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Blue Bleed: More Residents of Democrat-Dominated Areas Rush for the Exits

AP Photo/Matt Marton

We've covered California's population bleed on several recent occasions, noting how that mass exodus -- driven by a lack of affordability, crime, and other dysfunction -- makes Gov. Gavin Newsom's little trolling tour of red states look all the more preposterous. The not-so-Golden State's struggles are particularly dramatic and pronounced, but other blue states and cities are also driving residents away. If California is the outbound U-Haul king, which it has been for several years, Illinois is the dogged runner-up. One wonders how the election of a radical leftist might hasten this phenomenon:


Illinois continues to lose residents to other states as IRS data shows 105,000 residents moved out of state in 2020, taking with them $10.6 billion in income. “The average income of the people moving to Illinois make $44,000 less than the people who are leaving Illinois, so we’re losing wealthier people and the ones that come in are not as wealthy,” Ted Dabrowski, president of the non-profit analytics firm Wirepoints, told The Center Square. The data from the Internal Revenue Service is based on tax returns filed in 2020 and 2021. Illinois’ population decline resulted in the loss of one congressional seat after data was released from the US Census Bureau. In 2021, Gov. JB Pritzker blamed the out-migration on a lack of affordable colleges.

Is that really the best spin Pritzker has? Like Newsom, that guy wants to be president, which would furnish him with an opportunity to impose his failures on the rest of the country.  As data continues to trickle in, the trends in Illinois will be further confirmed.  Its biggest city and economic engine is unsafe, the union-dominated state's finances are an absolute trainwreck, and its political class actively punishes and demonizes success.  People are sprinting away from the Land of Lincoln -- including businesses that simply cannot operate under the conditions they're facing (with more tax increases quite possibly on the way).  Speaking of which, you may have heard about Whole Foods shutting down one of its prime San Francisco locations due to crime.  How bad was the problem?  This bad:


Workers at a San Francisco Whole Foods Market were routinely threatened with weapons before the crime-plagued store announced it was shuttering after a little more than a year in business. Records of 568 emergency calls to the Market Street store over 13 months showed chaotic incidents, including vagrants throwing food, yelling, engaging in fights and attempting to defecate on the floor, according to the New York Times. “Male [with] machete is back,” according to one 911 call; “Another security guard was just assaulted,” according to another call. One call noted that security guards at the store were assaulted by a knife-wielding man, who then sprayed employees with a fire extinguisher. One man reportedly overdosed from fentanyl and methamphetamine in the bathroom in September, according to the Times.

This store was open for just over a year, so this amounts to well over one emergency 911 call every single day. Unsustainable.  I know Democrats try to cherrypick statistics to claim certain crimes are down, including 'petty' crimes, but what's actually happening is people have stopped reporting such incidents because there's no point in doing so.  Police won't investigate, and prosecutors won't prosecute.  Some have stated this explicitly.  So people aren't bothering to file reports.  And politicians then point to reduced reports as evidence of decreased crime.  It's a literally incredible racket that nobody buys.  The proof is businesses leaving or taking extreme measures to thwart criminals.  And on and on it goes:


Nordstrom is planning to close both of its Downtown San Francisco stores, choosing not to renew its lease obligations at its location in the Westfield Mall. It will also close a second nearby Downtown Nordstrom Rack. The retailer confirmed the closures on Tuesday. In an email to employees, the company's chief stores offices wrote that "the dynamics of the downtown San Francisco market have changed dramatically over the past several years, impacting customer foot traffic to our stores and our ability to operate successfully." The two planned closures represent about 357,500 square feet of retail space, according to the San Francisco Business Times, which first reported Nordstrom's plans...The Westfield mall and its owner, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, said in a statement that the planned closure "underscores the deteriorating situation in Downtown San Francisco."..."A growing number of retailers and businesses are leaving the area due to the unsafe conditions for customers, retailers, and employees, coupled with the fact that these significant issues are preventing an economic recovery of the area."

Harmful urban decay, driven exclusively by "progressive" policies.  But even San Francisco isn't as abjectly insane as this:

Oregon Democrats have introduced a state bill that would decriminalize homeless encampments and allow unhoused residents nearly unlimited access to public spaces. The “Oregon Right to Rest Act” aims to support people experiencing homelessness by allowing them to “rest in public spaces and seek protection from adverse weather conditions,” as well as use public spaces freely without time limits based on their housing status. The bill would also allow homeless people to sue for $1,000 if they are harassed or kicked off public land...Oregon saw one of the country’s largest increases in the number of homeless residents between 2020 and 2022, according to The Oregonian...The number of people experiencing homelessness in the state rose to about 18,000 over the two-year span for an increase of nearly 23%, the local paper reported, citing federal data. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Farrah Chaichi, is in the House Committee on Housing and Homelessness and is set to be discussed at a public hearing Thursday. “None of our homeless neighbors deserve to face police harassment and displacement, especially when they’re trying to rest,” Chaichi said in a tweet last year. “It’s time to pass right to rest legislation, and protect our most vulnerable from law enforcement harassment and brutality.”

The "right" to "rest."  They're going to make Portland even worse, somehow.  Meanwhile, let's check in on New York.  Last year, Gov. Kathy Hochul invited Republicans in her state to move to Florida, "where you belong."  She later backtracked frantically, worrying aloud about the alarming rate of departures from the Empire State.  Nice work, Kath.  Bang up job:

New York’s pandemic-induced exodus is killing the state’s bottom line. The Empire State’s pool of adjusted gross income shrank by nearly $16 billion in 2021 compared to just two years ago — representing a major loss in potential tax revenue compared to pre-COVID levels, according to newly released data from the Internal Revenue Service cited by the Wall Street Journal. The data shows New York lost a whopping $24.5 billion in state adjusted gross income in 2021 as residents relocated. That marked a major uptick from the state’s loss of $19.5 billion in 2020 and just $9 billion in 2019. Much of that has wound up in Florida, which has seen a $10 billion windfall in 2021 stemming from newly arrived New York transplants, according to the data.

One ex-New Yorker living in Florida might be trying to spin a tale of the Sunshine State's "misery and despair" for transparently political reasons, but basically nobody believes that. The numbers speak for themselves.  I'll leave you with the latest destructive, galaxy-brain scheme from the lunatics on the DC city council, who seem hellbent on ruining the city:


Aside from driving directly to and from work, right near the Capitol, I almost never drive in DC anymore, due to the rampant carjacking epidemic (I'll remind you that Republicans in Congress forced an overturning of the city council's new law that reduced carjacking penalties).  When I do go in for meetings, or to meet people for dinner, I take Ubers.  If the city is going to intervene to jack up those costs, I will absolutely avoid the District even more than I currently do -- and I won't be alone.  The crime-and-dysfunction spiral for businesses will only worsen.  So of course the council is moving in this direction.

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