Texas Gov. Rick Perry can have any company stupid enough to move from Silicon Valley to Texas

I’ve really been trying to stay out of this whole California vs. Texas brawl. (Or trying to keep my powder dry, as Texas Gubna Rick Perry might say.)

But this is plain wacko (which, isn’t that a city in Texas? Or is that just the Texas state motto?).

You’ve  heard, right? Rick Perry is coming to Silicon Valley (and some other parts of the state) to try to get some California businesses to move to Texas, because, as the Loon Star State governor says in his Come-to-Texas radio ad: “Building a business is tough, but I hear building a business in California is next to impossible.”

I was saying the exact same thing the other day over at Apple (Cupertino, Calif.). Or was it Google (Mountain View, Calif.)? No. Maybe it was Facebook (Menlo Park, Calif.). Or Oracle (Redwood Shores, Calif.) or Adobe (San Jose, California) or Hewlett Packard (Palo Alto, Calif.) or Cisco (San Jose, Calif.).

There are so many I just can’t remember.

OK, it’s true: Texas has lower tax rates than California. Texas is also the kind of state that leads the nation. Like in the percentage of residents without health insurance and in the number of prisoners they execute.

And if you like (really, really like) football, carrying loaded weapons around in public and the kind of land-locked heat that will have you screaming for mercy in an Austin minute, then really, you can’t beat Texas.

Anyway, this isn’t my first rodeo. (We do so have rodeos in California.) This come-to-Texas-to-do-business thing is as old as the hills. The charismatic and now nationally-prominent Juilan Castro, mayor of San Antonio, came to raid Silicon Valley a couple of years ago. Of course, that’s not how he put it.

He was  here to thank valley companies that had outposts in San Antonio, he told me at the time.

“We also believe it’s a great moment for San Antonio both to more thoroughly introduce ourselves to Silicon Valley and also to learn from Silicon Valley CEOs, ” the Stanford and Harvard educated Castro said then.

And this whole notion of what a lousy place California is to do business has been getting a lot of buzz recently — especially since Phil Mickelson hinted that he might move out of the state to avoid its income taxes.

When will we stop pushing these job creators into the arms of Florida and Nevada? Oh wait. He’s a golfer. Well, I guess he hires a caddie.

Anyway, the New York Times was back on the “fleeing California” story today, except that they didn’t actually find anyone who said he or she is fleeing California because of taxes. (OK, they quoted a professor who once lived in California and now lives in Nevada. He said fleeing millionaires aren’t going to broadcast their escape because people might think lesser of them for making the move.)

Anyway, I thought that Cristobal Young, an assistant professor at Stanford, had a better point. He’s done research that shows that tax rates don’t affect where millionaires choose to live, the Times said.

“Mr. Young said he suspected that few, if any, millionaires would leave or stay away because of the tax increase,” the Times story said. “More likely, he said, they would find ways of reducing their tax burden, with loopholes or income avoidance, or simply reduce their work.”

Me? I’m thinking any millionaire who can’t figure out how to avoid taxes really has no business being a millionaire.

Besides, it’s not at all clear that tax rates make much of a difference when businesses decide where to locate.

Oh and another thing: Do any of these phantom millionaires leaving the state realize that moving to Texas is great except for one thing?

You end up living in Texas.

(Photo: Associated Press)



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  • If you are looking for more fodder here: You might want to talk to Samsung, which last fall chose San Jose over Austin for their new semiconductor campus expansion. Just sayin’.

    • Mike Cassidy

      I seem to recall reading a pretty smart column about that.

  • LibertyFirst

    Texas gladly welcomes any and all businesses fleeing the liberal utopia of California. If California’s ongoing multi-billion dollar deficits don’t adequately demonstrate the failure of Democrat left-wing economics, perhaps the exodus of businesses and successful, high-income earners will. Capital follows the path of least resistance. Always has, and always will. Note: there will never be enough money to fulfill all the promises the CA Democrats made to buy power. By refusing to live within their means the Democrats are chasing away the businesses and individuals necessary to keep the mirage of liberal nirvana propped up. What to do when the people left holding the bag are the ones with their hands out? Oh, the irony. Stupid socialists, the only equality in socialism is that everyone is equally miserable.

    • James B

      You’re mistaken:

      1) California doesn’t have multi-billion dollar deficits anymore. A Democrat balanced the budget.

      2) Is California really chasing businesses out of California? Last time I checked, Silicon Valley was attracting more startups than I can keep track of

  • Mike Cassidy

    Thank you, governor.

  • Kurt

    Is living Texas really that bad? Are people carrying guns everywhere? Is the heat worse than the heat in Los Angeles in the summer? I briefly lived in L.A., and the heat could be oppressive, and getting around So Cal was always a test of patience & endurance. I’m considering moving to Austin, and possibly Dallas. Sure, Perry is a doofus, but Texas will likely go blue within the next decade or so.

  • mo

    Mr. Cassidy, our local residents and government love you. I do too. But I have to admit, the Gov. Perry has some valid points. As you as many others would agreed, the cost of doing business in CA. is astronomical. It is a very business unfriendly state.
    Setting this a side, I am fearfully wondering, everyone in our government is focusing on the immigration and how to help illegal immigrants, or retain the talents immigrants, the sad, pittiful US citizens, have been ignored, un – cared for. The grass seemed to be greener on the other side from the government’s perspective, so that seemed.

  • Rob

    Well as a life-long resident of Dallas Texas, you will not hear the same Yea Haw arrogance like you will from our governor. Do a search for Texas state polls on Perry (Gov. Dipstick as we call him) and you will find that we are done with him and he is polling very low statewide even among conservatives.

    Texas is a great place to live, work and play and has some of the very best, progressive, cosmopolitan and dynamic growing cities like Dallas, Austin, Houston and San Antonio in the country. All these areas which make up 85% of the population are trending blue, or at least less crazy red as they have but due to gerrymandering we still have our share of wacko’s.

    I have traveled to California hundreds of times for business and pleasure and I find it to be one of the most beautiful if not the most beautiful parts of the country with the friendliest people. I think both states have its advantages and disadvantages, and yes Texas can be hot, flat and sprawling, but our lower taxes and cost of living allow us to have more disposable income to visit the beautiful treasures that California has to offer.

    Not all of us are gun blazing Yosemite Sam types then again I think even Sam was from California. We may not have all the beautiful mountain ranges and pristine coastlines you have, but our big blue skies at sundown looking over an endless field of bluebonnets or kicking back listening to live music in the Hill Country is equally beautiful and unique..so come on down for a visit or stay awhile we are all not the uneducated dolts everyone thinks we are.

  • manuNYC

    F**** uck you dumbo !