This week the San Diego media is understandably focused on ONE story — the dozen or more roaring brush fires that have popped up around the county, thanks to EXTREMELY dry conditions, high winds (Santa Ana) and likely arson.
If this fire story were not happening, perhaps we’d all know more about ANOTHER tragedy that hit San Diego at the same time: Defense contractor Pratt & Whitney is abandoning its San Diego operation — fleeing for other states. This closure will cost our city 530 high paying jobs.
While the company had the option to go to the state of California for economic subsidies, they didn’t bother. FAR better “subsidies” are available in other states — the “subsidy” of a better business climate, including lower taxes.
At least it’s not the Great (hated) State of Texas that the company is fleeing for. Well, not for sure.
They are also considering relocating the San Diego operations to Florida and/or Georgia — the company has existing facilities in all three of these more business-friendly states. Indeed, they are also planning to move the commercial part of the San Diego operation to Canada!
Governor Brown’s office has thus far made no comment on this news. But this departure constitutes more of what economist Joseph Schumpeter called “creative destruction” — an economic axiom that Brown professed to so admire in his recent news conference — explaining away the announced departure of Toyota’s national headquarters from California to Texas.
And Brown is right — creative destruction (businesses thriving and failing — moving and merging, etc.) IS good for the overall economy — but creatively driving businesses out of California is NOT good for the Golden State economy.
I’ve said it before but it bears repeating — California IS the engine of prosperity — for the other 49 states.