Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Toyota moves thousands of jobs from socialist California to capitalist Texas

California is a liberal hell of regulations and high taxes. So, a story like this one from the ultra-leftist Los Angeles Times should come as no surprise. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

Toyota Motor Corp. plans to move large numbers of jobs from its sales and marketing headquarters in Torrance to suburban Dallas, according to a person familiar with the automaker’s plans.

The move, creating a new North American headquarters, would put management of Toyota’s U.S. business close to where it builds most cars for this market.

North American Chief Executive Jim Lentz is expected to brief employees Monday, said the person, who was not authorized to speak publicly. Toyota declined to detail its plans. About 5,300 people work at Toyota’s Torrance complex. It is unclear how many workers will be asked to move to Texas. The move is expected to take several years.

[T]oday, about 75% of the Toyota branded vehicles sold in the U.S. are built in America — many of them at plants in Texas, Mississippi and Kentucky.

Why is this happening? Here’s why:

Frank Scotto, Torrance’s mayor, said he had no warning of Toyota’s decision. He said he did know that the automaker planned a corporate announcement for Monday.

“When any major corporation is courted by another state, it’s very difficult to combat that,” Scotto said. “We don’t have the tools we need to keep major corporations here.”

The mayor said businesses bear higher costs in California for workers’ compensation and liability insurance, among other expenses.

“A company can easily see where it would benefit by relocating someplace else,” Scotto said.

Think that this is an exception? Think again:

Occidental Petroleum Corp. said in February that it was relocating from Los Angeles to Houston, making it one of around 60 companies that have moved to Texas since July 2012, according to Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Perry last month visited California to recruit companies. The group Americans for Economic Freedom also recently launched a $300,000 advertising campaign in which Perry contends 50 California companies have plans to expand or relocate in Texas because it offers a better business climate.

Like these other companies, Toyota could also save money in an environment of lower business taxes, real estate prices and cost of living.

[...]Toyota isn’t the first automaker to leave Southern California. In late 2005, Nissan announced it was moving its North American headquarters from Gardena to Franklin, Tenn., just outside of Nashville. About 550 employees left for Tennessee; an additional 750 left jobs at Nissan to stay in Southern California.

“The costs of doing business in Southern California are much higher than the costs of doing business in Tennessee,” Nissan Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said at the time. He cited cheaper real estate and lower business taxes as key reasons for the move.

I know a lot of people like to write books about how bad companies like Wal-Mart and Exxon Mobil are. Young people have been trained to believe that we should raise corporate taxes, raise the minimum wage and burden businesses with other costs, like health coverage for condoms. That’s what young people learn in school from government employees. But in the real world, companies respond to incentives.

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Niall Ferguson argues that government is making it harder to run a business

In the Wall Street Journal.

Excerpt:

Seven years of data suggest that most of the world’s countries are successfully making it easier to do business: The total number of days it takes to carry out the seven procedures has come down, in some cases very substantially. In only around 20 countries has the total duration of dealing with “red tape” gone up. The sixth-worst case is none other than the U.S., where the total number of days has increased by 18% to 433. Other members of the bottom 10, using this metric, are Zimbabwe, Burundi and Yemen (though their absolute numbers are of course much higher).

Why is it getting harder to do business in America? Part of the answer is excessively complex legislation. A prime example is the 848-page Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of July 2010 (otherwise known as the Dodd-Frank Act), which, among other things, required that regulators create 243 rules, conduct 67 studies and issue 22 periodic reports. Comparable in its complexity is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (906 pages), which is also in the process of spawning thousands of pages of regulation. You don’t have to be opposed to tighter financial regulation or universal health care to recognize that something is wrong with laws so elaborate that almost no one affected has the time or the will to read them.

[...]Each year, the World Economic Forum publishes its Global Competitiveness Index. Since it introduced its current methodology in 2004, the U.S. score has declined by 6%. (In the same period China’s score has improved by 12%.) An important component of the index is provided by 22 different measures of institutional quality, based on the WEF’s Executive Opinion Survey. Typical questions are “How would you characterize corporate governance by investors and boards of directors in your country?” and “In your country, how common is diversion of public funds to companies, individuals, or groups due to corruption?” The startling thing about this exercise is how poorly the U.S. fares.

In only one category out of 22 is the U.S. ranked in the global top 20 (the strength of investor protection). In seven categories it does not even make the top 50. For example, the WEF ranks the U.S. 87th in terms of the costs imposed on business by “organized crime (mafia-oriented racketeering, extortion).” In every single category, Hong Kong does better.

At the same time, the U.S. has seen a marked deterioration in its World Governance Indicators. In terms of “voice and accountability,” “government effectiveness,” “regulatory quality” and especially “control of corruption,” the U.S. scores have all gone down since the WGI project began in the mid-1990s. It would be tempting to say that America is turning Latin, were it not for the fact that a number of Latin American countries have been improving their governance scores over the same period.

Whatever the root causes of the deterioration of American institutions, smart people are starting to notice it. Last year Michael Porter of Harvard Business School published a report based on a large-scale survey of HBS alumni. Among the questions he asked was where the U.S. was “falling behind” relative to other countries. The top three lagging indicators named were: the effectiveness of the political system, the K-12 education system and the complexity of the tax code. Regulation came sixth, efficiency of the legal framework eighth.

Asked to name “the most problematic factors for doing business” in the U.S., respondents to the WEF’s most recent Executive Opinion Survey put “inefficient government bureaucracy” at the top, followed by tax rates and tax regulations.

The troubling thing to me is that the private sector has to make a profit in order to fund government, and I don’t see that the private sector will be able to producing the profits needed to fund our government’s lavish spending. Nothing that I see about the next generation causes me to believe that they understand economics enough to vote to improve the business climate. They seem to be very much anti-business. One wonders where they expect to find jobs.

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New study finds that Obama’s regulations cost $46 billion per year

From the Washington Examiner.

Excerpt:

Some 10,215 new federal regulations from the Obama administration are costing consumers, businesses and the economy overall $46 billion annually, more than five times the regulatory price tag of former President Bush in his first three years in office. Worse: just implementing those regulations had a one-time additional cost of $11 billion, according to a Heritage Foundation analysis provided to Washington Secrets.

Ironically, Bush instituted more regulations, 10,674, but they cost just $8.1 billion annually, said the Heritage report, titled “Red Tape Rising: Obama and Regulation at the Three Year Mark.” It will be released Tuesday.

The analysis backs up complaints from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups that the president’s regulations are stalling the economy and employment growth. It also calls into question Obama’s promise to put the brakes on new regulations and his State of the Union bragging about issuing less red tape than Bush.

The fact is, said Heritage’s review, hundreds more costly regulations are coming, especially those targeting energy companies and Wall Street. They threaten “to further weaken an anemic economy and job creation,” said Heritage’s James Gattuso and Diane Katz.

[...]The $46 billion price tag calculated by Heritage is staggering, as are those hitting the economy the hardest. Just consider the regulations tagged as “major” for costing $100 million or more. Obama’s team issued 106 on private industry since taking office, compared to 28 by Bush. Last year alone, Obama’s administration issued 32 major regulations impacting everything from clothes dryers, to toy labels.

Heritage said that most expensive regulation of 2011 was from the Environmental Protection Agency, which added five major rules costing $4 billion. Among them, stricter limits on industrial and commercial boilers and incinerators, for a cost of $2.6 billion annually for compliance.

The regulations are also hitting workers through higher fees on items such as checking accounts.

The link to the Heritage Foundation study is here. The title of the report makes me think of “Red Storm Rising“, an excellent novel written by conservative author Tom Clancy.

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Women in business report that regulatory uncertainty hurts job growth

The Independent Women’s Forum explains what happened at a panel discussion of women CEOs.

Excerpt:

Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers hosted a panel discussion on Capitol Hill today that focused on the economy and job creation.  All of the panelists were CEOs.  All of them were women.

In their opening remarks, one word was mentioned by every panelist: uncertainty.

Another word, that went hand-in-hand with the uncertainty that America’s job creators are facing was “regulations.”  This word was also mentioned by every panelist.

Sandra Parrillo, President & CEO of Providence Mutual Fire Insurance, said that, as a property and casuality insurance company, they are very familiar with risk.  This year has been unprecedented in the amount of claims they’ve paid out due to an usually high number of natural disasters.  But Parrillo said her company faces enough uncertainty from nature; they don’t need uncertainty coming from Washington, DC, where hundreds of new rules are being written – often to solve problems that don’t really exist.

Lisa Hook, President & CEO, Neustar, Inc., said, “The outcome of the budget is less important to us than that there is a budget.”  Her company is traded on the stock market, and she says that the uncertainty fueling the ups and downs of the market, often driven by headlines from D.C., affects her business and her borrowing costs.

Several of the panelists derided Congress for failing to pass a budget for FY 2011.  They want to know that Congress is working to get its fiscal house in order.   They want to know what to expect from the executive branch as well, rather than having to readjust their budgets to deal with costly new regulations as soon as they are written.

Alison Brown, President & CEO, NAVSYS Corporation, went on to explain how difficult it is for small businesses to find access to working capital.  She said, “I have had to become my own bank.”  Her company isn’t publicly traded, and she pointed to Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley as two laws that have wrestled working capital from the hands of small business.

Catherine Heigel, President of Duke Energy South Carolina, echoed the sentiments of the other panelists.  She also pointed out Duke Energy would like to repatriate their foreign earnings, but without reform, they would face an effective tax rate of over 50 percent.  All of the panelists agreed that certainty (that often comes from having more cash available) could be restored to the American economy with regulatory reform, tax reform, and health care reform.  They pointed to these three areas as the areas that currently are most burdensome to businesses.

In many ways the panel today was depressing.  All of the CEOs recognized that we are in a tough time, and all of them expressed disappointment that they could not expand and add more jobs in the current business climate.

There is a problem on the left where they have this idea that they can seize profits, control businesses, impose politically correct agendas, and engage in judicial activism and businesses will just keep hiring, producing and so on. It’s the ultimate narcissism. Bureaucrats are so busy spending other people’s money and making speeches about how generous they are that they completely forget who is paying the bill.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , ,

New regulations causing fishermen to suffer massive financial losses

From WMUR in New Hampshire. (H/T Gateway Pundit)

Excerpt:

Fishermen on New Hampshire’s Seacoast are warning that new fishing regulations could destroy their industry and have already caused them severe emotional stress.

[...]“If they don’t do something to modify the fishing regulations, we won’t have a fishing industry on the Seacoast, is what it boils down to,” said Hampton Town Manager Fred Welch.

[...]The new regulations are known as “catch-share.” The team said they are not there to look at possible changes to the rules but rather to see what effects they are having.

[...]“One of the fishermen from Rye had said that there had been three suicide attempts and a half dozen divorces during this first year of catch-shares,” said Bob Campbell of the Yankee Fisherman’s Cooperative. “Commercial fishermen are usually pretty tight-lipped, and for something this serious to come out, I mean, you know that the whole situation is grave.”

Campbell said the cooperative has lost about $750,000 in business since the new regulations went into effect.

“We’re off 1.1 million pounds of fish from last year, and over a million and a half pounds from the year before,” he said.

This is what regulations made in Washington do to a business running in New Hampshire.

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