From 2009 to 2012, I had the pleasure of working for a California State Assemblyman which put me in a place of witnessing the beginning of California’s downfall. During that period of time, we were in the last days of Arnold Schwartzenegger’s Governorship and just starting with Jerry Brown. California had passed the high-speed rail system and was already beginning its climate change policy alterations. Though companies began the exodus during those years, that exodus has only increased over the last several years.
Last week, Elon Musk announced he was moving to Texas, taking his second-most-wealthy-person-in-the-world title with him. California has already lost thousands of small and medium-sized companies in the past few years as people have been fleeing the state. Ben Shapiro moved the Daily Wire to Tennesee and Joe Rogan moved to Texas.
Now comes the news the Oracle, a giant in the tech industry, has moved to Austin. Austin in recent years has distinguished itself as a liberal stronghold, friendly to the policies the left so much enjoys, absent the taxation and regulation that comes with those liberal policy choices. It has also established itself as the “Silicon Hills”, Texas’s own Silicon Valley, attracting older-established tech firms, as well as new start-ups. What is it about Texas that attracts this business? Again, Texas gets the government out of the way of growth and development, allowing for these firms to take their savings and re-invest them into research and development and other investments into the company.
California doesn’t just lose the companies themselves. Of course, they lose revenue from business taxes. They also lose the revenue from income taxes from all the employees, real estate taxes from all the homes of the employees, sales taxes from all the employees spending, but as well as the taxes and revenue from the businesses affected by the fleeing companies as they take their local spending to Texas with them.
I don’t know what it is. Is it pride? Is it ignorance? Is it stupidity? Is it a fine blend of them all? What causes California’s leaders to watch this hemorrhaging of business and tax revenue, only then to shrug it off and say good riddance? What is the breaking point for them? At what point do they internalized that their problems with the state aren’t the state’s few conservatives remaining, but the utter disregard for business and how it works.
It seems that it goes beyond ignorance to a point that they just don’t care. Disney has only been locked in the state because of the real estate owned, and for very few other reasons. Do you think for one second, that if Disneyland and the numerous studios in California were mobile, that Disney would stay at this point? Do you really think aside from the investment in corporate headquarters including the value invested in Apple and Google, they would stay?
It is time for a revolution in California. It is broken and the leaders are either too dumb to recognize it, or too uncaring to do anything about it. Either way, it doesn’t take an Oracle to see what the problem is.