By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Sacramento keeps driving jobs away
Placeholder Image
Congratulations, lawmakers in Sacramento, you have succeeded in driving yet another California grown business from the state.

While you don't seem to understand it, your insistence on making businesses pay through the nose and comply with ornerous environmental laws, continue to drive corporations to other states.

Carl Karcher Enterprises (CKE), whose corporate offices are based in Southern California, is headed for Texas. And with the move goes 500 big salaries that won't be contributing to the California economy.

Great. Just great.

Businesses continue to flee California as other governors like Texas Gov. Rick Perry court CEOs here. After looking at the way Texas operates, Andrew Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, Inc., said: "I'm always looking to do the best thing for the company. If there are compelling business reasons to relocate the company, we would be silly not to do it."

Compelling reasons like a healthy Texas economy that appreciates Carl's Jr.'s expansion. Puzder plans for at least 30 company- and franchisee-owned restaurants in the Houston market over the next three years and for 300 locations in Texas in the next 10 years. How many in California? A little over 20.

Meanwhile each time I visit one of the two Carl's Jr. restaurants here in Ceres, I notice fewer and fewer in the dining room than say five or 10 years ago. Many who live in Stanislaus County can't find work and no longer have the income to spend for a fast-food lunch.

California is currently pathetic and states like Utah, Idaho and Texas know it. They are landing California jobs faster than a kid dangling a worm on a hook over a trout farm.

Follow the money. It's simply more expensive here and certainly harder to do business. Ask any Ceres farmer about all environmental paperwork nightmare. Lawmakers lean heavy on taxing small businesses and corporations because. Also not helping is California's political morass, massive budget gaps, and politicians who are incapable of making hard budgetary decisions to take power from unions and chop unnecessarily lavish social programs.

The bleeding continues. This is a painful read:

Adobe Systems, maker of a suite of graphics programs, is building a $100 million facility in Utah that offer thousands of jobs in Utah over the next few decades.

Last May Internet auction company eBay announced a new $287 million data center to be built in Salt Lake City.

Games maker Electronic Arts opened its new facility in July in Salt Lake City where around 100 employees are at work.

Awesome Products of Buena Park, a cleaning products manufacturer, spent $40 million to expand its Arkansas plant last year.

Beckman Coulter, a Brea biomedical company, is spending $18.2 million and creating 95 jobs in Indianapolis.

Vetrazzo, a Richmond company that turns recycled glass into countertops, moved to Georgia.

SMA America LLC, a Rocklin maker of components for solar power systems, built a $200 million plant in Denver and hired 200 people.

Enfinity Corporation, a Belgium based solar development company, relocated its U.S. headquarters from Sacramento to Sandy Springs, Ga.

Power-One, a Camarillo maker of solar power equipment, opened a manufacturing plant in Phoenix, where it will add 350 jobs over the next three years.

It's pretty simple. Businesses will go to a state where it's cheaper to do business so they can maximize profits. The state with the lowest taxes will succeed, while states like California - it has the reputation of being the worst for business and 49th out of 50 for high tax rates - end up losing jobs.

Sacramento doesn't get it.

Clueless lawmakers fight over whether to place a tax measure on the June ballot and cannibalize redevelopment funds from cities and counties. They must listen to economist Arthur Laffer who said, "California's regulatory and tax costs, coupled with budgetary and policy instability, render it an impotent competitor when standing next to low-tax, business-friendly Texas, which levies no capital gains or income taxes to support its affordable government."

Laffer believes - and so do I - that lowering taxes can actually increase revenues to government by spurring economic growth. He states this obvious conclusion about California: "It's just striking how the states with no income tax (including Texas) outperform the states with high income taxes (California's highest personal income tax rate, 10.55 percent, is third highest in the nation)," Laffer said.

Texas, governed by a part-time Legislature, has lower taxes. Texas has a marginal corporate income tax rate of 1 percent GRT, while California has 8.84 percent.

State government spends less. Texas spends $7,763.49 per capita as compared to $11,256.83 in California.

There is also far less regulation and a more streamlined permit process in Texas.

I wish I was optimistic about California's future. I'm not. My faith was shattered in November when the voters proved they were more concerned about pot smoking than electing a pro-business governor. Meg Whitman had a common-sense plan to bring back California through job expansion but clearly people did not trust a woman whose successes in the business world earned her millions. Instead, voters turned to re-retread Governor Moonbeam who actually still believes high taxes are the answer. As Brown presses for a June election in hopes that we all are stupid enough to jump up and down say, "Ooh, ooh! Yes, gimmee a chance to keep paying more in taxes!," companies are fleeing to places where there is less regulation, red-tape and yes, taxes.

Unless the knuckleheads in Sacramento actually get it, like for the golden state to turn a rotting shade of brown.

How do you feel? Let Jeff by e-mailing him at