Doing business in California — NOT

[David Foster has again been kind enough to take seriously my request for guest blogger content. I wish more of you would. There’s so much going on out there that, even if it weren’t for my time constraints, I couldn’t handle it all.]


…to California.

For 60 years, Gregg Industries, a subsidiary of Neenah Enterprises, has run a foundry in a Los Angeles suburb. Employing 200 people, the foundry made components like engine and turbine casings, for companies like Honeywell and Caterpillar.

Last Wednesday, the plant closed down. It’s not because of a lack of business–the work will be moved to another Neenah facility, probably in Wisconsin or Pennsylvania. Primary cause of the closure is continuing problems with local air quality regulators, who say the foundry violates standards on odor even after the expenditure of $3 million to mitigate the issue. But that’s not the only reason. “I think there are so many special interests in California, there is no common interest,” said Neehah CEO Bob Ostendorf. “It’s just a lot easier to do business on the electrical costs, lot easier to do business on the environmental costs, lot easier to do business on the quality of work-life costs (OSHA),” outside of California, he says. “I love the state, I love the people…but you sure as heck can’t do business here.”

Another company mentioned in the article is a much newer enterprise called Metalast, founded in 1993 and described as “a metal finishing company that has moved into “green” chemical solutions for companies like Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Boeing.” The writer observes that “these are exactly the kinds of jobs Governor Schwarzenegger has been touting as being California’s future.” But when Metalast wanted to expand and build, founder/CEO David Semas decided to move to Nevada. “Between taxes and traffic and just the bureaucratic red tape required to build a business or build a technology center, in California it would add three years to the process, as opposed to building the same kind of technical center here in Nevada.”

The Democrats talk a lot about saving “good manufacturing jobs,” but when it comes to maintaining an environment in which manufacturers can thrive, the “progressive” wing of the Democratic Party–which now by far the dominant obstancle in that party–is usually the greatest obstacle.

I fear that the “progressives” are going to do to the country as a whole the same kind of damage hat has already been done to California.

link via ShopFloor

David Foster blogs at Photon Courier and also at Chicago Boyz.

Be Sociable, Share!
  • Mike Devx

    >I fear that the “progressives” are going to do to the country as a whole the same kind of damage hat has already been done to California.

    If only our Republican leaders had the courage of their convictions, they would be shouting this message from the rooftops. But they have to say that “The progressives WILL do to the country as a whole what they are doing to California now.

    This is no time for hesitation. Stand behind your principles and BELIEVE IN THEM, or join the Obama bandwagon. If we’re wrong, we’re wrong, and we deserve to pass into the dustbin of history. But we’re not wrong, and we know it. It’s about time we began to act, and to SPEAK UP, as if we truly did know it, and weren’t just hoping that we’re right.

    Our so-called Republican leadership has lost the courage of their convictions and are not speaking up. At no other time in the last sixty years has it been obvious that they should be speaking up, that they MUST be speaking up, and loudly, and clearly, and with confidence. The fact that they are not speaking up, means we MUST VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE. They are not worthy of leadership, for they are not leading. OUT. OUT. OUT. OUT.

  • David Foster

    Mike…I think part of the problem is sheer marketing incompetence. Every person in the country who works for, manages, or owns a manufacturing business, for example, should receive highly-targeted direct mail which clearly points out the danger of Democratic policies for these industries. And so on for many other issues. Just about everyone in the country has something he cares about *a lot* which will be threatened by Dem policies: the Republican leadership has done a pretty poor job of systematically pointing these things out. Bumper stickers about “socialism,” etc, are pretty useless.

    I get a lot of political direct mail, and 95% of it is very poorly done. I also get the occasional solicitation phone call…today, I got one from some Republican campaign fund (Senatorial, I think) which was done with an autodialer. This is insane.

    The only comfort is that Democratic political marketing is pretty awful, too…just before the election, I get several autodialer calls from Dem candidates, for example…but we’re the ones who have the uphill fight.

  • Mike Devx

    A recent Jim DeMint article on conservatism and rebranding the GOP was a very enjoyable read for me! I especially appreciated how he ended it… probably because I too think arguing for States Rights, especially as a means of enlarging and sustaining our “big tent” conservatism, is a significant message we can agree on…