Per its tradition in the second week of May, America’s business leaders have voted for the states with the “best” and “worst” business climates.
As usual, Chief Executive Magazine places California at the top….of the naughty list!
That’s 10 years in a row — a decade of dominance.
Over that same period, California saw its unemployment rate go from mirroring the national rate to having consistently among the highest rates. The Golden State is now second worst in the nation when it comes to the percentage of adults who want to work full time but can’t find such jobs.
“California could hardly do more to discourage business if that was the goal. The regulatory, tax and political environment are crushing. The only saving grace is that there are still a lot of affluent areas that drive local economic zones, but the trend line on these is not good for the mid- to long-term.”
A good example of this dynamic involves one of the most popular exports of the state, Sriracha Hot Sauce. The company that makes the sauce, Huy Fong Foods, has been embroiled in a public battle with the Irwindale City Council over complaints that fumes from its busy plant are causing neighbors to get sick. A video report summarizes the controversy.
Texas state Rep. Jason Villalba is leading the delegation meeting Monday with David Tran, head of Huy Fong Foods, which makes the famous red sauce with the trademark rooster logo, in Irwindale, Calif. The delegation will make their pitch while touring the factory where Sriracha is produced.
“I’m a huge fan of the product,” Villalba told USA TODAY Network. “When I saw there was a possibility I would not be able to put Sriracha on my eggs, believe me, we got into action.”
It appears that Tran isn’t looking to move the firm, only open up a new factory (and presumably in a less economically challenging environment). However, he makes a chilling comparison between the state and the country from which he fled over thirty years ago.
Tran, the CEO of Huy Fong, says he escaped from Vietnam almost 35 years ago to be free of the communist government there and its many intrusions.
“Today, I feel almost the same. Even now, we live in [the] USA, and my feeling, the government, not a big difference,” Tran says.
Irwindale’s city attorney, Fred Galante, asserts that the company is welcome but must pay attention to the health of residents. I would like to point out to Galante that long-term unemployment has devastating effects on health, too.
According to a research study conducted by William T. Gallo, professor of health policy and management at CUNY, the six- and ten-year risk of heart attack or stroke in people between 51 and 61 years old who have lost their jobs is more than double that of the employed. Gallo also noticed some stress-related changes in the health behavior of older jobless people: there was less physical activity and an increase in daily cigarette consumption among long-term unemployed smokers, an increased risk of a smoking relapse, and some increased drinking and weight gain, which increases the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
And the CEOs’ diagnosis does not indicate a return to robust economic health in this state, either.DONATE
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