Even Elon Musk is Leaving California Behind

The announcement that Tesla is moving its headquarters to Texas may not be a surprise, but it confirms trends that California’s progressive gentry simply refuse to acknowledge. Tesla, among the diminishing number of large manufacturers based in the state, joins a growing exodus that includes such tech giants as Oracle and Hewlett Packard, financial firms like Charles Schwab, and a host of high-end engineering and business service companies.

None of this will change the “What, me worry?” crowd in Sacramento, fresh off an impressive recall win, and their media claque, who see no “exodus” despite the fact that since 2000, 2.6 million domestic migrants — a population larger than the cities of San Francisco, San Diego, and Anaheim combined — have moved from California to other parts of the United States.

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Joel Kotkin is the author of The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class. He is the Roger Hobbs Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and Executive Director for Urban Reform Institute. Learn more at joelkotkin.com and follow him on Twitter @joelkotkin.