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The New California Gold Rush…to Texas and Tennessee!

The New California Gold Rush…to Texas and Tennessee!

“California Leavin'”

The Golden State is certainly living up to its name!

However, this time, the Gold Rush is out of this state to more economically friendly environments.

First, fast food giant Carl’s Jr. is moving its headquarters to Nashville, Tennessee!

To hear Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, you’d think that taxes can go up to 60% or even 80%, and businesses and investors will just … pay up. But the growing number of businesses stampeding out of high tax areas suggest that they’re very wrong.

We got more evidence of that this week when CKE Restaurants, the corporate parent of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. restaurants, announced that they are relocating to Nashville, Tennessee.

Hardee’s will move its headquarters from St. Louis, Missouri, to Nashville, Tennessee, one of America’s fastest growing states.

Oh, and did we mention that the state has no personal income tax?

Meanwhile, the Carl’s Jr. move puts more egg on the face of California and the political class in Sacramento. Hamburger fast food chain Carl’s Jr. was founded in California and for years has been headquartered in Carpinteria, California. The highest income tax rate in California is 13%, so moving to Tennessee, where the tax rate is zero, will save the company millions of dollars on taxes a year.

Put Tennessee isn’t the only destination for those heading back east. I often followed Texas Governor Rick Perry on his poaching expeditions through California, trying to entice businesses to relocate to the Lone Star State with promises of low taxes and limited regulations.

It looks like the new governor has collected another trophy for his state.

The “gushing” leader of Pegasus Foods stood beside Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday and announced his company would build an 80,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and create about 300 jobs in Rockwall.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally be here in Texas,” said Jim Zaferis, principal of the Los Angeles-based company that supplies food for restaurants such as Chili’s, Panda Express and Cinnabon.

Zaferis said he was inviting many of his California-based employees to relocate with the company, saying the quality of life here is much better.

“It’s the kind of place where you really want to raise a family,” he said.

The politicians in San Francisco recently put a new spin on the term “Gold Rush”, by installing open-air urinals. Between the economic climate and the social justice priorities, it looks like corporations are not the only entities leaving the state.

  • Nonprofit group Next 10 has released a report, authored by Beacon Economics, that found between 2007 and 2014, California lost a net 625,000 residents, largely due to the skyrocketing cost of housing, according to Curbed Los Angeles…
  • California has a booming employment market but cannot supply enough affordable housing to accommodate workers of all income levels, according to the report. The founder of Next 10, venture capitalist F. Noel Perry, said the dearth of affordable housing could cause more of the state’s vital workers to relocate, negatively affecting California’s economy.

If they ever update the classic 60’s homage to my home state, it is going to have to be retitled, “California Leavin.'”


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Late last year, U-Haul (or as we say in the South, Y’all-Haul) reported that of one way rentals to Tennessee, California was in the top five of originating states.

I R A Darth Aggie | March 15, 2016 at 10:21 am

Zaferis said he was inviting many of his California-based employees to relocate with the company, saying the quality of life here is much better.

The problem with that is they’ll vote for the same crap they voted for in California. Once there’s enough of them, they’ll turn Texas into California.

No bueno.

    First, they destroyed the country and nation of my grandmother. Now they are destroying the West wherever they settle. They’ve FUBARed Coeur d’Alene, for goodness’ sakes. My family is from that area. Salt of the earth, loggers, ranchers, mill workers, now it is San Fran north where you can be arrested at gun point for insufficient enthusiasm in celebrating sodomy. Californians ruin every thing they touch.

    Oh no we won’t. Most of us, especially the business owners. We’ve lived through it. It’s like expecting a survivor of the old Soviet empire to vote for Bernie Sanders. You have never met a more fervent anti-communist than someone who had to live under communism.

    Now I’m like the canary in the coal mine. If my conservative Texas friends hear some proposal that sounds innocuous from a Democrat I can read them the riot act about exactly where it’s going to lead; exactly what’s wrong with it.

    They haven’t seen it before but I have.

      guyjones in reply to Arminius. | March 15, 2016 at 11:06 am

      The problem is the current generation, “millenials,” or, whatever moniker they call themselves. The concept of totalitarian ideologies such as Nazism and Communism is completely alien to them. The suffering, oppression and deaths of hundreds of millions of people as a result of policies implemented by centralized planning apparatchik “experts” is similarly alien to them. Stalin, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot — their crimes have been forgotten. The millenials have been born into a world of (relative) peace and prosperity and think that that this comfortable existence simply manifested itself out of thin air. They have no conception of the fragility and preciousness of a democratic society and the benefits that come from a free market economy, and, the steep price that has been paid in blood (and, continues to be paid) to create and protect such a society.

      Garry Kasparov facing off against a bunch of ignorant Sanders supporters last week, educating them about what the face of socialism truly represents in real-world practice (as opposed to words found in an idealistic slogan or in a political tract) demonstrates the colossal levels of ignorance that are out there amongst the supporters of Obozo, Hilliavelli and Sanders.

    casualobserver in reply to I R A Darth Aggie. | March 15, 2016 at 10:42 am

    I think that is more or less a myth. Those who stay behind – various parts of the “taker” class – are the ones who keep voting for more benefits and taxes. Those who move BECAUSE of the cost of living know better.

    Another Voice in reply to I R A Darth Aggie. | March 15, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    New Yorkers relocating to N.Carolina are doing the same thing…Ugh!

I ate at a ‘Carl’s Jr’ recently. First time I was ever disappointed in any menu item and I was disappointed in everything. They need the shake up badly. Cali is doing them a favor by making it impossible to do business.

However, I am torn. Californicators ruined my state at every level. I wish they would keep their militarized cops, snobby unfriendly retirees, hard corps ‘bangers, faux disabled and wretched drivers to themselves. So in that case the more that stay locked in the asylum the better.

Nothing will ever change in that commie hellhole that is Kali. When I left for Texas I opened a restaurant with a partner. A few years later Brown’s Lt. Governor arrived for a fact finding mission. He wanted to talk to business owners like us to find out why we left.

When he was in my local area I didn’t bother to go as I knew it would be a waste of time. But I talked to people later and sure enough it was. When Gavin Newsome asked people why they left, they’d tell him about onerous regulations, the high taxes, and the ridiculous labor laws. And to each point an individual would bring up, Newsome would say, “No, that can’t be it.”

These people just don’t listen. Their policies are wonderful because wonderful leftists (in their own eyes) came up with them.

Recently the LA city council decided to raise its minimum wage. But first the mayor, Eric Garcetti, brought in employers who employed a large numbers of people to find out what their reaction would be. Employers who could automate processes said they would replace people with machines, while most others just said they’d have to leave the city. His response? “No you won’t.” Oh yes they will. I did. Apparently as a Rhodes scholar Garcetti studied at Oxford and the London School of Economics. One of the business owners quipped to a reporter a couple of days after the meeting that he didn’t know what Garcetti had studied while he was in England but it sure wasn’t economics.

To give you an idea of how bad things are in Kali, the CEO of CKE Restaurants (the parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardees that’s moving to Tennessee) spoke at the California Chamber of Commerce a few years back.

– It costs $250k more to build a restaurant in Kali than it does in Texas.

I can vouch for this as when I first got off active duty back in 1997 I interviewed to become a project manager for a large real estate developer in Texas. In Texas compliance costs (doing the paperwork, the various fees including but not limited to permits) added $3k to the cost of building a home. At the same time in Kali they added $60k.

After I returned from a two year mobilization after 9/11 I returned to my job a defense contractor I worked on a project with a guy who was trying to build a house in the San Diego hills. He had bought the land and had just started the permitting process. I stayed on the project before leaving their employ to move to Texas. He still hadn’t broken ground to pour the foundation. The county kept throwing things at him. They declared his property a wetland. This despite the fact it was semi-desert and the property was on the side of a steep slope. He paid more fees, finally they agreed it wasn’t. Then they declared it an archaeological site. Now he had to hire experts, pay for reports, more fees, to prove it wasn’t. The bottom line is that in Kali they just don’t believe in private property. You can buy the property just as long as you don’t use it so the public can hike on it.

– The permitting process means it takes nine months to two years to open a restaurant. By this I mean you can lease an existing property but you won’t be able to convert it into a restaurant and open your doors for nine months to two years, all the while paying the lease along with all the other construction costs and government fees.

– The union-designed labor laws meant that, after a long court fight, fast food restaurants could no longer pay their general managers as salaried employees. Kali required they be classified as regular employees. Which meant they had to be paid overtime (salaried employees aren’t, but CKE gave hardworking general managers generous bonuses that more than made up for it). Here’s the kicker; in Kali, unlike in sane states, overtime is determined by day rather than by the 40hr. workweek. So if a manager worked 10 hours one day, he couldn’t work 6 the next to balance things out. No, he had to be paid overtime for that day. CKE regretted the fact they had to fire hard charging employees if they worked more overtime than the government allowed. They’d tell those employees if they moved to Texas or Tennessee they’d gladly rehire them. Also as regular employees they had to take union-mandated breaks, and they couldn’t cut those breaks short no matter how busy the place got during an unexpected rush.

In other words, in Kali neither CKE nor their general managers were not allowed to manage those restaurants as if they owned and/or operated them. The state micromanaged them.

It’s madness. Is there any wonder Kali is circling the bowl?

As long as they leave their California Values in California. Too many refugees from New York and New Jersey have been pouring into Florida and thinking they can vote the same way here that they did there but end up with different results. That only works until we tip from red to purple to outright blue, in which case we’ll be finished as well.

    guyjones in reply to Amy in FL. | March 15, 2016 at 10:52 am

    I fear that, unfortunately, this is often not the case. One of the tragic ironies of incompetent Leftist governance and policies that wreak havoc on state finances and quality-of-life is that many of the same people who supported those politicians and their policies then move to traditionally conservative, fiscally disciplined states (e.g., North Carolina, Virginia, Texas), where they then work to bring about the very same ill-conceived socioeconomic policies whose deleterious consequences caused them to flee their previous state of residence. And, so the cycle of fiscal imprudence continues anew.

    Arminius in reply to Amy in FL. | March 15, 2016 at 11:27 am

    Don’t worry. I didn’t have many Kali values to begin with, but whatever Kali values I had got beaten out of me be the stupidity of the state, county, and municipal governments. With honorable mention going to the California Franchise Tax Board.

    Please see my comment about the guy who tried to build a house on a property he had owned for years in San Luis Obispo County, in a place right on the bay called Cave Cove. He began the building process in August 2009 and afters spending millions of dollars fighting the system as of now he still doesn’t have a permit to do anything with his property.

    I don’t know what he was before, but he grew wiser and more conservative as he went through that wringer, then he moved to Texas and opened a software start-up. He’s also a big fan of Texas and though he doesn’t come right out and say it, if you look at his posts about Kali and compare them to his posts about Texas, he does not want to turn it into Kali.

    Did I mention he spent millions of dollars fighting the government and got nothing out of it? That’ll leave a mark.

Victor Davis Hanson has written some insightful commentary on California’s socioeconomic state of disarray at National Review. He observes that the ongoing exodus of a sizeable portion of productive, middle-class taxpayers fleeing for more economically hospitable climes leaves the state with an increasingly unbalanced economic spectrum and a shrinking tax base — the super-wealthy classes of Silicon Valley and Hollywood at one end, and, an ever-burgeoning class of entitlement consumers at the other end. Quite obviously, this is not a viable economic model by any measure.

Do you want to read a real tale of woe?

“SLO Leaks

One man’s struggle to get a building permit for his house in San Luis Obispo County”

This poor guy (actually a very successful software executive but read the blog and you’ll see what I mean when I call him a poor guy) wanted to build his retirement home on nice property overlooking the Pacific. He bought the property years earlier, held onto it, then in August 2009 he tried to start the building process. He has spent millions of dollars and he still hasn’t gotten a building permit.

He has one extra layer of hoops to jump through; the Kali Coastal Commission. These can be best described as a bunch of elitists who built their own dream homes on the coast and now want to keep everyone else from building theirs so the views stay exactly the same. They, and the county, would commit illegalities such as sit on applications months after they were required by law to make a decision so they could change the zoning or building codes, then tell the guy his application wasn’t in compliance with the law.

“Cave Landing Update
July 3rd, 2013

Several of my friends have asked me recently about what is going on with my attempt to build a single family house at Cave Landing, in San Luis Obispo County, California.

In July 2011 the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission approved by land use permit to build my house by a 5-0 vote. No issues of visual impact or public access were raised during this public hearing.

In January 2013, after three years of me trying to get a land use permit to build my house, the California Coastal Commission (in my fifth public hearing) decided that the mere sight of my house above Cave Landing Road was a “visual impact” that could not be mitigated, and so they denied my permit.

During the January 2013 hearing, various Coastal Commissioners tried to extort public access to all of my property in exchange for a land use permit for me to build a smaller house than what I wanted. I refused their extortion attempt, an so in retaliation they denied my permit completely by a 7-3 vote.

The decision by the Coastal Commission in this vote was that because the public would be able to see my house from the public road in front of my house, no house could be built on my property – ever…”

The guy filed suit against the CCC, and the Judge set the court schedule in December 2013. The actual hearing was supposed to be in April 2014 but he never provided updates on the court case, and his last post was in November 2014. I do know he too moved to Texas and started a new software company.

“Today I met Rick Perry, the Governor of Texas
June 10th, 2014”

Kali is a regulatory nightmare. I have a friend who lives in San Mateo County just south of SF. He’s a general contractor, and a few years back he found an undeveloped property that he realized he could subdivide and build four homes and turn a tidy profit.

He bought it and one of the things he had to do as part of the building process was conduct a tree survey. Which basically counted every tree on his property and mapped each one’s exact location. Then he discovered that he couldn’t cut down the trees himself. He had to hire someone from the approved county list, most of whom were related or otherwise connected to the board members or other county officials. And the mandated price per tree was $1500. He had twenty or thirty trees he needed to clear. He realized that along with all the other costs he just couldn’t profitably develop the property, and he can’t sell it because no one else wants the expense either.

Before anyone says he should have done his due diligence, he did. But these county or city boards or commissions will change the regulations often just to keep people off balance, so they don’t know what the requirements will be when they get to the first step or second step. They just don’t want people to build.

Fun fact: in 2013 more houses were built in Houston then in all of Kali. Is there any wonder the cost of housing, and the cost of living since the same kind of bureaucratic thinking goes into everything else, is so high in Kali?

    FlbrkMike in reply to Arminius. | March 15, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Houston is flat, hot, it smells bad and the water tastes funny. Plus it’s in Texas. Must be a lot of desperate people moving there.

The problem with California residents (and those from other liberal bastions) relocating to low tax states like Texas and Tennessee is that they bring their liberal politics with them and soon ruin the place to which they migrated. They’re like locusts that overrun and lay waste to each location they inhabit. That’s how my beloved and reliably red state of Virginia was turned purple.

I cracks me up seeing all these flyover pukes who love to hate on California. Even without CKE there’s still more brains and more $$ her than Texas, Tennessee and the rest of flyover country combined. Most of the people leaving weren’t born here anyway. Good riddance.

    Arminius in reply to FlbrkMike. | March 15, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    If you’re going to brag about how “there’s still more brains and more $$ her than Texas, Tennessee and the rest of flyover country combined” you really ought to make sure to spell a simple, short, single syllable word like “here” correctly each time, every time.

    It blows your case right out of the water that you can’t.

I want them to stay in Cali. Let them go bankrupt together.

They voted for it, they can pay for it.

Don’t bring more of that crap to my state.

I want the businesses where I live to thrive, not be choked out.

Another problem is some of California’s state laws overflow onto the rest of the country.
Auto makers are forced into making and selling a percentage of “clean” vehicles in order to keep selling there. Costs are pretty high to do this, the result is the rest of us pay for those costs as it’s spread over the entire fleet.
Remember the auto makers sued California over their pollution rules being more stringent than national standards and lost. So California can require stricter tailpipe emissions.
Guy who works for Subaru told me they’ll have a harder time meeting the rules as they’re a smaller mfgr and have fewer resources. He said they’d be spreading the cost over all the cars they sell in the entire country. So even if you buy a Subaru in Ohio or some other state, you will be paying some extra cash so Californian’s can have environmental bragging rights.
Unfortunately the California market is so huge major mfgr’s won’t say goodbye. They just pass the costs on and we’re helping finance the political thieves of state gov there.

Jerry Brown recently quiped if Trumps wins he will build a wall to keep the rest of the country out …. First I’m sure Brown as a liberal has repeated the liberal mantra that walls and fences don’t work and second Jerry I have to ask will the wall be to keep people out or to keep people in

    Arminius in reply to Aggie95. | March 15, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    This is even better than building a wall and making Mexico pay for it. This is like making Mexico pay for it AND build it. A lot like it.

    After kali builds it at their own expense all the rest of us have to do is set up the roadblocks, machine gun-armed watch towers, and patrol the Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon borders.

Victor Davis Hanson remembers California when it was a magnificent place to live – when it had 16 million people, average priced housing, great affordable rural small towns, and (outside of LA) reasonable traffic.

However 85 percent of California’s growth in the last 40 years has been due to foreign immigration (and their progeny). We now have 40 million people, with a highly bifurcated income/class distribution.

The great small towns and rural areas are now enclaves for the very rich (Danville, San Ramon, most of the wine country). Gone is the era of ‘beach house living’ for the middle class. The remaining parts of the state are slightly less expensive (but only slightly) areas of way over-priced crappy housing. Compounding the problem is that many of the ‘rich’ counties refuse to allow any growth (San Luis Obispo, Marin, etc.). Naturally they are all liberal, and shed crocodile tears over the lack of housing for the working class.

I love the weather but hate just about everything else. And yes, California liberals are a cancer. They ruined much of the state, and then the less rich upper class liberals then went to Oregon to ruin it. Portland, once Republican town for the working class, is now hyper left, with super expensive housing, lots of restricted development, lots of taxes and services charges, and lots of hypocrites – having made the working class city unaffordable.

One day I shall move out of State but, rest assured, I will never be like other Californians.