by Lou Binninger
Humans have been on the move since the beginning, after the Creation, at the Tower of Babel, following The Flood, when famine hit Canaan land, and when God delivered millions of Israelite slaves from Egypt.
People relocate for many reasons --- wars, persecution, economics and a yearning to be free to name a few. In America, people pack-it-up for many causes, but high taxes, egregious regulations and better opportunities elsewhere top the list.
Since 2008, more than 1,700 companies are confirmed ex-Californians. The usual complaints of high taxes and heavy regulations have expanded recently to include the high cost of housing making it difficult to attract and retain workers.
Some high profile refugees include Toyota that moved its U.S. headquarters from Torrance to Plano, Texas; Occidental Petroleum relocated its headquarters from Los Angeles to Houston; and Nestle USA food conglomerate headquarters fled Glendale for Rosslyn, Virginia.
Now, Texas and California media are reporting that the second largest enterprise in California, the McKesson Corp. (pharmaceutical giant sixth on the Fortune 500 list) is preparing to move its headquarters from San Francisco to Texas.
McKesson is looking at the former NEC Corp. of America office complex on State Highway 114 in Irving, real estate brokers say. The two office buildings contain more than a half million square feet of space that could house more than 1,000 workers.
Apple is the only California company bigger than McKesson. McKesson had 75,000-plus employees and $198 billion in annual revenue last fiscal year.
Why would McKesson leave? McKesson stood to be the biggest loser from San Francisco’s Nov. 6 homeless tax. To fund another expansion of homeless programs, Measure C imposes a gross receipts tax on San Francisco-based companies which have $50 million or more in annual revenue. The tax (about .5%) is not on profits but on sales whether you make a profit or not.
McKesson is by far the highest-grossing San Francisco-based firm. Measure C is expected to generate $300 million a year, adding to the $380 million City Hall already spends for homeless people annually.
If Governor Brown feels anything for displaced businesses it is disdain. He says they lack the intellect to run the minefield of California taxes, fees and shackling regulations.
People are also moving. Brown and his comrades scoff that there are millions around the world that will replace them. Renting one-way outbound moving trucks is at a premium. Renting a moving truck earlier this year from Las Vegas to San Jose was about $100. In the opposite direction, the same truck will cost 16 times that, or nearly $2,000.
Golden State residents are doing the once-unthinkable, leaving. Why? Soaring taxes, unaffordable home prices, stifling regulations, horrible roads and schools and being tired of being told what to do. Those leaving are seeking freedom, financial and personal.
Indeed.com Chief Economist Jed Kolko notes that Census Bureau data from July 2016 to July 2017 show that California had a net loss of 138,000 people. Here’s where most went: Texas had a net population gain of 79,000, Arizona 63,000, and Nevada more than 38,000.
However, there’s more to it. Millions of middle income taxpayers are fleeing to be replaced with millions of illegal unskilled, uneducated poor. In fact, the state is looking like a third world country with the ultra-rich and the very poor. The taxed and harassed middle class, trades people and small enterprise owners are on the move.
The only new phenomenon is that there is now a net loss of people, hard-working taxpayers, otherwise known by Brown and his comrades as freeloaders, “deplorables,” and the guns and God group. Conservatives are leaving to be replaced by liberal voters.
In Los Angeles, a two bedroom apartment is $2,249 a month; in San Francisco it's nearly $3,400 a month. The same apartment in Las Vegas costs $1,122 a month; in Phoenix, it's $1,137. Gas prices are often a dollar cheaper just a state or two away.
Those who left say they miss friends and what God made in California, the beauty and the weather. They don’t miss the California man has made.