Op-Ed: Are Californians fleeing en masse to Texas? The reality is complicated
The long-running saga of how to resolve California’s fiscal problems has a new twist. One state lawmaker has proposed another solution, one that is already being discussed: move as many as half million residents of the Golden State to another state.
It’s not surprising that the state has trouble meeting its basic obligations. For decades, the Golden State has been losing population, a trend that’s accelerated in recent years as people left cities to retire in the suburbs, then left the suburbs and moved back to cities.
“It’s the way of life now for most people,” says Mark Z. Jacobson of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. “I don’t know how many people make trips to the other side of the country. It’s just part of the lifestyle.”
Now, another solution is under consideration: moving to Texas.
Texas, with its huge expanse of oil and gas fields, some of which are still being explored, has long been a popular option for people who like the idea of living in the U.S. without paying income tax. And Texas has long been viewed as a possible destination for people who move from the Midwest — because Texans tend to vote Republican.
But there’s another issue: Texas has the worst health care system in the country.
And there are other factors that come into play, such as the state’s severe cost burdens. Jacobson acknowledges that moving to Texas won’t be easy.
“It’s difficult,” he says. But Jacobson believes that his proposal won’t be futile.
In addition to Texas, California is also home to San Francisco, which has seen its population grow by about 14 percent with the influx of about 20,000 residents from out of state. But San Francisco County’s population, while not declining, is shrinking by about 4 percent