California Dyin’? Businesses leaving the Golden State

California is a really nice place to live. The combination of natural beauty and a booming economy has made California the most populous state in the US, and for a lot of these almost 40 million people, life is pretty great. But what would happen if the people running the state forgot the core reasons people choose to go somewhere in the first place, and instead focus on their superficial appearance?

Let’s take a look at an article from Breitbart Texas:

“Not being viewed as an enemy, but being viewed as an asset is so refreshing,” said Alex Wilcox, Chief Executive Officer of JetSuite Inc., who, on Thursday, spoke to the Dallas Business Journal. He described the air carrier’s decision to move to North Texas this summer as a “welcome change.”

He even shared a glaring example of one difference between California and business-friendly Texas. “I tried to start flying out of Santa Monica, California. And they sued me because I was trying to bring a service to the city,” said Wilcox. “When I got to Dallas, literally, people in City Hall were like, ‘How can we help you?’”

I will say up front that a quick internet search doesn’t turn anything up regarding Santa Monica suing JetSuite, so I’m not sure what that is about. However, the trend is undeniable. Further down in the article, we find this:

The airline’s move to Texas highlights the continued exodus of companies from the business-unfriendly California. From 2008 to 2015, an estimated 9,000 companies left California, of which Texas was the top beneficiary of the relocations, During those seven years, California corporations accounted for 15 percent of companies that moved their headquarters or expanded operations into pro-business Texas. In many instances, the state incentivized out-of-state companies to expand into the state with the goal of creating more jobs and economic growth within Texas through the Texas Enterprise Fund.

It’s pretty simple: California increases taxes, bureaucratic red tape, and legal hurdles on businesses, and businesses leave. Texas creates incentives for businesses to move to their state, and businesses move in. There’s a lot of people in California who appear to subscribe to the Scrooge McDuck theory of how wealth is used that seem to think that “greedy businessmen” harm the state, and must be punished to help the poor people that they hurt.

Unfortunately, these poor people aren’t helped at all. Even though per-capita GDP has increased twice as fast in California than the rest of the nation, California has the highest poverty rate in the nation, with about 20.6% of residents living under the poverty line, according to the US Census’ Supplemental Poverty Measure. The only people whose lives have been bettered by massive welfare spending appear to be the government workers who administer the programs!

Texas, by way of contrast, has a poverty rate of about 14.9%, right in line with the national rate of 15.1%. It’s not hard to see why: Texas incentivizes business, the businesses that move and grow there hire people to work for them, and people lift themselves out of poverty.

As long as California punishes business and subsidizes poverty, they will get fewer jobs and more poverty. I hope one day they will see the error of their ways.

(Addendum: It’s not because of race, by the way. California and Texas have remarkably similar demographics, as shown in this table of percentages using data taken from the links earlier in this sentence:


This was from the 2010 US Census, by the way, if you didn’t want to click on the links)

Featured image by Mike Mozart from