Farmer Brothers the Latest Company to Flee CA

In the 1930s, tens of thousands of farmers, mostly from Oklahoma, fled the Dust Bowl for California with hopes of a better life. Today it is ironic that California’s Farmers (Farmer Brothers coffee company, that is) has announced that it is fleeing our state for a less expensive destination that includes Oklahoma on the short list. Any humor, however, will no doubt be lost on the 350 employees who are about to lose their jobs paying $40,000 to $80,000.

Farmer Brothers, a fixture in California for over 100 years, is just another of a long list of firms that, fed up with California’s high taxes and anti-business environment, have left for less costly states. Other recent refugees include Chevron, Nestle, Sony, Charles Schwab, Occidental Petroleum, Toyota, Campbell Soup, Nissan and Comcast, all of which have moved all or a significant portion of their work force out of state.

These departures are treated with a great collective yawn from Sacramento. When asked, flacks for the governor and other senior elected officials try to convince the public that these losses are not due to state policies and that the jobs and tax revenue lost are not significant anyway. Some in the media have even been known to listen to these rationalizations from elected officials with a straight face and proceed to parrot back this nonsense in what they report. Those who claim that California is not hemorrhaging companies, and the jobs they provide, should be challenged to provide their list of major companies that are relocating to California or that are making a significant expansion of their California workforce.

Sure, California is benefiting from the national recovery like all other states and some jobs, mostly low-paying, are being created. But California’s job creation for good middle class employment is anemic compared to pro-growth states like Texas.

Californians should not be surprised to see these companies go. The Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation lists California at 48, two from the bottom, in its 2015 Tax Climate Index. (This will, no doubt, annoy those on the far left who claim, that because of Proposition 13, California businesses do not pay their “fair share” in taxes.) Then there is Chief Executive Magazine, whose survey of CEOs has ranked California dead last as a place to do business for eight years in a row.

The Dust Bowl of the 1930s made the land unproductive. Eighty years later, California’s Tax Bowl, where we lead, or nearly lead the nation in almost every tax category is making our state unproductive. Any small economic progress our state has been able to make has been in spite of, not because of, Sacramento’s policies.

Those who jumped the gun to stake out land in the Oklahoma Territory before President Grover Cleveland officially proclaimed it open to settlement in 1889, were nicknamed “Sooners.” (Today, the University of Oklahoma proudly uses this name for its athletic teams.) Perhaps it would be appropriate to call companies now leaving California as “Laters,” as in “See ya later.” Sacramento could raise revenue by selling this motto on a bumper sticker to those departing our state.

Jon Coupal is president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association — California’s largest grass-roots taxpayer organization dedicated to the protection of Proposition 13 and the advancement of taxpayers’ rights.

Originally published at


  1. Great, more room for illegals from Mexico!
    s/Gov. Jerry Brown

  2. As a small business in this insane state I can’t blame them one bit. I’d love to see a side by side list of companies coming to Kommieforniastan and those leaving. Taco stands and Mexican Ice Cream carts don’t count.

  3. I agree with HK, I’d also like to see a list of companies who have left CA for other states/countries, and those setting up shop. Say over the last 4 yrs. I think it would be a good ELECTION TOOL. Conservatives need to hammer home the loss of work in this state directly linked to the democrats raising taxes and constantly adding regulations that are stupid.

  4. Publish a list of the tax legislation, who sponsored it and then examine how the “STUPID VOTERS” continued to re-elect the same jackwagons time and time again!
    Just look at the list, it will be LIBERAL DEMOCRATS – TAX & SPEND!!!

  5. The list that “Jet” is suggesting should contain at least five columns: Company name, number of jobs lost, lost payroll dollars, amount of unemployment insurance and other benefits paid by the state and lost tax revenue.

  6. Don’t forget all the “Fees” the State of
    California collects that are in addition to “Taxes”. Moonbeam mastered the art of hitting the citizens for “Fees” that his judicial system swears up and down are not “Taxes” and therefore cannot be recognized as such..

  7. Thank You Governor Brown and Legislature, you have succeeded running another business out of California………………….

  8. Voting Democrat has problems for everyone when you have a governor that is tax crazy. I can’t understand why the people voting in this state would vote to raise taxes so moonbeam can spend $$ billions on high speed rail and build 2 40 foot in diameter tunnels for water to LA this guy is nuts and the voters are nuts.

  9. doubleblack4 says

    It is too late. CA and the USA are past the tipping point and the downhill is fairly steep. Grateful for my mortality.

  10. We are about to have a special election for a state senator and they have four candidates and they are all Democrats. What do you think they are going to vote for once elected. They don’t understand economics s.o they will be taxing us even higher. They don’t seem to care how many companies they chase out of the state.

  11. Governments will never recognize that people have the ultimate vote…with their feet, unless we become Cuba and cannot move.

  12. For those who disparage the ripple effect of a major firm, particularly one in the “manufacturing sector”, shutting down and departing for friendlier climes, just look back at what happened in the aerospace sector, following Clinton’s cashing of the Peace Dividend, here in CA.
    Each major has dozens of sub-contractors dependent upon it, and when that major leaves, the subs do also, or substantially scale back in size.

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