Christopher Lucero | A More Detailed Analysis

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

Re: Betty Arenson column, Jan. 4.

A young person would say, “OK, Boomer.” Rather, here: “OK, Betty.” Remember…California is the fifth largest economy in the world…fifth largest in the world. Also remember that the prosperity of each business here depends upon California’s might in international economics, national economy, and cultural draw for each business’ continued thrift. Just as there is a “GO” square in the game “Monopoly,” California offers opportunities for courageous, strong, innovative and youthful businesses.

For the most part, the factoid-riddled tract is a reprint of a Spectrum Locations Solutions (SLS) “study” and repeats prior errors (Dec. 28) of point data misuse and cherry-picked, meme-stimulating, small-picture, myopic thinking. I venture a guess that the SLS “study” was far less than a complete picture of the comparative locales investigated. 

“OK, Betty.”

Here, in brief, are some thoughts on the tract:

SLS specializes in relocation in the way that an undertaker specializes in disposing of mortality. SLS principal Joseph Vranich says on the website that he began his career “involved in manufacturing plant closures, office relocations and conveyances of land parcels and buildings.” (Shiver.) Mr. Vranich openly admits his current popularity is due to that trait. The SLS website is a trove specializing in exhuming the downsides of California as a business locale, for SLS’ profit, of course. That is an excellent service to provide to companies making choices regarding their risk management. He is successful because California generates businesses and then these businesses become aware of their own tenuous morbidity here, and seek “healthier” locales in which to operate. 

It’s like a New York City pensioner who moves to Florida for the climate to relieve poor pulmonary vigor and financial straits in order to enjoy a few more years before the reaper comes. That’s rational, and it is sane. Emigration and immigration are natural traits where the strong and the weak make decisions about their opportunities. The stronger ones and the more determined weak ones will strengthen and will remain in California. As a business or general improvement motto states: “The Fire that Melts the Butter…Tempers the Steel.”

There is really nothing wrong with being an undertaker or a relo expert. One point data error is where Mr. Vranich masterfully spins a point data fact (used by Betty, regarding the natural growth of commercial real estate over a number of years) into a marketing attribute for his company’s success, omitting key factors like incentives by the “also-ran” states through land grants and temporary property tax relief. Kudos to him for being a smart businessman and praise to him for helping export California companies to the rest of the union, where the culture and the great businesses “from” here can further prosper. Next.

The citation regarding an apparent imbalance in welfare receipts is solid, but it fails to recognize that these are persons within the U.S. who are entitled to that benefit, no matter what we may like or dislike about it. They played by the rules, and our federal government has decided that they are worthy. Next.

For what it is worth, there may be validity in the assessment regarding Assembly Constitutional Amendment 1 and the move toward a more directly democratic capability within lawmakers’ hands. It cuts both ways. For example, in federal elections the marginally more popular candidate becomes the selected representative, though some positions are contingent upon electoral college consent (ahem). This expedites the process and gets an executive into the Oval Office tout suite. Is there advantage in voters being able to enact laws more democratically, more quickly? It seems to work at the highest levels of electoral process. Suffice it to say that the U.S. republic is an experiment in democracy, as is the California republic.

Finally, regarding the late rant against a pet issue related to commercial property. “OK, Betty.” Maybe in the future California will be devoid of businesses, maybe becoming a state filled with consumers and individuals, and very few businesses, except for those that are very, very wealthy and/or very, very determined. Read the tea leaves here: Amazon and online commerce are still rising. If so, we will all have to choose which group we choose to belong to: 

Leave or Remain.

Christopher Lucero


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