Thursday, December 20, 2007

California Decanting

de·cant (d2-k#ntZ)
tr.v. de·cant·ed, de·cant·ing, de·cants
To pour off (wine, for example) without disturbing the sediment.
To pour (a liquid) from one container into another.

[Medieval Latin d*canth"re : Latin d*-, de- + Latin canthus, rim of a wheel or vessel ( of Celtic origin).]
de.can·taZtion (d*.k#n-t"ZshMn) n.

Regular readers of this humble blog knew this was coming. When you decant a fine wine you leave the objectional sediment behind. That's what has been happening to this State.

The LATimes reports:

The annual study by the Department of Finance showed that 89,000 more people moved out of California than moved here from elsewhere in the United States. California's population did grow in fiscal 2007 -- but the growth rested on births and the arrival of more than 200,000 immigrants from other countries.

The shift dovetails with the state's weakening economy and is most likely related, said Howard Roth, chief economist for the Department of Finance.

The Ventura Star says:

Ventura County continued to grow very slowly last year, fueled by a steady increase in births coupled with an influx of foreign immigration that barely neutralized the exodus of residents to other counties and states.
...the county experienced a fourth consecutive year of domestic out-migration, meaning that more residents moved out of Ventura County to other parts of the state and country than moved in. They estimated this year's net exodus to be 3,150 people — down from a loss of 3,832 in 2006 and 5,216 in 2005.

The trend, said Bill Watkins, executive director of the UC Santa Barbara Economic Forecast Project, is a reflection of economic reality: high housing prices coupled with fewer opportunities to land a job that pays enough to afford a house.

"Opportunities are declining," he said, noting layoffs at the county's two largest private employers, Amgen Inc. and Countrywide Financial Corp.

What they both carefully sidestep is the mix of exactly who left and who came. That is a sensitive issue best left to bloggers and other honest sources of real reportage. I'll let some other people chime in before rendering my opinion of the magnitude of this disaster.


Tyrone said...

Is this a first?

Martina said...

Murst. There is a similar problem where I used the live - the Hamptons.
The long term middle class are being driven out - to be replaced by illegals who'll work for the wealthy at a wage the traditional middle/working class could not live on. They live many families to a house, are causing strain on the school system and social services, and are prominent by their weekly apperances in the police report. Of course, being a blue state ground zero, it has probably been declared a sanctuary area.

simi.uber.alles said...

Add 2 more to the exodus from Ventura County. Wife and I are moving (returning, actually) to Las Vegas next month. I get to keep my CA software job and work remote. My wife is a teacher, and she'll actually make more in Vegas than here (not to mention that her long term prospects here are dim, what with all the families leaving). Between taxes and cost of living, it's like a 30% raise. Try asking your boss for that some time.

Vegas isn't perfect, of course, but it's a good fit for us and it sure beats staying here. I really don't see how young families are expected to have any success in California. Teachers here seem to be paid on the assumptions that they're all young women, and that they're all married to husbands who make enough money to let their wives indulge their desire to help the children.

chickenlittle said...

Interesting twist on the meaning of "decant". To a chemist, the bad stuff (or at least the undesired "mother liquor" is what usually gets decanted away. And to be honest, that's how I first took your meaning of the verb several months ago when you described "decanting" of value from California RE.
As a CA homeowner invested in a property swollen with "value" since 2000, I'm giving back my share of that phony value- it's OK because I saw the bubble coming before it inflated, and never cashed out.
As for the present HB mess, isn't there enough blame on both sides of the transaction to take sides?

Lou Minatti said...

Most of them seem to be coming here. Fine by me. We could use equity locusts, what with all the foreclosed $100k houses. Housing prices have been flatlined here since 2000.

serinitis said...


I think you have the correct use of decant here. People without jobs are going to float away, while those who work or have assets will stay around. This pretty much happens every time California has a recession.