One of the great things about America’s 50-state federal system is that people can vote with their feet in response to different policies. In that sense, California just lost yet another foot-vote referendum.
“The Walt Disney Company is the latest business to plan to move some operations out of California in favor of a lower-taxed state,” Fox Business reports. “Disney will move about 2,000 jobs from its California headquarters to a new campus in Florida.”
BREAKING: When a state punishes success with high taxes and makes doing business difficult… businesses will go elsewhere!https://t.co/M3INyMLkZu
— Brad Polumbo 🇺🇸⚽️ 🏳️🌈 (@brad_polumbo) July 16, 2021
In a letter to employees, Disney executive Josh D’Amaro explained that the decision to relocate the jobs is in part due to “Florida’s business-friendly climate.”
“Florida is known for its rich culture of hospitality and active lifestyle as well as a lower cost of living with no state income tax,” D’Amaro also wrote.
While this decision was reportedly made before COVID-19, Disney did criticize the heavy-handed way California’s state government approached the pandemic, with strict shutdowns its executives blasted as “arbitrary.”
Disney becomes just the latest in a long series of businesses abandoning California for greener pastures. The California Policy Center has documented an extensive list of celebrities and enterprises to leave the state due to its high taxes and unfriendly business climate. This includes major corporations like Hewlett Packard, Oracle, Palantir, Dole Food, Nestle, Toyota, and many others, moving thousands of jobs out of California. Notable celebrities and entrepreneurs including Elon Musk, Joe Rogan, and Ben Shapiro have all left the state in recent years as well.
In fact, California’s population declined in 2020 for the first time in years. The 2,000 Disney employees relocated to Florida will likely meet many other ex-Californians there.
There’s simply no denying the fact that wealth, businesses, and people are pouring out of California. And there’s not much mystery around what’s motivating the exodus, either. California has the 8th-highest state and local tax burden, according to the Tax Foundation. And it’s ranked as having the 49th-worst—yes, seriously—business tax climate.
The results are predictable.
And the foot-voting verdict is clear. When given the option, people overwhelmingly choose economic freedom over big-government stagnation.
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Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is a libertarian-conservative journalist and Policy Correspondent at the Foundation for Economic Education.
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