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California businessman: ‘Why can’t we be more like Alabama?’

A businessman in California recently published an op-ed in that state’s Orange County Register telling his fellow residents, “Why California should be more like Alabama — seriously.”

Tom Manzo, president of Timely Industries in Pacoima, Calif., and founder of the California Business and Industrial Alliance, was inspired to write the piece after Toyota-Mazda announced their $1.6 billion plant in Huntsville last month.

“Alabama beats California,” Manzo wrote. “And no, I’m not talking about college football.”

He noted how many in the Golden State would “bristle” at the notion of becoming more like Alabama, but that we’re doing things right in the Heart of Dixie.

Key graphs:

  • “Fifteen states were competing for the Toyota-Mazda joint venture; California was not even on the bench. Perhaps Toyota remembers its experience … in Fremont, Calif., where the United Auto Workers union helped shut down the plant in 2010.”
  • “Today, California is home to just one automaker, Tesla — and yet some of the state’s representatives seem more interested in … union organizing … at the plant rather than encouraging the company’s continued success.”
  • “California no longer has a monopoly on ‘cool,’ either … talented young professionals can find great culture and a great food scene in Birmingham just as well as Berkeley.”
  • “They can also afford to live there: The median home price in Alabama is $126,500, while California it’s just shy of a half-million dollars.”
  • “Alabama has the third most technical workforce in the United States with about 17 percent of the workforce in science, technology, and engineering, according to a Bloomberg analysis.”
  • “Aerojet-Rocketdyne announced last year they were leaving California and moving to Alabama; it will cost us 1,100 jobs and a company who has been here since the 1950s.”

Manzo ended his piece by asking California lawmakers to be “less like themselves — and more like Alabama.”

Thanks for the compliments, Tom. But y’all just keep being yourselves. We love California just like it is – far away, and sending us jobs.

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