Opinion: As Texas Turns Hard Right, California Will Retain It’s High-Tech Leadership

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A sign outside Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Imagine a high-tech startup trying to recruit in a state where anyone can carry a handgun without training or permit, social media companies are under attack, voting is increasingly restricted, abortion is all but illegal and the power goes off for days in the winter.

That’s exactly the situation in California’s arch business rival Texas, where a gerrymandered state legislature is passing a slew of right-wing bills, demonstrating its rural focus and accompanying disdain for the views of the sophisticated residents of Austin, Dallas and Houston.

Texas’ hard-right turn comes with a tinge of religious fundamentalism. As state Rep. Matt Schaefer explained in authoring the gun-rights bill, Texans will be able to “exercise their God-given right to self-defense.” And Gov. Greg Abbott thanked “our Creator” when he signed a bill banning abortions after six weeks.

This no doubt delights the Republican base — and will win accolades from former President Trump — but it’s unlikely to improve the state’s business climate. Dallas-based American Airlines said as much about the voting bill.

“As a Texas-based business, we must stand up for the rights of our team members and customers who call Texas home, and honor the sacrifices made by generations of Americans to protect and expand the right to vote,” the company said in a statement.

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