People are fleeing progressive cities and states like crazy. But why are they leaving and where are they going?

Here’s a transcript of our conversation:

Emma: Hi, Brittany.

Brittany: Hi, Emma.

Emma: I thought that since Brittany is moving out of dc, which we very briefly discussed a couple of episodes ago, and I’ve recently moved as well, I’ve moved all over the country. We could maybe talk about why so many people are moving states right now. So, to give a quick rundown on my situation, I grew up in Oregon. I’ve talked about that before. Portland area, really crazy. Don’t necessarily recommend it anymore, which is sad. And then I lived in DC for a while and it was a similar situation.

Brittany: That’s where we met when you were in DC.

Emma: Exactly, yes. We met through some friends who love Ron Paul. Yes. And would get together and have dinner. It was really fun. Yes. So, I’ve lived in DC as well, which is where Brittany still lives. And I recently, about a year ago, moved to Tennessee and there were all sorts of reasons for this, but one of the big ones is that Tennessee is a state that has a lot of opportunity. It has just a lot of great things going for it that the other places I’ve lived in the past did not. So we’ll get into the specifics here in a bit, but Brittany, do you wanna give a quick rundown on your move situation? Yeah,

Brittany: So it’s gonna be a little bit further in the fall, but mine’s for different reasons. So definitely DC is crazy. I only hang out with people who agree with me, which is probably another problem too. So, but, so like, I don’t get the worst of it, but obviously taxes are gonna be high here. And I wanna go to Austin, Texas where there are no state income tax, which is gonna save me like $400 a month, which is gonna be awesome. I’m very much looking forward to that. But there’s also, I wanna be a performer. I wanna be a comedian. And so the two natural places to go would be LA or New York. Now I was born in LA so I’ve already spent my time there, but taxes are so high there and California is just terrible with all their laws. That’s not really an option for me. I don’t wanna put up with that. And New York similarly, right? Like New York also has terrible laws as terrible, terrible politicians because everywhere does and is very expensive to live. So Austin has always been my dream for a lot of reasons. It’s in Texas, which even though Austin tends to be a little more progressive, you still have, you know, gun rights and the things that makes Texas, so spectacular. But also it’s a place where the comedy scene is really growing. So instead of going to a place where I have to sacrifice, you know, a lot of freedom and a lot of money to live there, Austin makes a lot of sense because it’s got great comedians, but it’s also got an element of freedom that I don’t think other places have. Now, the problem with this is these cities, a lot of them like Austin are getting like sick of people moving there. Now I’m moving there for the right reasons, but a lot of people who got sick of San Francisco and LA, and California, they’re moving there because they’re sick of their states. But a lot of them don’t understand why their states got so bad. Yes. And so they’re moving to Austin and they’re like putting their own progressive policies into place. And for a while Austin’s homeless population was rising really quickly because of the same reasons it was in San Francisco, the governor I think, or the mayor’s actually been really good about kind of trying to fix that. But yeah, so that’s what’s funny is people wanna move for more freedom and then people bring their ideas with them.

Emma: Yes. That’s the crazy thing that I’ve noticed too is, you know, I grew up in Oregon and it wasn’t always as crazy as it is now. And I have a lot of really good family friends who’ve been there for generations and they always say, you know, take it with a grain of salt. But they always say, oh, it’s the Californians that brought the crazy here because all of these people started moving there in the seventies and eighties and even starting in the sixties cuz they were like, oh, it’s this untouched beautiful place and there’s all these forests and you can hang out and it’s pretty all the time. And they were like, yeah, it totally brought this, like this crazy crowd of people who wanted to try all of these progressive ideas and it totally tanked the state. And I think there are, there’s probably a lot more to it than that. But I definitely think that people bringing their ideas with them is a really quick way to change the dynamics of a state and even the quality of life there. And it’s something that I’ve come across in Tennessee a lot because Oregon and Portland unfortunately now are known as being this crazy sort of yes. War zone places where there’s this homeless problem and, and lots of violence and Antifas protests.

Brittany: Antifa.

Emma: Yeah. Antifa and destruction. And so when people ask me where I grew up, I, have to really quickly say, I’m like, well I’m from Oregon but I came to Tennessee because I love it here. I’m not trying to change anything. This is a great place. I’m not a crazy Portland person. And there’s a lot of crazy stuff going on with even the housing market because of everyone moving. But I think it’s really interesting, sort of watching which states are growing and which ones aren’t. And you know, there are all sorts of reasons for this. We’ve talked about a couple of them already, but I think lower taxes or states with no income tax are growing the fastest. I believe Florida has no income tax. I know Tennessee doesn’t, Texas doesn’t, those are three of the top fastest-growing states. And that’s not to say that they’re perfect regarding taxes. I live in Nashville and the property taxes in the city are crazy. They’re really crazy. But as far as the state goes, it’s pretty reasonable to live here like government tax burden-wise. another thing that comes from that, and that can sort of be an effect of that is there’s more opportunity, there’s a lot more jobs open, there’s more stuff going on when you think about all of the restaurants in these big, you know, more left-leaning liberal Democrat cities. a lot of them were locked down for such a long time that the market started to change for those things and places started closing down and there’s not quite as much opportunity or even when you’re thinking for bigger companies with skilled labor or specialized, you know, specialized jobs. There’s a lot more opportunity in places where the government is not as controlling of what businesses can do. And that’s one of the big reasons that we saw Tesla move to Texas. Yes. And they’re now making Teslas in Texas instead of California. It makes so much sense. And when you look at sort of the effects and the outcomes of these government programs, it’s pretty easy to see why people would want to move. So that’s sort of the business side of it. But then there’s also the personal side. This is something that I’ve also seen a ton of, even among my friend and family group from Oregon is people moving because of COVID and because of Lockdowns. Yes. Because they’re so sick of being told, you know, you have to wear a mask anytime you go indoors, even though the CDC is now saying that cloth masks don’t work. And there’s just such a lack of reasoning and common sense in a lot of these places. And my own family has recently, I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I have two younger brothers in high school and one that’s out of college now and married. And my entire family now lives in Tennessee instead of Oregon. And my parents and my two younger brothers who are in high school, they live in Chattanooga, they go to school there and they love it cuz they were like, wow, we don’t have to wear a mask to school. We’re able to play sports there. A lot of the leagues in Oregon are still shut down or they’ll make you play a mask while, or wear a mask while you play. And my brother and his wife moved here. They both got jobs here very quickly. And every time any of us goes back to Oregon to visit, we just think, wow, thank God we got out of there. Like, we’re really happy to be in a place that’s free and that’s opened still. And schools are a big part of that as well. There’s major cities that have had, you know, these union standoffs where teachers don’t wanna come to school and teach. So I think a lot of families have just kind of had enough. I don’t know. Brittany, have you had other folks that, you know, moving all over the place? I know DC’s fairly transient, to begin with.

Brittany: Yeah, well yeah. So my brother and his wife and therefore kids, they lived in California during all this cause that’s where I Oh wow. Was born and raised most of my life. But they eventually moved to Utah to be with the rest of my family because of the mask rules in school. And because my, so my brother and sister entrepreneurs, they run their own business and having the kids constantly sent, you know, because it was like, oh, schools are open. Oh, schools are closed. Yeah. Having that happen, it was very hard for them to run their business with the kids there all the time because, you know, being raising your kids is also a full-time job. So they couldn’t focus. And also they didn’t love that their kids were forced to wear masks. And so Utah I think varies on, I can’t remember the mask rules there for kids. Yeah. But it was at least better than it was in California. And so my family, you know, made that decision. I also saw a lot of people move from DC after or move not just DC but away from big cities after all the George Floyd protests, you know, the civil unrest I would call it. So I think that’s also been a big thing is people, and this happened, this is how the suburbs were formed. This happened a long time ago. Yeah. Like during the seventies and eighties, there was a lot of crime. And so people were moving out of the cities and into, you know, these suburbs, which is like areas outside of the city. And I think some people are even moving to like the country now to get away from everything. Yeah. But so you have people moving away from areas that are unsafe because as the economy has got worse and as the lockdowns have continued, crime is actually way up. It’s very scary. In DC you hear about shootings every single day and they’re not even like shootings of people who know each other and are angry. It’s just random. It’s very, very scary. So I think a lot of people just don’t wanna deal with that. And they’re moving. There’s, also they were some like study on where people looked at U-Haul and premise. I think the premise was, I really.

Emma: Yes, I was mentioned this.

Brittany: Yeah. But it’s really hard to get like U-Haul are like in so high demand, they’re like running out in California specifically. I think it was because everyone wants to move out. Like everyone is sick of it. But like we talked about before with Austen and the progressives moving there, like, it’s funny because people need to understand why they’re feeling like they need to move. Right. Yeah. Because it’s not just like, oh, things have gotten bad. You have to look at Okay, why have things gotten bad? Yes. And you know, people like you and I, Emma, we understand, but a lot of people don’t. And then again, like they take their ideas with them. But I think it’s interesting. It makes me sad cuz I like, so I live in Arlington, which is a suburb of DC, but it’s still kind of a big city and it’s right by DC. so it’s nice. I like living, I like the big city-like feeling especially Yeah. DC where it’s a big city, but it’s a small city. But you know, I think it’s just, it’s big cities have gotten too expensive. There’s too many regulations, which is why it’s gotten so expensive. Right. Yeah. And then Lockdowns really ruined that. And, you know, entrepreneurs trying to start businesses, it’s not ideal to do it in places like New York and California. So it’s sad, but it makes a lot of sense.

Emma: It does. Yeah. You’re so right. I think it’s a really good moment for all of us to sort of think through cause and effect. How does a place become great to live in versus really bad to live in? And what sorts of decisions led up to that? And that’s something that you can use all throughout your life. It doesn’t just need to be in looking at different cities and comparing, but that whole idea of cause and effect and how will these policies affect the quality of life and the cost of living and whether people wanna come here or not. It was really made clear to me when, like you said, we went to Rent a U-Haul to drive from DC to Tennessee. It was so much more expensive than we thought it would be because all of these U-haul are coming to Tennessee. There’s all of them here because no one is driving a U-Haul from Tennessee to California anymore. It’s not, not really happening. We saw actually recently the first population decline in New York City for the first time in decades. It was the first time in a very long time. And I think it really shows that people are starting to get fed up with these policies and say, you know what? I love this place, but it’s time for me to try somewhere else. So great, moment to think about cause and effect. Yes. And how these policies can impact and yeah. It’s a crazy thing that’s going on. And I’m sure that a lot of you guys have friends and family that are moving or thinking about moving. So we’re thinking of you guys and Brittany and I will keep you posted on both of our journeys as we. Yes. Our way to for your lands. But we’ll wrap it up here today. Guys. Thank you so much for listening and we will talk to you all again soon.

Brittany: Talk to you soon.