California Loves Its Workers. (And Its CEOs.)

Chief Executive magazine says that California ranks dead last as the worst place to do business in the United States. I’m a little suspicious of any list that ranks California #34 in “living environment,” since that’s precisely the reason so many people put up with our high taxes and regulations, but I suppose they have their reasons. In any case, there’s a flip side to this. Guess which state Oxfam ranks as the best state for workers?

I imagine this is sort of a zero-sum game. If a state is good for CEOs, it’s probably not so great for workers, and vice versa.

But wait! As it happens, despite our terrible taxes and endless rules and high minimum wage and environmental tomfoolery, it turns out that the average income of the top 1 percent in California is over $500,000. That’s the highest outside the mid-Atlantic and the 6th highest in the country. So for all their bitching, and for all the worker protections we have in place, California seems to be a pretty good place for CEOs after all. Maybe there’s a lesson to be learned from—

Nah. What am I thinking?

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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