Lawrence J. McQuillan offers a less than surprising economic assessment for the Golden State in the City Journal, causing people to flee for better opportunities elsewhere. McQuillan states:

California continues to be burdened with high taxes, punitive regulations, huge wealth-transfer programs, out-of-control spending, and lawsuit abuse. And there’s no end in sight to the state’s fiscal madness.

Some entrepreneurial minded residents are finding states like Nevada more hospitable for economic opportunity. Nevada ranks second when it comes to inbound migration. The Pacific Research Institute’s 2008 U.S. Economic Freedom Index ranked Nevada sixth in the country in “economic freedom.” South Dakota secured the top spot for 2008.

The rankings and report PRI has compiled is worth studying. It’s not a bland read either, for example thoughts and quotes concerning the relationship between political and property rights by leaders like James Madison are included.

Undoubtedly the report would be very beneficial for state legislators to use as a tool for serving their constituents. McQuillan also notes in his piece:

Economic freedom—or the lack thereof—affects states in multiple ways. Migration alters the political map through congressional apportionment. Current projections suggest that California’s mass exodus will deprive it of a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives after the 2010 census. Economic freedom also impacts pocketbooks. In 2005, per-capita income in the 15 most economically free states grew 31 percent faster than in the 15 states with the lowest levels of economic freedom. Policies friendly to economic freedom help states shore up their finances, too. The 15 freest states saw their general-fund tax revenues grow at a rate more than 6 percent higher than the 15 states with the least economic freedom.

  • Tracy M Jue

    The economic and budget crisis is such a complex issue that the State ballot next week has several issues on the budget and economics status of the state. I think CA is striving to fix the budget by large expensive means like the article suggested. One of the issues on the State budget for example, is rather or not to construct fast light rail from San Francisco to Los Angeles. The project will create thousands of new jobs but unfortunately the costs to build the light rail would be billions that would not match the benefit of having thousands of new jobs. Another issue is providing thousands of dollars state funding health care advising for drug addiction in order to lessen time in jail. All of these issues seem like positive idea but CA legislative is blind to actually looking at what works and what doesn’t.

  • Tracy

    Here is latest news brief on the current issues for CA.
    http://www.gov.ca.gov/press-release/10966/