[Source: Orange County Register] In what is sounding like a broken record, California once again ranked dead last in Chief Executive magazine’s annual Best and Worst States for Business survey of CEOs – as it has all 12 years the survey has been conducted. Texas, meanwhile, earned the top spot for the 12th straight year.
Among the survey’s subcategories, the 513 CEOs from across the nation ranked California 50th in taxation and regulation, 35th in workforce quality and 26th in living environment, which includes cost of living, the education system and state and local attitudes toward business. Notably, California placed worst among the nine states in the Western region in all three categories.
“States like California just don’t get it,” one CEO complained in the survey. “At the rate they are going, who’s going to pay the bills with such an anti-business, leftist government and businesses leaving every month for Arizona and Washington state?”
Added another CEO, “California has been running businesses out of the state for years, and, in fact, their policies are getting worse. Class-action lawsuits abound, and it’s a crazy environment for small business out there.”
One key indicator of a state’s business climate, magazine Editor in Chief J.P. Donlon noted, is whether it is one of the 26 states to have a right-to-work law, which prevents employees from being compelled to join or pay dues to a union. “Nearly all the states in the top 10 ranking are RTW states. All of the leading 10 worst states … are not,” Mr. Donlon observed.
While business remains good for the high-tech, entertainment and tourism industries, California’s taxes, regulations and other policies that have diminished the quality of life and made it unaffordable have crippled business in just about every other industry, particularly those without strong political connections.
Businesses like Toyota, Charles Schwab and the parent companies of Carl’s Jr. and Jamba Juice – and untold small businesses that don’t make the headlines – are leaving California for states near the top of the Chief Executive’s list that offer greater economic opportunities for entrepreneurs and workers alike. To reverse its fortunes, California need only cut the government strings and re-embrace economic freedom.
Source: Orange County Register
May 19, 2016