Food and drink giant Nestle is about to take a “Nestea plunge” of a different sort — namely, moving its operations from liberal California all the way to business-friendly Virginia.
According to an op-ed in Investors Business Daily, Nestle USA will be moving its headquarters from the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale to Rosslyn, a Virginia city just outside Washington, D.C. It will be taking 1,200 jobs with it.
IBD writer Terry Jones pointed out that “(a)s many companies have found, California is an awful place to do business.”
“The $26-billion-a-year food conglomerate is discreet, of course, about its reasons, citing a desire to be closer to its core customers and other bland corporate pabulum,” Jones wrote. “But the fact is, Nestle and its corporate brethren in California that actually make things are overtaxed and overregulated, and elected officials treat them not as honored members of the community but as rapacious pirates.”
Jones also pointed out that California had already lost some Nestle jobs when the company moved the production of its “Hot Pockets” brand from California to Kentucky after it couldn’t get the permits the company needed to expand.
It wasn’t just the taxes and regulations, though. Jones pointed out that “California’s wacky laws have turned the Golden State into a venue of choice for activist groups to file costly class action lawsuits — or to launch anti-corporate PR campaigns against big, wealthy targets like Nestle.
“In recent years, Nestle has faced two such activist-led actions, both spurious: One involves allegations that Nestle improperly documented its anti-slave-labor policies. Not that it employed slave labor, it just didn’t document it online,” Jones wrote. “The other involves Nestle’s selling of California mountain water under the Arrowhead brand, a decades-old business that has suddenly become environmentally incorrect.”
Nestle isn’t the only big company to have left California. Toyota and Occidental Petroleum have both picked up stakes and moved to Texas. In fact, the Phoenix Business Journal reported that $68 billion in capital had left the state in 1,500 “disinvestment actions.”
The author of the report also indicated that businesses leaving California saved 25 to 35 percent in operating costs.
Nestle isn’t the first business to leave California, and it certainly won’t be the last. The question is how many businesses California liberals are willing to lose before they finally make concessions to reality.
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