Last year while flying back to Southern California from Hong Kong I was lucky enough to leech off a friend's mileage account and get upgraded to business class. My personal entertainment center was awesome and I only had to watch the occasional ad as it was pumped into the system between episodes of Mad Men.
However, during the flight I was shocked at the type of ads being played most often. To my surprise I wasn't getting targeted ads for the newest luxury car, some new piece of overpriced technology, or the latest travel hot spot.
What was being advertised was the country of Singapore as a great place to invest my money. The ads berated America, and specifically California, for our high personal tax rates, anti-investment tax system, and anti-business Government. Clearly I was being shown why I should bring my money to Singapore.
As Southern Californians we have been dealing with large job losses in one sector or another for decades. Since I can remember being interested in politics, it has been a steady talking point for politicians on both sides of the aisle to complain about jobs and money going "overseas".
From 2005-2009 the loss of construction jobs due the collapse of the housing bubble was foreseeable. However, this loss of construction jobs will most likely end up as a normal cyclical loss with rebounds in the construction industry occurring at some point during the next five to ten years.
Job losses after the tech-boom were also somewhat expected. Luckily, some high paying tech jobs have made a comeback as venture capital money for tech start-ups and green companies have returned to California.
However, this most recent recession and movement of jobs and capital to other countries feels a lot more like the early 1990's rather than the early 2000's. In the early 90's, massive amounts corporate funding, personal wealth, and high paying jobs left Southern California for good as the aerospace industry left the state. In search of more business friendly environments, aircraft manufacturers, military contractors and aerospace engineering companies left the state for good or downsized its California work force considerably.
Today, while searching through some SoCal centric websites, I was directed to this ad explaining the benefits of relocating research and development businesses to Ontario Canada: http://investinontario.com/tax/
With Hollywood finding cheaper locations to film movies and TV shows, Ontario actively campaigning for California's research and development jobs, Google, Microsoft and Apple opening larger and larger facilities outside of California, and Singapore doing all it can to attract the investments of our wealthy citizens, the future of Southern California looks a little duller today.