Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Fleeing California & the Northeast

As a California-expat, who moved away from high taxes, high mortgages, and reduced quality of life issues (traffic, crime, etc), I'm not remotely surprised by this article, "Californians Look For Exit." But, what I have found incredibly frustrating from some of my neighbors here in Fort Mill, South Carolina, many of whom have moved from either the west coast or northeast, is that the move hasn't changed their ideological or political outlook.

Ask any Ohioan, New Yorker, Pennsylvanian, or even Californian why they moved away from their home states to either North Carolina or South Carolina (for those that don't know Fort Mill, SC is just outside of Charlotte, NC), and they will tell you to a person, lower taxes, the opportunity to own a home, and a better quality of life.

But, what really drives me insane is that many of these same people don't make the connection between what they left, why they left it, and what they want out of their government when they get here. Let me give you an example...

My neighbor is a wonderful guy. He moved down here from Philadelphia last year with his wife to purchase a home and (soon) raise a family. For a new housing development, like ours, the same house would have approached $1 million. In his words, "it would have been impossible in Philly." And, having lived in Southern California, I can echo that sentiment. I figure our house would still be worth 2-3 million in the area of Los Angeles where my wife and I lived, even with the declining home values.

But, as we tend to our yards, visit, or watch football games on weekends, we occasionally delve into the taboo conversational topic of politics. Actually, he more than me. (What is it about liberals and political proselytizing?)

Anyway, in almost the same breath that he rails on the politicians in his home state for ruining it, he decries the fact that here in the South Carolina there are fewer programs and less government. I'm not kidding. The second time we ever talked, he actually said, "South Carolina needs to raise taxes."

When I asked, "For what?"

He didn't really know. But, they were too low all the same. And, for that matter, he went on "So are our homeowner's association fees." I didn't know whether to laugh (in case this was some sort of East Coast humor) or cry.

Over the last couple of months, however, I've learned that he was indeed serious. And, I have grown to love ribbing him about his conflicting personal and political philosophies. Truth be told, he's one of my better new-found friends out here.

But, lately, whether it be in business relationships or at some of the places I frequent, I find the same phenomenon among other migrants to the South. It must be some sort of fetish. They loathe the pain that the policies of their ideology have caused. They flee it. Then, while in paradise, they long for a return to the same. It's unbelievable.

If I were a liberal, I'd enact a law requiring all those that voted for the politicians that created the problems be forced to stay and live with the results. Take a little responsibility and be accountable. Don't come down here and look to mess things up.

I like the low taxes. Waving and saying, "Hi" to those that I pass on the neighborhood streets (I would have been locked up in LA doing that.) Only paying 1.40 for gas. And, living in a huge, brand new home for less than the rent of one-bedroom apartment in Westwood. And, lest anyone in the Northeast or California think I'm missing out on anything there, we're not. We have every store, every restaurant, pro football (actually, we didn't have a team in LA), pro basketball, and a AAA baseball team -- which I think is more fun to watch anyway -- within in a 15 minute drive. Not to mention 10 times more golf courses. I can hit a golf ball to the closest one to my house.

But, I didn't mean any of that by way of advertisement. For you out-of-state liberals, stay where you are!

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