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?”
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