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Opinion Editorials

Why California’s population is packing their bags for Texas

While Texas is not the only state opening their arms to California refugees, the taker mentality of California and similar states is cause families to leave everything behind in frustration.



texas versus california homes

texas versus california homes

One example of the taker mentality: California

The false foundational premises of TakerNation’s ideological belief system are numerous. However, there’s one that unfailingly, as in every single time, gets ’em in the end. It says they’ll always have ProducerNation to plunder. This is why Takers often appear slightly  irritated. On one hand they despise Producers for being individuals, taking responsibility for themselves, earning their own way, and not having a feeling of entitlement. On the other hand, they realize their ideology dies on the vine without wealth. They can’t create wealth themselves, but they need it. See, without the ability to plunder the wealth of ProducerNation, TakerNation dies of malnourishment. The most recent and glaring example of this is now happening in real time in California, my native state.

There’s another false premise which has always lead them to trust in Producers generating wealth without end. They think you and I don’t alter our behavior due to agendas they’ve passed into law. For example, they believe the 30-something couple with two kids and one on the way, who both work, will ignore their ever shrinking take-home pay. Yet, Californians are leaving in droves for states who view bona fide Producers not as sheep to fleece, but as families who wanna be left alone to live their lives the way they see fit. Many fleeing the so-called Golden State are taking jobs with ’em. This baffles Takers no end. “After all we’ve done to make everything in life completely fair, they leave?!”

California’s ProducerNation is relocating

As I write this in my home office, I can see out my front picture window. It’s 80° with blue skies and a superb ocean breeze. Kids are picnicking with their moms a couple blocks away at the park. I can drive to a gorgeous beach in under 25 minutes. It rains just 8-12 inches yearly. Yet with all that and much, much more, people are making the choice to leave. They’re turning their lives upside down in the process, and they know this before they go. They leave family. They leave friends, some lifelong. They leave everything.

Why? Cuz they’re sick and tired and beyond angry at TakerNation leaders legally confiscating their hard earned money. They’re tired of being fleeced by TakerNation employees who think they should be paid high wages for showing up and not screwin’ things up most days. They’re sick and tired of courts allowing — no, wrong word — helping the tenants in their residential rental properties get away with non-payment of rent. They’re sick and tired of having worked their butts off so the entitled can whine incessantly about them not doing their fair share. They’re sick and tired of their kids being indoctrinated in California’s public schools.

Essentially, they’re sick and tired of being sick and tired. They’re good folk. They mind their own business. They teach their children OldSchool American core values — the ones by which they’ve always lived.

Then it happens. Let’s talk about the Porters.

The Porters’ favorite cousin, Sharon, comes to visit from a place like Texas. One night over a couple beers, they tire of hearing her rhapsodize about how good they have it, living in SoCal and all. They begin to rant. The cousin is caught off guard by the reality she begins to hear. “You paid over $5,000 in state income taxes?!” “Your house payment is how much?!!” “Excuse me, but for this?” And so on, and so forth, into the night. Fast forward to the following morning.

There’s been a good night’s sleep, kinda sorta, and fresh coffee. They’re enjoying the cool early summer morning weather, as they resume last night’s conversation.

That’s when the bovine refuse hits the spinning metal blades, big time. Our hard working, law abiding SoCal 30-somethings discover that cousin Sharon lives in a 4,000 square foot home she bought earlier this year in a great San Antonio neighborhood, for around $290,000. In SoCal’s neck of the woods, that much gets you a small, not so well located, old home. How old? At least 30.  Sharon’s monthly payment? Just under $1,900 a month including taxes and insurance. Since the Porter’s make over $90,000 between them, they could swing that without much trouble.

See where this is headed?

The Porter’s will be completely relocated into either San Antonio, or maybe Austin, in time to have an eight foot tree in their new family room by Christmas. California will only be fodder for stories they tell at family gatherings. California, the state blueprint for TakerNation, will have lost another household, the children they’ll have, and 30-50 years of their productive lives. Instead, they’ll be contributing to the vibrant ProducerNation that is Texas.

Multiply this by the thousands who’ve already left California, plus the, who knows how many families who’ll surely do so in the future, and you can see how the TakerNation script plays out. California is losing its best and brightest. Meanwhile those who come here illegally or from other states lookin’ for California’s famous (infamous?) welfare gig, are multiplying like freakin’ rabbits in spring time. Take a moment and play ‘Final Jeopardy’ with me.

Considering the two trends — Takers movin’ in while Producers racin’ for the exits — what would your prediction be for California’s economy in the next few years?

Remember the false premise. Takers believe in their heart of hearts that Producers and the wealth they create will forever be available to pillage. Takers, like goldfish, are repeatedly surprised when they find out Producers will take their wealth creation where they’re treated well, not like involuntary daily blood donors. Goldfish? You know. We put ’em in a bowl of water with a small plastic castle in the middle. Every three seconds they swim around and the castle comes into view. “Oh, wow! A castle!!”

Every time a Taker in California hears of someone they know having moved outa state, they’re shocked. They’ll say something like, “Boy, didn’t see that comin’.”

That’s their version of “Hey, look! It’s a castle!”

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  1. Roland Estrada

    July 5, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    One way to take care of a BIG chunk of California’s debt, is to figure out a way to take us into some form of bankruptcy. Bankruptcy would allow us in theory to trash all the public sector union contracts. Hopefully, then we could move every single public sector worker over to Social Security, even cops and firefighters.
    Yes I know I’m speaking sacrilege here. But who in the private sector gets to retire at 55 years of age with a pension worth 90% of their salary? I’ll tell you who, NOBODY.  Public sector unions are KILLING us, period!! 
    If you want a job in the public sector, great. Take the job because you want it, not because you get a cushy pension and benefits. If you don’t want the job then get out. I’m sure someone will take the job just to earn the money. 

  2. MacSac

    July 6, 2012 at 3:41 am

    Seems like though it’s native-born Californians that are moving out. Lots of Indian computer engineers are certainly moving in. With typical starting salary of 100K+, they bid up the home prices. UCLA really is University of Californians Lost AmongAsians.
    Maybe when enough people move out, not the 90k household income gardeners and the nannies though, just the people whose skillsets are a mismatch to the good paying jobs, the rest of California can just be open space for the start-up coders to decompress.
    Well, Texas, apparently, isn’t too friendly to folks of other shades.

  3. whybother

    September 9, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    MacSac, have you even been to Texas?  I will tell you this about Dallas, Texas, there are a lot of IT people and coders in Dallas because a lot of companies are moving to Texas.  Also,  I have brown skin but I was never asked if I was my child’s nanny in Texas while I was asked on multiple occasions if I was my child’s nanny in Silicon Valley.   I miss the extra $200/paycheck I used to receive when I worked in Texas where there is no income tax.  The weather may not be that great but $200 x 26 pays for a nice vacation or two.  I grew up in California and came back to California kicking and screaming.  AFter being back for a couple of years my husband has taken his rose colored glasses of and decided that we need to get the heck out of California.  After all the taxes (propert tax over $6000 and income tax) my child school says the average parent donates and average of $1600 per student!  Can you say WTF!  Where does all that money go.  Oh yeah that is right this is the taker state.  Well take from me no more free-loaders ‘cuz I am out of here to lower taxes and better educational system.

  4. TheSophist

    July 5, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    Really great points, Jeff, but…

    It’d be one thing if most of those moving to Texas from California, Massachusetts, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and other TakerStates would adopt the mindset and philosophy of Texans. Sadly, far too many of them keep the same old Social Justice Warrior mentality while enjoying the benefits of Old School American Values.

    Look at Austin as the shining example of people trying their damnedest to transform it into a mini California or mini Illinois. Houston and Dallas creep ever so slowly towards the Statist model.

    Where will they flee next, once they’ve done to Texas what they’ve already done to Colorado and Oregon and Washington?

    At some point, Texans are not going to be so welcoming to economic refugees who do not embrace the ProducerNation values….

    • Tom

      July 6, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      It is why I call them locusts. They have come close to stripping the taker states, now they attack the producer states. North Carolina is full of them…

  5. Darth Phoenix

    November 6, 2017 at 12:54 am

    Austin is tired of Californians toxify our city and politics for the last decade or more.

    It used to be Hippies,Cowboys and gays living in peace. Not it’s whiny SJW’s from Cali to no end.

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Opinion Editorials

Strong leaders can use times of crises to improve their company’s future

(EDITORIAL) In the COVID-19 crisis, some leaders fumbled through it, while others quietly safeguarded their company’s future.



strong leaders

Anthony J. Algmin is the Founder and CEO of Algmin Data Leadership, a company helping business and technology leaders transform their future with data, and author of a new book on data leadership. We asked for his insights on how strong leaders can see their teams, their companies, and their people through this global pandemic (and other crises in the future). The following are his own words:

Managers sometimes forget that the people we lead have lives outside of the office. This is true always but is amplified when a crisis occurs. We need to remember that our job is to serve their teams, to help them be as aligned and productive as possible in the short and long terms.

Crises are exactly when we need to think about what they might be going through, and realize that the partnership we have with our employees is more than a transaction. If we’ve ever asked our people to make sacrifices, like working over a weekend without extra pay, we should be thinking first about how we can support them through the tough times. When we do right by people when they really need it, they will run through walls again for our organizations when things return to normal.

Let them know it’s okay to breathe and talk about it. In a situation like COVID-19 where everything was disrupted and people are adjusting to things like working from home, it is naturally going to be difficult and frustrating.

The best advice is to encourage people to turn off the TV and stop frequently checking the news websites. As fast as news is happening, it will not make a difference in what we can control ourselves. Right now most of us know what our day will look like, and nothing that comes out in the news is going to materially change it. If we avoid the noisy inputs, we’ll be much better able to focus and get our brains to stop spinning on things we can’t control.

And this may be the only time I would advocate for more meetings. If you don’t have at least a daily standup with your team, you should. And encourage everyone to have a video-enabled setup if at all possible. We may not be able to be in the same room, but the sense of engagement with video is much greater than audio-only calls.

We also risk spiraling if we think too much about how our companies are struggling, or if our teams cannot achieve what our organizations need to be successful. It’s like the difference in sports between practice and the big game. Normal times are when leaders game plan, strategize, and work on our fundamentals. Crises are the time to focus and leave it all on the field.

That said, do not fail to observe and note what works well and where you struggle. If you had problems with data quality or inefficient processes before the crisis, you are not fixing them now. Pull out the duct tape and find a way through it. But later, when the crisis subsides, learn from the experience and get better for next time.

Find a hobby. Anything you can do to clear your head and separate work from the other considerations in your life. We may feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders, and without a pressure release we will not be able to sustain this level of stress and remain as productive as our teams, businesses, and families need us.

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Opinion Editorials

7 sure-fire ways to carve out alone time when you’re working from home

(EDITORIAL) It can be easy to forget about self-care when you’re working from home, but it’s critical for your mental health, and your work quality.



Woman in hijab sitting on couch, working from home on a laptop

We are all familiar with the syndrome, getting caught up in work, chores, taking care of others, and neglecting to take care of ourselves in the meantime. This has always been the case, but now, with more people working from home and a seemingly endless lineup of chores, thanks to the pandemic. There is simply so much to do.

The line is thinly drawn between personal and professional time already, with emails, cell phones, and devices relentlessly reaching out around the clock, pulling at us like zombie arms reaching up from the grave. Working from home makes this tendency to always be “on” worse, as living and working take place in such close proximity. We have to turn it off, though.

Our brains and bodies need downtime, me-time, and self-care. Carving out this time is one of the kindest and most important things you can do for yourself. If we can begin to honor ourselves like this, the outcome with not only our mental and physical health but also our productivity at work will be beneficial. When we make the time to do things we love, our mind’s gears slow down that constant grinding. Burnout behooves nobody.

Our work will also benefit. Healthier, happier, more well-rested, and well-treated minds and bodies can work wonders! Our immune systems also need this, and we need our immune systems to be at their peak performance this intense season.

I wanted to write this article because I have such a struggle with this in my own life. I need to print it out and put it in my workspace. Last week, I posted something on my social media pages that so many people shared. It is clear we all need these reminders, so I am paying it forward here. The graphic was a quote from Devyn W.

“If you are reading this, release your shoulders away from your ears, unclench your jaw, and drop your tongue from the roof of your mouth.”

There now, isn’t that remarkable? It is a great first step. Let go of the tension in your body, and check out these ways to make yourself some healing me-time while working from home.

  1. Set aside strict no-work times. This could be any time of day, but set the times and adhere to them strictly. This may look like taking a full hour for lunch, not checking email after a certain hour, or committing to spending that time outdoors, reading, exercising, or enjoying the company of your loved ones. Make this a daily routine, because we need these boundaries. Every. Single. Day.
  2. Remember not to apologize to anyone for taking this me-time. Mentally and physically you need this, and everyone will be better off if you do. It is nothing to apologize for! Building these work-free hours into your daily schedule will feel more normal as time goes on. This giving of time and space to your joy, health, and even basic human needs is what should be the norm, not the other way around.
  3. Give yourself a device-free hour or two every day, especially before bedtime. The pinging, dinging, and blinging keep us on edge. Restful sleep is one of the wonderful ways our bodies and brains heal and putting devices away before bedtime is one of the quick tips for getting better sleep.
  4. Of course, make time for the things you absolutely love. If this is a hot bath, getting a massage, reading books, working out, cooking or eating an extravagant meal, or talking and laughing with a loved one, you have to find a way to get this serotonin boost!
  5. Use the sunshine shortcut. It isn’t a cure-all, but sunlight and Vitamin D are mood boosters. At least when it’s not 107 degrees, like in a Texas summer. But as a general rule, taking in at least a good 10-15 minutes of that sweet, sweet Vitamin D provided by the sun is good for us.
  6. Spend time with animals! Walk your dog, shake that feathery thing at your cat, or snuggle either one. Whatever animals make you smile, spend time with them. If you don’t have pets of your own, you could volunteer to walk them at a local shelter or even watch a cute animal video online. They are shown to reduce stress. Best case scenario is in person if you are able, but thankfully the internet is bursting with adorable animal videos, as a backup.
  7. Give in to a bit of planning or daydreaming about a big future trip. Spending time looking at all the places you will go in the future and even plotting out an itinerary are usually excellent mood-boosters.

I hope we can all improve our lives while working from home by making time for regenerating, healing, and having fun! Gotta run—the sun is out, and my dog is begging for a walk.

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Opinion Editorials

The one easy job interview question that often trips up applicants

(EDITORIAL) The easiest interview questions can be the hardest to answer, don’t let this one trip you up – come prepared!



Women sitting nervously representing waiting for a remote job interview.

A job interview is tough, and preparing for them can seem impossible. There are some questions you can expect: what is your experience in this position? How would you handle this situation? And so on.

But what about this question: what makes you happy? Though it may seem straightforward, getting to the right answer is not such an easy path.

Work engagement

According to research, less and less employees feel like they are truly engaged at work. Some blame the work environment but truth be told, it is not a company’s responsibility to make you happy.

Without a passion for what you are doing, you will never enjoy the job.

It is the best case for everyone. More engaged workers are more productive in addition to feeling like they serve a purpose.

Do your due diligence

So before finding yourself in an interview where you have to take an awkward pause before answering this question, the best thing is to do some research. It all starts with the job search.

When looking for a job it is easy to get caught up in high profile company names and perks.

For instance, although “Social Media Coordinator” may not be your thing, the position is open at the cool advertising agency downtown. Or perhaps the company offers flexible hours and free lunch Fridays. The problem is that these perks aren’t worth it in the long run. Working for a cool company can be exciting at first, but it is not sustainable without passion for the position.

It’s important to pay attention to is the position you are applying for.

Is this work that you are passionate about? Take a look at the job responsibilities and functions. Besides figuring out if those are things that you can do, ask yourself if they are things that you want to do. Is this an opportunity that will match your strengths and give you purpose?

Let your passion protrude

With all things considered, when asked “what makes you happy” at the next interview, you will be able to answer honestly. Your passion will be apparent without having to put on an act.

Even if they don’t ask that question, there is no downside to knowing what makes you happy.

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