May 12 2010

Welcome to California: Please don’t go home

Category: economy,government,politicsharmonicminer @ 8:00 am

California comes last

California came last in a survey ranking the fifty states and Washington D.C. as places to do business, underscoring the weakened competitive position of the state — and the Victor Valley.

The survey, conducted by Chief Executive magazine, asked business leaders to rank states based on taxation and regulation, quality of workforce and living environment.

Despite its favorable climate, California rated lowest in the survey for the second year running, due to high taxes and heavy regulations, high unemployment rate and heavy union presence.

Income tax runs as high as 10 percent for top earners, and many of those tax dollars go to benefits for California’s swelling number of government employees, with $500 billion in unfunded pension and health care liabilities for state workers. And unions are growing – from 16.1 percent of workers in 1998 to 17.8 percent in 2002.

Victorville City Councilman Ryan McEachron said he’s not surprised by the survey results, “but we need to do something to turn it around.”

As a councilman, McEachron is still stinging from seeing the Victor Valley lose over $30 million in redevelopment funds last week to fill state coffers. “That’s money we could have used to help create jobs,” he said.

As president and CEO of ARMAC Insurance, McEachron says he’s losing five to 10 accounts a month as many local companies shut down.

Emblematic of the problem:  Top policy analyst for Los Angeles City Council calls for 1,000 more job cuts (much more at the link)

The budget roller coaster at Los Angeles City Hall took another sharp turn on Tuesday, with the City Council’s top policy analyst calling for the elimination of 1,000 jobs on top of the 761 targeted by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in his proposed annual budget.

California is hemorrhaging tax-payers. Non-tax-payers are staying here, trying to collect more services, and public employees are staying here, because they are paid more here, and get better benefits packages, than they would in nearly any other state.

Remember those funny bumper stickers we used to see, when the joke was that “real Californians” didn’t want other people moving here and clogging the place up?

Well, things are different now.  Given that productive people are leaving the state in droves, for more business friendly places like Nevada, Texas and Utah, we desperately need people to move here and pay some taxes.

But what people, in their right minds, would come to California these days, unless they were coming from, oh, I don’t know, Kabul or something?

Herewith, my new bumper sticker: