From the article:
The large flow of middle- and lower-income workers out of California is a trend that dates to at least the late 1980s, according to demographic expert William Frey, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington.As I suspected, the pattern intensified during the housing boom. Economic growth intensifies demand for housing in highly productive cities, and given the local lids on supply, the housing boom was largely a facilitation of migration away from these productive cities. Families were replacing 1,000 sf apartments in Silicon Valley with 4,000 sf tract homes in Dallas. That made it look like overinvestment was the cause of the boom, but really under-investment was the cause. If Silicon Valley had approved a million high rise condos and apartments, rent inflation would have dropped, incomes would have risen (because families wouldn't have moved away from Silicon Valley to lower paying jobs in lower cost cities), and inflation would have declined (because rent inflation in California is a significant part of core inflation). We would have had more economic growth with less residential investment. This is the core story behind the supposed "bubble" economy.
During the last decade, out-migration from California peaked during the housing boom. The trend continued during and after the Great Recession, though at a slower pace.
...But the influx of higher-income, college-educated migrants from other states to California has been on the upswing since the recession, according to Census data.
And, wouldn't you know, according to the article, this has been happening since at least the 1980s. Here, coincidentally, is a graph (in log scale, so a straight line represents stable growth rates) of the combined population of the Los Angeles and San Francisco MSAs.
People in California aren't making things up. They really are living in a world where the middle class is squeezed out of existence, the upper class is doing well, and the lower class can only survive with extensive public support.
Soak the rich policies in California could alleviate this problem. This dynamic really is worsened by economic growth. So, again, the difference between blue state and red state opinions really could be a matter of experience. In open access red states, economic growth really does benefit everyone. But, in closed access blue states, economic growth leads to in-migration of high income workers, rising cost of living, and stress on low income workers. A voter in California could reasonably feel that economic growth is all going to the top 1% and that the system is rigged. But the system isn't rigged in Houston.
Is there a way we can move Silicon Valley to Austin? Austin's not a bad place. They have a great music scene. California clearly doesn't want Silicon Valley. We really should talk about this. Practically anyone else would be happy to have it. Maybe we can elect Donald Trump president. He could probably figure out a way to get someone to pay for the move.
Maybe then, Californians would stop trying to fix their problem by expanding their closed access policies to the rest of the country.