Friday, August 03, 2012

No Longer the Golden State

A comment at Vox Day (Aztlan rising II):
I work for a big tech company that most of you would recognize. It is mostly owned by an even bigger tech company that is based in California that you would all recognize. In the world of engineers I know, no engineers outside of California want to be transferred into the state. I spoke with a few engineers that worked for Broadcom and they refused positions in CA, they would rather be laid off then go live in Silicon Valley. In a similar manner, I spoke with engineers that lived in Atlanta that would refuse a lateral transfer to CA. Lastly folks in my company will not accept transfers to the San Diego division of my company (based in PA); they would rather be laid off. I know some high-energy physics chaps (my brother) and his compatriots all been fleeing CA to work on the east/mid-west, this trend seems to have existed for about 7 years.

In the case of the Broadcom folks, an interesting thing happened. It started with a downsizing of the facility and then they closed it. The first set of engineers offered positions refused them, so they went to engineers who had already been laid off and offered them the position in CA. They too refused after going out to CA. The folks told they would be laid off if the refused to transfer were eventually allowed to work from home when they closed the local Broadcom facility. In essence, they could not get the talent to go to CA, so they allowed the folks to continue where they were.

Now when I poll folks on why this is the case, it seems to come down to 4 factors:

1) The pay differential does not make up for the much higher costs in living in CA; you will take a considerable hit in your standard of living. The high cost of housing and individual taxes seem to be the major issue.
2) Engineers are not stupid and mostly white males, they can see that long term if they move to CA they will end up being a hated minority and a target for confiscatory taxes once the state goes Hispanic.
3) Related to that the Gun laws of CA make it a place where the more liberty minded hardware engineers simply do not want to live in a state hostile to them, the gun laws of CA are worse then those of NJ and NY, if one can believe it. In the case of GA, PA, DE and NH the laws are much worse.
4) The lifestyle is not one that they think in conducive to a good family life (between the possibility of their family being in the victim class in a 10 years when their children are on the wrong side of identity politics, the high taxes, the long commutes from where you can afford to live, the police state, etc). This seems to b related to their wives as well; one fellow mentioned his wife thought a much lower paying job that kept them out of CA was a better path for the family and the kids.

This is a remarkable development. When I first became an engineer in the late 1980s California was the golden land, it was the dream of a lot of tech folks to work for a start up or tech giant out there. It was the model of high tech. Even if folks did not want to live in CA long term, it was seen as a path to success, I lived in CA from 1994 to 1995. I would not choose to go back again by the way.

There's some limited discussion in the thread about the Church and the role of the bishops with repsect to the immigration/assimilation problem.

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