This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 4, 2010 5:10 AM. The previous post in this blog was David Bragdon is still gone. The next post in this blog is Quick! Before the public catches on!. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Saturday, September 4, 2010


A friend and reader writes:

California has 57 Fortune 500 companies. Oregon has 2. What makes California more business-friendly? Its tax rates, environmental rules, state regulations, and general state government ineptitude cannot be said to be more business-friendly than Oregon. And compared to Delaware, which is the business-friendly corporate Mecca? Delaware has 1 Fortune 500 company. It appears that there is something else at work that attracts business to a region that is more important than the perception of a state as business-friendly, or not.

Comments (14)

California is a HUGE market for products and services, dwarfing many nations, and certainly dwarfing the State of Oregon. That's for starters.

I would imagine that several of those Fortune 500 companies are tech related and reside in the Silicone Valley. One advantage they have is a plethora of high tech talent and start up capital that just doesn't exist in the same quantity and quality as it does here in Oregon. Obviously, as mentioned by your friend, California is a total cesspool in terms of owning and operating a business.

I'll venture a guess that it has to do with the higher education system in California with CalTech and Stanford and the other schools. Massachusetts has a similar dynamic going for it with all the school in and around Boston.

In Oregon the higher education system was built outside of the major population center,that being Portland, and many of the grads from OSU & UO get their degrees and move out of state. But I could be wrong.

Don't overlook the value of Pentagon spending, the OTHER white meat of industrial development. Oregon is a donor state to the feds, giving the feds more than the feds give back. An awful lot of that difference winds up to the south of us, supporting gigantic bases and "defense" contractors that, naturally located near big bases, the better to keep the revolving door for top brass spinning smoothly and quietly.

Silicon Valley, a buttload of venture capital, and nice weather. California was truly a paradise for a long long time. It got established and built-up and now just has a momentum of its own.

...reside in the Silicone Valley

Maybe that's the reason. The women benefit from all that available Silicone.

Weather and good universities.

Wait a minute, I though SMALL businesses were the backbone of job creation. What difference does it make if Oregon has fewer Fortune 500 companies?

All those things your reader mentioned were not true when those Fortune 500 corporations were started in California.

How exactly does one start a Fortune 500 company? I might like to do that. Not enough timenleft to start small.

Invent a new operating system. In your garage.

Optimists sometimes point out that “new economy” companies like Disney, Google, Hewlett-Packard, and Apple, as well as scores of smaller innovative firms, continue to keep their headquarters in the state. But this is to ignore the fact that many of these companies are sending their middle- and working-class employees to other locales. Evidence of middle-class flight: since 1999, according to California Lutheran University, the state has seen a far steeper decline in households earning between $35,000 and $75,000 than the national average.

Read more of this interesting article here:


Portland, in particular, has a longstanding history of corruption, going back 150 years, and the fact is that bad deals will always end up attracting more bad deals, while driving away good deals.

Back in the mid-90s, I worked for the City of Oxnard, in Southern California. And even though Oxnard has geographical advantages that any city would die for, it has languished economically for decades, and has been named to a list of the 50 worst cities in the U.S., because it has the same type of corrupt political culture that exists here in Portland. In fact, just last month Oxnard city hall was finally raided by the FBI.

So, people here in Oregon shouldn't think that intelligent corporate executives and investors can't figure out what's happening here in Portland, and decide to take their business elsewhere.

You hit the nail on the head, Peter.

Clicky Web Analytics