Friday, April 22, 2011

Where the Jobs Are

In America we like to say that the states are the laboratories of democracy. We are a pragmatic people; we believe in trial and error; we want to see what does and does not work.

By now most of us have figured out that California does not work. And that Texas does. The exodus of jobs and citizens out of California is becoming so pronounced that even the politicians can see what is happening. John Fund reports here.

Fueled by liberal utopianism, California is becoming a great American dystopia. Unemployment in California is 12%; in Texas it’s 8%.  Seventy businesses have left California this year; fourteen of them have moved to Texas. With businesses leaving California at a rate of 4.7 a week, the exodus is accelerating. Last year businesses left at the rate of 3.9 a week.

A week ago a group of California legislators traveled to Texas to try to figure out why Chief Executive magazine rates Texas the best state to do business and California the worst. Given the advantages that California enjoys, it takes real effort to come in last in anything.

The largely Republican legislators were accompanied by Democratic Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom.

Where were the Democratic state legislators? You guessed it: the public employee unions prevailed on them not to go. As though anyone needed more evidence of labor union hostility to any policies that might lead to job creation.

As John Fund explains in the article linked above, there is nothing mysterious here. It’s not about what’s in the Texas water.

California is failing because of higher taxes and more regulations, accompanied by an obsession to impose a certain kind of liberated lifestyle.

Tax and regulate, empower labor unions, let tort lawyers go wild… you cannot have a better formula for creating a modern dystopia.

Oh, and by the way, while California has produced the worst business environment, it is doing its darndest to lead the nation in political correctness.

Fund points out: “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.

“One speaker from California shook his head in wonder: ‘You can have the most liberated lifestyle on the planet, but if you can't afford to put gas in your car or a roof over your head it's somewhat limited‘."

Why can’t California create jobs? Because they just do not care. They are otherwise preoccupied.

Political correctness is not just an absurdity; it is not just a dangerous absurdity that seeks to control people’s minds and circumscribe their freedoms. It distracts from the task at hand. If you do not work on the task at hand, it will not just get up and fix itself.


Anonymous said...

Political correctness seems to be more like suicidal impulses.

Michigan doesn't work too well either, and is symptomatic with California's problem, government, government, unions, government, unions, etc. as the answer to every identified economic problem.

Former Gov. Granholm is now in California, I believe teaching courses in government policy, budgeting, etc. Wonder where those students will end up after graduation. Hopefully, not Texas.

David Foster said...

We can expect the Obama administration to attempt to remove any competitive advantages of states following policies he does not like. See what the NLRB is trying to do to Boeing.

Jim said...

As a former California resident, I know that California has lots of factors going in it favor: ocean ports, excellent highways, great weather, lots of beauty, mineral and agricultural resources. If California fails, it can only be because of its leaders and voters. Why anyone with even the most basic knowledge in economics would think it's a good idea to put a business in California is beyond me. The same goes for any other blue state. Find me a businessman who thinks unions, stifling regulations and high taxes are wonderful and I will show you someone who is headed for bankruptcy.