Many people are sitting around unemployed (or often UNDERemployed) in California, waiting for the state’s economy to recover. The state and federal governments’ response is to PAY people to stay unemployed — with unemployment benefits, food stamps and a host of other taxpayer subsidies. And, sadly, too often this policy produces exactly what one would expect — persistent unemployment.
In the “Dust Bowl” days of the 1930’s, the fabled Oakies picked up and moved for a better economic opportunity — often in California. There was no welfare state to entice them to sit in the dirt and do nothing. Necessity dictated their mobility
Today’s Californian are less anxious to find work outside the Golden State, though many are indeed leaving for better economic opportunities. Last year we lost a net 100,000 migrants to other states (100K more than moved to CA FROM other states).
Here’s a WALL ST JOURNAL video about one California family that is moving to Williston, North Dakota, where unemployment is as low as 1%. The mom and dad have been unemployed since the recession started, but finally the dad went off to North Dakota and got an “oil job,” presumably with no experience (he was a Realtor in CA). The AVERAGE such oil job pays $90,000. In the video interview, the fellow says that an aggressive worker can make up to $200K a year.
Now the family is moving to ND to join dad, who is having a home built for his family. The monthly home payment cost will be $1,500.
The family sees it as a permanent move. They really dislike leaving CA, with it’s great weather, urban perks and (of course) their friends, but they fully understand that their future probably lies in the high plains of North Dakota.
Here’s the video
BTW, after the video another North Dakota oil video pops up on the WSJ website, detailing some aspects and problems of this oil fracking boom.