Legalize Immigrants From Mexico; Ban Immigrants From California

Until a few years ago, I did business up and down the Pacific Coast.  If I had to rank the business climates of these states, from worst to best, I would informally come up with something like:

  1. (worst) Certain California counties (e.g. Ventura, San Francisco, Santa Barbara)
  2. Oregon
  3. Western Washington
  4. Rest of California
  5. Eastern Washington

So I was interested to see that Oregon may finally be getting the bad press it deserves as a difficult place to do business, though, interestingly enough, this particular article blames it on the Californians:

Some might call this California disease. This refers to a chronic inability to make hard decisions as well as a general disregard for business and economic activity....

With all the influx of Californians, it's not surprising that Oregon shows some signs of California disease. It recently increased its tax rates so that Oregon's highest-income taxpayers face marginal tax rates that match Hawaii's for the highest in the nation. Oregon's land-use planning had been extremely centralized for some time. Indeed, Oregon's land-use planning may be the most centralized in the United States. This makes it harder for communities to control their own destinies, whether they want to grow or not.

Interestingly, I actually wrote about similar effect in the context of immigration into the US.  While I am a supporter of open immigration, my greatest fear is that in the name of individual liberty, we would let in millions of new people who would someday vote against individual liberties.  It seems that may be a more substantial problem with Californian than Mexican immigration.

The good news for the rest of us is that Oregon may preferentially be attracting the slackers

Our analysis of California migrants has shown a gradual reduction in their earnings over what they were earning in the Golden State. There also are less quantifiable impacts. Portland, a city attractive to many unemployed and underemployed younger Californians, could well be becoming the "slacker" capital of the world.

Fortunately, Arizona is so politically un-correct with slacker/socialist/statist/greenie types that we don't get a lot coming here.


  1. John Anderson:

    I'm afraid I don't understand your last sentence. Are you saying Arizona has so many lefties that people don't emigrate there? Wouldn't an atmosphere like that attract Californians?

    Or is Arizona culture so hostile to lefties that you don't get many?

    Being from IL/MA, I'm not very familiar with AZ culture.

  2. thebastidge:

    Sure, rub it in.

    I was born in Oregon, lived most of my childhood in Oregon, a bit in California, and finished up my high school years in Eastern Washington.

    All I can say is, "shit has changed". I really do blame a LOT of it on Californians. The equity refugess have imported their attitudes with them. They've brought California culture, fashions, and socialism with them.

    Add that in to the 'native' hippies that came here at the end of the 60's as their movement wound down and lost credibility, with a few hold-out pockets in out of the way corners, and we have ended up with way too many slackers opting out of productive society. We are a sanctuary city not only for illegal immigrants, but for indigents and undesirables of all stripes.

    I love the area for its climate and natural beauty, but I think more about moving away all the time. The problem is most places with technical jobs are just as bad socially. I even liek the diversity of the place, but I want all those diverse elements to meld together to make a whole better than the original, not stand apart in fractured pieces, all of them a lesser, distorted copy of their original models.

  3. Dan P.:

    I think it's that Arizona itself is uncool: urban sprawl, the absolute necessity of owning a car, ubiquitous air conditioning, no downtown to speak of, ugly architecture, nuclear power, and sure there's cultural diversity, but it's the wrong kind of cultural diversity. It's not that AZ culture is hostile to lefties. It's that slacker/socialist/statist/greenie types are hostile to the pre-existing AZ culture.

    (As for me, I love all these things but the ugly architecture.)

  4. ElamBend:

    I was visiting Texas last year to check out some apartment buildings my then-employers were interested in buying.
    Two different apartment managers complained to me about people moving from California to Texas. One specified that they moved to Texas to get a lower cost of living, but then expected all the free hand-outs that they got in California.
    I was at least heartened by the fact that both managers took that attitude that that kind of stuff wasn't acceptable in Texas.

  5. NewEnglandDevil:

    ref. relocated MassHoles to New Hampshire, where they immediately begin implementing the same horrible policies that made MA too expensive for them to live in. Go figure.

  6. Rick:


    This article was published in "The Oregonian" and is being blasted. It's a cynical attempt to stoke the long time irrational hatred "some" Oregonians have had for California. It's a sad attempt to recreate the days when Oregonians said "Welcome to Oregon. Now go home."

    Oregon's problems, similar to that of the rest of the U.S., are not nearly as simple as this stupid article implies. Oregon, with Portland's liberal orthodoxy, has been its own worst enemy with or without Californians.

    This article is lazy provincialism at its worst. It generalizes "Californians", whatever that means.

    It doesn't mention the many ex-Californians, like myself, who start businesses and pay long time or native Oregonians for work when their "native" neighbors aren't doing a damn thing... or sold homes or land to Californians and moved away. It doesn't mention "semi retired" people like my parents who come here every summer and spend thousands of dollars every month.

    A better and more objective question would be, "How much have Californians added to our economy?" It's true. Just where would Oregon's lousy economy be WITHOUT "semi-retired" Californians coming here to spend money?

    As for the young people, I've been living in the Portland area for over a year now. I've met transplants from NY, WA, NV, ID, MT, TX, GA, NC, HI, NE, and Europe. Aren't any of them "slackers"? They don't vote for "free lunches" too? I assume it's not much different in a place like Texas.

    It doesn't mention all of the people who STILL move to California and vote for free lunches too.

    Not every "Californian" is looking to recreate the "California disease" somewhere else. Some, like myself, were looking to get away from it. But when I look out across the entire U.S. landscape I see much of the same disease, or just a "conservative" version of it.

    Furthermore, one of the writers of that article was from Cal Lutheran... why do Oregonians need a Californian to warn them of "California disease". The good professor would do much better to focus on his own states problems. Talk about displacing blame... blame the people who have left our state! Then, tell the people of their new state to blame the newcomers!

    Coyote, this sort of provincial crap is beneath you. Using "statistical analysis" to give credibility to a lame stereotype and play on peoples irrational fears of "them" is just as backwards as ex-Californians voting for the same stupid policies that ruined their old state.

  7. Rick:

    (Not sure why my last comment didn't post, sorry if you see two similar posts from me)

    I suppose all of those "semi-retired" or "retired" Californians who come up here and pay taxes and spend thousands in Oregon every year should leave?

    So all of the ex-Californians who come here and start businesses and employ people should go back too?

    The ex-Californians who are trying to get away from the so-called "California disease" but look out across the U.S. and see the same disease elsewhere, or just a "conservative" version of it... they're not considered? Instead these writers are using statistical analysis to play on a generalization of all "Californians"?

    This stupid article doesn't mention all of the people who move to CA and vote for free lunches. Talk about displacing blame. Blame the people who left! And then tell the neighboring state to blame those same people! Brilliant! Such crap.

    And all of those transplants I've met here in OR from NY, WA, HI, NV, ID, MT, TX, GA, NC, MA, MI, and Europe are never "slackers"?

    Stereotypes and provincial attitudes are for the weak minded. I expect more out of you Coyote.

  8. Bob Smith:

    While I am a supporter of open immigration, my greatest fear is that in the name of individual liberty, we would let in millions of new people who would someday vote against individual liberties

    Once you identify those peope, are you willing to throw them out of the country en masse? If you aren't, open immigration is license to invade, with the destruction of your culture the inevitable side effect.

    Mexican immigrants are doing a pretty good job replicating the dysfunction of Mexico, and are often quite in your face about refusing to learn English, refusing to adopt American values, and stealing from the US taxpayer. That half the country thinks it's wrong to say US culture is superior or demand that immigrants adopt our values, due to decades of mulicultural indoctrination in our schools, doesn't help matters.

    Look at what Muslim immigration is doing to the UK. The UK is truly on the road to hell.

  9. Rick:

    Really Bob? You can speak for all Latino immigrants? There are plenty of Americans - not just Californians - who are voting against liberty and refuse to learn "proper" English.

    Anything that stereotypes a person based on ethnicity, national origin, religion, etc., is playing the dangerous game of making people fear "the other", or "them", the "immigrant", or a minority. It breeds irrational hatred and makes people blame others for their own problems, which is not exactly taking "personal responsibility" either.

    I thought this was a "libertarian" blog. But after reading some of these posts and comments it's really more of a conservative blog. Maybe Coyote should rename it Elephant Blog.

  10. Bob Smith:

    Really Bob? You can speak for all Latino immigrants?

    Illegals aren't immigrants, they're invaders. Immigrants don't violate our laws and shoot our border patrol agents. I don't recall speaking for them. I was, rather, speaking about them. I do not recall "often" being a synonym for "all".

    It breeds irrational hatred and makes people blame others for their own problems, which is not exactly taking “personal responsibility” either.

    It is now "hatred" to discuss the problems of ethnic Mexican enclaves in the US, and how similar they are to Mexico itself? It is now "hatred" to demand they clean up their act? Which of my problems did I blame immigrants for?

    I thought this was a “libertarian” blog

    What's unlibertarian about demanding border and immigration control? What's unlibertarian about demanding that immigrants hew to our values, and keeping out those that don't? Even if by the grace of your higher power you manage to establish a libertarian state, open immigration will destroy it within a single generation. Is that really the legacy a good libertarian wants to leave to his children, a state that's guaranteed to self-destruct because it's ideologically opposed to self-defense?

  11. nom de guerre:

    what's fascinating to me about the people who defend illegal aliens and the myriad problems they cause - and spare me the platitudes about how hard they work, etc. i was born and raised in a city located **precisely** on the mexican border, so i've *forgotten* more about la cultura mojado than you'll ever know - what's fascinating is the unspoken notion they all seem to have: that somehow we, the USA, have a moral *obligation* of some sort to allow unlimited immigration, legalities be damned, and to give them all the benefits of american citizens the instant they get here.

    advocates of illegal mexican aliens love this, of course, and exploit it every chance they get. when it's pointed out that MEXICO guards its own borders zealously - except in the case of drug smuggling, naturally - and craps all over (jail and rapid deportation) illegal salvadoran/honduran aliens they catch in mexico trying to get to the golden land....they become strangely silent.

    seems like WE'RE the only ones with that moral obligation. as far as the 'libertarian' position on immigration goes, i'd imagine it's something like this: let 'em all in, but no welfare/aid/afdc/free school/free hospitals/census representation until they become citizens. fine by me - are the mojado activists willing to take that deal? no, of course not: they want it both ways. as far as the "stereotyping a group is mean and naughty" argument, pay a visit sometime to a mexican border city. notice if you will all the burglar bars, even in the nice areas of town. for extra credit, leave your car unlocked overnight and see the results next morning. find out, if you can, the percentage of illegals in the nearest penitentiary.

    the truth is not necessarily stereotyping. knowing that, in theory at least, that there are a few honest lawyers and cops and illegals doesn't make it "wrong" to assume the lawyer/cop/illegal you're dealing with at the moment is a crooked lowlife: since the odds are so heavy they ARE, it's the smart way to bet. same goes for ex-californians. why would you trust or even listen to someone who's fouled their own nest, and now wants a say in how you run yours?

    this phenomenon is not limited to just californians, BTW: back in the late '70's, houston took in a wave of michiganders fleeing their dying state. naturally, the second they arrived, they started trying to replicate the workers paradise they'd just fled. this led to a lot of native houstonians sporting my favorite bumper sticker of all time: "frankly, i don't CARE how you did it back in detroit!"

  12. Bob Smith:

    as far as the ‘libertarian’ position on immigration goes, i’d imagine it’s something like this: let ‘em all in, but no welfare/aid/afdc/free school/free hospitals/census representation until they become citizens.

    That's a common position. It's also a foolish one. A sufficiently large immigrant population, one that doesn't share your values, will likely turn to extortion. "Give us welfare/aid/afdc/free school/free hospitals or we'll raise hell". Google "carbecue Paris" for a prime example. Some of the reconquista rhetoric is borderline extortion too.

    There is also the matter of crime and poverty. It's all well and good to say you don't care if they're recreating the slums they escaped from because you aren't giving them "welfare/aid/afdc/free school/free hospitals", but do you honestly want that crime and destitution in your town?

    Don't forget some meta issues:

    What incentive do Mexicans have to fix Mexico if they can just ignore our laws and move here?

    States like California print ballots in many languages. Since citizens are supposed to have demonstrated proficiency in English, it seems to me that the only reason you print ballots in Spanish is to suborn voting fraud by illegals.

  13. traderpaul:


    "...let ‘em all in, but no welfare/aid/afdc/free school/free hospitals/census representation until they become citizens..."

    is absolutely NOT the libertarian position on legal/illegal immigration.

    The libertarian point of view is that govt welfare, aid, schools, heathcare, etc. create many unintended consequences including out of control legal/illegal immigration. If there are no 'free' government programs for citizens then people wishing to immigrate would only do so if they wanted to pursue the original self supporting American dream.