Drive the 15 from San Diego to Las Vegas – you pass a bunch of desert towns but a lot more sand. Once you cross the Nevada border the scenery doesn’t change but you entered a state where California businesses are going to. They are going to Arizona and Texas too. We have our deserts but why are these hot states getting our business?
We can reverse this by decentralizing.
Richard Rider points out how the business climate in California drives away businesses, websense being the latest. The problem is not just the business climate but that it’s centrally controlled from Sacramento. Our capitol city lies not far from San Francisco and Silicon Valley. It has created a political culture that passes laws that are fine in their bubble. Dot-Coms are not manufacturing firms so its easy for them to support stringent environmental regulations that don’t affect their bottomline. San Francisco is the oldest high density populated area in California so of course they want to restrict everyone else’s development. They would rather have places for wealthy urban and suburbanites to hike through than allow for new competing businesses to sprout.
We need to decentralize our business laws and tax policy down to the local level. I recognize that some businesses spread across the state. It could breakdown this way: Small businesses located in only one city would follow that city’s tax and regulation laws. A business that spreads into multiple cities but the same county falls under county laws. For those in multiple counties and are out of state they would (God help them) be under state law.
On the surface it sounds like conflicting laws though out the state. But its clear where you are headquartered. This would allow small firms to continue to operate here. It will allow entrepreneurs to start businesses without having Sacramento coming crashing down on them because they only think of businesses as huge.
California has the population of Canada and is a large piece of real estate. Decentralization or having a federal structure could only improve life here. Let’s start with our businesses and bring them home.
Elliot Schroeder is Vice-Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of San Diego.