Dec 9, 2020 - Economy & Business

The great power shift

Elon Musk
Elon Musk at the Axel Springer Awards on Dec. 1 in Berlin. Photo: Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images

America’s entrepreneurial and technology power is dispersing beyond Silicon Valley and New York — a trend greatly accelerated by two Cs: coronavirus and California.

The big picture: Elon Musk is the latest high-profile business leader to bolt from California because of its governance and cost.

  • At the same time, workers are fleeing the state — and New York City, too — to work remote, often in tax-friendly states or emerging tech hubs, for good.

What to watch: The next wave of cool innovations — 5G, autonomous tech, drones — will unfold in cities.

  • It appears a lot of CEOs, companies and talent will head there, too. This could spark a realignment of influence and politics.
  • Palantir, the data-mining giant, followed through on CEO Alex Karp's complaint on "Axios on HBO" that Silicon Valley is a "monoculture," and moved to Denver.

Ben Shapiro, host of the nation's top conservative podcast, moved his Facebook powerhouse website, The Daily Wire, from L.A. to Nashville in September.

  • Shapiro told Axios that California "has made it nearly impossible to do business, between their absurd regulatory climate, their insane tax rates, and the declining quality of life."

Musk said yesterday during a Wall Street Journal CEO Council appearance that the Bay Area "has too much influence on the world."

  • Musk moved to Texas ... Palantir co-founder Joe Lonsdale moved his venture firm from Silicon Valley to Austin ... and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. — "a descendant of the firm that Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard famously started in a Palo Alto, Calif., garage," as The Journal put it — is moving to Houston.

CNBC this week referred to the Lone Star State as "TECH-SAS."

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