Should You Leave California in 2020?

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I don’t have to run a Google Search to know what’s on everyone of my California friends’ minds right now — should we all leave California?

How did we get here? Wasn’t it just yesterday we were bragging about the good weather, the plentiful recreational activities, Disney Land, and the beach? Why does everybody want to leave? Surely California is a paradise state still, right? I mean, Gavin Newsom says so.

I guess it was somewhere during the course of the tough Covid-19 crackdowns, the hazardous air quality due to rampant wildfires, riots in major metropolitan areas, homeless running the streets, and what seems to be a myriad of strange political decisions leaving much to be desired that we all started thinking the same thing — we’ve got to get out of California.

Wait. Just hold your horses, young cowboy. Trust me: I understand your frustration. But despite the fact that both Ben Shapiro and Joe Rogan are leaving the Golden state for “more freedom”, there are a few things you might want to consider.

Reason Not to Leave California #1 — The Crackdown isn’t that Much Worse than Other Places

Sure, California’s restrictions may have started much earlier than other places. But I’m not sure that we’re all that much worse than most other states. Okay, maybe some of the really red states don’t have any people wearing masks anymore. But still, many of the most desirable places to live in the country still have some restrictions. Last time I checked, for example, Texas has only one less sector closed than we do. So much for the free wheeling, lone star state that Rogan’s rushing off to.

Reason NotTo Leave California #2 — Soaring Cost of Living

California is experiencing a housing crisis. It is too expensive to live here.

Is it really, though?

I do agree that living somewhere with housing costs too expensive for the local economy is a pain. But I’m not sure that this is the case in California. I mean, sure, cost of living is really high when compared to other places. But you know what else is really high? OUR WAGES. In fact, California’s major metropolitan areas rank at the very top of metropolitan areas in regards to median salary. Also, as a native Californian I can attest to the fact that NOT EVERYWHERE IN CALIFORNIA COSTS A LOT TO LIVE. California is an incredibly diverse state. There are ocean side communities, farmlands, concrete jungles, and mountain escapes all packed into the jurisdiction of one governor in Sacramento. Surely you don’t need to change states to find affordable housing. Chances are, the next town over costs way less or more than the one you are in now.

What’s more, the pandemic has actually caused housing prices to shift. For example, rents are down as much as 30% in San Francisco. 30%! That’s insane.

Reason Not to Leave California #3 — The Politics

I feel like people might get mad at me for this one, but I don’t personally feel like the politics are a good reason to leave the state. Similarly to my point about the cost of living, the politics are not as extreme in this state as you might think. Sure, the government in Sacramento calls the shots, but that doesn’t mean everyone everywhere agrees with them. Some places, like the OC, are really conservative, whereas some places like San Francisco are really liberal. If you don’t like being around people with different political opinions than yourself, good luck finding people anywhere who agree on everything exactly the same way you do.

Reason Not to Leave California #4 — the Fires

Californians are so blessed with, for the most part, wonderful weather conditions year round that when something goes wrong, they freak out. If you are out walking down in the OC and a little bit of rain comes down, everybody runs inside or crowds the donut shop around the corner. In British Columbia, rain doesn’t stop anyone from doing anything. Similarly, the fact that we have some natural disasters is enough to make people want to leave. Oh, okay, so you have to put up with a little bit of smoke in the air — tough. Would you rather a tornado come and whisk you away? What about a hurricane? What about a random snow storm that traps you and your friends on a bus necessitating the National Guard come and save you.

These are all REAL problems that the rest of the country has to face on a day to day basis. I’m sorry your air quality spiked above “good” for the day.

(Not to belittle the people that actually have homes burned down by fires or lose loved ones. That is not a small thing. But people like me complaining about some smoke don’t have a leg to stand on).

The Number 1 Reason You Should Leave California — Because You Want To!

Hey, if you want to leave California, more power to you. I’m all for it. Being able to hop around a massive country is something we Americans take so much for granted it isn’t even funny. It’s your right to leave — your prerogative. Enjoy yourself. But don’t tell yourself that where you move to won’t have it’s own share of problems. Paying for housing still sucks other places, you’ll never find a group of people that agree with you 100% of the time, and natural disasters and weather problems are everywhere.

If you are moving, however, for a better job, a better opportunity for you and your family, or simply because you just want to broaden your horizons by exploring new and different places, then please, by all means, live your best life. Meanwhile, I’ll be enjoying the lower cost living, the reduced traffic, caused by the millions of Americans opting out of the California dream.

Originally published at on October 16, 2020.

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