This morning the Wall Street Journal reported that tech guru Peter Thiel is relocating his business and himself to Los Angeles from the Bay Area. He is not alone in leaving the greater San Francisco area. In fact if current trends continue, more people will be leaving the city on the bay than moving in for the foreseeable future. Residents are citing affordable housing, politics and crime as the reason for leaving. Some are even specific enough to talk about the new Sanctuary State law and state politics as a reason for looking elsewhere.
People moving from the Bay Area are relocating to Sacramento, Austin and Portland. Seems reasonable as one is close enough to commute to the outer ring of the Valley if you choose and the others are technology hubs. However the cities with the biggest in-migration nationwide are Phoenix, Atlanta, Las Vegas and Nashville.
People familiar with Thiel's thinking, according to the WSJ, say that it is the groupthink that has invaded Silicon Valley motivating his decision to break ties. He came under fire within the industry during the 2016 election for his vocal support of President Trump and work on the transition team after the election. In fact, some companies he had made venture capital investments in returned his money and he has exited several others.
The entire country has seen just how far virtue signaling the progressive left has gone in Silicon Valley. Apple's Vice-President of Diversity was fired for comments that were panned by the far left. And who could have missed what happened to James Damore after writing a solicited and factual memo to his employer Google? CNN got really brave and decided to interview some Silicon Valley Conservatives. Problem is they all look like members of the Witness Protection Program.
So you flee that intellectual black hole of progressive Utopia for Los Angeles. Is it just me or is there a disconnect there. Los Angeles is subject to the same high tax, burdensome regulatory environment that the rest of the state is. In terms of progressive virtue signaling and groupthink, have you seen a Hollywood awards show?
Affordable housing is also out the window in Los Angeles, not that that is a problem for Mr. Thiel. However, it has driven up the homeless population to record levels. It is estimated that 55,000 homeless are located in Los Angeles in the epicenter of a crisis in the state that has actually driven an increase nationally. The city is raising taxes and spending to try and control the problem.
Perhaps it is the possibility that he will develop a media outlet aimed at building a community around Conservative topics and ideals. I am skeptical after the experience of Tim Allen and others in the industry. The legendary "Friends of Abe" exists because people in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles have not felt comfortable being forward with their more Conservative politics for quite some time.
Tim Cook has already said the new Apple campus will not be located in California. If some of California's whackier proposals to hide the high state tax rate exposed by the new federal tax bill come to fruition, I doubt Apple will be alone in looking elsewhere.
Now, Peter Thiel is far smarter than I am, so there may be reasons to make this move that I can't see. However, I also know that Georgia has made significant investments in luring entertainment production to the state. We also have great universities and an entrepreneurial infrastructure. The weather isn't bad either. Maybe next time Mr. Thiel relocates for greater freedom of thought he can look east. He would be welcomed with open arms.