“Go west, young man.”
Horace Greeley’s words effectively captured the ethos of westward expansion in 19th-century America. They also contributed to our national fascination with California as a land of opportunity. From the gold rush to the birth of Hollywood to the rise of Silicon Valley, California was the place where ambition, entrepreneurship and big dreams could yield spectacular rewards.
Today, people are rejecting Greeley’s advice. Not only are few Americans moving to California, but residents are fleeing the state en masse. Why? Maybe because decades of mismanagement by state leaders has increased the cost of living, caused taxes to skyrocket and made people feel less safe.