There is a saying “the only thing every one of your failed relationships have in common is you”. You can say this applies quite nicely when it comes to the relationship between California and businesses. As Ed Morrissey points out:
When California politicians want to visit California jobs, they increasingly have to leave California to do so. That’s why Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom traveled with a small entourage of other Golden State politicians to Texas, the biggest beneficiary of California’s economic policies.
California, like quite a few liberal states, has been hemorrhaging jobs for a while. But how bad could it be in California? Can you say very bad?
The contrast is undeniable. Texas has added 165,000 jobs during the last three years while California has lost 1.2 million. California’s jobless rate is 12% compared to 8% in Texas.
While a lot of the lost jobs are in the industry sector, even fast food restaurants are finding it difficult to do business in Leftyland.
Andy Puzder, the CEO of Hardee’s Restaurants, was one of many witnesses to bemoan California’s hostile regulatory climate. He said it takes six months to two years to secure permits to build a new Carl’s Jr. restaurant in the Golden State, versus the six weeks it takes in Texas. California is also one of only three states that demands overtime pay after an eight-hour day, rather than after a 40-hour week. Such rules wreak havoc on flexible work schedules based on actual need. If there’s a line out the door at a Carl’s Jr. while employees are seen resting, it’s because they aren’t allowed to help: Break time is mandatory.
“You can’t build in California, you can’t manage in California and you have to pay a big tax,” Mr. Puzder told the legislators. “In Texas, it’s the opposite—which is why we’re building 300 new stores there this year.”
The liberals can’t say it’s some conspiracy devised by evil conservatives like me. The liberal run entertainment industry, whose demands of massive tax breaks from all states they do business with equaled about $1.8 billion from 2006 – 2008, has been bailing out of the liberal state for a while.
Other states are even snatching away parts of California’s entertainment industry. The Milken Institute, based in Santa Monica, Calif., reports that 36,000 entertainment jobs have left the state since 1997. The new film “Battle: Los Angeles,” which is set in California, was filmed in Louisiana.
While California politicians can pretend they want to reverse this trend, ultimately their actions show they will continue to do what the unions and liberals say.
Several Democrats who agreed to go on the Texas trip were pressured by public-employee unions to drop out—and many did. And just as Texas business leaders were testifying about how the state’s tort reforms had improved job creation, word came of California’s latest priority: On April 14, the state senate passed a bill mandating that all public school children learn the history of disabled and gay Americans.
California has to realize the only thing every one of the businesses that left has in common is getting away from California’s anti-business climate. Once they do, they can quit asking businesses “why did you leave?”