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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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Go deeper

Jan 19, 2021 - Economy & Business

The Daily Wire is profitable, and eyeing entertainment

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Daily Wire, a conservative media brand known for its prolific Facebook presence and popular podcast "The Ben Shapiro show," is moving into entertainment, its CEO and co-founder Jeremy Boreing tells Axios.

Why it matters: The company, which is profitable and grossed $65 million in revenue last year, wants to differentiate itself from other conservative subscription media brands by focusing mostly on entertainment, rather than political commentary.

51 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Read: Pete Buttigieg's opening statement ahead of confirmation hearing

Pete Buttigieg, President Biden's nominee to be secretary of transportation, in December. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/AFP via Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg, President Biden's nominee to lead the Transportation Department, will tell senators he plans to prioritize the health and safety of public transportation systems during the pandemic — and look to infrastructure projects to rebuild the economy — according to a copy of his prepared remarks obtained by Axios.

Driving the news: Buttigieg will testify at 10 a.m. ET before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. He is expected to face a relatively smooth confirmation process, though GOP lawmakers may press him on "green" elements of Biden's transportation proposals.

Off the Rails

Episode 8: The siege

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 8: The siege. An inside account of the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 that ultimately failed to block the certification of the Electoral College. And, finally, Trump's concession.

On Jan. 6, White House deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger entered the West Wing in the mid-afternoon, shortly after his colleagues' phones had lit up with an emergency curfew alert from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.