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Leaving California: Interviews With Californians Who Moved To Greener Pastures, Part VIII

‘Unless you love looking at corn, don’t move to Nebraska’

By Katy Grimes, September 30, 2019 2:57 pm

What could possibly make someone leave sunny San Diego, California for a move to anywhere else in the United States? According to our latest interview on Leaving California, the climate — “California’s business climate.”

Everyone is piling on California these days, and for many valid reasons. California is always ranked as one of the worst states in the country in which to run a business, while many other states are ranked at the top of the chart. “California has it real bad, with the state’s ideal climate and digital-tech dominance simply not able to overcome CEOs’ impressions that the Golden State just doesn’t care about how expensive and difficult it is to do business there,” Chief Executive says. “So it keeps hogging the bottom of the Chief Executive list.”

“Perennial No. 1 Texas is an example.” Texas always ranks as one of the best. Chief Executive rankings show Texas in first place and California in an embarrassing last place at 50th.

Nebraska moved up to No. 20 from 26th last year in the Chief Executive state rankings:

“Nebraska has been spinning its agricultural assets into a thriving biotech sector and growing its manufacturing base. Veramaris, a joint venture of DSM and Evonik, is constructing a $200 million facility to make Omega-3 fatty acids from natural marine algae. Prairie Catalytic also opened in September 2018 a $50 million biobased ethyl acetate production facility in Columbus. And in Lincoln, Kawasaki Motors will fabricate and assemble more than 1,600 New York subway cars, starting in 2021.”

“Chris” left California recently, landing in Nebraska solely for business reasons. “Unless you love looking at corn, don’t move to Nebraska,” he said. Chris is in Nebraska for work, which will come to an end after the next election. He says Nebraska is more affordable than California, but notes the property taxes are high in the Cornhusker State. But that’s about it for high costs.

Nebraska borders MissouriColoradoIowaKansasSouth Dakota, and Wyoming.

The median existing single-family home price in the Midwest rose 6.6 percent, to $204,000, in the second quarter of 2017 compared with the second quarter of 2016, according to Bankrate.com.

Nebraska has a median house price of $155,800.

“The cost of living in Nebraska is 11.5 percent lower than the national average. That means that on average, residents of Nebraska pay 88.5 percent of the nation’s average cost of living. For example, if something costs $100 in the rest of the country, it’s likely to only cost $88 in Nebraska,” Movoto.com reported.

Nebraska’s median household income is $59,970, and the average household income is $74,309.

Nebraska The Cornhusker State Map vintage postcard

I’m testing states out deciding where to land,” he said. “We check out the people, amenities, politics and the economy. And the weather,” he added.

His girlfriend works in the high tech industry. She says without special connections for good high-tech jobs, she thinks she will do better in other states. San Antonio, Texas is one location she’s looking at.

Chris has owned several small businesses, the last of which he says was largely killed by Amazon. So he decided to leave California and do petition circulating, working from state-to-state, election-to-election – a business he had previously been in.

“I’ve been in Florida, and Northwest Arkansas which has a lot of California transplants,” Chris said. He said he liked Northwest Arkansas, noting it is the corporate home of Walmart. “There is a lot of money there,” he said. “There are car manufacturing plants – German autos – and the restaurants are good.”

“In Florida, all you have to do is look and see how many California license plates are around.”

He said the people are friendly in Florida, but the weather… he prefers San Diego. He admits that he misses the beach. And the perfect weather. “In California you feel like you are being pampered by the weather,” Chris said. “It’s humid everywhere else.”

Chris sent me a message recently saying he “encountered a meth head selling narcotics to get by in Arkansas.” The meth head said he was planning on moving to Los Angeles because he heard that you can live comfortably while homeless out there. “Those you see homeless in Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Francisco are not all native Californians,” Chris said.

Chris is headed for Georgia next, and then Massachusetts. “I’ll be back to California for the holidays,” he added. “I didn’t really want to leave — no matter how $#@!-up it gets,” Chris said. But cooler heads prevailed, and he likes working.

Chris said he will check back in with the Globe when he lands in another state. Meanwhile, wherever he travels checking out states, he said he’s looking to land within 100 miles of a major national baseball team. “I miss my home state,” Chris said. But he added he doesn’t miss the homeless explosion, or the illegal immigration flooding California.

“Everywhere we go we see former Californians.”


Leaving California, Part I – Texas

Leaving California, Part II – Arizona

Leaving California, Part III – Idaho

Leaving California, Part IV – North Carolina

Leaving California, Part V – Nevada

Leaving California, Part VI – Indiana

Leaving California, Part Vll – Nevada

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