“F— Elon Musk” – an actual tweet from one of California’s highest-ranking Legislators this weekend. After the tweet made national news for what an embarrassment our state government has become, Musk responded: “Message received.”
It’s a message being received all across California right now – especially by small businesses that are permanently closing their doors every day.
Even before the shutdown, our government had it out for small business. California is routinely rated America’s worst state to operate in and its top “judicial hellhole” for crippling lawsuits. A report by Joseph Vranich found that because “California politicians threaten businesses with one harsh law or regulation after another,” 13,000 left the state in the last decade.
And it’s not just businesses. A survey by Edelman Intelligence showed an astounding 53 percent of our residents are thinking of doing exactly what Elon Musk is: leaving California. “Message received” is what workers, young adults, and retirees have been saying for years on their way out the door.
Beyond the cost of living, California is the most oppressive state for workers in low-wage occupations. An Institute for Justice report found we restrict work opportunities more “broadly and onerously” than anywhere. And that was before AB 5, a bill even more vile than the recent tweet of its author. Californians from over 300 professions have lost their livelihood to the law’s senseless ban on independent contracting.
This disregard for ordinary people was causing our state’s problems to boil over even before COVID-19. California has up to half the nation’s homeless, its highest rate of poverty, nearly the worst income inequality, the highest housing prices, among the worst roads and bridges, and the worst education for poor students in the continental United States. The people of California are decent and forward-looking. They deserve so much better than the political class that is profaning our great state.