In 2005, I wrote in a document titled, Creating a Business Friendly California, meant to energize the business community: "To achieve a business friendly California, the business community must speak directly to the voters.  We must educate voters on issues of the economy, business, regulations, and taxes. It’s not enough to educate the elected policy makers. Voters are the policy makers, themselves, when they vote on initiatives.  We have to show them that a business friendly California is good for everybody."

Finally, such an effort is coming about thanks to the United States Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber issued a report the end of last month on California’s economic troubles and offered suggestions on how to turn around our economy. You can find the full report here.

The Chamber plans to back up this report with a media campaign to get the word out along the lines of my proposal from years ago.

Such a move is not unprecedented in California. In my paper, I acknowledged the effectiveness of the California Teachers Association and its constant "education" campaign offering the association’s arguments to the public through media advertising.

The US Chamber’s effort highlights California’s high unemployment and the difficulties on small business because of excessive regulation, high taxes, and lawsuit abuse.

No surprise when a number of recent reports have confirmed the cost of doing business is high in this state. For example, the Council on State Taxation ranks California 50th with the lowest score in the nation based on the state’s tax and regulatory system. The Small Business Survival Index put out by the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council places California 49th.

The Chamber’s economic recovery plan for California includes:



As U. S. Chamber President and CEO, Thomas J. Donahue said in a press release announcing the California effort: "Good, bad, or otherwise, what happens in California often spreads eastward to the rest of America."

I concluded my document in 2005 this way:

"Winston Churchill once said that. ‘Some look at private enterprise as a predatory tiger to be shot. Others see it as a cow to be milked. While the truth that few see is that it is a strong horse to pull the whole cart.’

Business can pull along the public sector if it is not overburdened. That message must get out to the voters before more damage is done to California’s economy."

Bravo to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for planting the message of a business friendly environment directly in California.