California’s Economic Strength Shown in Toyota Move
I pulled my rental car over to a curb in Plano, Texas, next to the site of Toyota’s future North American headquarters, to be staffed by thousands of workers transplanted from Southern California.
I had flown into Dallas the previous evening on Virgin America (headquarters in Burlingame) and had a full tank of gas, from a Chevron (San Ramon) station. Pulling my iPhone (from Apple of Cupertino) out of the pocket of my Gap (San Francisco) pants, I Googled (Mountain View) food options in Plano and learned the town had a new Trader Joe’s (Monrovia).
But the iPhone also told me that there were two In-N-Out Burgers (Irvine) nearby – one 10 minutes away on the other side of Plano, and the other just four minutes away, in the city of Frisco.
As I drove over to get my Double-Double fix in the heart of North Texas, a question occurred: If California and Texas really are in some sort of contest for cultural and economic supremacy, why do so many people labor under the delusion that Texas is winning?
Yes, California has an above-average unemployment rate and other economic problems, and many of our people and companies are relocating or expanding to states like Texas that offer cheaper living and generous economic incentives. But there’s another way to look at these departures of Californians and California companies: as a colonization of Texas and the rest of the country.