California’s Economic Death Wish

By August 30, 2006General

Our Competitiveness Redbook shows that California already ranks dead last in net state migration, meaning more people leave California to move to other states. One of the big reasons is California’s business-unfriendly climate, a legacy of former Governor Gray Davis. In fact, someone once remarked that if state economic development folks gave a “Man of the Year” award, they should give it to Davis, as he did more to boost economic development in the 49 other states — by driving jobs there — than anyone else in the country. Governator Schwarzenegger has tried to reverse the tide, but his progress has been hampered in part by an unfriendly legislature seemingly hell-bent on ridding the state of all private sector jobs.

Case in point: According to this article, the California Assembly yesterday approved a bill that would “eliminate private medical insurance plans and establish a statewide health insurance system.” No matter that in countries with universal coverage there is rationing — California is launching headlong into the breech.

At the same time, the Assembly is debating AB32, a bill that would establish a cap on carbon emissions — for California only. Says NAM ally Jack Stewart — head of the California Manufacturers and Technology Association — in this op-ed:

“Earlier this year, the governor’s Climate Action Team conceded that if California implements a greenhouse-gas reduction program ‘without other states,’ as now appears likely, ‘there will be an incentive for production to shift to other states to avoid the cap…'”

As the kids say, “Duh!”

California is fast becoming a sad object lesson for the rest of the country, a dark abyss into which we all can peer. When you mandate single-payer health care, put a carbon cap on your own state, and try to ban substances like acrylamide that occur naturally in some fruits and vegetables, it’s just a matter of time before companies flee to a friendlier climate. With them goes the jobs and prosperity they bring. California is flirting with economic disaster.

As the saying goes, “Would the last manufacturer out of California please turn out the lights?”

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Christine Mason says:

    Making stuff profitably while being good to the environment is no longer a tree hugger issue- every company that manufactures must rethink the way they work- clean power on a worldwide basis is imperative. To not acknowledge the staggering CURRENT hidden costs of global warming- the costs of storm damage and insurance- the costs of microbes, viruses and bugs that are being reawakened afer eons in frozen slumber, the cost of crop and ecological shifts already occurring- this is true head in the sand behavior.

    Toyota has the number one market share in California- it can’t keep the Prius on the lots! Meanwhile, Ford is cutting 21% of it manufacturing jobs. Green innovation pays, the market rewards. Look at Nike in Europe- zero emissions plants- in fact the plants GIVE POWER BACK TO THE GRID- and have no chemical runoff in the water. For more information on how to do it better (that is make stuff profitably)- read Micheal McDonough on Cradle to Cradle manufacturing. Be a part of the solution!

    The only reason California would lose jobs, is if its citizens, both corporate and individual, don’t respond to enticing economic incentives, to punitive disincentives, to market forces with creativity and innovation. California will innovate with new products, processes and methods, and create vast amounts of wealth, as it has done with every single wave of required innovation. It will lead the world, have fun, create better quality of life and get richer doing do. Reallocation of resources, and change is always scary to people who are used to doing it the old way, but we all can get over that.

    (it isironic that “Katrina” leads this page- are you aware of the connection between gloabl warming and storm systems? that there have been more storms, more severe storms, of greater intensity and durations in every system- tornadoes, hurricanes- the TRUE death wish is to ignore the environmental evidence- katrina for example- research has proven the direct connection between the rapid increase in the storm’s severity as it passed over the Gulf, with its now aberrantly elevated surface temperatures)