Kotkin talks with Jane Wells about why people are leaving California

Dumb and Dumber

By: Jane Wells
On: Wells Street

One of the funny things about being human is that no matter how successful we are, we always end up doing something stupid. I prove this point hourly. The hope is that over time we learn from our mistakes and don’t repeat them.

But who am I kidding?

So let’s get to it! Here’s a summary of dumb moves from Wall Street to Main Street to Tokyo.

An excerpt appears below. Visit Wells Street to read the full piece.


Shoplifting has surged in cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles because the state no longer considers any theft under $950 a felony. Nobody has time to hassle with misdemeanor charges because the jails are overcrowded and the five remaining cops who work in California are busy with a skyrocketing murder rate. It’s costing businesses so much money that stores in San Francisco are either closing early or closing for good.

Now Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is doing everything he can to respond to the nonexistent threat of Caitlyn Jenner replacing him in a recall election, has announced the California Highway Patrol will increase its retail crime detail. Yes, the people who send you to traffic school are now supposed to help stop the onslaught of grab-and-smash incidents which no longer involve much grabbing and smashing. It’s all very nonchalant.

Speaking of California, Chapman University’s Joel Kotkin has been looking at the data on who’s leaving the Golden State, and it’s not good. He says over two million more people have left California than arrived over the last couple of decades, and a lot of the people leaving are in their taxpaying prime, earning $70,000 to $200,000 a year.

“What’s shocking to me is the fact that so much of the media,” Kotkin says, “won’t acknowledge what the problems really are.”

Kotkin says while California “still has enormous things going for it,” he nevertheless fears that “the state is in denial.”

Kotkin explains here:



California Fleeing
Buy Joel’s latest book, The Coming of Neo-Feudalism
The Politics of Migration: From Blue to Red