"People that can't make in California end up in places like Texas or (shudder) North Carolina"
Ha Ha...can't make it in California. I've been from top to bottom of California, it is a beautiful state to visit. I have no desire to live in that giant welfare trap that taxes the crap of you. My brother in law lived outside of LA several years back. He made a decent living (140-150K/year) and he paid $ 3,900/month for a 1400 sq foot condo with 3 kids. Who wants to live like that? I have a fenced in back yard, woods behind my house, my dog can go roaming without getting "out" and my kids can build tree houses and go on hikes. Our public schools are among the best in the country and it is a low tax, pro-business area with some of the top public colleges in the country. Horrible place to live I tell you.
Yeah, North Carolina is brutal. Asheville, Raleigh, Boone, Outer Banks...they all suck.