When corporate CEOs in your state are ready to exchange HQs with Pacific Ocean views for those of a landlocked desert, you know you’re doing something wrong. That’s what’s happening in California, where nearly two dozen firms are considering dumping the Golden State for its drab and arid neighbor, Arizona.
Like Texas, Arizona smells the blood in the water and is getting ready to invest time and resources into luring businesses away from its rich but troubled neighbor. . . . The firms interested in making the move include software, tech, aerospace defense, engine technology, and life-science companies—in other words, the industries (apart from Hollywood and agriculture) that made California rich.
The motivating factor in these cases isn’t so much that cities like Fort Worth and Phoenix have suddenly found the perfect formula for luring away coastal business elites. Rather, it’s that California’s business climate is so toxic that regions hitherto considered commercial backwaters now seem perfectly acceptable, if not preferable.