Something, someone missing from CA’s reopening

By Chantal Lovell
June 22, 2021

California officially reopened this week to much media and gubernatorial fanfare.

But something major was missing: the many job creators and residents who were forced to flee the state over the past 15 months that were marked by lockdowns, school closures, and onerous restrictions that frequently left businesses reeling and shelling out tens of thousands of dollars to comply.

Among them were innovators like Elon Musk, who relocated to Texas; David Blumberg, founder of Blumberg Capital, who moved to Florida; conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, who took his family to Florida and his media business, The Daily Wire, to Nashville; Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which is now in Texas; and software company Palantir, which now calls Colorado home. 

While many state economies are back, or close, to normal, California’s economy still lags far behind. Its unemployment rate of 8.3% is better than only that of Hawaii, and a far cry from the states with the lowest unemployment rate of 2.8%.

Recently, The Center Square reported just how much the state is losing from the out migration, something documented in detail in CPC’s California Book of Exoduses. Between 2017 and 2018, California lost 165,355 net tax filers and dependents, more than any other state. Combined, the income of those former residents totals $8.8 billion that will now be earned elsewhere. 

The lessening of unnecessary, burdensome regulations is certainly worth celebrating. But let’s not lose sight of the need for a real reopening of California’s economy that would make it possible for our past residents to one day return.

Quote of the week

“Is Austin Beutner celebrating that LAUSD negotiated the least amount of live online instructional time of any major school district? LAUSD definitely did set a ‘new standard.’ but I hope they never become a model for the nation.” – Christie Pesicka, LAUSD mom and member of California Students United

You’re invited!

Join us from 6-7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 23 for a virtual celebration of workplace freedom in California. In honor of the third anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark Janus v. AFSCME decision, we’ll be talking with people like Assemblyman Kevin Kiley and Mark Janus about the ongoing efforts that have led over 300,000 California government workers to leave their unions. Please register here, and mark your calendars. Email Mallory Staley at mallory@calpolicycenter.org with any questions.

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