Commentary

Betty Arenson | Gavin Newsom’s Twisted Take on California Dream

The sincerity of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s declarations that California is THE place to do business is a big mystery. He bristled recently when yet another governor spoke of luring California businesses to, in this case, Tennessee. Newsom told business leaders in San Francisco on June 21 that he “was tired of executives complaining about other states being cheaper destinations to operate…” (Nashville Tennessean). 

With inherent arrogance, Newsom also said, “Eat your heart out Texas, Tennessee…” when he referenced two of the states mentioned in Chief Executive Magazine’s list of places to do business. 

Newsom’s statement is bizarre because California came in last on that list (San Francisco Business Times).  

But then, this IS Gavin Newsom.

The governor went on to say, “I get it… we’re not going to be the cheapest place to do business.”

He got that one right, even if the words are tepid and a mammoth understatement. Newsom underlined his thin-skin sensitivity: “For all the bitchin’ and complaining, I think businesses are doing pretty damn well…” 

Newsom could not name even one! 

Three days later Politico reported on Newsom telling a San Francisco business audience, “It was just the golden oldie of stuff they’ve been saying about our state for 30 years and our city,” followed by telling some business elites in San Francisco, “I can’t take it anymore. You don’t like it, Jesus Christ … I mean seriously, enough.”

Newsom isn’t the only one who can’t take it anymore:

• Mitsubishi is moving its HQ to Nashville. About 200 employees will either relocate or lose their jobs.

• Carl’s Jr’s parent company, after 77 years in California, moved its HQ to Nashville.

• Sacramento’s Aerojet has laid off 1,300 workers here and expanded business in Arkansas.

• Irvine’s Spectrum Location Solutions moved to Pennsylvania after 20 years in California.

• Terbine, a tech start-up, moved to Las Vegas.

• San Francisco’s Mission Pie restaurant is simply shutting its doors.

• California Dairies Inc., in business since 1925 in Los Banos, ceased its manufacturing plant with 60 employees out of a job.

• Harrow Health, pharmaceutical interests, is moving its HQ from San Diego to Nashville.

• ICEE beverage company is leaving Ontario, California for Tennessee. 

• In late 2015, Toyota moved its North American operation to Plano, Texas.

• Tesla Motors is building a huge battery factory near Reno, Nevada.

• Lucid Motors (electric cars) chose Arizona to start its production in 2017.

• More than 30 other Bay Area companies are fleeing to other states. 

• John Vranich, owner of Spectrum Location Solutions, did a 378-page report in 2018 after a seven-year study and concluded about 9,000 companies had moved their HQs out of California. “It’s typical for companies leaving California to experience operating cost savings of 20 up to 35%,” Vranich summed up his report with one word: “astonishing.”

 Cato Institute’s Freedom Index has ranked California 48 out of the 50 states. The Fraser Institute rates California 47 in “economic freedom.” American Tort Reform Foundation calls California a “judicial hellhole” (January 2019 Daily Caller).

The departed companies list their reasons for exiting as hostile and deterrent business climate, high taxes, choking regulations, high cost of living, etc. For the Bay Area, add the adverse health risks of filth with human waste, drug needles and blanket crime in the streets. One medical association convention refused to have their venue there, which was a $40 million economic loss to the Bay Area.

The tens of thousands of jobs and workers that have forcibly been made to disappear from California amounts to incalculable dollar losses for our state. They are former taxpayers and once-consumers who patronized and utilized goods and services of other businesses that prop up owners of those companies. 

Maybe one of them is yours.

Newsom ignoring the dangerous and compounding filth and health risks in his front yard does not match his comments. His attempts to defer away from the failing California business climate by saying he “would rather focus on the positive aspects of doing business in California, and was frustrated with media reports on rising homelessness due to the cost of living, including ‘poop maps’ of defecation in San Francisco streets.”

Clearly he has failed, and continues to do so. 

Betty Arenson is a Santa Clarita resident. “Right Here, Right Now” appears Saturdays and rotates among several local Republicans.

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