Category Archives: Bay Area

Tech Workers barely get by in Silicon Valley’s wealth bubble | Mar 01, 2017

Scraping by on six figures? Tech workers feel poor in Silicon Valley’s wealth bubble

– Guardian UK

Big tech companies pay some of the country’s best salaries. But workers claim the high cost of living in the Bay Area has them feeling financially strained

didn’t become a software engineer to be trying to make ends meet,” said a Twitter employee in his early 40s who earns a base salary of $160,000. It is, he added, a “pretty bad” income for raising a family in the Bay Area.

The biggest cost is his $3,000 rent – which he said was “ultra cheap” for the area – for a two-bedroom house in San Francisco, where he lives with his wife and two kids. He’d like a slightly bigger property, but finds himself competing with groups of twentysomethings happy to share accommodation while paying up to $2,000 for a single room.

“Families are priced out of the market,” he said, adding that family-friendly cafes and restaurants have slowly been replaced by “hip coffee shops”.

Silicon Valley’s latest tech boom, combined with a housing shortage, has caused rents to soar over the last five years. The city’s rents, by one measure, are now the highest in the world.

The prohibitive costs have displaced teachers, city workers, firefighters and other members of the middle class, not to mention low-income residents.

Now techies, many of whom are among the highest 1% of earners, are complaining that they, too, are being priced out.

The Twitter employee said he hit a low point in early 2014 when the company changed its payroll schedule, leaving him with a hole in his budget. “I had to borrow money to make it through the month.”

He was one of several tech workers, earning between $100,000 and $700,000 a year, who vented to the Guardian about their financial situation. Almost all of them spoke only on the condition of anonymity, or agreed only to give their first names, fearing retribution by their employers for speaking publicly about their predicament.

‘The American dream is not working out here’

Complaints from well-compensated tech workers will sound like chutzpah to many of the other 99% who are struggling to get by on a fraction of their income. But there appears to be a growing frustration among tech workers who say that they are struggling to get by.

Facebook engineers last year even raised the issue with founder Mark Zuckerberg, asking whether the company could subsidize their rents to make their living situation more affordable, according to an executive at the company who has since departed.

The cost of housing is a common complaint among Bay Area techies. Engineers can expect, according to one analysis, to pay between 40% and 50% of their salary renting an apartment near work.

One Apple employee was recently living in a Santa Cruz garage, using a compost bucket as a toilet. Another tech worker, enrolled in a coding bootcamp, described how he lived with 12 other engineers in a two-bedroom apartment rented via Airbnb. “It was $1,100 for a fucking bunk bed and five people in the same room. One guy was living in a closet, paying $1,400 for a ‘private room’.”

“We make over $1m between us, but we can’t afford a house,” said a woman in her 50s who works in digital marketing for a major telecoms corporation, while her partner works as an engineer at a digital media company. “This is part of where the American dream is not working out here.

Another tech worker feeling excluded from the real estate market was 41-year-old Michael, who works at a networking firm in Silicon Valley and last year earned $700,000. Sick of his 22-mile commute to work, which can sometimes take up to two and half hours, he explored buying a property nearer work.

“We went to an open house in Los Gatos that would shorten my commute by eight miles. It was 1,700 sq ft and listed at $1.4m. It sold in 24 hours for $1.7m,” he said.

Although he said his salary means he can afford to live a decent life, he finds the cost of living, combined with the terrible commute, unpalatable. He’s had enough, and has accepted a 50% pay cut to relocate to San Diego.

“We will be unequivocally better off than we are now.” He said he won’t miss some of the more mundane day-to-day costs, like spending $8 on a bagel and coffee or $12 on freshly pressed juice.

Michael isn’t the only tech worker considering leaving Silicon Valley in search of a better life. A Canadian IT specialist in his late 40s, earning more than $200,000, has a similar plan. “When I came to the Bay Area the amount of money they were going to pay me seemed absurd,” he said. However, the cost of rent and childcare, which cost “more than I paid for my university education in Canada”, has been hard to swallow.

Sam, 40, lives with his wife and three kids in San Jose, earning around $120,000 a year at a multinational software company. “I get paid a very good wage, but I have three kids, childcare is ridiculously expensive so my wife mostly takes care of them,” he said.

He feels pressure being the sole breadwinner. “I’ve got no safety net,” he said. “I have credit cards, but this is not sustainable. If something bad happened I’d be out of the house in a month.”

…..Continue reading @ the Guardian

 

UC San Francisco Lays Off IT Workers, Jobs Head To India

– OANN

Kurt Ho, 58, (L), a systems administrator at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) poses for a photo with some of the 49 IT workers laid off by UCSF, which has hired an Indian company to do their work, in San Francisco, California, U.S., February 28, 2017. REUTERS/Rory Carroll

“SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The University of California, San Francisco on Tuesday laid off 49 information technology (IT) employees and outsourced their work to a company based in India, ending a year-long process that has brought the public university under fire.

The university announced the plan last July as a way to save $30 million over five years. The University of California system, which includes health care and research-focused UCSF, has been struggling to raise revenue and cut expenses.

Globalization and outsourcing have become hot-button political issues in the United States, as more employers cut costs by farming out work to low-cost workers in far-flung parts of the world. President Donald Trump campaigned on promises to restore lost U.S. jobs and to penalize companies that move factories overseas.

This was the University of California’s first outsourcing, said a spokeswoman who added that the layoffs were necessary due to rising costs of technology. In addition to the 49 staff layoffs, another 48 positions that were vacant or filled by contractors were eliminated.

California Senator Dianne Feinstein last year said the university had a responsibility to keep jobs in the United States and pledged to seek reforms to stop domestic jobs being outsourced.

Kurt Ho, 58, a laid off systems administrator, carried a box of his personal items with an American flag draped over it, and said the university’s decision will hurt service for a medical staff that relies on a smoothly running and secure computer network.

“It’s a downgrading of services and a slap in the face for the customers,” said Ho, who has worked in IT in the Bay Area for 25 years. He said he plans to look for a job but worries that outsourcing of IT services is a growing trend.

Last year UCSF entered into a $50 million contract over five years with India-based HCL Technologies Ltd to do the work.”

….Continue reading @ OANN

History | Victor Hanson Davis | California’s Eerie Simularities to Antebellum South | Feb 10, 2017

California Goes Confederate

– Townhall.com | Victor Hanson Davis

“Over sixty percent of California voters went for Hillary Clinton — a margin of more than 4 million votes over Donald Trump.

Since Clinton’s defeat, the state seems to have become unhinged over Trump’s unexpected election.

“Calexit” supporters brag that they will have enough signatures to qualify for a ballot measure calling for California’s secession from the United States.

Some California officials have talked of the state not remitting its legally obligated tax dollars to the federal government. They talk of expanding its sanctuary cities into an entire sanctuary state that would nullify federal immigration law.

Californians also now talk about the value of the old Confederate idea of “states’ rights.” They whine that their state gives far too much revenue to Washington and gets too little back.

Residents boast about how their cool culture has little in common with the rest of the U.S. Some Californians claim the state could easily go it alone, divorced from the United States.

Sound a bit familiar?

In December 1860, South Carolina seceded from the Union in furor over the election of Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln did not receive 50 percent of the popular vote. He espoused values the state insisted did not reflect its own.

In eerie irony, liberal California is now mirror-imaging the arguments of reactionary South Carolina and other Southern states that vowed to go it alone in 1860 and 1861.

Like California, South Carolina insisted it could nullify federal laws within its state borders.

Like California, South Carolina promised to withhold federal revenues.

Like California, South Carolina and other Confederate states bragged that their unique economies did not need the Union.

They boasted that “King Cotton” had created the wealthiest class in the United States. Silicon Valley now often assumes that Google, Facebook, Apple and others are near-trillion-dollar companies that are a world unto their own.

Slavery and the extravagant income from cotton warped the Southern economy and culture. A wealthy plantation elite, with its millions of exploited slaves, ensured that there would be virtually no middle, working or small-business class.

Huge estates were surrounded by the impoverished shacks of servants. Hardscrabble farmers or small businessmen often fled westward to escape the shackles of wealth disparity.

The export-dependent Southern elite demanded unfettered free trade. It offered bitter resistance to Northern protectionism.

South Carolina elites were opposed to federal infrastructure projects such as the building of roads, canals, bridges and reservoirs, and other such unwelcome “progress.”

Confederates boasted that their antebellum culture was more romantic, natural, pristine, healthy and moral than was the bustle, grime and hyper-capitalism of Northern industrialism.

Southern aristocrats believed that they were culturally superior — in terms of music, art and literature — to other Americans.

Of course, this is 2017, not 1860, and California is super-liberal, not an antebellum slave-owning society.

Nonetheless, what is driving California’s current efforts to nullify federal law and the state’s vows to secede from the U.S. are some deeper — and creepy — similarities to the arrogant and blinkered Old South.

California is likewise becoming a winner-take-all society. It hosts the largest numbers of impoverished and the greatest number of rich people of any state in the country. Eager for cheap service labor, California has welcomed in nearly a quarter of the nation’s undocumented immigrants. California has more residents living in poverty than any other state. It is home to one third of all the nation’s welfare recipients.

The income of California’s wealthy seems to make them immune from the effects of the highest basket of sales, income and gas taxes in the nation. The poor look to subsidies and social services to get by. Over the last 30 years, California’s middle classes have increasingly fled the state.

“Gone With the Wind”-like wealth disparity in California is shocking to the naked eye. Mostly poor Redwood City looks like it’s on a different planet from tony nearby Atherton or Woodside.”

….Continue reading more @ Townhall.com

 

California’s Undocumented Kids—Why They Could be First to Lose Medical Care Under Trump

– KQED

 

 

“On a recent rainy morning in Los Angeles, Maria Bernal’s stove clicks to life with a bright blue flame to toast bread on a griddle for her 9-year-old son Edwin to smear with peanut butter. As she scoops papaya chunks into the blender for a smoothie, she recalls her worry during all the years when she couldn’t afford health care and he suffered painful ear infections.

The waiting six months to get an appointment for Edwin at a county facility. The nights trying to calm him as he cried in constant pain. The months-long wait for each of three surgeries to insert tubes into his ears. The fear when the medical bills arrived.

At the time, she couldn’t afford health care, and he wasn’t eligible for regular government-funded Medi-Cal coverage because she had brought Edwin to the United States illegally from Mexico when he was 1. He qualified for a local program and emergency Medi-Cal, but that didn’t provide all the care he needed. Then last year, she heard on TV that California was creating a new program under Medi-Cal to fully cover poor undocumented children. Relieved, she rushed to sign Edwin up. As a result, she says, “I can take him in whenever he needs to go.”

Now, however, the ability of Edwin and some 164,000 poor undocumented California children to see a doctor for regular medical care hangs in the balance—with several experts predicting they could be among the first to lose health coverage if the Trump administration carries out its promise to end much of Obamacare, leaving California to try to make up the difference.

To be clear, the federal government does pay limited medical costs for kids in the country illegally under the restricted-scope Medi-Cal program, which is available to anyone regardless of immigration status for emergency and prenatal services only. Last May, however, California became one of a handful of states to provide state-funded full-scope Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program. About 71 percent of the program is funded by the state, according to the state Department of Health Care Services, with 29 percent paid for out of federal funds for emergency coverage. Also of note: Because the federal government funds emergency services, the state shares enrollee information with federal health officials.

In his most recent budget proposal, Gov. Jerry Brown allocated $279.5 million to cover approximately 185,000 kids in the coming year in what the state has dubbed its Health for All Kids program—double what the program was estimated to cost when it was approved.

With the election of Donald Trump, who took office last week, some health policy experts and advocates say the fledgling program is in danger. Assuming the new administration carries out plans to change how Medicaid is funded, California could stand to lose $17 billion the federal government currently provides for the Medi-Cal expansion that California adopted under the Affordable Care Act.Such a cut would leave state leaders unable to fully make up the funding difference—and could force them to revisit a decades-old debate over whether the state has an obligation to care for sick children regardless of their immigration status, or should focus limited resources on citizens and legal residents.”

….Continue reading more @ KQED

 

 

Berkeley The Night After Free Speech Died on Campus | Feb 2, 2017

After night of violent protests, Berkeley cleans up damage

– SF Gate

“Berkeley residents woke up Thursday to boarded-up businesses, shattered glass and the remnants of fires — sprawling destruction left by protesters in the wake of a scheduled speech by right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos.

Police canceled the talk on Wednesday night by the Breitbart New editor as the demonstration escalated into chaotic turmoil that left five people with various degrees of injuries.

Several dozen UC Berkeley students showed up with brooms and trash bags to clean up the mess on as dawn broke Thursday morning over Berkeley, revealing the scope of the previous night’s vandalism.

Student Alexander Espinosa Pieb, a junior, said he cut his hand picking up shards of glass, but shrugged it off.

“It’s part of the job,” he said. “The group that did all the violence wasn’t students. They were a bunch of destructive anarchists.”

By 8 a.m., workers at the Berkeley Art Museum had already painted over graffiti reading “f— art” with white paint on its white front wall.

Much of the destruction was focused on businesses along Center Street near Shattuck Avenue and on buildings at Sproul Plaza on the UC Berkeley campus.

Vandals damaged six ATMs at the Wells Fargo along Shattuck Avenue where 13 plywood planks covered smashed doors and windows.”

….Continue reading @ SF Gate

 

Hollywood Director Tweets Threat To Trump Supporters After Berkeley Riot

– Daily Caller

“Comedy director Judd Apatow threatened Americans who support Donald Trump that the riots at the University of California-Berkeley Wednesday night were “just the beginning.”

In a now-deleted tweet, the “Knocked Up” director shared a link to CNN’s coverage of the riots with the message, “This is just the beginning. When will all the fools who are still supporting Trump realize what is at stake?”

…..Continue reading @ Daily Caller

 

UC Berkeley riot raises questions about free speech

– San Jose Mercury News

“BERKELEY – UC Berkeley has been long heralded as the birthplace of the country’s free speech movement. But after violent protests this week forced the school to cancel the scheduled appearance of alt-right icon Milo Yiannopoulos, some are wondering if Berkeley is where free speech is hitting a roadblock.

After the protest on Wednesday evening by more than 1,500 demonstrators outside the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union began to turn violent, instigated in part by what campus officials described as outsiders, the event was called off. On Thursday, the Berkeley College Republicans, who had hosted Yannopoulos’  appearance, summed up their disappointment this way:

“The Free Speech Movement is dead,” the group said in a statement posted on its website. “Last night, the Berkeley College Republicans’ constitutional right to free speech was silenced by criminals and thugs seeking to cancel Milo Yiannopoulos’ tour. Their success is a defeat for civilized society and the free exchange of ideas on college campuses across America.”

The group thanked the campus police and university administration “for doing all they could to ensure the safety of everyone involved. It is tragic that the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement is also its final resting place.”

…..Continue reading more @ Mercury News

 

Rebel San Francisco P.D. Cuts Ties with FBI on Counterterrorism

– Breitbart

“The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) is ending its coorperation with FBI counterterrorism efforts as part of the city’s larger rejection of President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration.

On January 31, Breitbart News reported that San Francisco Police Chief William Scott, Sheriff Vicki Hennessy, and Mayor Ed Lee sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security informing them that city would not comply with the order.

The SFPD is now cutting ties with the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), because it would couple SFPD officers with federal agents in carrying out the requirements of the immigration order.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the JTTF was formed in 2007,  “when the police force entered into an agreement with the FBI that authorized intelligence-gathering by San Francisco officers of people engaged in First Amendment activities such as religious services, protests and political assemblies.”

Opponent of Trump’s order — including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has been declared a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates and was named by federal prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas funding operation –sent a letter to the San Francisco officials in January, asking them to adhere to “city and state rules” when working with the federal government.”

…..Continue reading @ Breitbart

 

 

History: Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley |  Dec 1964

– Youtube

 

The Night Berkeley Betrayed The Free Speech Movement

– Breitbart

“On Wednesday night, fires blazed across the University of California, Berkeley campus, the site of the student Free Speech Movement of the 1960s, as protesters violently derailed the finale of MILO’s college lecture tour.

In 1964, Berkeley student Mario Savio addressed his peers in a speech about the importance of the free and open discussion on college campuses. In his address, Savio argued that the university must return to it’s intended function where students are invited to explore all ideas – both radical and mainstream – freely and without fear of social or academic repercussion.”

…..Continue reading more @ Breitbart

Gov Moonbeam states his case for New State Nullification and His Alternate Universe | Jan 24 2017

Gov. Brown’s State of the State: ‘California Is Not Turning Back. Not Now, Not Ever’

– KTLA

“California Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday decidedly pitted the state against the Trump administration, in a call to prepare for “the battle ahead,” during the annual State of the State address.

Instead of focusing on California, Brown pointed to the East, warning Washington that the most populous state in the union views the future as “uncertain” after the election, and that “dangers abound.”

Brown said while federal law may overrule state law on immigration, California would use its enacted protective measures for undocumented immigrants. A variety of state measures offers the undocumented access to higher education and limit the state’s cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

“We may be called upon to defend those laws and defend them we will,” said Brown. “We will defend everybody — every man, woman and child — who has come here for a better life and has contributed to the well-being of our state.”

Brown’s promise comes as President Donald Trump has pledged to cut federal funding for so-called sanctuary cities, which could be millions for California’s major cities.”

….Continue reading @ KTLA

We note the striking and eerie similarity of Gov Brown’s claim that, “California is not turning back, not now, not ever….” to Gov George Wallace’s boast of “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”

    Brown has thrown down the guantlet of nullifcation, of state’s rights in support of illegal immigration, just as Wallace did for segregation 60 years ago. It didn’t work then, and it surely will not work now.

    Moreover, he tries to make the case that the state will welcome all who wish to come to the state, yet can only do so with the federal govt paying for almost all the costs. That is an alternate universe. /CJ

 

 

California schools may face cuts amid skyrocketing pension costs

– SF Chronicle

“Public schools around California are bracing for a crisis driven by skyrocketing worker pension costs that are expected to force districts to divert billions of dollars from classrooms into retirement accounts, education officials said.

The depth of the funding gap became clear to district leaders when they returned from the holiday break: What they contribute to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, known as CalPERS, will likely double within six years, according to state estimates.

CalPERS, a public pension fund with $300 billion in assets that is the country’s largest, manages retirement benefits for 1.8 million current and former city, state and school district employees, though it does not cover teachers, who fall under a different pension system.

School district officials say that unless the situation changes, they will have to make cuts elsewhere, possibly leading to larger class sizes, stagnant worker pay, fewer counselors and librarians, and less art and music in schools. Insolvency and state takeover are not out of the question for some districts.
The depth of the funding gap became clear to district leaders when they returned from the holiday break: What they contribute to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, known as CalPERS, will likely double within six years, according to state estimates.

“This was a very difficult decision to make, but it is an important step to ensure the long-term sustainability of the fund,” said Rob Feckner, president of the CalPERS board. He said the board was committed to a “phased approach” that would allow agencies to deal with wounded budgets.

Currently, districts pay the equivalent of 13.88 percent of payroll for CalPERS employees into the pension fund — already the highest-ever rate. For Oakland, that’s about $14 million this year. But the payroll rate will jump to 28.2 percent over the next six years.

“There is still a lot of speculation at this point, but this would likely create a significant increase in expenditures for school districts,” said Raul Parungao, associate superintendent for the Fremont Unified School District. “The resulting impact to budgets will require very careful planning in the immediate future.”

Yet the state’s education budget has increased significantly over the last several years, with a projected $2 billion increase next year to $73.5 billion — a big jump from the $47.3 billion allocated to schools at the height of the recession in 2011, said H.D. Palmer, deputy director of the California Department of Finance.

School districts, as employers, are responsible for workers’ retirement plans, he said.

“This is an effort to make a more solvent and sustainable retirement system for public employees over the long haul,” Palmer said. “These increases are not going to be immediate, they’re going to be phased in.”

“Why is it the school districts are having to pay for the inability of CalPERS to make money?” asked Enrique Palacios, the deputy superintendent and chief business officer. “You tell me what business in the state of California contributes that level of funding for retirement benefits. No one.”

Pittsburg expects to pay about $2.2 million of its $100 million budget this year into CalPERS. Doubling the cost will hit hard, Palacios said, requiring districts to pull money from academic programs and limit staff raises.

“Who gets the black eye in the public opinion? The local agency. Not the state,” Palacios said. While the state has increased education funding over the last few years, he said, “The financial impact to districts will compromise all the education reforms that Jerry Brown has been trying to do. The state needs to step into this.”

…Continue reading @ SF Chronicle

Happy New Year 2017 | Jan 01 2017

CALIFORNIA WAY – TIM BLUHM

– Youtube

More on Tim Bluhm here @ TimBluhm.com

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab Study Says Plants Adjusting To and Positively Affecting Global Warming | Nov 15 2016

Gov’t Research Says Plants Are Already Stopping Global Warming

– Daily Caller

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“New research published over the weekend by the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that plants are significantly slowing global warming far more than previously suspected.

Scientists found as carbon dioxide (CO2) levels increased worldwide, plants responded by sucking more CO2 out of the air than before. Researchers used satellite measurements of vegetation cover to determine that global rates of photosynthesis and respiration had sharply increased, largely due to the extra CO2.

“The scientists attribute the stalled CO2 growth rate to an uptick in land-based photosynthetic activity, fueled by rising CO2 levels from fossil fuel emissions,” states a summary of the research. “It’s a snowball effect: as CO2 levels rise in the atmosphere, photosynthetic activity flourishes and plants take in more carbon, sparking more plant growth, more photosynthesis, and more carbon uptake.”

Effectively, the DOE researchers found that plant growth caused by global warming ultimately reduced temperatures by significant margins.

“The growth in greenery is a consequence of climate change. As the planet heats up, places that were once too chilly for most plants to grow have become steadily more hospitable,” The Economist reported. “That extra vegetation, in turn, exerts its own effects on the climate.”

The research was  separately funded by the Laboratory Directed Research Development Program of Berkeley Lab and the Energy Department’s Office of Science.

Independent researchers from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of California, Irvine previously found plants use water more efficiently when exposed to higher concentrations of CO2, meaning that any droughts caused by global warming would be much less severe than previous estimates. Rising CO2 emissions will not cause global agriculture to collapse and could even boost agricultural yields, the study suggests.”

….Continue reading @ Daily Caller

 

NEWS CENTER

Study: Carbon-Hungry Plants Impede Growth Rate of Atmospheric CO2

– Berkeley Lab

fig1_a_formedia1-1a-479x340x

“New findings suggest the rate at which CO2 is accumulating in the atmosphere has plateaued in recent years because Earth’s vegetation is grabbing more carbon from the air than in previous decades.

That’s the conclusion of a multi-institutional study led by a scientist from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). It’s based on extensive ground and atmospheric observations of CO2, satellite measurements of vegetation, and computer modeling. The research is published online Nov. 8 in the journal Nature Communications.

To be clear, human activity continues to emit increasing amounts of carbon, and the atmospheric concentration of CO2, now at 400 parts per million (ppm), continues to rise. But the scientists found that between 2002 and 2014, the rate at which CO2 increased in the atmosphere held steady at about 1.9 ppm/year. In addition, the proportion of the CO2 emitted annually by human activity that remains in the atmosphere declined by about 20 percent. This slowdown can’t keep pace with emissions, so the overall amount of human-caused CO2 in the atmosphere increased, just not as quickly. And for that, new research suggests, we can thank plants.”

…..Continue reading @ Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

Historic Jobs and Company Exodus from California Since 2008 | Aug 2016

9,000 Companies Have Left California Since 2008

– Breitbart

jb2

“At least 9,000 companies have left California from 2008 to 2015, according to the 378 page study by Spectrum Location Solutions titled, California’s Forty Year Legacy of Hostility to Business.

Joseph Vranich, president of site selection consultants Spectrum Location Solutions (VLS) in Irvine, found that roughly 9,000 California companies moved their headquarters or diverted projects to out-of-state locations in the last seven years due to the Golden State’s “hostile” business environment. 

Vranich reports that the bitter negative perceptions of California for business began during Jerry Brown’s first chaotic two terms as California Governor from 1975 to 1983. Things got so bad that the Governor instructed his aides in 1977 to begin wearing “California Means Business” buttons.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Brown tried to convince reporters on a late 1970s junket to Japan that “Our economic climate is very good.” He added, “I think this is dissipating a good deal of the political rhetoric surrounding the business-climate talk.”

VLS points out that despite the growing anti-business environment, California’s economy grew for the next three decades due to wonderful scenery and climate, a workforce with technical expertise, and trade access to Asian nations.

But since the start of the Great Recession and accelerating after Brown’s election as governor in 2009, a mass exodus of businesses from the not-so-Golden State to more “friendly” locations like Texas and Nevada occurred.

Vranich told the Dallas Business Journal that companies that are leaving California to escape escalating costs and regulations can move to Texas or Nevada that have no income tax and high relative purchasing power. According to Vranich, “I even wonder if some kind of ‘business migration history’ has been made.”

VLS estimates that many former California companies that moved to more business friendly locals have experienced “astonishing” operating cost savings of 20 up to 35 percent.

The top 10 states that California businesses have relocated to over the last seven years are in the following order: (1) Texas; (2) Nevada; (3) Arizona; (4) Colorado; (5) Washington; (6) Oregon; (7) North Carolina; (8) Florida; (9) Georgia; and (10) Virginia.

Los Angeles was at the top of the list of the 10 California counties that suffered the highest number of disinvestment events. L.A. was followed by: (2) Orange, (3) Santa Clara, (4) San Francisco, (5) San Diego, (6) Alameda, (7) San Mateo, (8) Ventura, (9) Sacramento, and (10) Riverside counties.

The Tax Foundation using data from The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimated the difference in purchasing power for $100 in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Only Washington D.C., New York, and New Jersey got less purchasing power than California’s $88.97. That compares to $103.73 for neighboring Arizona and a national high of $115.34 in Alabama.

VLS has found that on a national basis, Democrat-leaning northeast and west coast areas get less purchasing power for their dollars, compared to the Republican-leaning southeast and mid-west.

The Tax Foundation established a direct inverse correlation between purchasing power and the percentage level of state tax rate. California, with a 13.3 percent top state tax bracket, leads the nation.”

…Continue reading @ Breitbart