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Is California going to harass our high-tech companies into leaving the state?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Here’s an unsettling article from Spectrum Location Solutions, discussing California’s unswerving commitment to driving away businesses from the Golden State. In the last couple decades, the CA legislative anti-business campaign focused on manufacturing firms — “dirty businesses” (all manufacturing is dirty, by CA political standards). But today the new targets seem to be the cash generating, clean, high-tech companies.  Brilliant.

CA will continue as a start-up business center, I suspect, but maturing firms are doing their expansions in more business-friendly states.  And the more they do that, the more business management will note the contrast in the bottom line for such facilities.  Google and Apple are two that have shifted new operations to other states.

While CA is openly hostile to business, the San Francisco business climate approaches Venezuela and Cuba.  Recently a private Google employee bus shuttling employees to and from work was blockaded by protesters, demanding Google pay a billion dollars to the state! As the article points out, businesses in the San Francisco region [those not dependent on local retail trade] simply have to be considering moving out of state.

Another High-Tech Co. to Ease Out of San Francisco Bay Area?
Posted December 19, 2013 by bizlocate

Word has it that another California high-tech company is looking for an out-of-state location to house a growing part of its business. Depending upon how much more cost-effective the locality proves out to be, it’s possible that later on more jobs will be relocated to the new community.
One specification is that the state and locality must be “friendly” to business – which brings me to some unfriendly targeting of a well-regarded company, Google.
Last week, headlines reflected mean-spiritedness hitting the streets of San Francisco. That’s when protesters blocked a Google bus from taking employees to their jobs at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View. How radical were those who impeded the lawful operation of a shuttle bus? Well, consider the extremists’ demand as illustrated by this headline:   “Protesters Block Google Bus, Demand $1 Billion.”

Anti-Business California

The action reinforced my belief that California’s hostility to successful businesses will spill over to hostility to successful employees, who are guilty of, well, doing absolutely nothing wrong.
To Google officials I say – I hope you continue to meet with officials from economic development agencies representing places that show understanding toward job-creating companies. Places where being gracious remains part of the social fabric.
Google already knows plenty about friendly areas. Consider stories that have run this year alone about Google expanding in Pennsylvania (“Google to add hundreds of new employees to Pittsburgh office”), North Carolina (“Google announces $600M Lenoir data center expansion”) and South Carolina (“Google to invest $600 million, add 3rd data center in Berkeley County”).
. . .To read the full article with examples of fleeing business operations, go to the link:

9 Responses to “Is California going to harass our high-tech companies into leaving the state?”

  1. Hypocrisy questioned says:

    Please explain why Google is building a new 1.1 million square foot facility and Apple is building a new 2.8 million square foot facility, both in Northern California.

  2. PAUL THERRIO says:

    I would agree that there are some ridiculus environmental laws,however, that is no reason to gut all of them. The reason no conservatives will address this in a reasonable manner is that their minders (donors) want them all gutted. Once again government thru systematic bribery at it’s best. BTW democrats are no different. Gov’t culture is corrupt. Please name one conservative that really wants this system to change.

  3. PAUL THERRIO — Thanks for presenting the standard left wing vapid straw man argument. Conservatives want to “gut” all environmental laws? Really??? “Their minders(doners) want them all gutted”????

    Got a reference on that silly assertion? A reference other than MOTHER JONES would be nice.

  4. Yes, HQ, business expansion has not TOTALLY stopped in CA. One cheer for that. But consider this:

    In 2012, our supply of California businesses shrunk 5.2%. In ONE year. NOTE: That’s a NET figure – 5.2% fewer businesses in CA in 2012 than were here in 2011. Indeed, in 2012, CA lost businesses at a 67.7% higher rate than the 2nd worst state!

    Of course, your response is — well, it COULD have been worse!

  5. John K Stahl says:

    CA has been driving businesses out of California for 40 years that I am aware of. Jobs in the semiconductor industry in Silicon Valley have been reduced to corporate headquarters, marketing and legal.

    I became aware of this when companies started moving manufacturing and fabrication to Taiwan, Singapore, Texas and New Mexico.

    You cannot employ your populace and defend your country without a vibrant manufacturing base.

  6. PAUL THERRIO says:

    John, How’s Ross Perot’s “sucking sound” working for y’all. “Free trade” agreements supported by both parties are the biggest f#$%ing EVER given to the American people. Of course it was the God-like job creators’ idea.

  7. Steve Rider Steve Rider says:

    I was in Iowa the other day, and apparently Facebook is building some massive data center there. Looking online, it appears to be a $1.5 billion operation supposedly one of the most advanced in the world. I’m sure California taxes, regulation, employment rules all played into the consideration of putting the facility two time zones away from corporate headquarters.

    HQ, you are right about some operations staying in California, but it’s definitely noticeable that they are shifting major operations to other states. Apple is working on a million square foot center in Income Tax free Texas. To quote Wired “No, Apple isn’t ditching Cupertino. That remains the site of the company’s global headquarters and it’s where the company is erecting a new 2.8-million-square-foot building that looks an awful lot like a spaceship. But Austin will eventually be home to a major portion of the Apple empire.” (

  8. D. Morton says:

    The short answer, Richard, is yes. Corporate HQ’s will largely remain in CA, but actual production and wealth generation is moving elsewhere. Sempra located its natural has hq in SC last year, Chevron has been slowly transferring jobs from its San Ramon HQ to the HQ’s of its operating companies around the country – LA and TX are big recipients. The defense industrials that used to dot SoCal are now in SC, MS, VA, and LA. Austin is particularly attractive for tech folks who like the liberal cultural atmosphere of the bay area, but are looking to grow and expand…including Facebook. NC has been very successful in attracting biotech out of CA, NY, and VA. SC is getting heavy industry and become a center for major server farms – largely due to its relatively low energy prices. And best of all, CA’s green energy industry is doing much of its production (of wind turbines, solar panels, etc.) in MS, LA, TX, and Bama.

    I could go on forever with examples and anecdotes, but it seems that while CA (the Bay area in particular) is able to cultivate entrepreneurialism, maintain corporate HQ’s, and become the recipient community for spent dollars, large-scale wealth generation has to be done elsewhere.

  9. Ms. Right says:

    After reading the article about the Google bus protest, it sounds like San Franciscans need to vote for people who will enable building more housing so rents go down. Instead they vote for people who are more interested in banning plastic bags. They get what they vote for in SF.

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