Commentary & News

Commentary: Fleeing the Democrat Utopia of California

Commentary:  Fleeing the Democrat Utopia of California

September 14, 2021

“California has regulated and taxed its once-thriving economy into a coma.”[1]

As a consequence of the California Democrats’ “progressive” policies, businesses are increasingly leaving the state.

The primary recipients of this mass exodus are Texas, followed by Tennessee and Arizona – all three are Republican states. In fact, eight of the top ten states that benefit from California’s loss are Republican.[2]

A Hoover Institute study at Stanford shows that this year businesses are fleeing California at twice the rate as 2020. Since 2018, Apple, Tesla, Hewlett-Packard, Nestle USA, Oracle and Charles Schwab lead the list of over 265 major corporations that have either moved or are in the process of leaving California.

Also, many thousands of smaller enterprises have left since 2010. The flight includes well know individuals like Elon Musk, Joe Rogan, Larry Elison (Oracle), Drew Houston (Dropbox), Jonathan Oringer (Shutterstock), Ben Shapiro and many more. As a result, California has seen a decrease in adjusted gross income between 2010 and 2018 of $24.6 billion. It also reported a loss of population in 2020 for the first time ever.[3]

The reasons for leaving include high business tax rates (2nd highest), punitive regulations (100,000 higher than 2nd place New York), obstructive and expensive permits and licenses, energy costs (3rd highest), and cost of living (2nd highest).[4] The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council and the Tax Foundation rank California as the 49th worst state to do business in.

So what are the politics of these California transplants? Have they finally come to reject the progressive pie-in-the-sky policies that are bankrupting their state and causing them to leave? Or are they simply looking for a new host to suck dry?

We at CASE don’t have the answer, at least not yet. There is much anecdotal evidence that the exiles from California’s utopian paradise are infecting their new homes with the same socialist mindset. And there is little evidence that Apple and the other fleeing “woke” corporations have had an epiphany of common sense.

But we can always hope that the majority of those escaping California will learn to appreciate the reasons why they are searching for a new home, and will want to preserve those qualities they find so attractive elsewhere.

Unfortunately, common sense seems to be in short supply as we woefully watch the Biden administration and the Democrats in Congress attempt to turn the entire country into California with San Francisco and Los Angeles as their model cities.

If they succeed, there will be no place left to go.



[1] Stanford Study – More Businesses Have Already Fled California This Year Than in All of 2020

[2] Ibid

[3] List of companies leaving California grows, citing high tax burden, cost of living

[4] Businesses are fleeing California

By |2021-09-17T18:41:25+00:00September 14th, 2021|Categories: Commentary & News|

About the Author:

David Kullberg (, with his wife, Kelly, co-founded Christians for a Sustainable Economy ( and Finding God In ( David is the author of the novel, Breaking Babel, and the nonfiction book, Winning the World: An Invitation to the Church Courageous.