California encourages business flight

Indeed, Forbes noted that Comcast shut down its Northern California call centers this year, citing “the high cost of doing business in California.” Some 1,000 workers lost their jobs. It also mentioned Campbell’s Soup, which padlocked its Sacramento factory, displacing some 700 workers. The company decided to move production to Texas, North Carolina and even Ohio of all places.

Employees at Chevron’s San Ramon corporate headquarters received an unexpected email yesterday. It notified them that a quarter of their jobs are being moved from California to Texas.

The oil giant, the Golden State’s largest corporation, offered no detailed explanation for the mass transfer. But I suspect it had something to do with California’s decidedly unfriendly business climate.

Indeed, Forbes magazine this month ranked California one of the 10 worst states for business based on six factors: business costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, current economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life.

“California is littered with problems,” the magazine decries.

It ranks last, Forbes noted, in Pollina Corporate Real Estate’s study of the states with the best financial incentive programs and state economic development efforts. Moody’s rates California’s bonds A1, the second lowest of any state. And a study by the Mercatus Center, “Freedom in the 50 States,” ranked California’s regulatory climate the fourth worst among the states.

Meanwhile, California has the fourth-highest tax burden, according to a study by the Tax Foundation. And energy costs here in the Golden State are 33 percent above the national average.

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