Joe Rogan picks Texas over taxes
Inking a $100 million deal with Spotify made stand-up comic Joe Rogan a trailblazer in the podcasting world. But his move from California to Texas follows a well-worn, predictable path.
Texas ranks No. 2 in domestic net migration, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures, with 125,660 Americans leaving other states to live there in 2018-19. Only Florida attracts more transplants.
California came in dead last, posting a negative net migration rate with 203,414 people fleeing the West Coast linchpin. The statistics follow a yearslong trend of families flocking to the American South: Arizona, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia round out the top five.
Rogan announced his relocation plans in a July 24 conversation with fitness guru and endurance race founder Joe De Sena on his chart-topping podcast. Rogan called Los Angeles overcrowded and noted the metro area's high COVID-19 infection rates despite some of the nation's strictest lockdown orders.
Citing a desire to live between the coasts, Rogan said he considers Texas "somewhere where you have a little bit more freedom."
Fellow comedian Joey Diaz pressed the podcaster on his distaste for LA during an Aug. 12 episode, and Rogan referenced watching local newscasts that showed rioting and looting "on a regular basis."
"I don't think this is a healthy way to live," replied Rogan. "I don't think it's good for your brain."
As a frequent cannabis user, Rogan may actually be freer in California, where recreational marijuana is legal, than in Texas, which allows limited access to low-THC medical pot with a doctor's prescription. But the failed drug war didn't deter Austin's newest celebrity resident from moving in.
California has the edge in personal freedom, but Texas takes the prize when it comes to economic liberty.
The Lone Star State has no personal income tax, and Newsweek estimates Rogan will save at least $13 million by changing his address. While California remains far and away the nation's most populous state, research suggests that Americans tend to vote with their feet for lower taxes.