California: Who’s Leaving? Who’s Coming?

(Steven Hayward) The latest news out of California is that the state has actually achieved a budget surplus that is billions larger than expected—$3.8 billion more than forecast back in January. Good times for the spend-happy state legislature, and the next Democratic governor who will love to be able to pass out goodies upon taking office next January. As the Sacramento Bee comments: “It’s an irresistible pot of money for lawmakers who want to bolster programs for the homeless, higher education and lower-income families.”
What can account for this bounty? Is this evidence that the California blue state model “works”? As is well known, California is experiencing significant out-migration, and it has been going on for over a decade—the first period since the Gold Rush in 1849. Now I’ve joked that California is not sending its best to other states: we’re sending hipsters, trust fund brats, Silicon Valley and Hollywood trash,

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