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California & Florida both have Mickey Mouse politics; one to the left, the other to the right
Dennis Wyatt 2022
Dennis Wyatt

San Francisco Mayor London Breed should send Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis a thank-you note.

Ditto for John Bauters, the mayor of Emeryville located near the eastern foot of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge squeezed between the cities of Oakland and Berkeley.

And — regardless of your politics — if you are part of the Greater San Francisco-San Jose-Sacramento metroplex, you should too.

DeSantis, by overshooting the runway, so-to-speak, has derailed any potential for the Walt Disney Company to move 3,500 plus well-paying Northern California jobs to Florida.

The Florida governor’s brawl with Mickey, Donald, and Goofy assured that he won’t be poaching the jobs from within — and close proximity — to San Francisco, which DeSantis equates to a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah.

The Walt Disney Company owns two firms in the Bay Area.

*Lucasfilm founded by Modesto native and “Star Wars” creator George Lucas, which has more than 1,500 jobs in San Francisco’s Presidio.

*Pixar Studios in Emeryville that has given the world the likes of “Toy Story” and “Monsters Inc.” Pixar has 2,000 employees.

Most of the jobs command solid salaries.

Disney last week shared that it was pulling the plug on an $864 million project to relocate the 2,000-employee strong Walt Disney Imagineering Division from Glendale in Southern California to a new corporate campus in Lake Nona in The Sunshine State.

Clearly Disney has the land in Florida and the tax breaks — even without its special district financing that the Florida Legislature has effectively taken back, although the move is being challenged in court — to have created a super corporate campus. One that could have been expanded to keep poaching existing, top-shelf paying jobs in California for Florida.

A campus based on its location would have meant the company paying less in taxes and being able to hire people for less money than they do in California. That in turn, would have fattened Mickey Mouse’s bottom line.

But as Elon Musk — the ultimate connoisseur of tax breaks and tax credits  — knows, companies can’t thrive by bottom lines driven exclusively by how much money you can squeeze out of every aspect of an operation.

It is why after saying he was loading up the Tesla Cybertruckw7at and moving his headquarters to Texas, Musk opted to backtrack a bit and created a new engineering division headquartered in the original Hewlett-Packard headquarters in Palo Alto.

Musk, when making his announcement in October of 2021, told media in The Lone Star State that Tesla is a “California-Texas” company.

Notice California gets top billing.

Musk and  Disney CEO Robert Iger have seen the light, so speak.

California offers synergy that one can’t bottle up and transplant elsewhere.

Some of it has to do with the fact Hollywood/Southern California and the Silicon Valley have become the world’s proverbial 900-pound gorillas in terms of technology innovation and entertainment.

But the bigger factor by far is studios, research and development companies and such didn’t just pop up in the middle of a corn field in Iowa.

They did so in California.

This is not California conceit.

Instead, it speaks to what the 163,696 square miles of geography carved out to create California has inspired — and continues to inspire — people to do.

The cutting edge attitude matches the fact that California, and the West Coast in general, is the last frontier of this country’s continental expansion.

People, for good or bad, have pressed the envelope in California ever since Sam Brannan, who tried to form a Mormon colony south of Manteca and west of Ripon in 1846 before atmospheric rivers of the day forced him to retreat to Yerba Buena, ran through the streets of what had been rechristened San Francisco yelling “Gold! Gold!” while hawking copies of his newspaper.

This is where you will find the largest Mediterranean climate region in the world outside of the Mediterranean Sea, redwood trees soaring more than  300 feet, a 450-mile fertile agricultural valley, virtually every form of desert on the planet, snow-capped peaks exceeding 14,000 feet, and 840 miles of the Pacific Ocean lapping against sandy beaches and rugged pristine coastline.

It inspires and it is accessible.

Toss in 39.24 million people and the eclectic cultural blending and multiple world-class cities have risen in less than 175 years.

Yes, there is a high price to pay to live in California. It’s called taxes.

And we do have our problems as we top most lists whether it is the homeless or homicides in sheer numbers, but then again we have almost 25 percent more residents than the closest state, Texas.

But when you go by per capita we don’t have 25 percent more homicides than  Texas which had 2,993 last year compared to California’s 3,498

As for Florida, California has 80 percent more people than its 22 million residents and less per capita homicides against The Sunshine’s State’s 2,087.

That means based on apples compared to apples, it is more dangerous to live in  Florida and Texas than California, although it is not an exceedingly large margin.

California is the ultimate yardstick that other states’ leaders compare their states to. If you doubt that, then why are they always knocking California and trying to take away jobs from the Golden State?

As for our dysfunctional politics, has Florida outlawed the use of mirrors?

May Florida live long and prosper although that state’s 825 miles of shoreline — again, less than what California has — is dealing with rising sea levels.

California has that rising sea level issue too.

But in all of the scenarios being tossed out, California loses nothing in comparison to Florida.

One wonders what that would do to the long-term business climate in Florida and its ability to keep taxes lower than California?

Yes, we have earthquakes, but Florida has hurricanes.

Over the long haul, quakes means California is still growing.

The same can’t be said of Florida that is channeling Atlantis from a geologic perspective.

Yes, the cancel culture has caught up with Florida with the loss of 2,000 jobs they had snagged with the promise of $540 million in tax breaks.

What is more telling is the vile that Californians as a whole are being painted with broad brushes by those embracing the course DeSantis is taking in the never-ending cultural wars.

Florida might want to keep in mind we were home to Mickey Mouse when Florida was best known for Anita Bryant hawking orange juice.

And while our Mickey Mouse politics are to the left in America, Florida’s Mickey Mouse politics are to the right.

Florida — the flattest state in the union —  can keep their take on dysfunctional politics and alligators.

One may not be by wild about California’s version of dysfunctional politics, but at least we have valleys and mountains and a thing called low humidity.