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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 27, 2021 - Economy & Business

Telework's tax mess

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

As teleworkers flit from city to city, they're creating a huge tax mess.

Why it matters: Our tax laws aren't built for telecommuting, and this new way of working could have dire implications for city and state budgets.

Updated 38 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Virginia attorney general fires Jan. 6 investigator from university post

McIntire Amphitheater at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia. Photo: Robert Knopes/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The lead investigator for the Jan. 6 House select committee investigating the Capitol riot has been fired from his position as the University of Virginia's counsel by the state's new Republican attorney general, per the Washington Post.

Why it matters: Democrats say the removal of Tim Heaphy from his post after some three years while he's on leave from the university to investigate the insurrection is likely "retribution" for the House probe — an accusation strongly denied by the office of state Attorney General Jason Miyares (R).

5 hours ago - Sports

Gonzaga University revokes NBA great John Stockton's tickets over mask stance

Former Utah Jazz player John Stockton during a 2017 press conference in Salt Lake City. Photo: Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Gonzaga University suspended the season tickets of notable alumni John Stockton after the NBA Hall of Famer failed to comply with the school's basketball games mask mandate, the Spokesman-Review first reported.

Driving the news: "Basically, it came down to, they were asking me to wear a mask to the games and being a public figure, someone a little bit more visible, I stuck out in the crowd a little bit," the former Utah Jazz point guard told the outlet in an interview Saturday.