During the latter half of the 90′s, San Jose, California was the hub of the high tech industry. San Jose is still colloquially referred to as “Silicon Valley,” a reference to the silicon chips used in computers. Many computer companies are still based in the San Jose area, including Apple (in Cupertino), Google (in Mountain View), and Facebook (in Menlo Park) (a notable exception would be Microsoft, which was founded in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1975 and moved to the Seattle area in 1979). Since then, the computer industry has been increasingly spreading to other areas.
However, another industry, which Bill Whittle calls “one of this century’s key technologies,” has emerged in California, that being the “sub-orbital space travel industry.” The small town of Mojave, California (located ironically in the Mojave Desert (note: I use the term “ironically” ironically)) is home to one of the few spaceports in the world, and it is home to one of the private companies that will hopefully take NASA’s place as the primary vehicle of space travel in the United States.
If you aren’t very familiar with Bill Whittle, he is quite passionate about space exploration. And it is very interesting the way that is currently transitioning from something over which the government had a monopoly, to a private industry (and I’m not saying the government monopoly was necessarily bad in this case). Watching his videos, in addition to giving me access to his brilliant insight, has also educated me about the emerging new era in space exploration. Now, I can’t say how big of an industry this is going to turn out to be, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the technology produced or the knowledge gained in the course of engineering space-bound vehicles is used for other, perhaps revolutionary, uses.
The point is, one of the spaceflight companies in Mojave is moving its operations to Midland, Texas (which will soon be home to one of the other few spaceports in the world). The city of Midland, a city of about 110,000 in Western Texas, offered a small incentive to the company to move there, and they did.
But this post really isn’t about spaceflight, it is about why this company, and many others, are moving from California to Texas. The simple answer is that California is run by people that were probably pot-smoking hippies in the 1960′s (and are probably still pot-smoking hippies). Now watch this video:
It is no secret that California is the Greece of the United States. However, California’s idiocy offers other places an opportunity for learning, as does Texas’ wisdom. Texas, for example, should take precautions so it doesn’t end up like California. And Californians, and residents of everywhere else, would be wise to elect politicians who will emulate Texas.