Last night I met my first Portland, OR transplant. Upon asking them why they decided to move to Texas, they said that it was because of what they saw happening in Portland, and they wanted out before their property value tanked and they ended up caught up in all of the ridiculousness.
This is just the newest in a list of people that include family members from southern California, friends from Arizona and Colorado, a small business owner from New York, a Police Officer from NY now in Florida, and a host of others who are "exploring" moving out of either California, New York, Oregon, or Illinois.
So what? So some people want to move, what's the issue?
The issue is that these states are already running a deficit, and their ever expanding list of "social equity" programs makes their budgets untenable. This has left those states scrambling to find ways to make up the difference with Governor Cuomo of New York "calling out" those moving from the state, and the California legislature moving a bill forward that would hit residents moving out of state with a 10 year decreasing tax (90%. 80%,. 70%...).
It's ludacris, and if it were any other year, I'd be tempted to believe it was all some kind of mass political April Fools prank.
But... It's... Not...
The implications of these movements are monumental for American politics, even if most people don't know it yet. It might be hard, but try to imagine a world in which California is no more important in an election than Arizona. Or one where New York is no more important than Georgia. These aren't fantasies, they're a political reality that has played out for a number of states before, and are still real today.
The 2020 census is behind us, and we're already seeing some shifting in the numbers of representatives. Yet the largest movements out of these states occurred after the COVID-19 lockdowns and their financial impacts. That means that their final impact may not be known until 2030 when the next census is taken. It is then that we may see some currently unbelievable shifts if state voting power.
If you want to know why these power players are truly coming unglued at the movement away from their states, don't follow the money, follow the power. As representation leaves, so does their power on the national stage. Not that the money doesn't matter, or that they won't go after it, but the real reason for going after the money is to attempt to keep their power.
People say follow the money, but that's only partially true. Money follows power, so if you want to get ahead of the money, you have to follow the trail of power, and every person who moves out of these states costs their leaders that much more power. It was a steady, but slow bleed before, now it's a gushing wound. If I lived in one of those states, I would expect even more heavy handed tactics to restrict your moving out of state. As the power loss grows, so will the extreme measures to keep people from expatriating to other states. Now might be a good time to look at moving out, but please, don't bring the policies that made your state unlivable to your new state, you'll just end up repeating the process again in a decade or so.