April 24, 2007 - Plates Runneth Over
The word on the street is that Santa Barbara is not the same town that it used to be. The Greek & Italians, the Earthlings, the Jimmy's, and the Esau's have been hitting the dusty trail faster than the Lone Ranger. The culprit, of course, is the influx of new people moving here. You know, the ones who are not from around here. They're from somewhere else where things are different. And, the only reason they moved here was to make here just like things were in the place they moved from.
Well, in case you didn't hear, real estate sales are really, really slow. And when the revolving door of real estate swings slowly it's a sure indication that fewer people are going out and fewer people are coming in.
In other words, if there aren't many people buying homes, then there can't be many people from Orange County buying homes either. In other different words, maybe we can't blame it on the new people for the very convincing reason that they don't exist.
Yesterday was the third time in Edhat history that the dedicated staff of edhat.com drove around town looking for out-of-state license plates. And, if our memory serves - and it's not just that we've grown weary and impatient through these years of Ed - those out-of-state plates were much harder to find this time. The reason for this we figured is, as we argued above, that there just aren't that many new people in town. The fact that there are fewer new people means that there are fewer people hanging on to old registrations.
We needed to look at over 1400 cars to find 32 out-of-state plates (2.3%). And this third-time around the block we found a new set of state plates as the most prevalent. In 2004, it was Colorado by a wide margin. In 2005, it was Arizona in a landslide. However, this year there was no clear winner. It was a four-way tie between none-of-the-above - Idaho, Illinois, Nevada, and Ohio.
Ed told us, in all his wisdom, that the even-balance of plates spinning in the air this year was because there's no one state where people are leaving. And, we thought it was just because no one could afford to live here; no matter what state they call home.
In yesterday's contest, no subscriber guessed Illinois or Ohio in their top three states. Only Flotsam guessed Idaho. Flotsam's guess wins an Edhat t-shirt.