics, who supported the New Deal and Great Society. I think they did enough damage on their own to have some shame in pointing a finger at Californians and the tech industry. How will the Californians do worse than what they did to themselves? Let not forget that these Rustbelt voter’s basic politics aren’t about free markets and unbridled capitalism, and they never have been.

    • #6
    • March 5, 2018, at 11:51 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  7. Z in MT Inactive

    I think the mid-west may fair OK with more private investment. They have the population and the bones of infrastructure to absorb an influx of engineers. Where things are quickly becoming Californication-ized are small cities in the Intermountain West. This includes the east side of the Cascades in OR, and WA, ID, UT, NV, Northern AZ, CO, and Western MT and WY. In my home town of Bozeman, MT we are having a boom led by the technology sector and the median home price is $350K and implants now dominate the city government.

    • #7
    • March 5, 2018, at 11:55 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  8. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    I had a falling out with a friend who lived in New Jersey as I heatedly do protest the continued support in Calif for more immigration. She thinks such a viewpoint is intolerant.

    Then I came to find out that the percentage of illegal immigrants in New Jersey falls under the 6% mark. No wonder, I thought to myself. After all, if a situation doesn’t affect people, what’s there to dislike? Just how and why would they oppose it?

    Then I read that there is now a program afoot to allow New Jersey new Federal monies for social services and education in New Jersey as long as the state encourages immigration.

    This stuck in my craw in several ways. Notably, here in California, we have been owed some 28 billions of dollars going back all the way to the 1980’s. (More recent costs would possibly put the monies owed us at the one trillion mark!) A mandate is on the nation’s books that any time a state spends X amount of its revenue on services to illegals, the Federal government will pick up a third or maybe one half of the cost.

    So we haven’t gotten that money in decades. But it is being spent to encourage people in New Jersey to think that Big Brother will pick up all the expenses that come their way. If they just continue to be willing participants in the matter of accepting illegal immigrants.

    • #8
    • March 5, 2018, at 12:39 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  9. Stad Thatcher

    Dave Sussman:For cancer to survive, once it kills its host it must move on to another healthy body. Forty years of leftist rule ruined the once “Golden State.” You can’t walk through San Francisco without side-stepping human excrement or drive through Los Angeles without navigating countless miles of homeless camps. Meanwhile, California housing costs are unattainable by most everyone.

    Now even the enlightened ones can’t cope with the expense and traffic they themselves created so they plan on moving elsewhere. Never learning the lessons of their failures they will, of course, bring along their bankrupt progressive values to rinse and repeat. Watch out Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania — they’re coming.

    We should start using the term “Progressive locusts” . . .

    • #9
    • March 5, 2018, at 1:03 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor

    I agree with @zinmt. I grew up in CA, relatively clueless about politics, but even then the expanding state government was obscene. Then we moved to MA (and discovered where we really were) and then to CO, which I loved–but my hubby hated the cold. Just about the time we left CO to return briefly to CA, the influx began. Back when we were there, it was a red state, with guys with Stetsons and boots. Now they’re as blue as they come. Too bad.

    • #10
    • March 5, 2018, at 1:10 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  11. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman Post author

    Spin (View Comment):
    Side note: I traveled to Pittsburgh a couple of years ago, and expected to see a gray, dirty town. I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed my time there. There is definitely some signs of that old industrial town it must have been. But it’s also modern and enjoyable. Looking forward to going back.

    Get yourself some Primanti Bros. sammiches. Still one of the best in North America.

    • #11
    • March 5, 2018, at 1:22 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman Post author

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    Except that these old industrial cities were also hot beds of Democratic support through out their history. Hot bed of Union politics, who supported the New Deal and Great Society. I think they did enough damage on their own to have some shame in pointing a finger at Californians and the tech industry. How will the Californians do worse than what they did to themselves? Let not forget that these Rustbelt voter’s basic politics aren’t about free markets and unbridled capitalism, and they never have been.

    Let’s not forget Youngstown repeatedly elected James Traficant

    • #12
    • March 5, 2018, at 1:26 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  13. Stad Thatcher

    Spin (View Comment):
    Side note: I traveled to Pittsburgh a couple of years ago, and expected to see a gray, dirty town. I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed my time there. There is definitely some signs of that old industrial town it must have been. But it’s also modern and enjoyable. Looking forward to going back.

    LOL! Pittsburgh was one of my first boondoggles working conferences I got sent to when I began working for the Federal government. The workshop was held at what was the Hilton located on the peninsular confluence, the one with a fountain. Pittsburgh was clean even way back then (1989).

    • #13
    • March 5, 2018, at 1:34 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    Except that these old industrial cities were also hot beds of Democratic support through out their history. Hot bed of Union politics, who supported the New Deal and Great Society. I think they did enough damage on their own to have some shame in pointing a finger at Californians and the tech industry. How will the Californians do worse than what they did to themselves? Let not forget that these Rustbelt voter’s basic politics aren’t about free markets and unbridled capitalism, and they never have been.

    Let’s not forget Youngstown once elected James Traficant

    Nice hair.

    • #14
    • March 5, 2018, at 1:36 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman Post author

    CarolJoy (View Comment):
    This stuck in my craw in several ways. Notably, here in California, we have been owed some 28 billions of dollars going back all the way to the 1980’s. (More recent costs would possibly put the monies owed us at the one trillion mark!) A mandate is on the nation’s books that any time a state spends X amount of its revenue on services to illegals, the Federal government will pick up a third or maybe one half of the cost.

    Meanwhile, I am shopping Universities for my oldest and UC schools now cost between$150-$200k for a 4-year education. 3 decades years ago I paid $287 for my first freshman semester.

    • #15
    • March 5, 2018, at 1:44 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  16. Randy Weivoda Moderator

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    CarolJoy (View Comment):
    This stuck in my craw in several ways. Notably, here in California, we have been owed some 28 billions of dollars going back all the way to the 1980’s. (More recent costs would possibly put the monies owed us at the one trillion mark!) A mandate is on the nation’s books that any time a state spends X amount of its revenue on services to illegals, the Federal government will pick up a third or maybe one half of the cost.

    Meanwhile, I am shopping Universities for my oldest and UC schools now cost between$150-$200k for a 4-year education. 3 decades years ago I paid $287 for my first freshman semester.

    It may be time to move, Dave.

    • #16
    • March 5, 2018, at 1:58 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  17. Western Chauvinist Member

    Oh, I dunno. I grew up in a suburb of Cleveland. I’m pretty skeptical about California snowflakes finding the climate in Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania hospitable to their lifestyle. I give them about a month of winter before they’re suicidal.

    Let’s try to look on the bright side.

    • #17
    • March 5, 2018, at 4:52 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  18. Nanda "Chaps" Panjan… Inactive

    Hey, @davesussman, great post…You forgot: Let’s go, Pens! :-)

    • #18
    • March 5, 2018, at 5:03 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  19. The Reticulator Member

    Dave Sussman: And a sharp increase in people moving out of the Bay Area has led to a shortage of moving vans. (According to local news reports, renting a U-Haul for a one-way trip from San Jose to Las Vegas now costs roughly $2,000, compared with just $100 for a truck going the other direction.)

    Someone better let Kevin Williamson know about this.

    • #19
    • March 5, 2018, at 5:29 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  20. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    CarolJoy (View Comment):
    This stuck in my craw in several ways. Notably, here in California, we have been owed some 28 billions of dollars going back all the way to the 1980’s. (More recent costs would possibly put the monies owed us at the one trillion mark!) A mandate is on the nation’s books that any time a state spends X amount of its revenue on services to illegals, the Federal government will pick up a third or maybe one half of the cost.

    Meanwhile, I am shopping Universities for my oldest and UC schools now cost between$150-$200k for a 4-year education. 3 decades years ago I paid $287 for my first freshman semester.

    People considering UC Schools should realize that it often takes five yrs on campus to get the degree that is being sought. Required course work is not assigned the number of teachers or classrooms that would allow all of the students to get those courses during their first four years.

    It is also true that should your offspring be getting a scholarship, the money is not taxable if related to tuition. But that portion of the money that goes to dormitory expenses is. I know when my son went off to university in Illinois, the majority of his expenses were tuition-based, due to room and board in Evanston Illinois not being so expensive. (Relative to Berkeley California.)

    Had he remained in California, I would have been paying taxes on a much bigger portion of his scholarship.

    • #20
    • March 5, 2018, at 6:11 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  21. Judge Mental Member

    This is why the wall should go around California too.

    • #21
    • March 5, 2018, at 6:23 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  22. ToryWarWriter Thatcher

    Send your eldest to Canada and get a world class education for maybe 50 k.

    • #22
    • March 5, 2018, at 6:33 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  23. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member

    CarolJoy (View Comment):
    Then I came to find out that the percentage of illegal immigrants in New Jersey falls under the 6% mark.

    We lived in Jersey. There aren’t many illegals because it’s the most densely populated state in the nation and people in Jersey never leave. We sold our house, a 1200 square foot cape cod, to a couple in 1995. According to zillow, they haven’t left either. Costs are sky high, but retirees basically stay. There’s no room for illegals outside of Hudson County and probably around Camden.

    • #23
    • March 5, 2018, at 7:41 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  24. Cato Rand Reagan

    Spin (View Comment):
    Side note: I traveled to Pittsburgh a couple of years ago, and expected to see a gray, dirty town. I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed my time there. There is definitely some signs of that old industrial town it must have been. But it’s also modern and enjoyable. Looking forward to going back.

    Pittsburgh was one of the very early rust belt cities to recover/gentrify/modernize. I had occasion to spend a lot of time there on business in the mid-90s and it was a fully 21st century city even by then. It would be interesting to see a study of the different paths the big old midwestern industrial cities have taken to post-industrial prosperity (of lack thereof). Each one has its own story, with different actors, and different local assets to build on and challenges to overcome. Most though, seem to have made the transition. Detroit sort of stands out for its abject failure despite having had some of the greatest assets of the bunch.

    • #24
    • March 5, 2018, at 7:46 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  25. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman Post author

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    Oh, I dunno. I grew up in a suburb of Cleveland. I’m pretty skeptical about California snowflakes finding the climate in Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania hospitable to their lifestyle. I give them about a month of winter before they’re suicidal.

    Let’s try to look on the bright side.

    I have a friend moving to Cleveland. Don’t worry, he’s conservative.

    • #25
    • March 5, 2018, at 8:07 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  26. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman Post author

    Nanda Panjandrum (View Comment):
    Hey, @davesussman, great post…You forgot: Let’s go, Pens! :-)

    Nope. Football’s where I draw the line. #GoKingsGo!

    • #26
    • March 5, 2018, at 8:08 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  27. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman Post author

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Dave Sussman: And a sharp increase in people moving out of the Bay Area has led to a shortage of moving vans. (According to local news reports, renting a U-Haul for a one-way trip from San Jose to Las Vegas now costs roughly $2,000, compared with just $100 for a truck going the other direction.)

    Someone better let Kevin Williamson know about this.

    58,000 homeless just in LA.

    Fifty.

    Eight.

    THOUSAND.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-homeless-how-we-got-here-20180201-story.html

    • #27
    • March 5, 2018, at 8:10 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  28. TGR9898 Coolidge

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):

    CarolJoy (View Comment):
    Then I came to find out that the percentage of illegal immigrants in New Jersey falls under the 6% mark.

    We lived in Jersey. There aren’t many illegals because it’s the most densely populated state in the nation and people in Jersey never leave. We sold our house, a 1200 square foot cape cod, to a couple in 1995. According to zillow, they haven’t left either. Costs are sky high, but retirees basically stay. There’s no room for illegals outside of Hudson County and probably around Camden.

    Northern Jersey is dense & expensive, although Patterson & New Brunswick have small non-English speaking neighborhoods that are home to illegals.

    Most of the illegals in NJ are in the South – working the farmlands that give the Garden State it’s nickname. Vineland, Millville and especially Bridegton are essentially English as a Second Language towns.

    • #28
    • March 5, 2018, at 8:25 PM PDT
    • Like
  29. Western Chauvinist Member

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    Oh, I dunno. I grew up in a suburb of Cleveland. I’m pretty skeptical about California snowflakes finding the climate in Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania hospitable to their lifestyle. I give them about a month of winter before they’re suicidal.

    Let’s try to look on the bright side.

    I have a friend moving to Cleveland. Don’t worry, he’s conservative.

    Noooo! Now we need him in Colorado! Ohio is still full of sensible people. Colorado has been Californicated. Every last conservative in California needs to relocate to Colorado. Please!

    • #29
    • March 5, 2018, at 8:35 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  30. Percival Thatcher

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    Oh, I dunno. I grew up in a suburb of Cleveland. I’m pretty skeptical about California snowflakes finding the climate in Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania hospitable to their lifestyle. I give them about a month of winter before they’re suicidal.

    Let’s try to look on the bright side.

    I have a friend moving to Cleveland. Don’t worry, he’s conservative.

    Noooo! Now we need him in Colorado! Ohio is still full of sensible people. Colorado has been Californicated. Every last conservative in California needs to relocate to Colorado. Please!

    Hickenlooper said a few days ago that none of the teachers in Colorado that he has talked to wanted to be armed. The sheriff of Butler County, Ohio decided to offer CCW training to teachers that wanted it. He initially planned on there being fifty people enrolled. He had to cut off accepting applications when he got 300. So, yeah, there are still sensible people in Ohio.

    • #30
    • March 5, 2018, at 8:43 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
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