Borders matter. That became crystal clear this past week, when Tesla picked a location just over the border in Nevada, instead of locating its new battery factory in its largest market, California. The regulatory and tax burden is significantly lower just over that imaginary line. Where California is punitive, Nevada is welcoming.
Borders matter Just ask anyone who lives in a city, a town, a country dominated by ISIS. Once the Islamic Jihadists take over, they have a simple plan: convert or die. It’s that simple. If you live in an area inside of their control, you are not free to practice or not practice your religion. Sharia law becomes the law of the land. That is exactly what our Founders wanted to prevent: state-sponsored religion dictating every aspect of your life.
Borders matter. If they didn’t, then Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi wouldn’t be locked up in a Mexican jail for making a wrong turn, which put him in violation of Mexico’s intolerant gun laws. In spite of the fact that the Mexican government has no respect for our border and our laws, they take theirs very seriously. Just look at the way they enforce their southern border, and how vigorously they protect their right to vote. Voter ID laws in Mexico are some of the toughest on the planet. Funny, no one ever calls them racist for wanting to safeguard against fraud in their elections.
The only place borders don’t seem to matter is here, in California. If our government took our borders seriously, we wouldn’t allow the Mexican military to repeatedly cross over without penalty. After all, they are usually armed with fully automatic so-called “assault weapons,” which are illegal under California’s “assault-weapon” ban. If our government respected our own Southern border the way the Mexicans respect their Southern border, everyone who crosses illegally would be arrested, fined, and deported. Mexico does not offer to pay for K-12 education or healthcare for illegal aliens, nor does it give its citizens’ university seats to students in their country illegally, nor does it pass laws to carve out exemptions for them from virtually every law that applies to Mexican citizens.
There are consequences for governments who ignore their borders. For California, the consequences make headlines on the nightly news, as one after another major company leaves California for a friendlier business climate.
It has become the stuff of late-night jokes. While we import millions of poor people needing government assistance, we export jobs and opportunity to places like Mexico and China. If you are a Californian and you want more control over your business, your capital and your pursuit of happiness, the fastest way to achieve that is to move out of California. It doesn’t matter which way you go–east to Arizona or Nevada (or Texas), south to Mexico, north to Oregon, or west to China.
This entire trend can be reversed. We need to make California so business-friendly and competitive that you’d be a fool to take your company to Texas.
That’s not as hard as it sounds. It starts by repealing unnecessary restrictions on business growth, and changing the regulatory climate that has forced those with capital to invest and create jobs elsewhere.
The next step is simple to identify, but much harder to execute: We must stop spending more than we take in every year. That means no more overly-generous pay, pension and medical benefits for any government employees–unionized or not, management or entry-level. No more taxpayer-funded entitlements for the elitists who own football and basketball teams. No longer can we be the ATM for able-bodied welfare recipients who have turned needs-based aid into a lifestyle, nor for the millions of illegals who choose to make California their home.
If we stopped all this largesse—what really amounts to legalized bribery exchanging cash for votes, or votes for cash depending on which side of the scheme you are on—our government could do the things it should do with the revenues that come in.
Instead of borrowing money from our grandchildren to build a train to nowhere, and leveraging our children’s future earnings with a 40-year bond simply to complete a few of the dams we need, we would be able to finance it out of existing revenues, and have plenty of money to spare for investing and maintaining the infrastructure of a healthy state.
That’s what other states do, and that’s why so many of our best and brightest citizens and companies have fled California to live out the American Dream in a friendlier place where the government is not the greatest threat to your success.
That’s why borders matter.