The head of the Los Angeles California Chamber of Commerce is admitting defeat in his state’s economic war against Texas, following the high profile move this week of Toyota’s North American operations from Torrance California, outside of L.A., to Plano, north of Dallas, 1200 WOAI news reports.
L.A. Chamber Executive Ruben Gonzalez says Texas is doing a lot of things that California needs to do better.
“Texas has not made the effort, made the pitch, and created an environment that welcomes business, and says ‘we want you’,” Gonzalez said.
The Toyota move also provides Gov. Rick Perry with a strong argument to make in a possible 2016 Presidential bid. The move of the continental headquarters of the largest automaker in the world out of a ‘blue’ state like California to a ‘red’ state like Texas will send shock waves throughout the business world, said Bill Hammond of the Texas Association of Business.
“He goes and makes the case of Texas as a great place to live, to raise a family, to run a business,” Hammond said. “Low taxes, sensible tort reform, sensible regulation, his message is the same as ours, come to Texas and do business.”
Mike Davis, an economist at Southern Methodist University, says the Toyota move undercuts the traditional Democratic argument that, while Texas may be gaining jobs, it is only ‘low wage’ jobs which are landing in Texas. The Toyota North American headquarters will bring 4200 executive and sales level jobs, many of which pay $100,000 and more, to the Lone Star State.
“It’s a hard thing to make that move and it makes good sense that it would be,” Davis said. “I think Toyota clearly sees huge advantages to being here instead of there.”
But California Governor Jerry Brown isn’t ready to concede that the Toyota move is a black eye for his state, even going so far as to call Toyota executives ‘stupid.’
“Smart people figure out how to make it,” Brown declared. “As I always say, you get what you pay for.”
L.A. Chamber head Gonzalez says the California Legislature needs to take a look at what is happening in Texas.
“Texas says, we are not going unfairly tax you, we are not going to over regulate you, we are going to create an environment where you can expand and create jobs.”
And, he added this dig.
“The great weather here only goes so far.”