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If things continue on course, the State of California may wind up as uninhabited as the former mining town that in its heyday had money flowing as freely as the spring runoff from the nearby Sierra Nevada.

The Sacramento Bee reports that more college-bound Californians are fleeing to other states, in spite of the higher sticker price for out-of-state tuition costs.

That’s because California’s liberal legislature and its growing full-time bureaucracy, have succeeded in running what was once the world’s 5th largest economy, into the proverbial toilet, but you won’t get that part of the story by reading the Bee article alone.

Based on the Bee’s Page-One story, even the higher out-of-state tuition costs are not a deterrent for students wanting to learn valuable and marketable skills within a reasonable amount of time. The reasons, from the story, are two-fold: California in-state tuition rates continue to climb at an astronomical rate; and, colleges are cutting back on the number and availability of courses, turning a typical four-year degree into a 5 or 6-year process.

Some interviewed for the story claim that this will further exacerbate California’s “brain drain,” as younger, smarter, more energetic people will leave the state and won’t return. Inserted in this premise is the notion that jobs and a lucrative income tax base is important to the well-being of the state.

Blame California’s brain drain in large part on the state’s absurd and onerous tax structure. Coupled with its blatantly anti-business stance in Sacramento, where career politicians learn quickly how to insulate themselves from the real world, California has succeeded in forcing the state’s best and brightest to greener pastures in states such as Texas and Florida.

That’s okay though, because California Governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown has a plan to raise taxes and force through a multi-billion bullet train to transport people from the sticks into the collapsing cities where jobs are as scarce as common sense in Sacramento.

Not long ago the Sacramento Bee also reported that the state’s population of illegal immigrants, who were welcomed with open arms across a porous border, are now themselves fleeing back to Mexico because… wait for it… there are jobs to be had.

Mexico currently boasts an unemployment rate of around 5% and a GDP 2-3 times that of the United States. Given that California’s unemployment rate is somewhere north of 12% (50% in some local communities), and that the political climate is about as anti-business as one can get, it’s rather comical that even the undocumented Democrat voters are abandoning ship.

California’s problem is foundational. The Democratically-controlled legislature has for decades bled the most productive of Californians dry while the state agencies they amply fund with taxpayer dollars, do their best to further fleece businesses through draconian policies and laws passed by their legislative buddies.

Kudos to the Bee for pointing out another symptom of California’s disease. At least someone at the paper had the guts to point out a serious problem. One can only hope that the lawmakers and policy wonks in California can piece together the symptoms with a proper diagnosis and a radical, but necessary treatment program to bring California back to life. Otherwise, a lot more people will be permanently leaving what was once this nation’s 5th largest economy for lands of opportunity elsewhere.