Will the Last One Out Turn the Lights Off?

An interesting op-ed in the Orange County Register talks about how Democrats in the California legislature are considering a long list of taxes. The author, Joseph Vranich, is a business relocation consultant based in my old homestead of Irvine, California. Mr. Vranich laments the current state of California:

Think about Dan Castilleja, president of DHF Technical Products, who said when relocating that it’s easier to expand in New Mexico than in the Los Angeles area, where “We are hampered by everything from payroll to taxes to regulation.”

Examples abound of companies leaving for other states – even to the so-called “Rust Belt” – because their friendlier business environments far outshine our disadvantages.

California’s public officials come across as being uncaring about the damage they inflict on businesses, investors, employees and their families and to the towns that lose jobs to distant locations.

Nearly four years ago my business–and the one whole employee in the Bronze Golden State (me)–left for Nevada because sometimes silver is better than gold. Mr. Vranich is seeing the trend starting up again while California has a budget surplus. Consider what will happen when California actually goes through and raises taxes even more.

Today, California is horribly dependent on the stock market. The last report I saw showed that 50% of California’s tax revenues come from 1% of the population. That’s mostly from the tax on capital gains. What happens when the stock market is flat, or suffers a bear market? Meanwhile, the middle class is being driven out of the state.

The solution for California is one that Democrats in California may not like, but it’s the only one that works long-term. Government spending will need to be cut, programs will need to be pared, and regulations made far more business friendly. Businesses don’t like to move, but math is the same in California, Nevada, Tennessee, Texas, and Florida. If California continues to make businesses suffer, businesses have a solution. I made that choice four years ago; others are making it today.

One Response to “Will the Last One Out Turn the Lights Off?”

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