Perry has launched a high-profile battle for California companies, running radio ads in California touting the Lone Star State's low taxes and favorable business climate. The ads will be heard in San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego and the Inland Empire area east of Los Angeles.Perry hears that building a business in California is next to impossible? The same California that has more Fortune 500 businesses than any other state? The same California that has given us Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Intel, Disney, DirecTV, Amgen, Clorox, eBay, Visa, Mattel, HP, Gap and even Chevron? (How's that for a diversified economy?) Man, how did all those companies build their businesses when it was impossible to do so?
"Building a business is tough, but I hear building a business in California is next to impossible. This is Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and I have a message for California businesses: Come check out Texas," starts the 30-second spot.
Perhaps Rick Perry heard wrong.
As I noted last week, conservatives have a ton invested in the fiction that California businesses are fleeing to Texas in massive numbers. The reality is that California had 254 businesses leave the state in 2011, only about three dozen to Texas. At the same time, California entrepreneurs started about 167,000 new businesses. So you can imagine, the Golden State isn't exactly trembling with fear.
California leads the nation in job creation because it is the world center for both entertainment and technology. Even foreign corporations, like Samsung, house their R&D in Silicon Valley for obvious reasons—this is where the talent and venture money lives. And yes, the things that make California awesome (like infrastructure, education, entertainment) cost money. But we appreciate those things, which is why we voted ourselves tax increases.
Texas will do just fine as long as fossil fuels generate big profits, and that's not changing anytime soon. Neither is Texas' minimum-wage economy. But ironically, Texas could better compete against California with the high-paying, high-prestige high-tech jobs Perry is chasing if the entire state looked more like Austin—hip, urban, tolerant, progressive, fun ... and Blue—instead of, well, Texas.