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Profs at Leg Hearing Push More Govt.

Katy Grimes
FlashReport Senior Correspondent

Crossposted on CalWatchdog The rich are getting richer and everyone else is losing wealth. This phenomenon supposedly would justify more aggressive government policies redistributing wealth. At an Assembly hearing Wednesday about whether the state of California should be actively pursuing additional wealth redistribution policies, Legislators and academics said that the highest degree of inequality is because […]

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Friday Wrap: Lost CA Businesses; State Budget Shortfall; Possible Troubles for the Rose Parade and Game

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

Why Businesses Leave CA Fox and Hounds Daily contributor, Joe Vranich, known as the business relocation coach, was interviewed as part of a five part series produced by Fox 11 News in Los Angeles this week on why California is losing businesses and jobs. Vranich produced a top ten list that create the state’s business […]

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The Enduring Proposition 13

Troy Senik
Senior Fellow, Center for Individual Freedom and Editor at Ricochet.com

Cross-posted at CityJournal. Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is a man in search of a new résumé entry. A former city councilman and Speaker of the California Assembly, Villaraigosa—who in 2005 became the City of Angels’ first Hispanic mayor in modern history—has less than two years left before he’s term-limited out as chief executive of […]

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World High-Speed Cost Increase Record

Wendell Cox
Visiting Professor, Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers, Paris

Cross-posted at NewGeography.

California’s high-speed rail project is setting speed records, not on tracks, but rather in cost escalation. Last week, the California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) announced that the Bakersfield to Merced section, part of which will comprise the first part of the system to be built, will cost between $10.0 and $13.9 billion. This is an increase of approximately 40 percent to 100 percent over the previous estimate of $7.1 billion, an estimate itself less than two years old.

This "flatter than Kansas" section should be the least expensive part of the system. It can only be imagined how much costs might rise where construction is more challenging, such as tunneling through the Tehachapi Mountains and for the route across the environmentally sensitive Pacheco Pass that leads to the Silicon Valley. CHSRA officials admit that the present $43 billion cost estimate to complete the Los Angeles (Anaheim) to San Francisco first phase will rise substantially. This estimate was also less than two years old.

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Employees Now Asking Companies to Leave California

Joseph Vranich
Principal of Spectrum Location Solutions helps companies plan and select ideal sites for new facilities across the U.S. and internationally.

If I hadn’t heard it from clients I wouldn’t have believed
it – Californians are asking their companies to leave the state.

Some time ago a decision-maker told me he had evaluated the
benefits of moving his department out of Los Angeles. He said: "When I
discovered how substantial the savings would be, I quipped in front of my
staff, ‘We should move to Texas.’ I was surprised by what happened next –
people approached me one by one, came in my office, closed the door, and asked
that we move to Texas. Once I saw the employee reactions, I’d like for the
relocation to occur."

Businesses relocate generally for cost factors (taxes, the
burdens of excessive regulations, high rents) but people move for life-style
reasons. Here is a sampling of employee motivations:

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Record in 2010 for Calif. Companies Departing or Diverting Capital

Joseph Vranich
Principal of Spectrum Location Solutions helps companies plan and select ideal sites for new facilities across the U.S. and internationally.

In the seven weeks since the last report, another 11 companies have left California completely or re-directed substantial capital to build facilities out of state that in an earlier era would have been built here. The number in today’s list is lower than the usual four-per-week average and I believe it’s because companies shy away from making such announcements during the end-of-year holiday season.

The names of the companies and justifications for listing them appear in the list below, which builds upon the Dec. 6, 2010 entry regarding 193 companies here (which in turn builds on previous lists).

In brief:
Company total for 12 months of 2010: 204
Company total for all of 2009: 51

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As More Businesses Flee California, Schwarzenegger Deserves ‘Worst Governor’ Award

Joseph Vranich
Principal of Spectrum Location Solutions helps companies plan and select ideal sites for new facilities across the U.S. and internationally.

Yesterday, while attending the delightful little musical "Daddy Long Legs" at the Laguna Beach Playhouse, none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger popped into my mind. Why? Well, the song, "I Couldn’t Know Someone Less" reminded me of him. When he became governor he showed promise that he would reform our dysfunctional state government. But he turned out to be an abject failure.

Someone has to say it, so I will: Arnold Schwarzenegger is the worst governor in California’s recent history. If we were doing articles of impeachment, then "injuring virtually every industry" would be one of many charges.

He deserves that distinction for many reasons, but the tipping point for me came last week during the appearance by Aaron McLear, Schwarzenegger’s press secretary, on Fox Business News. While speaking on "Varney & Co," he misrepresented California’s economic condition by saying that when it comes to companies leaving the state, well, he "doesn’t see evidence of that"; and by gosh the state’s "private sector is doing great"; and that our tax rate is about the same as in other states. When asked about unemployment, he said, "Well, unemployment is bad everywhere." Does the governor know that last week so many jobless people called the Employment Development Department that their phones crashed?

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New GOP Governors Eye CA Business

John Seiler
Former Editorial Writer at the Orange County Register

Cross-posted at CalWatchdog.

The poaching of good California jobs and businesses has just begun. The new crop of GOP governors just elected across the fruited plain is looking to grab what they can from the anti-business Pyrite State. Jim Christie of Reuters reports:

“It’s a testament to California’s voters that they had the foresight to beat back the tidal wave of corporate-controlled candidates that swept much of the rest of the country,” said California Labor Federation head Art Pulaski.

But according to Somer Hollingsworth of the Nevada Development Authority, that makes California “even more fair game.”

Texas in particular has been busy scouring California for companies tired of high taxes and unpredictable regulations, and analysts see the Lone Star State as a lodestar for new GOP-led states eager to spur business.

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Fueling An Agenda

Katy Grimes
FlashReport Senior Correspondent

In a deranged attempt to be the first state (again) to push an aggressive environmental agenda, California Air Resources Board officials grossly inflated pollution levels in air quality statistics by more than 340 percent in order to justify the agency’s radical environmental mandates and regulations.

Heads should roll, or at the very least, a public flogging should take place on the west steps of the Capitol. One state legislator wants to hold the Chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, Mary Nichols, accountable.

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Searching for the One-Handed Economist

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

As Carla Marinucci reports in the San Francisco Chronicle, a debate has flared among economists on the effects of Meg Whitman’s plan to revive the California economy. A liberal think tank produced a document written by liberal professors calling Whitman’s plan flawed. A conservative economist responded that the plan would jump start the economy.

This back and forth of different economic views reminds me of the famous quote by President Harry Truman who wanted to consult with a one-armed economist. The president was tired of economists advising him, "On the one hand this could happen… On the other hand that …."

The report by UC Berkeley economist Michael Reich that started the brouhaha argued that Whitman’s plan to cut capitol gains taxes would deprive the state of billions of dollars in revenue. In addition, Reich claimed that California is not the unfriendly business climate that Whitman talks about.

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