Well, as I mentioned in my last column I’ve packed up and moved from the no-longer-Golden State, settling in the metro-Denver town of Castle Rock. It’s been quite an experience, and I’m surprised to find that I’m not suffering at all from any nostalgia for Commiefornia.
The first and most obvious difference was the cost of housing. I sold my house in the Pacific Hills development near Seco and Copperhill in Santa Clarita and bought my current home in Castle Rock, a satellite community near Denver that is socio-economically almost a clone to the neighborhood I left. But for about 2/3 of the price I realized from the sale of my house in Santa Clarita I bought a house that’s a couple of hundred square feet larger. Definitely more bang for the real estate buck. Going along hand-in-hand with that is the saving realized by no longer needing earthquake insurance, as well as the commensurately lower property taxes.
Another gift that keeps on giving is the price of gasoline. A few days ago I tanked up my delightfully un-PC gas-guzzling climate-killing SUV (the preferred mode of transportation locally), and paid $2.47/gallon for 91 octane. The lower grades were even cheaper. Gee… gas is gas. I wonder what could possibly explain such a price differential between here and there. Could it simply be… taxes?
Speaking of taxes, the state individual income tax rate here is a flat 4.63%. Huh… Imagine that…
My last column on this topic (“Adios, Commiefornia”, November 5, 2019) generated quite a few responses – in columns, letters to the editor, and comments in the threads – in which several folks tried to rebut the points I made. The one common theme that I thought made the most sense was highlighting the physical appeal of the state. That’s undeniable, but it’s also not a universal trait. Would anyone consider Bakersfield or Riverside “beautiful”? San Berdoo?
Doubtful at best.
Sure, the SCV is wonderful. I really loved living there, and I was there a very long time, going back to before it was incorporated as a city. But I have to tell you, Castle Rock is just as beautiful. I look at the Rocky Mountains about 10 miles away every time I leave my house. Vail is about an hour west of Denver, and when I drove through it on my way here I was stunned at how gorgeous it was. The only thing you have that we don’t is an ocean, and since I’m not a “beach person”, as I said before, I couldn’t care less about that.
But here’s the real kicker. Yes, we have our leftists here, especially in some of the urban areas. This is a “purple” state. But for the most part they’re not the loony extremists that seem to roost in Commiefornia. There’s still hope to see sanity prevail here, and it’s my goal to try to save this state from destroying itself by following the Left Coast as it careens off the rails into oblivion.
There’s another unexpected benefit, too. I still read all the same news outlets every morning, but now when I read the daily reporting on the antics of Gavin
Nuisance Newsome and his Merry Band of Political Pranksters in Sacramento I no longer find myself starting my day being outraged at their lunacy. I can simply shake my head in wonder, and feel pity for my friends still stuck there as victims of the state’s signature Marxism-Lite.
It’s done wonders for my blood pressure.
I have no doubt that the usual Dem/socialist zealots are going to run to the ramparts and scream about Commiefornia being the “5th largest economy in the world”, blah blah blah. Well, just a few years ago Venezuela was the richest economy in South America. But insane and unsound fiscal and social policies in the form of Marxism managed to turn that around, and now Venezuela is an economic disaster zone. There’s nothing to guarantee the same thing can’t happen to Commiefornia; money doesn’t grow on trees, though the fools in Sacramento seem to think the Money Tree Forest lies just over the rainbow. But that “money tree” actually only exists in the bank accounts of hard-working people, and many of them – such as me – have already fled the state. As things get worse and the burden becomes even more onerous, that trickle of out-migration can easily turn into a tsunami.
Unless things change – radically – your state is locked in a death spiral.
©Brian Baker 2020
(Also published today in The Signal)