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California Glory Days Are Over for Business, and Boosterism Isn't Going to Revive Them

October 21, 1990

Jonathan Peterson's and James Flanigan's observations about the economy and big business leaving California behind are better late than never. Business trend surveys have said that the bellwether state is Colorado. But as Flanigan and Peterson pointed out, many businesses are moving to Texas and Arizona.

I founded my business in Arizona and I would like to explain why. I am one hour from Los Angeles and San Diego. I can be in either city faster than someone traveling from Orange County. Round-trip air fare and parking amount to less than $100.

Homes that sell for up to $1 million in some Southern California locations cost about $200,000 in metropolitan Phoenix. That means if I want quality employees, I can find them in Phoenix for a quarter of what I would need to pay for them to be happy in Southern California.

Phoenix is the nation's eighth-largest city. It has major universities, good art galleries, fine sports teams, pleasant weather and skiing. And it costs so much less to live here.

If I were a California business owner or manager, I'd buy a $48 plane ticket to Phoenix and go talk to some of the dozen government agencies here that offer assistance to businesses that want to relocate.

RICHARD KELLEHER

Phoenix

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