Governor Jerry Brown Tries To Stop Businesses Fleeing California - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Anchor Tony McEwing

Governor Jerry Brown Tries To Stop Businesses Fleeing California

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I’m generally a very optimistic person. However, I think Governor Jerry Brown’s latest effort to stop the bleeding of California businesses, which seem to be fleeing the state in droves, will do very little to reverse that trend. For decades, the Golden State had been able to attract and hold on to businesses based on a first class university system, a huge pool of skilled workers, lots of sunshine almost all year long and respectable to robust profit margins. But that was then and times have changed.

As Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti pointed out recently, the state can no longer lure businesses or keep them by simply selling its sunshine. California has slowly but steadily and many say deservedly gained the reputation of being one of the most, if not the most, unfriendly state in the country for doing business. Corporate executives complain continuously and vociferously about being overregulated, overburdened with taxes, an exorbitant cost of living, a dwindling skilled workforce, high employee pensions and a list of other factors, which they say have severely damaged the business climate here.  Compounding California’s economic woes, other states, most notably Texas, have mounted aggressive campaigns to woo as many businesses away from here as possible. And it’s working.

Just recently, we’ve seen a few high profile examples. Toyota Motor Corporation just announced it’s moving its North American headquarters from Torrance to Texas. Occidental Petroleum is also fleeing to the Lone Star State. And just today, a delegation of Texas lawmakers is meeting with the owners of Sriracha Hot Sauce in Irwindale to try to get them to pack up and head east as well. If they succeed, another one thousand or so jobs will be lost.  We’ve seen much the same thing happening in Hollywood. Movie and television productions going to other states and countries where huge incentives are being offered to shoot pilots and shows.

Now, Governor Brown is rolling out a new $750-million program offering very modest financial benefits to encourage businesses in the state to stay put and try to persuade out-of-state companies to relocate here. But the incentives are not only miniscule, they come with a number of restrictions and are very limited in scope.  If the governor and state lawmakers are serious about stemming the tide of businesses leaving California or attracting businesses to come here,  they’re going to have to do a lot better than that.  It’s going to take a concerted, genuine effort. One that makes companies truly feel welcome and makes doing business here much more worthwhile.  So far, I see no serious signs of that happening.
Tony McEwing co-anchors FOX 11 Morning News at 4:30 am and provides news updates for the Emmy award winning Good Day LA, broadcast weekdays from 7:00 - 10:00 am. He also co-anchors the FOX 11 10 am News and the FOX 11 News at Noon.
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