Opinions

The Decline of California

Daniel Garcia GRZEXP.com Staff

California as of recent years, has been losing its population and is declining slowly but surely. It seems that everyone is moving out of California for a better life in a different state. How is The Golden State in Decline? The answer to that question is very complex and convoluted, but it is most likely because of homelessness, housing prices, and being unable to start a small business. 

To start, according to the Homelessness Policy Research Institute, 27% of people experiencing homelessness in the United States are in California. That may not sound like much but to put it into perspective that’s 149,264 homeless people in the state out of 552,830 in this country. In my opinion that is a terrible ratio to have, because of this I think Los Angeles and San Francisco are considered dangerous places to do anything in. it to a state like Arizona, which is one of the safer states in America in 2020. In Arizona, you can walk out to get groceries without feeling you’re in danger. Correlate that to somewhere like Los Angeles or San Francisco where you just can’t go out without feeling that you might get injured or even killed. As a result, people are leaving. However, that is not the only reason. Housing prices in California are incredibly high. This would’ve been fine if Los Angeles was a peaceful place to live, but it isn’t. According to Norda Real Estate Investments, the median cost of a single family home in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area will cost 545,000 dollars, while in Arizona and Texas an average house costs 200,000-300,000 dollars, a whole $200,000 cheaper than in California. My personal take is that because of the high housing prices and the high amount of homelessness is why most people are leaving.

The growth rate in California is slowing down from .57% to .35%, but where are they heading? The main states people are heading to are Arizona, Texas, and Nevada. Arizona makes sense because it borders California and housing is cheap. Also Phoenix is experiencing economic growth, as well as places like Salt Lake City, Boise, Las Vegas, and Reno. Because of this economic growth, some people are calling the general region all of these cities are located in the “New West.” I personally find people moving from California to Texas really interesting because both states are really similar in land, diversity, and cities, but the key difference is that in California you generally have problems starting up a business and keep it running since you have to pay employees 12 dollars per hour.  In Texas, you only need to pay employees 7 dollars an hour. California has it difficult already, and big events such as a pandemic is a great way to end these small businesses, and this year many small businesses shut down.  Sources like Mercury News have documented that, “The Bay Area has some of the highest business closure rates in the nation, according to newly released data from Yelp. Roughly one out of every 100 businesses in the San Francisco metropolitan area, which includes Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo and Marin counties, has permanently closed since March 1 according to the data”, It is not really a surprise that small businesses in California are fleeing to Texas for a better chance to be successful.

The decline of the Golden State was inevitable due to homelessness, housing prices, and small businesses going away. The decline can be stopped if California’s government takes care of the homeless in an effective way, lower minimum wage so small stores can survive, and lower down housing costs. It is doubtful that the problems will be solved and the state will suffer because of the homelessness, housing, and wages.

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