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Mark Perry

Mark Perry

Mark J. Perry is concurrently a scholar at AEI and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan’s Flint campus. He is best known as the creator and editor of the popular economics blog Carpe Diem. At AEI, Perry writes about economic and financial issues for American.com and the AEIdeas blog.

Articles by Mark Perry

‘I’m already equal. So why do today’s feminists keep saying I’m oppressed?’ – Publications – AEI

10 hours ago

AEI
‘I’m already equal. So why do today’s feminists keep saying I’m oppressed?’
That’s the title of a very thoughtful (heretical?) article in Quartz by writer and lawyer Ephrat Livni about the subconscious sexism of today’s feminist movement, here are some “money excerpts”:
Good morning, America. All your recent talk of gender equality has only shown just how far from woke you really are. Despite best intentions, the current cultural conversation about feminism continues to perpetuate sexism. From my perspective, I’m already equal and was born that way in 1972. No need to fight about it now. I wasn’t waiting around for anyone to wake up or make space. Instead, I crafted an adventurous, independent, and productive existence with gusto, moxie, and swashbuckle.
Men never seemed inherently

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Andrew Sullivan: In today’s fight between science and the social-justice movement, science has little chance – Publications – AEI

12 hours ago

AEI
Andrew Sullivan: In today’s fight between science and the social-justice movement, science has little chance
I reported earlier this week on CD about some new research that found strong empirical evidence of a global ‘educational-gender-equality paradox’ — the more gender equality in a country, the fewer women choose STEM degrees and careers. Here’s some interesting commentary from Andrew Sullivan about those scientific findings in his post today “Fired for Science” (emphasis added):

In a sane world, this would be no big deal. Who cares if men and women congregate disproportionately in different professions? It’s no outrage that a huge majority of those employed in the publishing industry are women, for example — so why should it be so appalling that over 80% of computer coding

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Don Boudreaux on protectionists – an unpersuadable lot blind to the full effects of trade – Publications – AEI

17 hours ago

AEI
Don Boudreaux on protectionists – an unpersuadable lot blind to the full effects of trade
More sage insight from Don Boudreaux, this time on the incurable blindness of protectionists/scarcityists to the full effects of international trade:
Protectionists – with exceptions too rare to mention – are an unpersuadable lot. They are blind to the full effects of trade. Just as you cannot make a blind man ‘see’ the color yellow and ‘see’ how the color yellow differs from the colors green and red, you cannot make a protectionist see:

the jobs created in the domestic economy by trade
that the consumer benefits created in the domestic economy by trade overwhelm whatever short-term ‘losses’ trade (that is, economic competition) inflicts
that a rising domestic trade ‘deficit’ is generally both

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Thursday evening links, all car-sharing edition – Publications – AEI

1 day ago

AEI
Thursday evening links, all car-sharing edition

1. Ride-Hailing is Taking over the Business Travel Market. Michael Goldstein writing in Forbes explains:
Car-sharing companies Uber and Lyft are rapidly becoming the 800-pound gorillas of U.S. ground transportation for business travelers. And like any good pair of 800-pound gorillas, they continue to pound the opposition. In this case, it’s rental car providers and taxis taking the beating, according to a new report by travel and entertainment expense management software company Certify.
The study, based on analysis of some 50 million receipts showed that for 2017, the ride-hailing pair accounted for 68% of overall ground transportation expenses (see chart above). Uber had 56% of all ground transportation receipts/expenses, a category

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Go ahead and print your emails, US forests have been growing for 50 years and a global forest regrowth is coming – Publications – AEI

2 days ago

AEI
Go ahead and print your emails, US forests have been growing for 50 years and a global forest regrowth is coming

From the op-ed “The Coming Global Forest Regrowth” by Steve Goreham in The Daily Caller:

Today, forested area is declining in about one-third of the world’s countries, stable in one-third, and growing in one third (see map above). Forests are stable or growing in more than 100 nations, including Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, the US, and in most of Europe.
Forests in the United States have been growing for about 50 years. Today, more than 90% of US paper comes from high-yield forests planted specifically to be harvested. Company promotional campaigns to “go electronic and save a tree” have little factual basis, at least in the US.
As the

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America’s top five inbound vs. outbound states: How do they compare on a variety of economic, business climate and tax burden measures? Part II – Publications – AEI

2 days ago

AEI
America’s top five inbound vs. outbound states: How do they compare on a variety of economic, business climate and tax burden measures? Part II

In a CD post last month, I looked at America’s top five inbound and top five outbound states last year, based on household moving data from North American Moving Services US Migration Report for 2017. Specifically, I compared the top five inbound and top five outbound states on a variety of measures of economic performance, business climate, business and individual taxes, fiscal health, and labor market dynamism, and those comparisons are displayed graphically in the table above.
Yesterday USAToday published a nice summary of The Tax Foundation‘s report “Facts & Figures 2017: How Does Your State Compare?” that analyze’s the total tax burden in

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Doesn’t Stanford University’s ‘women’s-only training hours’ violate Title IX and its own policy of nondiscrimination? – Publications – AEI

3 days ago

AEI
Doesn’t Stanford University’s ‘women’s-only training hours’ violate Title IX and its own policy of nondiscrimination?
Is this really legal?

Stanford University recently introduced a new “opportunity for a women’s-only training environment” every Monday and Wednesday from 1:00 p.m. to  3:00 p.m. at its Arrillaga Outdoor Education and Recreation Center (see graphic above). The student newspaper The Stanford Daily reported on the new “opportunity” yesterday in an article titled “AOERC introduces women’s-only lifting hours,” here are some excerpts:
Arrillaga Outdoor Education and Recreation Center (AOERC) is now offering a new resource: women’s-only training hours, on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1 to 3 p.m. The idea was conceived by Jennifer Sexton, director of fitness and wellness

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The global ‘educational-gender-equality paradox’: the more gender equality in a country, the fewer women in STEM – Publications – AEI

4 days ago

AEI
The global ‘educational-gender-equality paradox’: the more gender equality in a country, the fewer women in STEM

In a new research paper that was just published in the journal Psychological Science (“The Gender-Equality Paradox in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education“) by Gijsbert Stoet and David C. Geary, the chart above displays an international phenomenon that the two researchers call the educational-gender-equality paradox — the greater the degree of gender equality among 67 countries studied (vertical axis is the Global Gender Gap Index, a measure of gender equality), the lower the female share of STEM college graduates. The title of an article in The Atlantic by Olga Khazan describes the paradox as “The More Gender Equality, the Fewer Women in STEM,” with

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Quotation of the day on self-defeating tariffs and protectionism…. – Publications – AEI

5 days ago

AEI
Quotation of the day on self-defeating tariffs and protectionism….
…. is from Allan Golombek writing in Real Clear Markets:
There are only at most 150,000 Americans earning a living full-time in the steel industry, but more than 6 million work in industries that depend on steel, industries likes autos and construction that would be hurt badly by steel tariffs.
………..
The problem with tariffs on steel or any other product is that your own people pay them. Imposing them is cutting off your own nose to spite someone else’s face. The bigger problem is that the people who actually pay the tariff, in the form of higher prices, include the very industries an economy depends on to thrive.
MP: You might be a protectionist…. if you think that cutting off your own nose to spite someone else’s face

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You might be a protectionist…. – Publications – AEI

5 days ago

AEI
You might be a protectionist….
…. if you think it’s OK to impose huge fines (tariffs/taxes) on your neighbors if they decide to travel on vacation to Canada, Mexico or Europe instead of traveling to one of the 50 US states for a vacation.
…. if you think it’s OK to impose huge fines (tariffs/taxes) on your neighbors if they decide to purchase wine produced in Italy, Germany, New Zealand or Argentina instead of wine produced in California.
…. if you think it’s OK to impose huge fines (tariffs/taxes) on your neighbors if they decide to watch an international movie instead of watching a domestic film produced in the US.
Thanks to Don Boudreaux for creating a wonderful new series he calls “A protection is someone….” This post is in that same spirit with just a slightly different title

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Greg Mankiw: The benefits of world trade are obvious. Any good student of Econ 101 can explain it to Trump – Publications – AEI

5 days ago

AEI
Greg Mankiw: The benefits of world trade are obvious. Any good student of Econ 101 can explain it to Trump
From Greg Mankiw’s op-ed in the New York Times “Why Economists Are Worried About International Trade“:
When President Trump imposed tariffs on imported solar panels and washing machines, I was reminded of a line from George Orwell: “We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.”
While Orwell’s comment was focused on military and political issues, my subject is economics, and to most people in my field, the benefits of an unfettered system of world trade are obvious. Any good student of Econ 101 can explain the logic.
But in light of the growing evidence of the Trump administration’s apparent disdain for free trade, from

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Quotation of the day on competition….. – Publications – AEI

5 days ago

AEI
Quotation of the day on competition…..
…. is from AEI president Arthur Brooks on Twitter:
There are really only two types of people: those who want to win in competition, and those who would prefer to shut competition down. The former are the strivers and entrepreneurs; the latter the monopolists and cronies. Philosophically, which are you?
MP: I think you can include the protectionists/scarcityists as the type who would prefer to shut competition down, i.e., monopolists and cronies.
Arthur’s first of a four-Tweet series on competition was this:
One of the greatest philosophical advances of the past century has been the recognition that competition per se creates excellence. This is true not just in sports and business, but also in politics and religion.
MP: That’s a wonderful

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Dan Ikenson on the media’s and Team Trump’s ‘trade deficit disorder’ – Publications – AEI

5 days ago

AEI
Dan Ikenson on the media’s and Team Trump’s ‘trade deficit disorder’

Earlier this month, Cato Institute’s Dan Ikenson wrote a blog post (“Trade Deficit Disorder”) about the media’s and Team Trump’s obsession with the alleged negative effects of America’s trade deficits, especially their false conclusion that trade deficits are a drag on economic growth. Here’s the “money section” (emphasis added):
Imports have nothing to do with GDP—except that they tend to increase when the economy is growing and decrease when the economy is contracting. But we subtract M in the GDP identity (Y = C + I + G + X – M) because i(M)ports comprise a portion of C, I, and G. They are part of the aggregate spending of households, businesses, and governments. If we didn’t subtract M, then GDP would be

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Inconvenient energy fact of the day – Publications – AEI

6 days ago

AEI
Inconvenient energy fact of the day

In 2016, solar and wind provided just 0.8% of the world’s energy, even after trillions of dollars in taxpayer-extracted subsidies, and will reach only a 3.6% share of energy in 2040, according to the International Energy Agency World Energy Outlook 2017 forecast (see graphic above). The world’s energy future of tomorrow, even almost a quarter century from now in 2040, will look very much like it does today, with fossil fuels supplying the large majority of our energy (81% today vs. 75% in 2040) and renewables playing a relatively minor role as energy sources.
Sources: Bjorn Lomborg and Matt Ridley (“Shale is the Real Energy Revolution”).
Inconvenient energy fact of the day
Mark Perry

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Don Boudreaux shines on trade…. again…. – Publications – AEI

7 days ago

AEI
Don Boudreaux shines on trade…. again….
A few new Don Boudreaux gems on free trade:
1. On how Protectionists/Scarcityists implicitly (or even explicitly) assume that domestic producers have a right to the property and patronage of domestic consumers, i.e., the right to engage in legal plunder by picking the pockets of consumers (emphasis original):
To coherently make their case, protectionists must clear an ethical hurdle that is too seldom put before them – namely, they must justify their implicit assumption that domestic producers have a right to – a property in – the patronage of domestic consumers. Yet this assumption is nearly impossible to justify when stated explicitly and squarely. Does, say, Apple Inc. have a right to my patronage? Am I morally obliged to buy some minimum

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Great moments in motivating Russian bureaucrats – Publications – AEI

8 days ago

AEI
Great moments in motivating Russian bureaucrats

Moscow has experienced some of the heaviest snowfall in decades this year and residents have been frustrated at the government’s slowness in clearing the snow and large snow drifts. According to this BBC report, Moscow residents have found that the only way to get city workers to clear snow is to write the name of opposition leader Alexei Navalny on it (see photo above). Russia’s presidential elections take place on March 18, and President Putin is running for a fourth term. Navalny, a lawyer and political activist, is barred from the contest as a result of a fraud conviction that many consider retaliation, and he’s calling for a boycott of the election next month. State media never mention him by name and Putin famously refuses to call

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A middle school student schools me on the gender wage gap – Publications – AEI

8 days ago

AEI
A middle school student schools me on the gender wage gap
In late January, I received the following email from a middle school student:
Dear Mr. Perry:
I am a woman born from a family of eight, most of my siblings are sisters, and when they get older they are going to start learning about getting a job. Then they are going to do a project for school such as mine. My project was to research the gender wage gap and the racial wage gap for an essay. What I found were two amazing articles about the gender wage gap and how much women and women of other races do not get paid fairly and should be paid fairly. These are the articles I found:
The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap
5 things to know about the gender pay gap
I suggest reading them, instead of preaching about an opinion that has

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Alan Greenspan on monopoly and antitrust policy in 1961 – Publications – AEI

9 days ago

AEI
Alan Greenspan on monopoly and antitrust policy in 1961
From a paper presented by Alan Greenspan at the Antitrust Seminar of the National Association of Business Economists in Cleveland on September 25, 1961:
A “coercive monopoly” is a business concern that can set its prices and production policies independent of the market, with immunity from competition, from the law of supply and demand. An economy dominated by such monopolies would be rigid and stagnant. The necessary precondition of a coercive monopoly is closed entry — the barring of all competing producers from a given field. This can be accomplished only by an act of government intervention, in the form of special regulations, subsidies, or franchises. Without government assistance, it is impossible for a would-be monopolist

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The Boston Globe editorial board unloads on the ‘pipeline absolutism’ of environmentalists – Publications – AEI

9 days ago

AEI
The Boston Globe editorial board unloads on the ‘pipeline absolutism’ of environmentalists

In a CD post last week, I posed the question “Why is LNG coming 4,500 miles to Boston from the Russian Arctic when the US is the world’s No. 1 natural gas producer? (see map above of the route). The simple answer to the question is a lack of natural gas pipelines in New England due to the “pipeline absolutism” of anti-fossil fuel environmentalists who have blocked all new pipeline expansions, as I explained in a recent Boston Herald op-ed “Epic U.S. energy boom cruises by region,” here’s an excerpt:
Although America is a global energy superpower and the U.S. has been the world’s top producer of natural gas since 2009, New England relies on imported LNG from faraway countries for about 20% of its

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Video of the day: Milton Friedman on monopoly – Publications – AEI

9 days ago

AEI
Video of the day: Milton Friedman on monopoly

In the video above, Milton Friedman poses the following question about monopolies:
You have one law you can pass. It’s only purpose is to reduce the exent of monopoly. What law would be most effective in achieving that goal?
You’ll find Friedman’s surprising, but convincing answer at about 1:12 of the video above.
 
Video of the day: Milton Friedman on monopoly
Mark Perry

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Tuesday evening links – Publications – AEI

10 days ago

AEI
Tuesday evening links
1. Maps of the Day (above) show the top import good and top export good for each US state in 2016 based on trade data from the Census Bureau. Although only the top import good for each state is displayed above, the large majority of imports (~60%, see recent CD post) enter the US economy as intermediate inputs and capital goods (raw materials, parts, machinery, lumber, chemicals, steel, semiconductors, etc.) for US firms, who transform those inputs into final goods using American workers, and might end up leaving the country as a US export. For example, Oregon’s top import is computer and electronic parts and its top export is electronic goods, and it’s the same for New Mexico. Import tariffs and protectionism would make imported inputs more expensive for US

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The whole point of free trade is that it’s NOT fair…. – Publications – AEI

11 days ago

AEI
The whole point of free trade is that it’s NOT fair….
….. is the title of a Forbes op-ed by University of Georgia economist Jeffrey Dorfman,  here’s the “money slice” (my emphasis):
The entire point of trade is that the process is not fair. It is the trade which looks the most unfair that creates the most benefits because the potential gains are the largest.
We accept specialization of labor, trade, and resulting bilateral trade deficits and surpluses as a normal part of life at the micro level, implicitly recognizing the benefits inherent in the system of trade. As individual shoppers, we are happy when someone offers us a product on sale, even a sale so deep that the seller is losing money. Yet when imported products offer a great price to an entire nation of consumers, suddenly a

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How will economists say ‘I love you’ on Valentine’s Day? With graphs, charts and economic theory – Publications – AEI

11 days ago

AEI
How will economists say ‘I love you’ on Valentine’s Day? With graphs, charts and economic theory

Valentine’s Day 2018 is nearly here — it will be celebrated tomorrow on February 14. In what has become an annual tradition at CD, this post features some of the ways that an economist says “I Love You” on that special romantic day using charts, diagrams, graphics, and economic theory. Here are four of my personal favorites (one above, three below), and there’s more here at “14 Ways An Economist Says I Love You” (now available as cards, prints, and coffee mugs).

Happy Valentine’s Day and Carpe Diem on Wednesday!
 
How will economists say ‘I love you’ on Valentine’s Day? With graphs, charts and economic theory
Mark Perry

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Want more affordable housing? Build more housing, don’t impose government rent controls – Publications – AEI

12 days ago

AEI
Want more affordable housing? Build more housing, don’t impose government rent controls

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article (“Rent Controls, a Bane of Landlords, Are Gaining Support as Costs Soar“), rent control is making a comeback in response to rising housing prices rise in urban areas across the country in states like California, Illinois, Washington, and Massachusetts. Megan McArdle responds in a Bloomberg View op-ed “Rent Control Needs Retirement, Not a Comeback” (emphasis mine):

Policymakers should remember that a price is just the intersection of supply and demand. If you alter the price, but don’t alter the supply or the demand, the problem doesn’t go away; rationing just shows up in different forms. There will still be too many people who cannot find housing

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Doug Irwin: The ‘consumer-cost-of-protection argument’ should be augmented by the ‘businesses are consumers too argument’ – Publications – AEI

12 days ago

AEI
Doug Irwin: The ‘consumer-cost-of-protection argument’ should be augmented by the ‘businesses are consumers too argument’

In a short 27-page pamphlet published by AEI in 1996 titled Three Simple Principles of Free Trade Policy, Dartmouth economist Douglas A. Irwin explained why he thinks there is a problem with pushing the “consumer cost of protection” argument too much. Not that the argument is wrong, but that it has failed in the political arena, partly because jobs are viewed as being much more important than consumer welfare in the political debate on trade. As Professor Irwin writes “If the question comes down to saving a few hundred jobs in some industry or saving consumers a few hundred dollars in income, the policy of import protection will win every time.” And of course,

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Bonus quotation of the day on democracy, capitalism, socialism….. – Publications – AEI

14 days ago

AEI
Bonus quotation of the day on democracy, capitalism, socialism…..
…. is from George Gilder, in his Forbes interview with Karl Karlgaard:
I think capitalism is probably more important than democracy, at least in the short run. A democratic republic is critical to maintaining a ground state that doesn’t get completely manipulated by one government or another. But capitalism really provides the avenues of freedom and creativity that can carry the human race forward, even in the face of obtuse tyrannies among the politicians.
……
I completely agree with Peter Thiel on the essential thesis that technology progress is not inevitable. It’s the product of human creativity, which always comes as a surprise to us. If creativity didn’t come as a surprise, we wouldn’t need it, and socialism would

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Quotation of the day….. – Publications – AEI

14 days ago

AEI
Quotation of the day…..
… is from Thomas Sowell’s 2005 book Black Liberals, White Rednecks:
Themselves the leading slave traders of the eighteenth century, Europeans nevertheless became, in the nineteenth century, the destroyers of slavery around the world – not just in European societies or European offshoot societies overseas, but in non-European societies as well, over the bitter opposition of Africans, Arabs, Asians, and others. Moreover, within Western civilization, the principal impetus for the abolition of slavery came first from very conservative religious activists – people who would today be called “the religious right.” Clearly, this story is not “politically correct” in today’s terms. Hence it is ignored, as if it never happened.
Quotation of the day…..
Mark

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Andrew Sullivan on the new identity politics and how ‘we all live on campus now’ – Publications – AEI

14 days ago

AEI
Andrew Sullivan on the new identity politics and how ‘we all live on campus now’
From Andrew Sullivan’s article in The New York Post “We All Live On Campus Now,” these are the “money paragraphs”:
I don’t doubt the good intentions of the new identity politics — to expand the opportunities for people previously excluded. I favor a politics that never discriminates against someone for immutable characteristics — and tries to make sure that as many people as possible feel they have access to our liberal democracy. But what we have now is far more than the liberal project of integrating minorities. It comes close to an attack on the liberal project itself. Marxism with a patina of liberalism on top is still Marxism — and it’s as hostile to the idea of a free society as white nationalism is.

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The Texas Miracle: Only five countries now produce more oil than The Lone Star State – Publications – AEI

14 days ago

AEI
The Texas Miracle: Only five countries now produce more oil than The Lone Star State

The map above (thanks to AEI’s Olivier Ballou) shows that there are only five countries in the world that produced more crude oil in October 2017 (most recent month available for EIA international oil production statistics) than the state of Texas (data here): Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, and Canada. Therefore, if Texas was considered as a separate nation, it would be the world’s seventh-largest oil producer, see right side of the table above.
The bottom chart above displays the history of Texas oil production back to 1981 and shows that oil production from conventional drilling and extraction methods gradually declined from about 2.5 million barrels/day in 1981 through 2005 when production

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SF Bay Area experiences mass exodus of residents, leading to a shortage of U-Haul trucks and sky-high prices for scarce outbound trucks – Publications – AEI

14 days ago

AEI
SF Bay Area experiences mass exodus of residents, leading to a shortage of U-Haul trucks and sky-high prices for scarce outbound trucks

The San Francisco Bay Area’s CBS-TV station is reporting on what it calls the “mass exodus of residents” from the Bay Area, see video above, summarized here:
The number of people packing up and moving out of the Bay Area just hit its highest level in more than a decade. Of course people come and go from the Bay Area all the time, but for the first time in a long time, more people are leaving the Bay Area than are coming in. And the number one place in the country for out-migration is now, right here.
A study of the out-migration by Joint Venture Silicon Valley says workers are moving to Sacramento, Austin, and Portland due to a number of factors. But

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